On golf clubs that promote everything but the golf

Some golf courses are promoting their club as a great wedding centre, cheap steak house and gambling venue – but forgetting to promote the golf.

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A couple of years ago, I ‘Liked” (as in Facebook liked) the golf club where I was a junior member for many years. While it’s no top-100 golf course, I was keen to see current photos of the place that at one point was very much like my second home.

I was hoping to see some chat about the recent club competitions, discussion about the old routing with historical photographs, or simply some photos of the current layout.

Sadly, I don’t think I’ve seen one photo of the golf course in the two years I’ve been following the club on Facebook. At least not without a wedding going on in the foreground.

There has been no mention of golf whatsoever. In fact it appears to me that the primary focus of the golf club is now on promoting the place as a perfect place to host weddings.

“Back in the day…”
Back when I was a member of the club the place was bursting at the seams with golfers with a four-year waiting list to join. Those days are well and truly gone, and no doubt the club relies heavily on the activities of their members and locals off the golf course.

An active social media presence is by no means a clear highway to a healthy, financially viable golf course, but it would be a wise decision to sneak some golf back into the foreground of their promotions on Facebook and Twitter.

The same story is repeated over and over  – many golf clubs seem obsessed with telling everyone about the Tuesday steak night, wedding centre facilities and new poker machines – rather than promoting the golf course for what it is – a great place to play golf.

I’d argue there are more ex-members of my old golf club than there are current members – due to natural attrition rather than any deep resentment to the place. I’d also say that I’m not just the only one looking to see what shape the course is in. Maybe it would give us a reason to block out an afternoon to go and play it again. For old times’ sake.

A few weeks ago this sort of thinking had me reaching for the phone and publicly adding my thoughts to the Twittersphere.

This is by no means the first time that the topic has been raised – Golf Australia MagazineInside Golf  and Mike Orloff at Golf Industry Central have all discussed the problem – but not surprisingly it got a reaction.

It hit a nerve with Golf Australia editor Brendan James jumping in first:

PUGS made sure we weren’t forgetting that many clubs are relying on this sort of income to survive:

and Mike added that clubs could be doing more to promote memberships:

And suddenly everyone was thinking out of the box. I particularly loved this tweet from BJ… a thought I’ve also had mentioned to me on more than one occasion but keen social golfers:

You can check out the whole thread over at the Aussie Golfer Twitter page. Rant over. For now.

2 thoughts on “On golf clubs that promote everything but the golf

  • June 24, 2014 at 17:15
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    On the last tweet, my first year subs were 15% cheaper because we joined as a 4 (reduction was for 3 or more people). I joined my club last year. 10% discount was offered if 2 people were joining.

    Reply
    • June 27, 2014 at 11:41
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      It just struck me that the picture is my home course 18th, I must be a member of your old club Aussie Golfer. The facebook page is certainly as you describe.

      Reply

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