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Latest Data from Lightspeed: Golf Major Championships Present Major Sales Opportunities for Courses

Latest Data from Lightspeed: Golf Major Championships Present Major Sales Opportunities for Courses

It’s finally here: April through September is the season for golf major championships. This concentrated window of time is when the collective interest in the men’s and women’s professional game peaks.

These tournaments also fall during a period which covers the prime months for recreational golf in North America. Because of this, we crunched the numbers from thousands of courses powered by Lightspeed Golf to discover whether golf’s major weekends had a positive effect on sales when compared to normal peak season weekends.

Here’s what we found.

Strategies to Boost Revenue at Your Course

If you aren’t seeing a lot of revenue at your golf POS, we highly recommend taking a look at these strategies and see how you can put them into practice at your facility!

Our findings

We analyzed Gross Transaction Volume (GTV) data1, 2 from over a thousand courses that use Lightspeed Golf over a period spanning April 1 to October 31, 2023, and found that both retail and food and beverage (F&B) sales increased at US and Canadian golf courses on major championship weekends when compared to non-major weekends.

In the United States, food and beverage sales on major weekends increased 3%, while retail sales increased 9.3% when compared to non-major weekends.

GTV for golf courses in the USA on golf major championship weekends

In Canada, the story is very much the same, with average retail sales increasing 11.7% and food and beverage sales increasing 16.3%.

GTV for golf courses in Canada on major championship weekends

Major golf = major appetite

Major championship broadcast days on both the men’s and women’s side of the professional game coincided with days that ranked among the top 10 for daily F&B sales at courses in the USA.

Transaction Date Sales (USD) Major
May 14, 2023 $859,660.00
June 18, 2023 $693,230.00 US Open Sunday
August 12, 2023 $664,969.00 Women’s British Open Saturday
April 9, 2023 $664,305.00 Masters Sunday
June 17, 2023 $656,289.00 US Open Saturday
June 24, 2023 $655,526.00 Women’s PGA Championship Saturday
July 15, 2023 $646,264.00
June 10, 2023 $641,144.00
May 27, 2023 $636,969.00
August 5, 2023 $613,194.00

The same can be said for golf courses in Canada:

Transaction Date Sales (USD) Major
June 24, 2023 $506,624.00 Women’s PGA Championship Saturday
June 17, 2023 $490,325.00 US Open Saturday
June 23, 2023 $486,449.00 Women’s PGA Championship Friday
July 8, 2023 $485,782.00 US Women’s Open Saturday
June 18, 2023 $484,535.00 US Open Sunday
May 27, 2023 $465,277.00
June 10, 2023 $460,014.00
July 9, 2023 $447,429.00 US Women’s Open Sunday
July 22, 2023 $440,820.00
August 12, 2023 $436,023.00 Women’s British Open Saturday

The Masters and US Open boost

While the average performance of major championship weekends when compared to other peak season weekends is notable, two majors in particular—The Masters and the US Open—coincided with impressive weekend sales at North American courses.

Masters Weekend | April 8-9

Despite landing on Easter Sunday in early spring, Masters weekend saw above average sales at Lightspeed courses in the USA.

Masters weekend sales number at golf courses in the USA that use Lightspeed

US Open Weekend | June 17-18

Big names, a primetime broadcast and beautiful June weather all likely contributed to the above average retail and food and beverage sales at North American courses that use Lightspeed on US Open weekend.

US Open sales data

Sales numbers for the weekend of the US Open, a golf major championship, at golf courses that use Lightspeed in Canada

Golf major championships drive significant viewer interest

Recent US broadcast data drives home the draw, and the significance, of these tournaments.

Moving the needle

While the big-name contenders, the iconic venues and the viewing windows of these tournaments have driven numbers higher in recent years, there’s no denying that the majors are the needle movers in both the men’s and the women’s game each and every year. Why?

  1. Scarcity: Major championship season is a short window of time that contains only a handful of tournaments
  2. Gravity: Majors have a pull to them that other tournaments don’t. Much like regular season baseball vs postseason baseball, they are in a league of their own
  3. Community: While ambivalence and frustration has set in among golf fans regarding the state of the men’s professional game in 2024, the majors are something they can all agree on.

These are the events that all golf fans will watch, talk about, tweet about and obsess over from April through September.

When are the golf major championships in 2024?

As we head into the 2024 major championship season, here is a refresher on the dates, venues and details that make these tournaments unique.

