Gordon Swennes: Conduct a Twos Game With Your League

Gordon Swennes, the 2014 New England PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Resort Facilities, is the PGA Head Professional at Wentworth By-The-Sea Country Club in Rye, New Hampshire.

To give our men’s league a little “pop,” we conduct a season-long “Twos Game.” We’ve been doing this for the past 15 years, and it continues to be a big hit. For the 12 times that our nine-hole men’s league players come out to play, this little program serves as a motivator. Anyone who makes a two on any hole any time during the season can pick a golf shirt from the golf shop, free of charge. We carry half a dozen brands, so there is a good selection from which members can choose. Some players come away with two or more shirts by the end of the season, which runs from mid-May to early August. Golfers know that even if they make just one two, they still have made their money back. And they love showing off their shirts and ribbing me about them. We have six par-3 holes, three on each nine, so players have pretty good odds of making a two. Even quiet members, when they emerge from the golf shop with a shirt, tell everyone on the patio about it. This program spurs camaraderie and fun.

Each player pays $30 at the beginning of the season to participate, knowing he may or may not earn a free shirt. When I announce the program the first night of league play, I ask those who don’t want to participate to raise their hands. In 15 years, no one has ever done so. We have 36 guys in our men’s league, although it fluctuates slightly year to year. Thirty-two or 36 players is the ideal number for the Twos Game. Usually I realize about $300 for the season from this program. Members feel like they are beating me; I pretend it hurts me. It’s fun all around. The cost to participate has always been $30; next year I might raise it to $35.