Weddings can make a significant contribution to clubhouse revenues. It is a very lucrative market, but careful consideration should be given as to whether the golf club can stage these events to the satisfaction of the client (it is a very special day) and not to the dissatisfaction of members using the clubhouse. The challenge is magnified by the demand for receptions usually being a Saturday, often a very busy golfing day with major club competitions taking place.
Key tips regarding weddings
- Proceed with caution if this is a new venture for the golf club. In the first year it is recommended that you hold just a few and see how they go
- Avoid busy golfing Saturdays and only make non-competition Saturdays available
- Communication is key. Let both the wedding party and members know well in advance which of the facilities are off-limits. It will be the last wedding held at the golf club if young guests are running all over the practice putting green or playing in the lovely sand pits
- Make sure you have a picturesque area for the wedding photographs
- Wedding receptions are staff intensive and require top service so be sure you can deliver before taking a booking.
- Check the club license does not restrict the use by non-members
Promoting your offer
- The club website. Have a dedicated area on the golf club website with quality photographs (this is a must). You could even look to include a video clip – people often can’t picture how it will look and this can help
- You should also aim to get testimonials from people who do use your club. People tend to book more at locations where there is good feedback as it helps reassure them they are making the right decision. If they have a positive experience then more bookings will also be forthcoming through referrals.
- Wedding fayres. Wedding fayres are great for inspiration. Look out for such fayres in your locality, if your budget can run to it.
- Direct marketing to members through email and social media. Word-of-mouth referrals are also important
- Ensure that members know they are valued by giving them preferential rates for room hire and food.