Thursday, February 9, 2012

How Golf Needs To Market To Children

"How Golf Needs To Market To Children"
By Sean Mysel


If you build it, they will come.  In my view having played golf all my life and worked in the game, this seems to be the philosophy of most golf courses.  Build a fantastic new course that's over 7,000 yards long with U.S. Open grade rough and bunkers in all the wrong places and yes.....they will come.  Except, according to Jack Nicklaus when speaking about Golf 2.0...they aren't coming.  They're leaving.  They are children and continuous exodus from the game of golf.

How could this be?  We tend to lay blame on issues like video games, other sports and so on.  Yes, these are factors but think about this for a moment.  Close your eyes and think back to when you were a child.  Your imagination soared, you watched cartoons, played outside and loved being entertained.  Now open your eyes and go to any given golf course and there is virtually no marketing geared towards children.  Watch a PGA Tour event and there's no commercials targeted at gaining children in the game.  So the question do you market towards kids?

You appeal to what interests children.  Children by in large have no preconceived notions about anything, in fact the brilliance about children is they tend to be very curious about everything.  So why not run some cartoons marketing the game of golf?  How about doing more at your course to promote The First Tee?  Or both?  Golf instructors, instead of having a picture of you on the website, how about some cartoons or videos of you high fiving one of your students?  Even a chest bump would be ok.

Marketing as I've learned in business school at Columbia and through talking to many people in the field is about information, targeting and execution.  You can understand a property manager's thinking but not putting the effort into marketing to children because they are so absent from the game, but guess what?  That's your future!  

If you market to them, yes they will come.  Why?  Children are the best sales people on the face of the planet!

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