Whereas many businesses have stumbled since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, some have positively blossomed. Count Columbia Edgewater Country Club in the latter camp, with golfing, in general, getting a bump as a socially safe sport at a time when many are concerned about being too close to others.
“COVID-19 has impacted golf in a big way, and we have seen record rounds this spring and summer,” said Aaren Ziegler, Columbia Edgewater Country Club’s membership and marketing director. “We are so fortunate that golf is a safe sport during the pandemic, and we are almost full on our active membership category.”
Columbia Edgewater Country Club Offers a Top-Notch Sporting and Social Atmosphere
Founded in 1925, Columbia Edgewater Country Club is well-known throughout Greater Portland for offering a fantastic golfing and country club experience.
“CECC provides a championship year-round golf experience for all levels of golfers,” Ziegler said. “Our course conditioning is one of the best in the Portland area, with great drainage, fast greens and well-kept rough and fairways. We have a down-to-earth membership with a love for the game.”
Columbia Edgewater Country Club Adjusts Approach in Wake of COVID-19 Regulations
Once COVID-19 hysteria struck in mid-March 2020, Columbia Edgewater Country Club’s team had to make adjustments to meet local guidelines.
“Shotguns have been eliminated, so the tournaments we were able to move forward with have been tee time only,” Ziegler said.
The Columbia Edgewater Country Club team came up with a creative solution to ensure hungry members could be satiated enough to power through a day of golf while still meeting county regulations.
“When our county was allowed to open for food service, we provided outdoor dining only, and this is still the case,” Ziegler said. “For food service during the tournaments, we brought food trucks on the range for participants to safely grab a bite to eat. Although we can’t offer the social aspects we normally do, our members are thrilled to have a safe place to play golf and dine outside.”
Joining Forces With Conklin Media Has Benefited Columbia Edgewater Country Club
Columbia Edgewater Country Club has long enjoyed a winning reputation throughout the Portland area, with member referrals and word of mouth serving the company well in marketing the club.
Columbia Edgewater Country Club’s staff, however, recognized that they could use some expert help in reaching their target market online, especially folks new to Portland and surrounding communities. “Google is used by everyone!,” Ziegler said.
Columbia Edgewater Country Club partnered with Conklin Media in late winter 2020, with the business growth agency restructuring the country club’s website and improving search engine rankings as part of a search engine optimization (SEO) effort spearheaded by Josh Eberly, a Conklin Media partner and the agency’s chief operating officer.
“It’s been very helpful to learn what potential members search for when looking at private golf courses in Portland, Oregon,” Ziegler said. “Josh and the team also helped up clean up the verbiage on our website to make sure it flowed easily. We’ve gotten many compliments on it!”
Conklin Media’s Advertising Campaign Attracts New Members for Columbia Edgewater Country Club
The Conklin Media team also created a Facebook advertising campaign. These ads, commanding a $500 investment, helped Columbia Edgewater Country Club sign up six new members and generate $60,000 in revenue.
“The big win with the club is that we combined these projects with a Facebook campaign that featured videos advertising the course,” Eberly said. “These ads were designed to get people to come to the course by giving them a free round of golf and lunch.
“It’s one of those service businesses where, once you get people in the door, selling it is easy,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting people to the facility.”
Ziegler agrees with this sentiment. “Josh is true that the facility sells itself, so our goal was to be able to get in front of more people to sell more memberships,” Ziegler said. “Our Board of Directors was thrilled that we spent $13,000 total with Conklin Media and gained six members from it. I myself was surprised with the immediate ROI!”
The Columbia Edgewater Country Club Team Envisions Welcoming More Than 30 Active Members in 2021
The Columbia Edgewater Country Club team is nearing its goals for its different membership categories and has their sights set on onboarding 32 active members next year. With 440 active members now, just five from their capacity, the club might create a waitlist and raise its initiation fee come the end of winter.
“Running social media ads in the off peak season should help us attain that goal,” Ziegler said.