Peter Tavares, the 2013 Northeastern New York PGA Section Merchandiser of the Year for Public Facilities, is the PGA Director of Golf at Saratoga National Golf Club in Saratoga Springs, New York.
This past Independence Day, Saratoga National Golf Club decided to run a promotion to help increase golf shop sales, speed up pace of play and pay tribute our great country. We purchased beautifully embroidered U.S. hole flags for our each of our 18 holes of golf. Between July 1–13, anyone who agreed to “play it forward and play it right” received a red, white and blue ribbon that was tied to their golf car at the beginning of their round by the starter. Each player in the golf car that returned to the golf car staging area at the conclusion of the round with the ribbon still attached received a $10 gift card redeemable in the golf shop for merchandise. According to the rules of the game, the participant’s ribbon is taken away if an individual: does not play from our Silver Tees (forward); is caught not repairing a ball mark; is caught not raking a bunker; is caught not replacing a divot; is caught driving their golf car in unauthorized areas of the course; or uses range balls on the golf course (we provide ProV1x golf balls on the range.)
Many of our customers participated, and during this time period shop sales increased 105 percent compares to the prior year. The energy, excitement and effort that went into highlighting our holiday offerings contributed to the increase in shop traffic and, ultimately, sales. It also reminded players of basic course etiquette, paid tribute to our great country and introduced players to new tee locations. Saratoga National will continue to use the U.S. hole flag for all national holidays and events recognizing the United States.