Championship Dates Venue Location More info
The Masters April 11-14, 2024 Augusta National Golf Club Augusta, Georgia Arguably the most prestigious men’s major title. Held annually at Augusta National, featuring the famous Green Jacket.
PGA Championship May 16-19, 2024 Valhalla Golf Club Louisville, Kentucky Celebrates PGA of America teaching professionals with spots in the field to compete against the world’s best.
US Open June 13-16, 2024 Pinehurst No. 2 Pinehurst, North Carolina Lauded for its difficulty, and played under demanding conditions at iconic venues. Anyone can qualify for a set number of spots through regional and local qualifying.
Open Championship July 18–21, 2024 Royal Troon Golf Club Troon, Scotland Golf’s oldest major, played on historic UK links courses; known for its unique playing conditions and open qualifiers.
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship June 19-23, 2024 Sahalee Country Club Sammamish, Washington Elevated by purse increases, better broadcast windows, and a blue-chip sponsor; showcases deep talent in the women’s game at excellent US venues.
US Women’s Open May 30-June 2, 2024 Lancaster Country Club Lancaster, Pennsylvania Challenges the best women’s golfers on demanding, exacting American courses; open to qualifiers.
AIG Women’s Open Championship August 21-25, 2024 The Old Course at St. Andrews St. Andrews, Scotland Significant due to the historic venue of St. Andrews; also open to qualifiers, bolstering an already strong international field.
Chevron Championship April 17-21, 2024 The Club at Carlton Woods The Woodlands, Texas Elevated to major status in 1983, the first major on the women’s professional golf calendar, catering to the Houston area—one of the biggest golf markets in the USA.
Evian Championship July 11-14, 2024 Evian Resort Golf Club Evian-les-Bains, France Elevated to major status in 2013, one of two women’s majors outside of the US, located at the demanding Evian Resort Course in the French Alps.


4 cross-promotional marketing tactics to try during golf’s major season

By employing some creative and timely cross-promotional marketing strategies, you can capitalize on the interest and enthusiasm generated by golf’s majors and make your course a go-to destination to both play golf and watch these amazing events in 2024 and beyond.

It’s important to note that these tactics are all time-sensitive, cross-channel executions that require you to be agile, flexible across physical and digital channels. This becomes much easier with golf course management software that connects your tee sheet, retail POS, restaurant POS, marketing tools and tournament management software under one, unified platform.

1. Host a major championship watch party at your course

Nothing amplifies the highs and lows of watching high-stakes sporting events like a group setting. Look no further than the revenue boost sports bars get during major-league playoff runs. And while golf may not have the same broad reach or appeal as the biggest North American sports leagues, the majors drive playoff-like ratings when compared to other golf tournaments. Why?

Organizing a major championship watch party at your golf course is a creative way to tap into the playoff-like atmosphere of these tournaments. It can elevate the viewing experience and create a sense of community around events that both casual and diehard golf fans care about. That said, in order to make it feel elevated, you need to have a proper plan in place:

Scheduling and viewing windows: Golf tournaments are marathons not sprints, so be selective with timing and prioritize the key viewing windows: Saturday afternoon/evening and Sunday afternoon/evening. Not only does this capture the most important golf, but it also helps you capitalize on weekend foot traffic. Instead of going home after their round, golfers can come into the clubhouse, eat, drink, socialize and watch the best golf of the year.

Promotion: Don’t just rely on foot traffic. Actively promote your watch party via social media, your customer email database, SMS marketing, your website and physical ads around the clubhouse. Be clear on the details, create excitement and do your best to sell golfers on the communal element.

Incentivization: Make your watch party an additive experience. Run food and drink promos, run major-themed trivia or other games with prizes on the line, create a special set menu or create a signature cocktail. There are a number of ways to elevate the experience and make it fun, so get creative.

Setup, sound and sightlines: Whether you’re using televisions in your clubhouse or setting up a projector screen, create good sightlines and viewing spaces regardless of where people are sitting. Sound is also additive here, just make sure it’s at a level where patrons can still hold normal conversations.

2. Run golf, pro shop and/or F&B deals and promos on major weekends

Spring and summer are seasons for North American golf courses to capitalize on peak weather, peak rates and peak demand. With golfers already itching to get out and play, running promotions and deals to coincide with major championships can help your course stand out, drive purchases and tap into the buzz that the majors create.

