Creative Golf Course Marketing Ideas
To keep your golf course from being outdated, you have to be creative and think outside the box.
Here are some golf course marketing ideas that involve new technology, modern thinking, and human behavior. We’re sure you will find something new to try.
Pick a signature hole
Creating a memorable hole is an important branding strategy for your course. This should be the most aesthetic, beautiful hole on the property with picturesque views and it will also act as advertising because golfers are more likely to remember that specific part of their round. Put extra marketing emphasis on that special hole.
Advertise the course layout using a drone video
One of the best golf course marketing ideas is to show off your course with a drone flyover video. You can use this for promotional purposes on your website and it’s an excellent way to showcase each hole.
Take high-quality course pictures
Taking pictures of your golf course is an essential part of branding. If you don’t have any, it will be difficult to attract new players and they won’t get the same experience as someone who comes to play at your course in person.
The good news is that you can now take professional-quality photos with the right smartphone. The bad news? If you don’t know what to do, the best camera won’t help much! Try to learn more about cell phone photography by watching YouTube videos and other resources on the Internet.
Run a social media contest
You can use social media contests to generate interest in your golf course through Facebook. There are many strategies you can employ when running a contest, but make sure that the strategy encourages people to like and share on their page. Contests will help you engage new audiences while delighting existing customers with something free or exclusive for them
Remarket your customer list on Facebook
There are a few strategies you can use to re-engage your email list and promote your golf course. One of these is by uploading it onto Facebook, which will allow people who already know about the brand to see what’s going on with their favorite place. The key here is developing an effective capture strategy – for example, making sure that all staff members understand how important capturing emails from customers is as well as having online booking tools available.
Leverage your pros on social media
Your team of pro golfers represents a treasure trove of useful information and tips. When they showcase this on social media, it will generate more interest in your operation.
This is one of the most simple yet effective golf course marketing ideas.
Update your review profiles
You should be monitoring and curating your review profiles on Google My Business, The Yellow Pages, or Yelp. Customers are leaving their opinions of your business on these pages more often than before. If you have a golf course for example it is important to monitor the reviews because they may influence whether someone plays there or not.
When you have a business, it is important to make sure that your online reviews are positive. If someone has posted something negative about the company on social media or elsewhere, respond in an appropriate way and try to solve their problem.
Encourage customers to post about the golf course
Speaking of golf promotional ideas, it’s important to encourage your customers to share their experiences with others. You can do this by designing the course in a way that is Instagram-friendly, or giving rewards for customers who post pictures and reviews of your operation online.
Send nice-looking emails
The golf industry has a strong reliance on email marketing. Nearly all of the courses we have encountered use some form or another of this strategy, and typically by sending newsletters with promotions to their customer databases. If you want your emails to be successful, then it is important that they are nice-looking, with clear copy and a convincing call to action.
Automate email marketing
Yes, newsletters can be useful. But if they are not targeted to the right audience then there is a risk of missing your target. For example, sending promotional emails to non-golfers may result in low engagement rates and an uninterested customer base.
Automated email marketing can help ease the burden of having to constantly be on top of your customer’s needs by segmenting your list and sending specific emails written for different actions. Thankfully, modern software coupled with CRM data-mining tools make it easier than ever before.
Online Advertising and Promotions
Embed a pixel on your website
Have you experienced visiting a website and noticed that the ads on the site followed you around the web after leaving? That’s because there is a pixel on the site that captured your data and placed you on the remarketing list. It will allow advertising on golf courses to be placed all over the internet when people leave.
Use distribution partners
Distribution is a controversial topic in the golf industry, but it can really put your course on the map. The key here is that you need to make sure you are getting enough back for all of those tee times given up. Make sure to analyze the different distribution partners since they may have different methods of promotion.
Website and App
Optimize your website
Your website is the ultimate driver of visitors. When they get there, you want them to do something specific: either book around or inquire about membership. They should see appealing images and well-considered copies that make it easy for them to schedule.
Studies show that the design of a website has an impact on how many customers you attract, keep, and convert. A site overhaul can be daunting but maybe worthwhile, considering it can boost your bottom line.
Use an online booking tool
The traditional way of booking tee times is not the most efficient process. With modern technology, you can streamline your operations and reach a wider audience while reducing costs.
When designing a website, it is important to make booking golf rounds as easy and accessible for the user. This means having an interface that is clean, intuitive with regards to navigation, displays the availability of tee times clearly on each page of your site.
Blogging is a great way to improve your website’s rankings on Google and it can be used as an effective communication tool for the brand. Golf courses should blog about golf course history, tips from pros, events, or tournament results. It’s important to post consistently and create high-quality content that people will want to read.
Implement a mobile app
Mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular in the golf industry, with hundreds of courses using them to streamline online booking and provide an elevated level of service. The app provides a direct marketing channel that is always on your customers’ phone screens.
Host a podcast
Podcasts are the new rage in every industry, and your company has employees with deep insights about swing technique, strategy or even horticulture. Setting up a podcast is cheap to do on your website so that people who visit will have content they’re interested in listening to while learning from key members of staff.
Develop an eCommerce site
To broaden their revenue streams, many industries are implementing innovation. Golf is no different from any other industry in this regard because it has been largely untouched by technology.
The arrival of the pandemic has only accelerated our society’s shift towards online shopping, which was already happening due to convenience. Online retailers are going to need special skills in order to succeed with their inventory and marketing strategies for this new era.
