There’s one great way to get people buying more pre-round beverages: Make them check in for golf at the bar.
That is exactly what happens at Blue Sky Golf Club in Jacksonville, Florida, one of about 20 clubs operated by former PGA of America president M.G. Orender and his company Hampton Golf. Blue Sky is a green-grass attempt to attract a younger TopGolf-type demographic to the game through a relaxed dress code and hip vibe. Part of that ambiance is how you check in.
“We moved the check-in area into the bar, which really isn’t a bar in the traditional golf sense,” Orender said. “It’s more of a martini bar, very slick and clean with a lot of televisions.”
Players can pay for golf, buy balls, gloves or a $20 Bluetooth speaker. But as Orender said, “The biggest seller is a large tumbler with the course logo on it. If you buy it for $29.95, we’ll give you your first draft free and fill it up for you with draft beer for a couple of dollars as long as you own it.”
With a clientele that is almost exclusively under age 45, with 50% of play coming from people 35 and younger, this is a perfect way to drive revenue into a high-profit area.
Unlike the old adage about horses, if you lead a golfer to the bar, most likely he’s going to drink.