There is a lot of talk about the state of the game these days and what needs to be done to create growth. Not many talk about reducing their prices, however, to attract more people.
I have been on a few forums lately, and you would think that lowering the price of a lesson or a round of golf is akin to selling your soul to the devil. Let’s be realistic for a moment, however. People are always looking for a deal, and in a tough economy even more so. I know I do. I play with a regular group of guys once a week, and we generally go to the course with the best rate.
Amenities only go so far. My friends are not going to pay $75 or more for a round of golf on a regular basis just because the course is newer, has GPS, a fancy clubhouse, and might be in better condition. If the course is in decent shape and priced right, my buddies are going there. They just want to play golf, and I believe most people are that way.
Here are a few example of what I mean. One of our local courses made a mistake and advertised a weekend rate of $25 instead of $35. We, of course, jumped on it. So did most of the other golfers in the area. The tee sheet was full all day, both days. I was approached by Groupon about doing a deal with them. I said what the heck. The discount was significant, but they sold 315 packages in a three-day period.
No matter what, people are always looking for the best deal they can find. If that means I have to take less for a lesson right now, so be it. I love what I do and want to keep doing it. Everything cycles, and adapting to the ups and downs is not compromising your principles – it is making sound business decisions.