By Andrew Hajer, Head Golf Professional at Mount Brenton Golf Course
It's a Balancing Act...
The balancing act of maximizing green fee revenue and managing member expectations is very tricky. On one hand, you need to ensure that your membership is happy and feel they have access to the golf course, and on the other hand you need to watch the bottom line and ensure you are maximizing revenues.
Most semi-private golf courses rely heavily on green fee revenue to both pay the bills and to keep their membership dues affordable to attract and retain a membership base. Here are a few ideas to put in place at your golf course:
Public Only Tee Times
If you have an active membership you might want to set aside some tee times throughout the day that only the public can book. One per hour works well, but put one at the end of the hour and one at the beginning. 9:54 and 10:02 for example. That way if you happen to get a booking for 8 people you can accommodate. If it looks like they are going to go unused, you can open them up to the membership the night before.
Allow green fee players that are travelling to your golf course to book in advance
Quite often, public or green fee players playing your golf course are from out of town. Allowing them to book well in advance of the general membership can significantly increase your green fee revenue. Travelling golfers like to know exactly where and when they are playing in order to make their travel arrangements. If they can’t confirm a tee time until 2 or 3 days out at your golf course it could be a real deterrent for them booking with you.
Monitor when your members like to play and promote the slower times
Memberships at most semi-private facilities have preferred times they like to play. If they like to play in the mornings through the week but it is slow around noon, you can promote a a pre-twilight rate or lunch and 18 hole special. If they like to play weekends you can offer a lower rate through the week. By offering specials during slower member play times, it promotes green fee players to play when the members don’t, thus keeping your members happy by having access to the tee times they want and the green fee players happy by getting a bargain.
The bottom line is that green fee revenue at semi-private facilities is extremely important to the bottom line and it also helps keep membership dues affordable. Hopefully these ideas help maximize your tee sheet.