Wed Apr 18 2012Who do you consider to be a real golfer?
At a recent forum I presented at on Growing the Game, I asked 40 Club Captains if they thought people that played virtual golf, Wii Golf, or putt putt were actually “golfers”. All but one person said NO they did not consider them golfers. A very interesting, but not surprising answer.
In this day and age- we should be considering everyone that likes golf- even if only watching it on TV, a golfer, or at least a “potential” golfer. When you start thinking of the actual potential number of players out there – it is huge!
The new Golf 2.0 strategy recently launched in the US identifies 3 key areas to growing the game of golf. Yes it is a US based program, but the information contained is very relevant to golf in any region.
1) Retain/strengthen the core golfer
2) Engage with the “lapsed” golfer (i.e. people that use to play but haven’t for some reason)
3) Drive new players. (never played)
Item 1 and 2 is where most of the discussion in this country has been centred but Item 3 looks to have the biggest potential in the way of bringing an entire new group of people into the game. We though need to start engaging these players (i.e. Virtual golf, Wii, putt putt) in a big way to then come try the “real game”.
Our mindset needs to change away from “you must play on a real course to be considered a golfer” mentality to “If you like golf- you are a golfer”. Or at least have the potential to become a golfer in the traditional sense someday.
In this magazine issue we identify a few green grass initiatives that are gaining some momentum, that also if taken seriously by the traditionalist can be the start of many new golfers into our game.
Why don’t we use more non-traditional avenues to introduce new people to the game? The game itself doesn’t need to be changed for the masses, just us allowing different access points to a “game” that then will be a pathway for some to try the traditional format- then onto membership for some as well?
I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on what you are doing to Grow the Game?
To read this article and many more articles relevant in today’s Golf Industry, please click here to go to our newly released May issue of Golf Industry Central’s on-line mag with full screen interactive viewer.
As always, your input, comments and feedback are much appreciated!
Mike Orloff is a golf marketing and operations specialist with management experience in the golf industry in Australia and United States. He offers marketing and operational advice for golfing facilities in the areas of revenue generation, membership attainment and retention, new player development, staff recruitment, event management and retail management.
Marketing to grow golf businesses is Mike’s main focus these days.
As a current US and Australian PGA Member, Mike has more than 22 years of experience working his way up from pro shop assistant to general manager of two to five-star operations for two of the biggest international golf management companies globally. Now Mike is offering his experience, knowledge and tools to golf clubs and other golf-related businesses in Australia and New Zealand.
Articles by Mike Orloff