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Tips Five simple strategies to increase revenue from your golf resort’s drive markets.

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photo of the author Chris Eaton

While a focus on drive markets may be new to many golf resorts, it’s not something you should overthink. The experiences folks are looking for will largely be the same. Their behaviors and the types of products they’re looking for, however, will differ. For example, expect to see:

  • Shorter length-of-stay
  • Shorter lead time
  • More activity-only bookings

Here’s how a few golf resorts have made simple, strategic adjustments to cater to these behaviors.

Shorter Minimums

Because drive markets will typically stay fewer nights, you may want to take a close look at your minimums. If you require a 3 or 4 night stay, you may be asking too much of these guests. On the other hand, a minimum of 2-nights will usually be more aligned with their preferences like we saw at Margaritaville Lake Resort.

Same Product, New Audience

Sometimes the message and product are perfect as is and all you have to do is get it in front of a new audience. Hollywood Beach has an offer that’s perfect for in-resort guests, but it could work just as well for golfers nearby who come for a quick round or just for a bite. All it takes is getting the same message distributed to a broader list.

Same Product, Made Public

Most of your products are already extremely appealing to locals, they simply may not always be available to folks in local markets or non-members. In these cases, consider opening these things up to the public. If you do, make sure to put this fact right up front like Plantation on Crystal River did.

Look at Midweeks

While a destination guest may want to focus on maximizing days they don’t have to take off work and building a trip around weekends, midweeks are often easier for drive markets to make a quick day trip of it. A recent deal from Boyne is a perfect example of this.

Imperfect Conditions

Golf in cooler temps or may not get someone on a plane, but it may get them in a car. When you’re aerating greens or mother nature’s whims make golf less-than-perfect, promoting this as a great time to play on local-heavy social media is a great move as Emerald Valley showed.

Again, don’t overthink this.

  • Build your drive market database.
  • Focus on the behaviors unique to this market.
  • Tweak products and messages to match.

It’s not impossible to build your resort’s stream of drive market revenue, but it does take a bit of time, thought, and effort to ensure that the products they’d be willing to buy are the ones you’re selling.

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Tyler Maynard
SVP of Business Development
Ski / Golf / Destination Research
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Doug Kellogg
Director of Business Development
Hospitality / Attractions
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