If you reviewed the practice area operation at your club in Return on Investment (ROI) terms, this expansive area being used would most likely be the biggest waste of money. (Locker room space is Number two on my list) When you consider the amount of revenue actually generated versus the amount of land needed, the cost to maintain, the cost to service, range balls, buckets and all other incidentals you may incur, it is really not worth the effort. That’s the simple ‘black and white’ of the equation.
Alternatively, if you considered that area as an invaluable resource to market and attract new players (reference: Growing the game, one golfer at a time), a “value add” to your members and guests, a great way to attract members that are not playing at the club, and as a way to stimulate incremental revenue for the golf shop via demo days, you can start to feel a whole lot better that its not really costing you as much as you think. Have you looked at this revenue versus cost equation in depth for your club? What is your average spending per player on the range? As a stand-alone department it can be a substantial operational loss but viewed in another perspective, it could add up to an incredible “loss leader” for your facility that potentially brings much needed incremental revenue year after year. But how do we reduce the general loss that is incurred operationally as a stand-alone department?
5 easy ways to increase your revenue on the range
1) Have three price points for your buckets of balls to help facilitate increased spend. I.e. Buckets: Small 40 balls- $6 (.15c per ball), Medium 80 balls- $10 (.13c per ball), Large 120 balls- $12 (.10c per ball). You will yield more on your small buckets but will increase average spend and reward players by a “discount” for the larger buckets.
2) When selling, always offer the largest bucket first and let the consumer choose to “downsize”. You will be surprised how many are fine with a bigger size.
3) Have some kind of beverage and snack service available on or near your range. People get hungry and thirsty when practicing so make sure you service them. Have your drinks cart drive over to range occasionally or set up a coin machine near where your balls are dispensed. Alternatively, offer a “bucket and drink” combo, with the drink to be received in the bar after their practice session.
4) Allow free usage of a practice clubs for the beginner or visiting player. An added service that does not cost you. Promote it!
5) Implement a “loyalty” card such as a Buy 10 get-one-free punch card or a $100 range card sold for $75 (25% savings). Encourage the volume and loyalty the same way you would price a membership category at your facility.
Most important rule of a great practice centre- make sure to have the best hitting surfaces and ball quality in your market area. I’m always surprised at the poor quality in these two areas that I see at many clubs. Give people a reason to come to your facility just to practice and hang out.
Related story – Golf Ball Inventory Management
If you would like to have an operational review of your practice range or have any other marketing needs, please contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.