I’m having trouble playing more 18s in ’18

I hate to admit it, but I’m having trouble playing MORE 18s IN ’18.

I’m still on my quest to play each of the 200+ golf courses in the Twin Cities Metro area.  Most of my regular golf buddies aren’t interested in driving 25+ miles to play a course that’s not on their bucket list, so that leaves me in a position of not knowing whether I’m going to be able to attract a foursome or whether I’m making the trek alone.

Booking a round of golf at a public golf course when you don’t know how many people are going to play is an awkward dance.  I often wonder why golf course operators don’t make it a little more comfortable for golfers to find a game in situations like this, especially during times when they have gaping holes in their tee sheet schedule.

The issues I’m encountering don’t just apply to my goofy nomadic rounds… they apply every time a golfer realizes “Hey, I COULD play today… hey, I SHOULD play today”… but doesn’t follow through because they don’t have a game organized and they’re too time-strapped or lazy to put a game together.

I’ve talked to several operators about this issue and many responses have been less than empathetic… “Hey, we’re open all day and people can book tee times online.  What’s the problem?” or “I only want foursomes.”

I’m reminded of the Captain’s admonition to Cool Hand Luke… “what we got here is failure to communicate”.

What if…

  • Golf course operators set aside an occasional mixer tee time
  • The availability of these tee times was made widely known to golfers
  • Golfers had a really simple way of grabbing a slot in these tee times online
  • Proactive invitations were sent to golfers that have made it known that they’re interested in playing in these types of mixers
  • Golfers had a really simple way of inviting others to these tee times

Would it stimulate more play?

I understand that many golfers will only play with their small clique, but there are also plenty of sociable golfers out there who are happy to play with strangers.  In two recent rounds, I played with six people who I’d never played with before and had a fabulous time.

Let’s do some math…

The average course has 5,000+ people in their email database…

If just 5% of those golfers played just 2 mixer rounds per year…

And 20% of those golfers dragged along a friend…

That’s 600 rounds * $40-$80 = $24k-$48k of pure incremental revenue

(do NOT discount these rounds… you’re providing real value to these golfers)


Why not try it, at least on days when you know your tee sheet is going to look like Swiss cheese?

Or… if you have proof that this is a stupid idea that simply won’t work, post a comment and help me understand.

Bueller?  Anyone?




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