Are you looking to take your golf club marketing to the next level this season?

Boost your reach and invite even more visitors to play at your course by leveraging the power of digital marketing. In this article, we’ll talk about the different channels and tools your club can explore, and we’ll give you some ideas of how to really impress your prospective golfers.

Whether you’re a private golf course or a public one, anyone can use digital marketing to improve their golf club marketing efforts and stand out from the competition!

golf club marketing golfer after round checking phone digital marketing

The first steps to revamping your golf club marketing

Sit down with your operations team and review your efforts from years past. What state are your social media channels in? Have you taken recent course photos to use in your digital marketing? Do you communicate with your visitors and/or members through an email newsletter? Is your website up-to-date? 

Take stock of the current state of your digital marketing and write down some goals for the upcoming season. Where are you finding your regulars are engaging? If you have regular events or specials, how are people finding out about them? How can you double-down and meet your customers where they are?

Here are some goals to consider. I want to…: 

  • get more sign-ups for Ladies’ Night
  • run more tournaments
  • sell more memberships this year
  • sell more Pro Shop merchandise

Here are some strategies to make those happen

  • Post to social media channels at least once a week
  • Create a Facebook ad to cater to female golfers in your area
  • Start a course blog on your website
  • Collect email addresses to build an email newsletter for VIPs or, if your course has members, renew your commitment to sending them regular emails
  • Send coupons via email for Pro Shop items, or let people know about new stock
  • Offer incentives to your current members through digital channels if they can refer a new member to sign up

What are some digital marketing channels I can leverage to boost my golf club marketing this season?

Email marketing

Email marketing is a very powerful tool that many companies are using to communicate regularly with their dedicated customers or visitors. The opt-in nature of email marketing means you’re reaching people who truly care to hear from your course, and are excited to see what’s new, what special deals they can take advantage of. 

You can gather email addresses to build your list through online bookings, member database information, and simply by asking the golfer when they visit if they’d like to sign up to receive special promotions from your club every once in a while. They can unsubscribe at any time, so there’s no pressure to commit. 

If you want to take your email marketing newsletter to the next level, try segmenting your email recipient list to target particular kinds of golfers and serve up content they really want to receive. For example, you could send merchandise emails based on previous Pro Shop purchases, or send a 10% off green fees coupon for someone who hadn’t visited for a round in a few months. Or, set up transactional, automatic emails, like a thank-you message to a member after they’ve played a round, and an invitation to book their next. 

Website

Having a responsive website design is a key element of your digital marketing plan. 

Think about the experience golfers will have when visiting your website. Both prospective players and past visitors will search up your website for various pieces of information. What is does their journey look like? What are they looking for? Optimizing your website to ensure you’re giving visitors what they’re looking for, and perhaps serving even more value on top of that, will ensure your course is chosen time and time again over your competition. It’s so important to keep your information up-to-date. Additionally, consider creating a keywording strategy so you’re appearing on Google when people are searching for nearby courses to play

Did you know that GGGolf offers a turn-key club website solution at a great price? Check out some of the websites we have created for our clients, and learn more about our website design service, here.

GGGolf product - Club management
Social media

We’ve all come across a business whose social media hasn’t been updated in months and thought, are they even open anymore? By posting semi-regularly on your social media channels, you will boost engagement with your existing followers, get found by new interested players, and increase your overall online presence. 

One goal you might include in your golf club marketing plan for this year is to ask players to post about you. In fact, you can create a hashtag to start a conversation. 

Social media is a powerful digital marketing tool in your arsenal — don’t discount its power! Even if you’re posting once a week during peak season, it’s helping people find you and get excited about getting to play at your course.

Online advertising

Setting up digital ads is always a great option to include in your golf club marketing strategy. Consider a simple Google search or display ad to target golfers searching for courses nearby, or even searching your competitors’ club names. 

Social media ads are a creative and very visual way to reach your prospective customers, too. Why not send out an advertisement about a green-fee deal you’ve got going on, or an invitation for people nearby to try out your Men’s Night special?

If it’s in the budget, you could also place digital ads on golf industry websites to increase your reach.

Leveraging partnerships

Are you partnered with a golf company with whom you could pair up and double your digital marketing efforts?

The sky’s the limit here! Go in on a partnered ad together, share each other’s content, link your website to theirs and vice-versa. The more content you produce, the more backlinking you can establish, the better your Search Engine Optimization ranking (ie. how Google reads the efficacy of your digital marketing) and the more people will find you online. It doesn’t hurt to show how exciting your particular course is through your partnerships, as well! 

golf canada partnership

Are you partnered with Golf Canada, for example? Image Source: Globe & Mail

SMS marketing

Did you know that SMS (text message) marketing garners an average 90% open rate? By contrast, email marketing open rates sit around 20%. Consider leveraging the phone numbers you’ve collected through tee time bookings by sending them relevant text messages. What is great about this form of digital marketing is that you can reach your customers on the go — even while they’re on the course! 

Welcome your golfers to the course with a short text. Send them a text around an hour and a half after they start their round to invite them to place a halfway house order. Send them a coupon, or let them know that you’ve got a new menu item! Ask for their feedback after their round is over.

SMS marketing can be super creative, and guaranteed to catch golfers’ attention.

golf club marketing SMS text message to golfer on course
Leverage your pros

You already know that your course pros are a wealth of information and value. Why not ask them to help boost your digital marketing efforts? Whether they are active on social media and can tie their posts back to your club, or chat with members and clients to encourage them to engage with you online, you can harness their honest passion for your club and for the game. You may have heard of influencer marketing – well, you have a great opportunity via your pros to leverage their influence and create a better player experience together!

Reviews & surveys

Lastly, no golf club marketing plan would be complete without considering the impact of your online reviews. Monitor reviews sites like Google, Facebook, Trip Advisor, GolfPass.com, and Golf Now. How are people enjoying the experience of playing your course? 

You could also send out a survey to your members and/or recent players to ask them for their feedback, or invite them to review you on one of the sites above. You could even offer them an incentive to do so, like a $5 voucher for food on their next round. Just make sure you’re not “buying” positive reviews!

Ask for their honest feedback, and reap the rewards — you’ll boost your SEO, help others get a positive opinion of your club, and learn valuable ways to improve your course going forward.

Screenshot of top-reviewed courses in Canada from Top100GolfCourses.com

The power of data – how are you using it?

How are you currently using your member or player data? We are great believers in the idea that collected data is meant to be used; otherwise, why are you keeping it on file? When your players consent to give you their contact information, they are consenting to hear from you

Reach out to a certain segment of players, start the conversation, and see where the honesty of your efforts takes you. Consider what would make them happy and excited to visit your course again. Show them the value of their decision to choose you, and choose to give you their personal data. 

Not sure how to review your data and optimize your golf club marketing? We can help! Email us at info@gggolf.ca so we can work together to harness the power of your data.

Above all, keep it personal!

Your golfers’ experience at your club is paramount to your success, on and off the course. As golfers ourselves, we know the power of feeling welcomed, heard, and taken care of. If we feel our experience is valued by course operators, it keeps us coming back.

Ensure you’re top-of-mind and building player loyalty using your digital marketing all year round. Paying more attention to your golf club marketing plan this year will only make your club more attractive to new and old visitors — what are you waiting for?