When Danny Medina, director of golf at 128-room Omni Tucson National Resort, decided in early 2016 to remove the property’s two courses from third-party booking websites, he knew there would be a trade-off.
On one hand, “we didn’t want to be associated with rate cutting, and didn’t want golfers comparing us to other area courses based on price alone,” he says. But on the other hand, Medina now had to get more creative in building the value proposition for off-peak rounds.
His solution was to change the amenities offered in the price of off-peak rounds on a weekly basis. So the playing rate will include a hat one week, then a sleeve of balls the next, followed by a percentage discount on food and beverage or some other enticement Medina brainstorms. “These offers work because they hit on specific preferences that different golfers have, and they also offer variety to repeat customers,” he says.
For a different task—grounds evaluation—Medina has relied on technology more rather than less. His idea came about after organizers of the PGA Champions Tour event held there in March used drone mini-aircraft to set the location of hospitality tents.
Now, Medina uses his own drone for overseeing observations and adjustments, and to make sure his staff is properly setting up all the features of the practice range.
“We put the photos into Microsoft’s Paint 3D program, and it makes training and giving feedback much easier,” he notes. “When we say that the setup of benches, club-cleaning stations, water coolers and trash cans isn’t quite how we want it, employees now understand us better. The photos also show when we should move guests away from areas that need a day or two of extra attention.”