The business of golf – “The use of a friendly letter . . .”

By Allan Prescott
February 12, 2021

Fernandina Beach Municipal Golf Course.

During the past 24 hours, I have received some responses that I have to comment on in this writing. My original intentions regarding the Fernandina Beach Municipal Golf Course have been as follows:

1. To turn your facility into one that you can enjoy
2. To offer suggestions which will have a beneficial and positive effect for the players as well as the golf course
3. To help develop a business plan that will turn the golf course from a net loss to sustaining profitability and growth
4. To develop a “positive mental attitude” approach to the golf course, its personnel, and the people in charge.
5. To visit the golf course to further evaluate it and refine my suggestions in conjunction with those in charge.
6. To make sure that the suggestions that I make allow the golf course to realize a profit this year by eliminating waste
and systematically improving playing conditions.
7. To do this without any consulting fees. In other words, at no charge.
8. To promote the golf course at a nominal expense.

Today, I am even more encouraged to accomplish at least the 8 items above to give back to the game what 57 years of experience have given to me. If, at anytime, anyone feels no need for me to continue to try to help, kindly send me an email and it will be done. At that point, I will just contribute articles on interest about golf to be enjoyed by your readers.

Today’s discussion is only one suggestion to promote your golf course at a very nominal cost. It is the use of a friendly letter, given to every player or to every foursome that comes to play the golf course. For riders, one copy of the letter is attached to the scorecard holder on each cart. For walkers, each player should receive a copy upon paying a greens fee.

The letter should point out one ongoing golf course improvement that will be worked on for that month by the golf course maintenance staff and, perhaps a coupon for their next round. An example is as follows:

“Dear Golfer:

We, at Fernandina Beach Municipal Golf Course, would like to thank you for patronizing our golf course today. We hope that our course will be your course of choice for your next round of golf. This month, we are working to improve our sand traps and tee boxes. You will notice our staff edging the sand traps and beginning to work on several tee boxes. So that we don’t disturb the flow of play and your experience, not all sand traps and tee boxes will be worked on at the same time.

At the same time, we ask that you bring a golfer with you the next time that you play here so that we can share our golf course’s improvements with someone, perhaps, who hasn’t played here for either a long time or ever before. Your comments will be much appreciated on the back of this letter. You can turn your comments in at the pro shop.

Thank you again for your comments and for your patronage. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Insert Coupon here

This has been done with only a few golf courses that I know of in my 65 years of playing experience since I was only 7 years of age. When I ran my first golf course, the rounds played at my 9-hole facility, (with 2 sets of tees and no clubhouse other than restroom facilities) averaged over 400% when compared to the prior year. My golf equipment sales went from $6000 to $84,000 when compared to the prior year. If you were the owner or the person leasing that course, would you be encouraged?

The letter can be changed every month as different projects and improvements are started and/or finished. I hope that this suggestion helps. As always, I am Alan Prescott. I am here for you and can be reached by email at [email protected]

Be safe and enjoy your next round at Fernandina Beach Municipal Golf Course. Your input will be appreciated!!

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