Dave Kuykendall: Offer Social Opportunities that Combine Fun and Competition

Dave Kuykendall is the PGA Head Professional at the Greystone Golf & Country Club (Founders Course) in Birmingham, Alabama.

It’s important to create events that are fun and competitive. It is also important to offer opportunities for non-golfing members to participate in club events. A couple of autumns ago, we held the first ever Ladies Champagne Putting challenge. Thirty women convened on our putting green for a night that included a putting competition, socializing, food and drinks. Last year we did it again, with similarly successful results. A 9-hole putting course was created on our practice green, which happens to be adjacent to our golf shop. We had a “space” theme last year, holding the event after dark, illuminating the putting surface with glow sticks, while serving wine and cosmopolitans. Twenty-six women participated last year, enjoying special appetizers prepared by our chef. The women were randomly placed into teams, so getting to know their new teammates was part of the evening, and a scramble format was used for scoring. The scores, however, were the least important part of the evening. New teammates became friends and non-golfers found themselves with putters in hand, holding their own with golfing members. The women loved it so much that four such events are already on the calendar for this year.

We all have members at our clubs who are sometimes on the outside looking in. Either they don’t play golf, can’t play tennis, can’t get away to enjoy our dining services, or simply have trouble finding time to enjoy the club at all. Incorporating non-golfers into this event has been a wonderful aspect of it. The $20 cost per participant is split between our club’s food & beverage and golf shop. Small prizes are awarded for first and second place. In addition, we opened up our golf shop for the evening and put our women’s apparel on display. That one evening alone rendered over $2,500 in shop sales. Finally, our women’s instructor was there to provide tips and help the players with anything they needed. From this night, she acquired four new students in her fall clinic. With four of these events planned for next year, we anticipate residual benefits for several aspects of our club and even more interest from our members.