The golf industry has experienced a “boom” over the last couple of years. More people are picking up the game and the demand for tee times has never been higher. This is great news if you own or are in charge of golf course marketing.
Here’s the challenge. Golfers have options. There are over 12,000 golf courses in the nation, so how do you make yours stand out? How can you use golf marketing to keep your tee sheet full?
You need to reach the experienced weekend warrior and the player just getting started in the game. You want the beginners and the scratch golfers. We think we can help you attract a crowd. Below we highlight our top golf course marketing strategies. How many of them are you currently doing?
Top Golf Course Marketing Strategies
A broad and diverse golf course marketing strategy is the key. Use different channels to attract players and make tee times at your course a hot commodity.
Host Golf Tournaments
At the end of the day, a golf course is a retail business. To make money you need “shoppers” and traffic. The more players you can get out to your course the more money you can make in the Pro Shop and the 19th hole.
One great way to get golfers to your course is to host a golf tournament. Make it affordable – the goal isn’t to make a ton of money on the event entry fee but to get new players out to your track. Invest in the event. Give out a memorable golf tournament prize. Make sure your course is in great shape.
The next time they want to play you want them to remember your event and call you for a tee time. Golfers love to play golf. You don’t have to sell the game, you simply have to convince them your course is the best place to spend their golf money.
Use SEO Strategies
All golf course marketing should include SEO strategies. How do you think golfers find new places to play? You can attack this in several different ways, but the easiest is to create a blog on your website. The more traffic to your website, the better.
We’re sure your golf course has a golf professional. Partner with them to create a golf-focused blog. They can write posts on swing improvements and special events happening at the club. Take time to construct your blog posts using popular “keywords” that’ll help you get more visitors to your site.
For the most part, you’re looking for local golfers. Make sure that all of your posts include your location (town, city, county, etc.). Make sure your webpage has details about your course. Golf course marketing made simple. Let the golfer always be one click away from making a tee time or checking out your course scorecard.
Grow Your Online Reviews
Sure, your golf course marketing can tell golfers how great your course is, but do you know who they really want to hear from? Other golfers! When deciding where to play this weekend your online reviews can make the difference between them calling you or the course across town.
First, you want a way to capture and highlight reviews. Second, you need to actively moderate this content. It’s okay if you get a negative review, but don’t let it just sit there without a response. Provide a positive response so that other golfers see that you take their experience seriously.
If someone shares some troubling feedback about your course, apologize and offer them a free round. If they enjoy their next visit, you have just hooked a customer for life.
Promote On Instagram With Video Content
Step 1 – create an Instagram account that you can use for golf course marketing. Step 2 – consistently post interesting golf content.
Have fun with it. Use stories and reels to showcase different holes on your golf course. Highlight special events at the club and show golfers enjoying themselves. Hold contests and promotions for followers of your account. Promote your account on your webpage, your blog, and add it to your scorecard. The more golfers following your account, the better.
Who knows, maybe your Instagram account will have a “viral moment”!
Run Paid Ads
Running paid advertisements is an important piece of any golf course marketing plan, but be selective. Test different avenues and track the results. Make sure you have a complete understanding of how your ads are performing.
Invest more money where you are seeing benefits and get out of channels that are not providing you will new customers. Don’t make the mistake of just “throwing money” at it, instead do your research and validate you are seeing a benefit from the advertisements you are buying.
Create An Easy Online Reservation Process
Calling the pro shop to make a tee time is so yesterday! Golfers would much prefer to use an intuitive simple online reservation process. On a side note, we promise you that your golf professional doesn’t want to have to answer the phone all day.
Make it easy for golfers to see tee time options and rates. Part of your golf course marketing should be a slightly reduced greens fee if the tee time is booked online. You want to push your customers towards this channel. It’s easier for you to manage.
One final thought: make sure your online reservation process is well integrated with the system used in the pro shop. The golf professional needs to be able to see “real-time” as tee times are booked online.
Give Golfers A Great Experience And They’ll Come Back!
You can summarize your golf course marketing goals in a few short sentences. Get golfers to your course. Provide them with a great experience. Get them to come back next weekend and bring friends.
For most weekend warriors golf is a social outing. A great way to spend an afternoon with buddies. You can create exponential growth by providing a great experience to one player. “Word of mouth” is the most powerful golf course marketing tool. The next time that one player decides to play they’ll bring three more golfers to your course.
Implement these golf course marketing strategies and before you know it your tee sheet and 19th hole will be full!