In some ways, a golf course is one of the easier businesses to run. As long as you maintain your course and provide a good value for a fair fee, you’ll have golfers of all skill levels headed your way to enjoy the course. Some communities only have one golf course as well, which further adds to the scarcity of the product and makes it become a natural place for people to visit.
Some golf courses, however, need to market themselves in creative and effective ways because their competition is fierce. That’s what these essential golf course marketing ideas are designed to do: to help you stand out! It all begins with your ability to provide that quality experience. If people don’t have fun on your course, no marketing effort can save you.
The Best Golf Course Marketing Ideas to Use
1. Fire Up Your Email
Email marketing is a great way to stand in contact with local people and promote events that are going on at your course. You can use it to offer specific discounts or specials that are only available through email to increase your open rates. It’s also a great place to offer pro tips so your customers can practice on their own to lower their handicaps.
2. Run Several Events
Having several competitions run every week is a great way to get people involved with your golf course. Pick a couple days per week where you run small tournaments that will encourage local competition. Add a prize for the winner for even more participation!
3. Host Charity Events
Golf tournaments are a great way for local businesses to raise money, but they can’t actually do that unless they have a golf course, right? You can be that course! Help them out by soliciting for hole sponsorships, get promotional flyers printed up, and your logo will be on everything. It may be a small investment now, but the future returns are almost always guaranteed with efforts in this area.
4. Loosen Up the Rules Sometimes
Having a few days per years where some of the formality doesn’t apply can bring a lot of fun for people who might normally not frequent a golf course. You don’t need to turn it into a spectacle like the course on Caddyshack 2, but letting music play in the carts or offering larger than normal drink specials can help bring in a few extra folks.
5. Create a Team Building Package
Every business professional secretly wants an excuse to get out of the office for awhile and still be able to call it “business.” With a team building package, you can bring a whole office out to your course for a good relationship building time for an affordable price.
6. Make the Course Fit
There are some folks who can fit a 4 hour round into their schedule every day and then there are people who might be able to make 90 minutes for you at most. Design your course in a way that fits your local population’s lifestyles and you’ll see them fitting your course into their schedule more often.
7. Sell Different Memberships
Not everyone wants a full membership to your club because not every golfer is avidly addicted to the game. Some might just want to use your range. Some might just want to use your clubhouse! Sell your memberships in tiers instead of full packages and you just might see your revenues increase as time goes by.
8. Greet Everyone
A smile can go a long ways to providing a quality experience. That good time is always your best marketing campaign and it starts with the first impression someone receives – namely, you. Make time for each customer, even if it’s just a simple smile and eye contact when they walk through the door and you’ll communicate to them that you’ve got your priorities straight.
9. Hold Mystery Tournaments
Every golf course has an avid base of members who are usually ultra-competitive with each other about who holds what record. Encourage this competition with mystery tournaments that no one knows about until they arrive. For added fun, incorporate different sports into your tournaments as well to spice things up.
10. Consider a Shared Membership
Some folks might not be able to afford a full membership, but they might be able to afford 50% of one. See about offering a limited amount of shared memberships where you can partner up two 50% folks to create one more full paying member to benefit your bank account.
11. Invest in GPS
GPS might be an expensive investment, but it can be one that may pay for itself. If you’re using this technology for increased accuracy of yardage for your golfers, you’re also providing an electronic platform that advertisers will love because it’ll have eyes on it for almost every shot. That means even a solid 10 under par round will still see an advertisement 60-62 times throughout the day and that’s money in the bank for you.
12. Start a Referral Program
Members love to earn perks and nothing is better than getting free rounds, merchandise, or drinks at the bar because they got their buddies to come golfing with them. Begin a referral program that encourages loyalty and you’ll create a competitive scramble to see who can earn the most free stuff out of the program.
13. Reward Your Best Members
There are people who come to your golf course nearly every day and a simple recognition of their dedication will foster loyalty. It’s not just attendance that can be recognized. Some members refer lots of other members. Others share all of your social media posts. So many of today’s marketing efforts target new dollars. This idea targets those brand ambassadors that work silently on your behalf to encourage them to do even more for you.
14. Meet a Need
Sometimes people don’t go golfing because they feel like they don’t have time, so make time for them. If they need dinner, have something ready for them if they come golfing after work.