Coming Into Range

By Golf Business posted 04-25-2017 15:28


Sometimes, the best ideas come on the spur of the moment in response to a mini-crisis. That’s exactly how officials at SouthWood Golf Club in Tallahassee, Florida, came up with a new, innovative driving range procedure.

Rather than selling range balls by the bag, the club began pyramiding balls in an open setting and then charging for the amount of time players spend hitting them. Customers pay $5 to use the range before a round of golf, $8 to practice for an hour if they aren’t playing, and $16 to hit balls all day.

Since being implemented, the concept has evolved from a single all-day rate into its current one-hour or all-day option. This proved to be both a financial and customer service success. Any worries that people would cheat the system have proven unfounded; customers are usually loyal to the one-hour time limit, and it’s easy to spot those who might attempt to abuse the program.

As a result of the program, range revenues at SouthWood have increased even as costs have decreased by as much as 15 percent on average. Plus, it’s raised the perception of an amenity that golfers might not have gotten before.

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