SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – Just because you live in Indiana, doesn’t mean your customers can’t play Pebble Beach or Pinehurst No.2 all winter long. That’s if you’re as savvy as Lenny Shaw. The head professional at Eel River Golf Club, seven miles northwest of Fort Wayne, saw the value and added revenue potential that installing Full Swing Golf’s simulators generate.
Like most courses in the northwestern U.S., Eel River was searching for ways to add to its revenue and increase its cash flow during the slow winter months from November to March.
“Indoor golf seemed to be a very logical choice because it would mean significant revenues at a time when there are usually only costs,” Shaw explains. “We researched the idea, formulated a business plan and then executed it. The results surpassed all our expectations.”
Eel River installed four Full Swing Golf simulators in 1998. They use them to teach, to fit clubs, and to run weekly leagues, which are especially popular with their senior members. Full Swing Golf’s simulators have allowed the public course to remain open and generate revenue 362 days a year. They’ve gained new customers and 20 percent of their outdoor clients use the simulators in the off-season. Players also use the simulators to warm up in the summer since the club does not have a driving range.
“Most pros see simulators strictly as a fitting or instructional tool and therefore a cost of doing business,” says Shaw. “It’s not that at all. It’s an asset you can derive substantial profits from if you do your homework and manage it properly. The net effect of our investment in the simulators has been extremely positive. It leveled out all our cash flows, kept our employee retention higher, and kept our customers happier.”