It’s a reality of the times, but digital marketing and successful communication is now essential for golf clubs to thrive and provide an experience that benefits members and visitors alike. This is something that starts with a high-quality, informative, and engaging website.
Last golf chic survey 98% of golfers note that their club has a website. However, it is remarkable that the average rating on its quality was only 3.44 (out of 5) with the majority choosing the medium option. The standards in general are clearly not as high as they could be, which posed a potential problem when 84% of visiting golfers told us that they were very likely to visit the club site prior to their visit.
why does it matter
Since the pandemic began, the golf industry has seen a major shift in the way golfers now consume information and content in relation to the game. And if they haven’t already, all golfers have had to go online and use digital platforms just to book golf times.
When viewing the golf course as a product like any other, websites and social media can serve as an important selling tool, promoting and encouraging visitors to secure a tee time and enjoy the facilities available, featuring the best up-to-date information and attractive visuals.
Many golf clubs already understand the importance of digital platforms to reach and engage with an audience of golfers, but our latest survey highlights this fact even more and shows that proactive use of digital tools is something all golf clubs should do.
The site must be seen as one of the most vital sections of all golf clubs. Not only to serve as a shop window but also as a way to inform and update both members and potential visitors. 86% of those surveyed stated that they came to a golf club website when searching for information online, with reservation importance and tee time information.
It may come as no surprise to hear that when we asked non-club golfers – how important it is for a golf course to advise tips up front – 97% answered yes. Quite simply, if golfers are spending money, they expect what they are buying.
Presence on social media
Like it or not, social media has changed the world, and spreading it effectively should be a priority for clubs, something that has yet to be fully realized. 79% of club members stated that their golf club uses social media platforms, with Facebook coming to the fore, followed by Twitter and then Instagram. However, as with club sites, social media output is rated fairly low with an average of 2.98 (out of 5).
When we asked the golfers what information they had seen online, pictures and photos were the main response, which should be at the forefront of the club’s social media presence – showcasing the course it has to offer.
Additionally, social media is useful for promoting deals and competitions, and is likely to attract individuals, groups, and communities, but only 58% of members surveyed felt that their golf club was marketing itself well to visiting golfers. Many of their comments say.
“Lots of contact with members but not so much for (potential) visitors. A little bit better lately.”
“I feel the club is not doing enough to promote itself both locally and nationally.”
“Marketing is terrible. There are no posts on social media regarding golf community offerings, visitor offerings, the course, its facilities, etc. Unfortunately, our club committee lives in the dark ages and does not wish to have visitors/communities in the club as it might affect While tee time is available for members, the club is in dire need of new revenue streams.”
The importance of reviews
Finally, along with photos and course information, the most valuable resource for golfers surveyed was the independent reviews. Reflecting the changing moods, when we asked golfers how they access and use review sites, 62% said they would leave reviews online – up from 44% in 2018. 86% said they read independent reviews online – up from 68% in 2018 But most importantly, 81% stated that independent reviews can help with the decision to play new courses – up from 61% in 2018.
Based on this topic of finding new courses to play, we asked golfers what’s important when planning a round on a new course. What may surprise some is that ‘word of mouth/peer feedback’ was clearly the most decisive factor, once again top of the list when planning where to play.
In 2013, third-party information and review sites such as Golfshake and TripAdvisor were seen as important only by 35% of survey respondents, but that percentage has now risen to 64% for 2021. Golf clubs must ensure that a private website They are as up-to-date and visually appealing as possible, but it’s almost as important for clubs to check and maintain data and reviews on other sites and online services.
Ultimately, many golf clubs have actively sought to enhance their online presence, both in terms of their website and social media use, but our survey confirms that significant development is still required for the game to meet the demands of a growing digital audience. of golfers.
However, there is clearly an opportunity for successful marketing and positive communication. With nearly 40% of non-club golfers planning or interested in becoming members, these tools can make a huge difference on courses across the country and beyond.
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