Golf is about community. But for those running a golf business, it's hard to know how to create, connect with, and build a community around your course.
As a course owner, one of the best ways to draw new players and keep them coming back is to actively create communities of golfers around your course and communicate with them. Modern technology allows players to be more connected more than ever before to each other and the courses they love. Knowing how to utilize that technology is the key to creating a fun, engaging golf community.
One challenge for golfers is finding golf partners. Since golf is a sport best played with friends, it’s natural for golfers to want to find others at their skill level. A 2017 survey by Golf.com found that over 16 percent of players planned to play less golf because it’s harder to find people to play with. But, over one-third of those surveyed said they planned to play more golf because they have more golf partners. So, as golfers are able to connect with other golfers, they are more likely to play.
For course owners, understanding how to nurture and draw new people into communities is a huge part of successful golf course promotion. Here are a few ways to break the mold and get more business:
- Create events for niche communities. Beginning golfers, women, and seasoned golfers are all looking for players that fit with them. Creating and advertising events where these specific communities of golfers can get together, meet each other, and play is an excellent way to bring in new business. But most importantly, it creates a community within these niches and makes everyone feel more at ease with the course and the game.
- Introduce players to new formats. There’s more to golf than just the PGA tour, and games don’t always have to be about the lowest score. Introduce variety into your course and show new and experienced golfers how fun it can be to get out, no matter your skill level, and make contact with the ball. On the flip side, for the more seasoned golfer, having some serious competition—even for money—can be enticing.
- Reach out beyond email. Using and growing your email list is an important golf course marketing strategy, but look for new ways to engage your community as well. Tools like 18Birdies allow you to build a community by interacting with golfers as they play your course as well as sharing events and photos.
Golf is a sport that builds community, gets people outside with friends, and offers opportunities to everyone—no matter their skill level. Nurturing new players and turning them into raving fans is all about creating opportunities for them to feel comfortable and excited about the game. For the experienced golfer, meeting up with similarly skilled players, improving their craft, and sharing their game helps them feel more connected.
Bringing the two—beginners and experts—together is what solidifies and knits together a strong golfing community.