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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to Generate Revenues with Your Golf Simulator:

Now that you have made the investment in a golf simulator, here are a few ideas to generate revenues by using your golf simulator. With a little bit of time and planning you can create programs which will drive people and money to your indoor golf simulator.

An enormous advantage with utilizing a golf simulator in your business is…”the sun never sets on a simulator”. Golf courses are always dependent upon the weather to cooperate and when the sun sets the day is over. This is not the case on a simulator, schedules will be more consistent and total billable hours can be extended, while using a golf pro. With a golf simulator you can determine how late you want to stay open. If your establishment provides food and drink, you can anticipate your customers staying around longer, while they play a round or get a lesson after normal golf courses are closed.

The history behind golf simulators is important to understand. Golf simulators have spawned from it’s infancy as a golf training tool, providing a way to play indoors and also receive feedback on a players shot. This same training aspect is still the underlying advantage to most golf simulators. Now with the evolution of software and sensor technology, these training tools have become so much more…they have become an entertainment experience. An experience people are willing to pay for. The key to driving customers to your golf simulator and thus revenues to your business; is understanding these two key elements: training and entertainment.

Golf Training

Golfers are always looking to improve their game. A golf simulator can help greatly with this pursuit, by providing swing analysis, club fitting and the advantage of playing indoors year round. So you need to open your business to the people who are looking to improve their game. The best way to do this is to work with or hire a golf professional. A golf pro can charge their client for time on the simulator and use of the sophisticated training tools which are offered on most of the golf simulators on the market. Many golf pros are turned off by the simulators, because they think it will steal their normal business clients. The truth is a golf simulator can help a golf pro to better understand where the problem areas are with a client’s game and in turn make them a more effective teacher. And at the same time allow golf pros to work year round and charge the same if not more money for an indoor lesson. Do you offer club fitting? With most golf simulators, a pro is given the feedback required to offer club fitting to your customers, thus increased sales to your pro shop.

Teaming with a golf pro is the easiest way to generate revenues on your golf simulator. I would recommend working with the pro to create programs which incorporate both indoor and outdoor lessons. Check with your local golf courses to see what golf pros are charging for lessons and use that information to price your packages competitively.

Golf Entertainment

This is the element of your simulator which can drive revenues through repeat business. Offering your customers a true entertaining experience will have them coming back for more (and with their friends). Using your simulator to create entertainment is easy. You are offering your customers the ability to play some of the worlds best golf courses all from the comfort of your establishment. Golfers love to try out new courses; a golf simulator gives them the ability to play a round in California, the next round in New Zealand, or where ever they choose to play from your course library. Marketing this feature will create a buzz for your business, create a league, host a tournament, and hold contests: “like longest drive” or “closest to the pin”. All of these are easy ways to drive individuals and teams of players to your system. Again this is a great way to extend business hours. A two-some will play 18 holes of golf on a simulator, in about an hour and fifteen minutes, so host a league night of eight players and you could have golfers at your establishment; eating, drinking, and playing golf, well into the wee hours of the night, if you choose.

I would recommend surveying your customers to see how much interest there is in specific events. If you currently run a summer league, I would roll that league into an indoor fall or winter league. Talk to your sponsors and see if they would offer prizes for a “closest to the pin” contest or to the winner team of a tournament. Market the idea of being able to play a different golf course every week, incorporate this into your leagues and tournaments. I recommend setting up nine hole leagues and have the league last no more than eight weeks.

By creating a few simple programs and working with a golf pro, you can easily set up your golf simulator to start generating revenues for your business. One last piece of advice: Market your programs! Let your current and potential customers know about your system and programs, this will greatly increase player participation and customer awareness. These are simply suggestions and performance will vary on location, market competition and other factors. When setting up your programs keep in mind the two key factors: Training and Entertainment. Please feel free to contact me through my website if you have any questions on generating revenues with your golf simulator.

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