12 Golf Inc. July/August 2015
number to sign in through iPads. Some
private courses participate as well, upon
the owner’s request.
“Troon executes it flawlessly,” Keegan
said after reciting his six-digit Troon
Rewards number without skipping a beat.
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based management
company OB Sports sticks with not only
what it knows but also what it invented.
It introduced the industry’s first-ever golf
rewards card back in 1993 to serve three
Las Vegas-area courses. It continues to
offer physical cards that serve its greater
network of golfers, but each card is tailored to a specific course or a city with
“Whenever you see our card, it is really
about the course, so we have the Creek
Card and the High Country Card,” said
Dale Moseke, vice president of sales and
marketing. “As a management company,
we have always prided ourselves on put-
ting the golf course prominence before
the OB Sports name.”
They put their golf course owners first
as well. All card-produced revenue stays
with the course and its owner.
“OB Sports doesn’t make a dollar off it,”
This has helped some facilities tremen-
dously, including one that went from
producing bottom-line revenue of only
$300,000 to $3 million in a matter of a few
“We introduced the card program, got
rounds up … therefore we could bring
the rate back up,” Moseke said. “The card
program was a very critical portion of that
And just as the cards vary in design,
they vary in popularity.
“We have some courses that have a cou-
ple hundred cardholders and some that go
up to 4,000,” Moseke said. “It varies based
on market and course … We see a lot of
inter-course play … that’s where we see a
lot of activity.”
The rewards are also tailored to indi-
vidual courses. OB Sports surveys golf-
ers at each course to find out if they want
another round of golf or maybe a free
“It’s going to be an ever-evolving pro-
gram because that’s the nature of our
business,” Moseke said. “It’s really about
listening to the guests of that particular
While Moseke has seen success with
product giveaways at some courses, Walls
sings a different tune.
“We went away from exchanging points
for equipment,” Walls said, referring to
Troon’s prior attempts to exchange points
for products from its sponsor, Callaway
Golf. “It gets too complicated and
becomes more aspirational than real, so
people don’t engage as frequently.”
In exchange for points earned through
golf at Troon facilities, participants get
— you guessed it — more golf. Walls
said simple methods have proved more
effective. And it seems to be work-
ing. Currently there are 363,619 Troon
rewards members who contributed to $28
million in spending at Troon-managed
facilities in 2014.
It works on the individual course level
as well. Take Yocha Dehe Golf Club, for
example. The California course opened in
2008 and, through Troon Rewards, it has
since captured 52,526 email addresses.
In 2014 alone, it captured 4,263 email
addresses and a total Troon Rewards
spending of $1,073,845.
For both OB Sports and Troon, a
course’s participation in the program
is contingent on the owners’ request.
Currently 95 percent of Troon’s daily-fee
and resort course owners have opted in.
They’re shooting for 100 percent.
Both Walls and Moseke make it clear
that the programs as they exist now are in
no way set in stone.
“Everybody has a rewards program.
Everyone has a card,” Walls said. “The
more we can advance our thinking and
technologies … the easier and more
rewarding it is for our guests.”
Troon has a number of possible changes
in the pipeline, Walls said, including the
possibility of partnering with airlines to
offer passengers golf rewards and golfers
“It’s a little bit more than just playing a
round of golf,” Walls said. “There’s a programming and lifestyle element to it.”
Keegan — who has flown 2.6 million
miles to play more than 4,000 golf courses
TROON REWARDS members earn
points by signing in with their
member number or email on iPads at