Discounting is a dirty word in golf these days. I don’t like the word either, but the fact is that it’s reality in this day and age and at some point, it becomes survival of the fittest when it comes to pricing.
For example, we haven’t raised our greens fees in two years, but people don’t notice that. If we did raise them, I wouldn’t be able to dig a hole fast enough to hide.
Price doesn’t only affect golf. When your members or golfers are out shopping for groceries, they’re looking for the best price. When they’re shopping for clothing they’re also looking for the best price. Sure, there are still people who don’t bat an eye, but they are few and far between these days.
I think the key to keeping prices competitive is the way you present your efforts. I like to package things – for example, we have a 10 pass that members can purchase and bring guests 10 times and they get a bit of a deal on it.
The reality is when we write it up on our spread sheets, is it a discount? Yes, it is, but are we going out there and telling people that we have discounted greens fees? No, we have a package, so it’s all about creativity even when weather and the economy is affecting your business.
People also get into that with lessons – they package them but they don’t use the word `discount.’
It’s perception. The word discount sounds cheap. It’s a bad word, but what we’re doing means the same thing.
As much as I don’t like the word, it is a reality today.