How to make the most of the summer of sport

This summer is a non-stop sporting spectacular and many golf clubs are seizing the opportunity to get involved.

With Euro 2024 in full swing, the Olympics on the horizon and annual crown jewels such as The Open and Wimbledon also on this month, this summer is packed full of sporting drama.

Far from seeing those events as providing competition for people’s leisure time, golf clubs should be getting involved with the action.

That is precisely what Pine Ridge has been doing, with the Surrey club offering special Euros Golf Day packages, combining a round of golf with the opportunity to catch a match on one of the 17 widescreen TVs in the refurbished clubhouse.

With a lively social media presence to back up the club’s offering, General Manager Richard Woolley said Pine Ridge had been reaping the benefits of getting wrapped up in Euros fever.

“We’ve changed the whole set up of the club since Covid,” he explained. “We used to have quite a large brasserie area which had been in situ for many years and it was often fairly quiet, and we had more people interested in watching sport one on of the two or three TVs we had in the bar area. We had a rethink and invested a lot to transform that area into a sports bar with 17 TVs.

“We can show multiple games or events at the same time, which is obviously useful at the moment during the Euros, and we’ve had a really positive response.

“The main thing behind everything we’ve done here in the last five years is ultimately just pushing to expand our appeal to that families and friends market, because that’s where we see the growth of the business.”

Richard believes golf is uniquely placed to appeal to the broadest possible demographic because the handicap system allows everyone to compete on a level footing, but the trick is getting people in the door — and events like the Euros offer that chance.

“It’s one of the few sports where you can compete from a nine-year-old to a 90-year-old,” he said. “You can compete as a 52 handicapper and actually beat Scottie Scheffler!

“Golf is in a unique place but it’s just about trying to remove those barriers and getting people in the door and making them feel welcome.”

Though events like the Euros and the Olympics may only last a matter of weeks, the impact of capitalising on their popularity can be felt for many years down the line, as Richard explains.

“Getting people to come to Pine Ridge initially via the sports bar shows them that this is a facility that’s open to them and for them, where maybe before they didn’t think it was. The next challenge is giving them a reason to come back, and we’ve seen how our demographic has changed thanks to having TopTracer on our range. Now we’re getting people saying, ‘Well actually, I would like to get into golf’.

“The Euros will be finished soon but those people who have come here during the tournament will have found an environment they want to come back to, whether that’s to watch the Olympics, the Premier League, or to come and try golf for the first time.”

Key dates for your sporting diary

June 14-July 14: Euro 2024

July 1-14: Wimbledon

July 18-21: The Open

July 26-August 11: Olympic Games

August 22-25: Women’s Open

What can your club do to capitalise on this summer of sport?

  • Invite people to watch

You don’t need to have 17 screens in your clubhouse in order to offer people a good view of the action, but it’s worth making the effort to create a bit of a festival atmosphere, with decorations and carefully curated seating arrangements helping to heighten the experience.

  • Themed events and offers

These sporting events are global affairs and it’s a great chance to organise your offering around cultural themes, whether it’s a discount on your sauvignon blanc in honour of Didier Deschamps’ France, or a fish and chips night to celebrate England’s exploits.

  • Match day packages

Create packages that combine a round of golf with match viewings and meals. This can include a round of golf followed by a reserved spot at the viewing party with food and drink vouchers.

  • Social media engagement

Get active on the socials and share content related to the day’s big events, such as polls, trivia, and predictions. Encourage members to post and tag the club in their own content, perhaps even running a photo contest.

By GCMA Content Team

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