Organize a charity event
Community service is important because it helps those in need. Every town has people that can use a little help and by hosting charity events, you will be able to show them that they are cared for while also raising money for the cause. Doing so not only provides an opportunity to better your community but it gives everyone involved with something fun and new.
Host a 1Putt event
1Putt is a company that uses millennial-friendly events to attract young people and get them interested in golf. They offer an afternoon of simplified games followed by drinks at the bar where they can listen to DJs or catch up with friends. The idea has been popularized in the United Kingdom, but it would be worth considering for your course even if you don’t have a location near theirs.
Partner with local schools
The more we can introduce people to the game of golf at a young age, the better chance they have of developing an interest in it. One way that this could be done is by partnering with local schools and introducing kids to lessons about playing sports like golf.
The best way to increase revenue is by constantly looking for new ways to sell rounds. A good idea would be to reach out to your local school board and offer a fair price on lessons from qualified instructors with the understanding that you will give discounts or deals later when they play with an adult. This strategy has been used at Sun City Golf Course in Phoenix, AZ.
Host family-friendly specials and events
One of the most overlooked groups that can be targeted with marketing efforts is families. Many people associate their best memories of golf with those times spent playing it together as a family, and this bond helps to strengthen other relationships in life too. For years now, many marketers have had difficulty attracting new players into the game because there are so many negative perceptions surrounding it; but by changing these preconceptions we could see an increase in interest for future generations.
If you want to make golf appealing, give people the opportunity to create fond memories with their families. Offer discounts for families and provide group lessons that will help them become better players.
Celebrate Women’s Golf Day
It is not only men who are golfers. Women make up about one-third of the player base and on every first week of June, they have their own day to celebrate with 900 courses hosting events for them in 68 countries.
Register your course to host an event on Women’s Golf Day and you will be featured in promotional materials, have a listing on the website, and receive training tools for hosting a successful event. There are many women who want to play golf so make sure that your facility is ready.
Take advantage of seasonal holidays
Golf courses can take advantage of the holidays by hosting special events and offering discounted tee times. For example, during Valentine’s Day, you might want to offer a one-day menu with unique options that encapsulate romance in the air.
Implement a customer loyalty program
It is critical for golf course owners to implement a customer loyalty program in order to compete with other sports. A rewards points system can be used, but it should not be generic; different levels of membership should offer varying privileges and the incentives offered will depend on how much each member spends.
While the idea of democratizing rewards programs is admirable, it has also made these initiatives less powerful because customers are not often motivated by them. They want to be treated like an individual and that means they expect personalized customer service.
Reward top spenders
There’s this 80/20 rule that states that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers. Retaining valuable customers and VIPs is important to any golf course. One proven strategy for boosting the bottom line is to have a loyalty program. This will help you retain valuable customers and reward your highest spenders with perks that keep them coming back.
Loyalty programs are a great way to identify your top spenders and use that information to help get them back into your golf course. Such programs also let you strengthen relationships with customers.
Offer curbside pickup and delivery
To thrive in the new era of dining, clubs have to adopt technology and offer takeout or delivery services. One major marketing challenge that golf courses face is branding—people are not used to looking towards their local course for food.
You can’t just depend on customers coming to your restaurant. You need creative golf course marketing ideas, which is why it’s important to have an online presence with photos and ordering options.
Refresh your menu options
Golf clubhouses are constantly evolving with the tastes and food trends of their guests. Constantly striving to stay up-to-date will set you apart from all of your competitors who only sell burgers, fries, and drinks while providing people with one more reason to visit your operation.
Additionally, as mentioned earlier, restaurants are changing their business model to accommodate more on-the-go customers. That means you need menu items that will be easy and enjoyable for people who order ahead or just grab something after they finish golfing.
Promotions and Sales
Use text message marketing
Sending text messages to your players is a delicate process. You can’t just send out mass texts without context, because it will make you seem spammy and desperate. Make sure it has value. If your software has the option of sending text messages from the tee sheet, this makes things much easier for yourself.
Sell business packages
Golf is a fun sport to play in groups. With the right tournament format and amenities that everyone can enjoy, it’s easy for an office or business of any size to have a good time at your golf course this year.
Create a referral campaign
One of the best ways to market your company is through referrals because you put some of your most talented salespeople in charge: customers! Word-of-mouth marketing has been shown to be one of the most influential methods for generating new business since humans have an intrinsic desire to trust their friends and share experiences.
Incentivizing customers to refer their friends is a great way to help grow your business. One strategy for doing this is by using loyalty software that permits members to refer other people through their customer profile and gives them rewards in return, such as discounts or points on the site.
Use smart promotions
These days, data is the engine that drives all good marketing efforts. If you want to be effective at growing your golf course, you need accurate information in order to do so. The day of slapping tee time promotions on a website or print ad is over because it’s not enough.
Using powerful software, marketers can get a clear picture of what is going on in golfers’ minds.
Modern technology gives the opportunity to find out how well promotions work with customers or players.
Use data and business intelligence reporting
Data is key to marketing decisions. The more detailed data you have, the better understanding of customer behavior and message type needed for each group.
If you are running a marketing campaign to encourage more online bookings, business intelligence reporting will show whether your strategy is effective. For example, if phone and online reservations have equal numbers before the campaign begins but after there has been an increase in one or the other type of reservation- it would be clear that adjustments need to be made.
Final Thoughts on Golf Course Marketing Ideas
If you are not feeling inspired yet, that’s okay. There is more to do than just these golf course marketing ideas alone in order to promote your business effectively and provide customers with a unique experience each time they visit. Putting effort into improving your strategy will leave them wanting to go back to your golf course over and over again.