For several years, the leadership of The Country Club of Buffalo (N.Y.) sought to bridge the disconnect between the club’s golf season and other recreational activities it offered for the fall and winter, including paddle tennis and sporting-clay shooting. This year, after the pandemic prompted higher demand for all outdoor activities, the first “Tin Man” competition, which combined a morning of paddle and shooting competition with a two-man golf scramble in the afternoon, was held with great success—not only raising awareness for all of the club’s year-round amenities, but also prompting new connections and excitement among both the membership and staff. In this episode of C+RB’s video series, General Manager/COO Nick Markel and Kevin Clarke, Chair of the club’s Shooting Committee, describe how the “Tin Man” now promises to grow into a much-anticipated annual event—perhaps even also spawning a new interclub shooting invitational tournament.
“The Road Back” video series from Club + Resort Business provides fresh insights into how club and resort properties are meeting the challenges posed by the pandemic and finding new and innovative ways to boost business levels and return to full operation.
A key to getting on “The Road Back” has been finding new ways to engage members and to maximize how they can make full use of what club properties have to offer, even with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. This episode looks at the success experienced this year by The Country Club of Buffalo (N.Y.) in introducing a popular new “Tin Man” event that combined paddle tennis and sporting-clay shooting competitions with a two-person golf scramble.
As described by General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Nick Markel, CCM, and Kevin Clarke, who chairs the club’s Shooting Committee, The Country Club of Buffalo’s leadership had sought for years to bridge the disconnect between the golf season and other activities it offered for the fall and winter. “I’ve been a member myself for 20 years, but I didn’t know how to get on the paddle courts,” says Clarke. “But now I’m a poster boy for how [the “Tin Man” event] helped me get active with paddle tennis, too.”
Similarly, he reports, golfers “who didn’t even know shooting existed” at the club, despite it taking up 24 dedicated acres on the property, have now discovered what Clarke describes as “by far the most robust shooting facility for a country club in the country” and are not only taking it up themselves, but having their children, grandchildren and spouses join them as part of the club’s junior and couples’ shooting programs.
The first “Tin Man” event attracted a “broad bandwidth” of participants ranging in age from “mid-20s to 70s,” Clarke reports—and every participant in the inaugural event enjoyed the experience so much, they all “demanded to have the right of first refusal” for when it will be held again. Plans are already in the works for how to expand and elaborate on the event in future years—and Markel says the interest it has generated may also extend to exploring the creation of an interclub shooting invitational tournament.
(Viewing time: 12 minutes)
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Previous episodes of The Road Back series can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will highlight how a club has simultaneously revived its aquatics facility and programming, and another club’s development of an inventive and successful new twist on a “Iron Man” competition.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Back,” contact email@example.com.