It versatility can be the key to International Pairs helping your facility fill up fairways this summer, according to Sonia McKeon, who organizes such events for Ontario and Atlantic Canada, although the concept is available to everyone across the country.
It’s a two-person event that can be played as men’s, women’s and mixed competitions under various formats at the club level. The competitors need a handicap of 24 for men and 32 for women.
The winners of club events can make through various regional competitions, which use the Stableford system, all the way to a World championship in October at Carnoustie in Scotland.
“Any one of the clubs that have run the event before, it’s a no-brainer. They always sign up again the next year,” said McKeon, who is always trying to bring more clubs on board for the competition, which started in the United Kingdom and came to Canada five years ago.
“The challenge is getting through to the clubs that haven’t run it and getting the pros or GM or whoever in the club to do something about it,” she added. “It takes a little bit of work to market it. I will help them in any way I can to produce marketing material for them.”
For their part, International Pairs charges $25 per person plus GST, with a minimum of 25 pairs per event.
“It can be one event, some clubs run two. If you have 50 pairs, you can send two pairs to the (regional) final,” said McKeon, adding that participation at this point is about an even split between private and public golf clubs.
“They can run it as its own event or the private clubs can overlay it on top of a member/guest, minimum 25 pairs to qualify and you can run as many events as you want to get up to that 25 minimum,” she said.
There can be other benefits to participating clubs. “I’ve had numerous clubs tell me that it brings in extra revenue to the club,” said McKeon.
“They charge the players more to participate, some of them package it with a lunch or they package it around an event,” she said, adding that one club had a local car dealership take sponsorship of its International Pairs event.
“It can bring in extra revenue for public courses on a slow day,” said McKeon. “I’ve had a couple of clubs that run it like a Ryder Cup event and play it over the whole summer and have brought in thousands of dollars of revenue in food and beverage and so forth for the club.”
For more information, see the website, www.internationalpairs.ca, or call 1-866-299-8886.