Every day, they come dragging their bags through the doors of one of the South’s most traditional, old-line private family-oriented clubs, The Country Club of Virginia in Richmond. Their golf shoes, polo shirts, and Bermuda shorts attest to their willingness to improve their game, at least for a few hours, on the fabled fairways of the club’s course.
THE GOAL: The Country Club of Virginia wanted to develop relationships, create interest in golf and demonstrate the teaching expertise of its golf staff.THE PLAN: A large inflatable golf net was constructed along with a video swing analysis system in a highly visible area during an annual cookout. Promoted with the theme of “First Aid for Your Swing,” golf pros were available to meet and greet the membership, answer questions about the golf program, and provide a quick video swing analysis, along with a “prescription” for improvement.
THE PAYOFF: The effort was a great promotion for golf and reached an audience that the pros may not normally see. It allowed the professionals to get to know the members and generated interest in golf lessons and the golf events program.
Thwack. A member hits a long iron and hears the dreaded sound of a golf ball headed for trouble. Thwack. Instead of hitting the ball solidly in the blade’s sweet spot, he catches it slightly forward, on his club’s toe. It’s enough to inspire him to take drastic action. But instead of waiting for the member to decide to spend hundreds of dollars on a high-tech swing analysis, this club found a way to offer a more convenient and cost-effective way to begin looking for a solution.
In an effort to connect with more members while simultaneously helping them to improve their games, the Country Club of Virginia offered a “First Aid for Your Swing” promotion during its Labor Day cookout. More than 500 people attended.
During the cookout, a large inflatable hitting net was set up in a highly visible area. Pros were available to offer complimentary, five-minute golf lessons, complete with video swing analysis. With several of the club’s pros there to play swing doctor, more than 100 “check-ups” were given, and each member who had one left with a “prescription,” written by the golf pro, that highlighted areas he or she needed to be worked on. The ‘scrip also provided contact information for the golf staff.
“We want to develop relationships, create interest in golf and demonstrate the teaching expertise of our golf staff,” says Richard Cromwell, Director of Golf.
By tying an introduction to instruction into an established, well-attended event in this fashion, the club reported that it successfully booked a number of followup lessons.
“ ‘First Aid for Your Swing’ was a great promotion for golf at the club,” says Cromwell. “We reached an audience that we may not normally see, and it allowed the professionals to get to know our members and generated interest in our lesson and events program.”