Golf Hospitality - A Good Drive For Business

By: Shaun Parker

Golf and business have always been synonymous. The golf course has long been seen as the place where deals are made and contracts are secured. The internet provides and enormous number of statistics that support this. It is said 80 percent of people that play golf are in decision making positions. Golf is said to improve client retention with companies that use golf as part of the way they do business being 53% more likely to retain 90 percent of their customer base.

Playing Golf with clients is said to help secure business deals. Executives that play golf experience an 85% better chance of securing a business deal on the golf course than through conventional methods of marketing. It is also said that businesses that use golf outings for staff meetings and employee appreciation have 80 percent better employee morale than businesses that use other methods. With these figures in mind perhaps it is time that you considered utilising Golf hospitality.

Corporate Golf Days
Corporate golf days provide a tested formula to guarantee success. Most days start early with tea, coffee and a light breakfast. Then you and your team are likely to gather at the first tee for a team photo before hitting the course. Some golf days include instruction from a golf pro that might take place on the driving range before you tee off or occasionally as a mid-round break.

Depending on the pace of play and the size of your group you may decide to have a light lunch midway through your round. Guests usually join together at the end of the day for a 3 course meal and the presentation of prizes. This can provide an opportunity to reward staff for their performance on the course but also for their efforts in the office. It is often possible to bespoke the day with additional extras such as a company branded signage and scorecards. It will usually cost between 70 and 200 pounds per person.

Spectator Golf packages
Taking your staff or clients to watch a high profile golf tournament can provide a great opportunity to enjoy golf without having to be a prolific player. The highest profile and most prestigious tournament in the UK is the Open. In 2008 it will take place at the Royal Birkdale in Southport, North West England. You will see all the major golf players compete in one of the four major championships.

Golf hospitality packages accommodate any number of guests. The Royal Birkdale has an executive restaurant with tables for 8-12 people. Larger private chalets are available for between 30 and 50 guests. There is also an Open championship restaurant that includes champagne reception, complimentary drink and gourmet food. There is also a number of Sky hospitality boxes that provide panoramic views over the first tee.

For non-golfers
Utilising the golf course does not mean you have to ostracise those employees or clients that don't want to play. Most golf courses will provide the option for lessons if you are keen to learn or pitch and put if your golfers are after a softer option. Many courses even provide a number of alternatives such as tennis, fishing, clay pigeon shooting, and spa and beauty treatments. This should make it easy to please all members of your group and make sure you have a fantastic time.

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