Thanks for stopping by the Strong Coffee blog. We’ve noticed that this golf course marketing post has been receiving a lot of attention over the past few years. As an agency that specializes in digital marketing for the tourism industry, we’ve had the opportunity to work with golf professionals and help them succeed online. We’re also fortunate to have individuals that previously worked in the golf industry as part of the Strong Coffee team. Our industry knowledge gives us a unique perspective on the challenges and opportunities that exist for golf courses and off-course retail locations.
Below is the original post that you’ve come to check out. Although it’s a few years old, we’ve updated it to ensure that it’s still relevant. We’ve also added an e-newsletter sign-up form. Feel free to sign up, and we’ll send along more golf course marketing tips and tricks.
3 Great Marketing Strategies for Golf Courses
Golf is a game built on tradition, but that doesn’t mean your golf course marketing strategy needs to be. If you’re having a hard time getting new members, filling your tee sheets, selling your merchandise, and packing your tournaments and events, you may need to start re-thinking your golf marketing strategy.
As an avid golf blogger with years of experience in the industry and now working in the marketing business, I’ve found that the golf industry has not kept up with the times when it comes to marketing and advertising. Since the invent of social media and networking, online advertising, and website optimization, golf courses seem to have paid little attention. Time and time again I see golf course ads in magazines, newspaper, radio, television and direct mail letters. Where is the most targeted approach with web 2.0 golf marketing strategies? In this article, we’ll discuss three great marketing strategies that golf courses should be taking advantage of.
Golf Social Media & Networking
A simple search on Facebook for the words “golf course” or “golf club” shows you how few golf courses are actually taking advantage of this great new marketing medium. This baffles me. Facebook specifically, is a perfect fit for golf course marketing. With a little creativity and work, you can easily build a dedicated and engaged following for your golf course on Facebook. Once built, you can update your fans on anything your heart desires – fill last-minute tee time cancellations in seconds, share your corporate banquet / event capabilities, pose surveys, help advertise your club events and tournaments, and so much more. The best part? Once your golf course Facebook page and following are set up, advertising and marketing are completely free!
Online Advertising for Golf Courses
Let’s face it. The golf industry is a pretty saturated market. In nearly every large city throughout North America, you can find 20-100 nearby golf courses to play a round at. Many golf courses struggle with standing out above this noise. With that said, very few golf courses are taking advantage of online advertising to help get them noticed.
Traditional marketing channels like newspaper, magazines and television are expensive and relatively untargeted. Whether you’re using LinkedIn advertising to get new corporate clients, Facebook ads for filling your Men’s Open or Google AdWords to help fill your mid-afternoon tee-time lulls – with these channels you can narrow down who you want to advertise to, and on little dime! For example, with online advertising, you could target single 40-something-year-old golfers, who enjoy wine for your next mixer for no more than $0.50 a click. There’s no way to do this using traditional marketing mediums.
Website Optimization for Golf Courses
In general, I think this is a particular sore point when it comes to golf course marketing. More and more, your customers will be searching your golf course via online channels. How does your website look? Is it professional? Can it be viewed on mobile devices? Does it provide the accurate information your customers need? Can it be found?
If you cannot answer all these questions with confidence, it may be time to update your golf course website. Moving your website to an easy-to-use, professional and strategic design that your course staff updates is the best way to truly provide your customers with an up-to-date, ideal golf web experience. Further to that, working on some simple search-engine optimization strategies and link building will help get you noticed above your competition. Once set up, also don’t forget to integrate your social media platforms to help build your following.
I had the chance to chat with Golf Business Magazine about marketing a golf course. We talked about social media, Groupon and my own personal experience in the business.
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, if you’re looking for more golf course marketing tips and tricks, we encourage you to sign up for our golf marketing e-newsletter below.