Arrowood Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif. installed 10 Toptracer suites, which it refers to as “The Flight Deck.” The suites have become so popular, they will be adding a full food and beverage facility, which will include a bar and lounge to support golfers enjoying the facility.
As a golf instructor, would you like to take the guesswork out of practice sessions and earn additional revenue? With Toptracer Range you can.
The Toptracer Range app has revolutionized the golf industry. It has made technology that was once exclusive to golf professionals available and accessible to all golfers. The app is the ultimate practice tool, which takes the guesswork out of range sessions by offering an engaging, data-driven experience that appeals to players of all levels and abilities.
Toptracer can transform a range business by attracting new golfers, retaining current members, and boosting revenue streams. The app stores data from practice sessions, which allows golfers to track their changes and fine tune their swing. Players can track distances to know exactly how far their ball travels with each club. In addition to tracking, it also has fun features such as games and competitions.
I recently had the opportunity to interview Tom Son, PGA General Manager of Arrowood Golf Course in Oceanside, Calif. Tom and his team installed 10 Toptracer suites, which they refer to as “The Flight Deck.” The suites have become so popular that he plans to add more soon. In addition, they will be adding a full food and beverage facility, which will include a bar and lounge to support golfers enjoying The Flight Deck.
When Tom and I spoke, I asked several questions regarding start-up expense and ongoing operational cost. I was pleasantly surprised how forthcoming he was with the details, which included the highs and lows of the process and how Arrowood’s model works.
Arrowood paid approximately $50,000 to install the electrical equipment required to support the Toptracer system. A monthly fee of approximately $2,000/month paid directly to Toptracer to lease the software. All in, including the future build out of suites and the F&B facility, total cost is expected to be $400,000 to $500,000.
My next questions were about the plan for Arrowood to recoup their costs and realize a profit. Arrowood rents each suite for $24-$36 an hour with 1-4 individuals per suite. During the slowest months of the year with the shortest hours of daylight, they average $5,000 to $6,000 a month in suite rental alone. Food and beverage revenue from users of the Flight Deck averages $20,000 a month.
Tom shared the positives and negatives of opening in the winter and doing so while coming out of a pandemic:
• The wonderful opportunity to understand clients’ desires and needs and the ability to address and support them with new technology;
• Realizing that the added amenity of Toptracer created addition opportunities for offering social and cooperate events, weekly leagues, etc., that drive new drive foot traffic to Arrowood;
• Learning the importance of creativity and producing a more robust marketing plan to include Toptracer;
• The time and effort involved in working out the kinks of the new system. Toptracer has an amazing support team in place that helps immensely with this process;
• Start-up costs can be high, depending on electrical requirements and the footprint; and
• Not being able to immediately maximize hourly usages. There are times during the day when suite hours are not sold out.
Ultimately, Arrowood is thrilled with its decision to add Toptracer as an amenity to the club. Ideally, Tom would really like to realize more revenue at a quicker pace, but wouldn’t we all? He projects Arrowood revenue will increase by $600,000 to $700,000/year when the entire facility is complete and fully up and running to their desired capacity. This will be a rewarding return on investment and a much better experience overall for everyone.
Matt Kilgariff is a PGA professional who spent much of his career working for Butch Harmon and the Harmon Family. He is currently the Director of Player Development at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Prior to joining The Bridges, Kilgariff was Director of Player Development at The Olympic Club in San Francisco. Matt has also been part of TaylorMade’s National Advisory Staff since 2012.