Jim Hajek, the 2015 PGA Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA Head Professional at Fossil Trace Golf Club in Golden, Colorado.
We have big shotgun events, which are great, but our bread and butter are those 12-24-player events. We have men and women from around the country and world booking travel plans in advance, the majority of whom are on golf trips or in town for a meeting/convention and need specific times to accommodate their schedules. Others may be locals who are entertaining guests. We book one sixth of all our play in this manner – eight to 60 days in advance, all at a premium rate – and are working to increase this as much as we can. For these events, we like to give them something with our logo they will have for a long time to remind them of us, not golf balls that they’ll lose. In the past, we have given guests a custom metal bag tag, valuables pouch with repair tool and ball marker combo or mini towel, hat clip, lip balm, yardage book and custom medallion with ball marker – all gifts that are not only useful, but will remain in a player’s bag hopefully for years.
We have a number of groups we will see each year for the last 10-plus years running. Others may be a one and done due to a convention or business meeting; however, we will see many of them return in smaller groups at a later date. Having an outlet for slow movers is important, but each gift must have a value to the guest. Otherwise, it is just junk, which doesn’t bode well for the course and experience provided. With these logoed gifts, not only are we increasing yield per player, but also creating a more memorable golf event experience. We hope the stories of the players are shared with others who then consider Fossil Trace a destination for their next trip. In addition, we see our logo everywhere around the country, and the added exposure is only a benefit to Fossil Trace.