The modern day world of golf at the pro and amateur level is making major strides to get more people playing and joining golf clubs and associations.
As a golfer with years of course and pro shop management experience, my time in the industry has shown me the evolution of the game, from the attention grabbing Tiger Woods to the modern champions like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Jordan Spieth. Through creating or increasing online presence and reaching out to bring golf to younger generations, associations and courses are renewing an interest in a classic sport and joining an era of advanced levels of athleticism, physical performance and technology.
Several strategies are being employed to attract new players to the sport, but one key focus is in the digital space: creating informative, experience-driven sites that allow visitors to easily explore the club or association and learn about the benefits of the game. Making the registration process seamless and simple while offering a steady stream of quality content adds to the value of the effort. Other strategies include establishing a social media presence and producing course-specific video tips.
While pro golf is becoming more visible in terms of the impressive feats of physically superior athletes and top-of-the-line equipment technology, participation was reported to have been on the decline, according to 2017 reports. One idea has been to reach younger generations to bring them into the fold. Some strategies in that area have included app-based engagement, flexible member or a-la-carte pricing and even loosening the rules on course attire.
Fortunately, the 2019 Golf Industry Report released by The National Golf Foundation shows a reverse in the downward trend. The report assesses the overall health and vitality of the game in all its contemporary forms. According to the report, more than one third of the U.S. population either played, watched or read about golf in the previous year. Participation has halted its decline, and there are now almost as many who play increasingly popular off-course forms of the game such as Topgolf, Drive Shack or indoor simulators offered by state of the art facilities.