King City Pro Shop promotes course with giveaway

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - GOOD TIMES AHEAD - King City Pro Shop manager Harold Washam (right) hands Victor Alvarizares his annual pass, which the avid golfer has already started using.The King City Golf Course held a contest last spring, offering all of its non-resident players the opportunity to win a free unlimited golf pass for 2013 in exchange for sharing their contact information, including email addresses.

"To date, we have nearly 650 people who have registered their email addresses with us," said King City Civic Association Administrator J. Patrick Moore. "Everybody who registers with us wins a free round of golf on their birthday and is eligible to receive email offers and discounts."

The lucky winner of the year's worth of free golf is Tigard resident Victor Alvarizares, who has played the course for three years.

"Earlier this year I won a trip to Israel," he said. "I'm going to buy a lottery ticket next. This is awesome.

"I usually play golf about twice a week, and King City is my new favorite course. I've already said goodbye to my wife."

Golf shop manger Harold Washam added, "We actually are letting him play free the rest of this year, and he's already calling his friends to play."

Nationwide, golf rounds have been down for the past few years, according to Moore.

"Most experts state that this is due to the recession from which our country is still struggling to recover from," he said. "Additionally, the La Nina weather pattern that persisted for about two years affected our golf income."

To combat the trend, the King City golf course ran two different "deals" with Living Social and sold a total of 1,091 rounds - 138 included 18 holes for two with a cart; and 953 were for nine holes for two with a cart.

This fall the course has been running a deal with Groupon and has sold 346 deals for 18-hole rounds, according to Moore.

"Our marketing plan is an effort to counteract the effects of the recession and the weather on our golf income and to build toward a stronger future," added Moore

He said he came up with the idea of the free pass when he saw a local business offering free haircuts for a year to a winner.

"I have to thank Great Clips for this."

According to Washam, an annual pass costs $675, and those are sold mostly to residents.

"Some play so much that it drives the price down to $1 a round," Moore added.

People from all over the extended metro area signed up for the deals on Living Social, Washum said, ranging from Canby to Longview to Gresham and Troutdale.

And he promised that people who provide their emails will not be inundated with offers from the golf course.

"We'll do it once or twice a month," Washam said. "We don't want to overload them."

Moore added that the goal is to eventually get a total of 2,000 names, but they aren't sure if they will run a similar deal again.

For more information about playing golf at the King City Golf Course, call 503-639-7986.

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