Small Business Brief


Make Green on the Greens: How to Grow and Develop Your Golf Business

23 million people in the United States play golf. About one-third of those people play avidly.

Given golf’s respectable popularity and relatively stable interest in the game over the last decade, one should have no problem opening up a golf club and generating a profit, right? Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

People establish clubs/courses and go bankrupt every year. That fate usually comes as a result of not being able to get enough customers in the door and enough revenue in the register.

To help grow and develop your consumer base and the average amount of money that your customers spend, our team has compiled a series of tips that you can lean on. Keep reading to discover how you can get the most out of your golf business!

1. Get the Word Out

No matter how well your golf club is run, you’re going to have a hard time generating income if people don’t know that you’re in business. That’s why you must have a great marketing plan in place before you make any big investments in your venture.

If you already have a business that’s costing you money and your marketing plan has failed or you neglected to create one altogether, get the ball rolling immediately.

Our recommendation would be to hire an agency to help you get a plan implemented as quickly as possible. Your focus should be on local advertising campaigns to attract people within driving distance of your course and on geo-targeted digital campaigns.

2. Be Careful With the Exclusivity Angle

You need to know your neighborhood very well before you hang your golf club’s hat on the exclusivity angle.

In an affluent area, selling an exclusive club can prove to be a lucrative move. In a middle-class area, being too high brow is going to result in the alienation of everybody that may have been willing to give you their business.

In most cases, you’ll want to keep your club as widely accessible as possible. After all, middle-class families are much more common than tycoons. By selling to the former party, your success opportunities will broaden.

3. Find Ways to Bolster Soft Periods

With time, you’ll learn which periods your golf club makes and loses the most money. Once you’ve identified your club’s soft periods, put plans in place to make those sections of the week profitable or less susceptible to bleeding.

For example, closing certain sections of your club so you can cut utility and staffing costs during quiet times will save you cash. You can also run promotional offers during soft periods to entice more people to stop by when they typically wouldn’t.

4. Start Giving Out Classes

The more people that know how to play golf in your area, the better your club is going to do. With that in mind, it’s a smart move to invite your community to take lessons.

We’d advise making new guest’s first lesson free. Once they experiment with the game, consider charging a discounted fee for a few more basic lessons before trying to get them on a full-rate plan.

By the time customers work through their first few discounted lessons, they’ll have a good idea of whether or not they enjoy the spot. If they do, you’ve just bagged yourself a new, potentially life-long customer.

5. Get Into the Food and Beverage Space

You’ll find as you grow and develop your golf business that profitable clubs get rich by selling more than golf services. Among the many alternative business avenues that clubs exploit, food and beverage services are popular.

Offering food and beverages at your club can look as simple as having an assortment of grab-and-go snacks with some picnic tables that people can use outside. You could even open a full-blown restaurant if you feel that you have the skills to maintain it.

6. Build Out Your Event Business

Golf clubs are naturally beautiful places. That beauty attracts several people to want to host their weddings, birthday parties and more at them.

Renting out sections of your club to party planners can be an exceptional revenue driver for your club so start exploring how much venues that are similar to yours charge in your area and start renting yours.

7. Let People Book and Buy Online

Billions of people across the world use the internet regularly. Many of those people are your customers.

By allowing customers to book tee times, rent event spaces and buy merchandise online, you give yourself more opportunities to make sales. This article and several other publications talk about how building your digital database/offerings is a winning investment that your golf business can’t afford to lose out on.

8. Forge Valuable Partnerships

Businesses are grown on the foundation of partnerships. Whether you partner with the city by allowing them to use your space for events at a discounted rate or your local high school by letting their golf team practice on your course, start finding ways to create mutually beneficial arrangements with the groups around you.

By ingraining yourself into your community, more people will have a vested interest in your success.

Take Steps to Grow and Develop Your Golf Business Today

It can be hard to take a moment to grow and develop your golf business when you’re bleeding money. Rather than continuing to manage failure though, you must force yourself to take a step back and start making changes to your business.

Only through change will you be able to create a viable foundation that will allow your club to flourish for years to come.

For more small business advice, check out additional free resources here in our entrepreneur-focused blog.