Running these types of sales and promotions is much easier and more effective with software that helps you:

  • Easily create, discount, and adjust inventory items in your retail POS
  • Set promotions live across your physical and online stores
  • Set up unique promo codes
  • Track sales performance and monitor trends

Promotional bundles: Major weeks are a perfect time to run special bundles for customers. From round, accommodation and dining packages to pro shop bundles and special, limited-time game packs, there are plenty of options to consider.

Special online deals: Drive more online bookings and capitalize on the excitement of major weeks with limited-time deals for golfers who book online. This is an especially good move for Thursday and Friday twilight rounds, as you can capture demand from customers looking to get a round in after watching early round major coverage before the weekend.

Food and beverage promos: Our merchant data indicates an uptick in food and beverage sales on major championship weekends. By running specials on these select weekends, you can entice golfers to stay on site after their rounds to eat, drink and watch golf.

Major fantasy pools: Major pools are fun competition for golf fans and an excellent way for courses to build anticipation, engage their customer base and promote their merchandise and services. While formats can differ, most work by allowing entrants to select players they believe will perform the best at that week’s major, usually by aggregating their scores at the end of the week. The entrant who selected the players with the lowest cumulative score wins the fantasy pool.

  • Set up a fantasy pool via any number websites that offer the service
  • Give your pool a unique name and make it public for your customer base
  • Create amazing prize packs for the winners, combining elements of your pro shop, restaurant and golf services
  • Market your major fantasy pool on your social channels and via email to your customer base

If you’re looking to refine your course’s approach to marketing and promotions, working with a team of dedicated golf marketing experts can provide you with personalized, creative marketing strategies that suit your goals and business needs.

3. Run a major-themed tournament at your course

Major championship weeks aren’t only about watching golf: watching amazing golf at amazing venues is also something that makes people want to get out and play themselves.

Look no further than the Masters: after a long winter in Canada and much of the United States, seeing the pros play Augusta is an unmistakable sign that the golf season has arrived and that it’s time to get out.

Running a tournament during the week of a major is an excellent way to create a sense of community at your course and build additional excitement to play golf during major weeks. Like always, running a successful tournament comes down to identity, planning and execution:

  • Theme: How will you tie your tournament to the week’s major championship? What do you want to get out of the tournament?
  • Registration: How will entrants register for the tournament and how will you keep track?
  • Size, rounds and scope: How many entrants? How many rounds? What will the food and beverage component look like?
  • Scoring and format: Stroke play? Scramble? Shotgun start? How will you track and display scores? How will you negotiate handicapping? Will there be hole-by-hole contests?
  • Promotion and partnerships: How will you promote it? Is it possible to partner with local sponsors?
  • Buy-in and prizes: What will go to the winners? Will you add a charitable component? What will it cost to enter?
  • Data collection and performance: How will you capture customer data? What are your key performance indicators?

Using the right golf course management software with a tournaments and events module, seamless online booking engine and a powerful tee sheet can make your life, and golfer’s lives, much easier.


4. Be active on email and social channels

With the eyes of the golf world on these events throughout the major championship season, referencing them across your marketing channels shows you’re invested in the broader game and gives your course a chance to show off some brand personality.

From organic social media posts and marketing emails to your website, find a way to show your excitement for the majors and remind customers that your course is the perfect place to watch the rounds and satisfy their own craving for golf.

So what’s your next step?

Looking for an integrated golf course management software, POS and payments system to help your course thrive during major championship season? Talk to one of our golf experts today and discover why thousands of golf courses choose our platform to run and grow their businesses.

1. Lightspeed GTV Data: This data compares Gross Transaction Volume (GTV) of North American Lightspeed Golf locations that were fully operational for the period of April 1, 2023 to October 31, 2023 in the calendar year 2023 (same-store GTV).

2. This is a Key Performance Indicator. Refer to the section entitled “Key Performance Indicators” within Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation for the Three and Nine Months Ended December 31, 2023 available on SEDAR at www.sedarplus.ca and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov for the definition.

Editor’s note: Nothing in this blog post should be construed as advice of any kind. Any legal, financial or tax-related content is provided for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for obtaining advice from a qualified legal or accounting professional. Where available, we’ve included primary sources. While we work hard to publish accurate content, we cannot be held responsible for any actions or omissions based on that content. Lightspeed does not undertake to complete further verifications or keep this blog post updated over time.

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