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December 2017

Identifying Your Golfer

identifyingyourgolfer.jpg‭On the surface, marketing for a golf course seems simple enough. Post a few pretty pictures of the course on a website, include the rate and how to reserve a tee time. What’s so tough about that, right?

“Even when you think, ‘Oh, it’s just golf,’ there’s still lots of fine-tuning we can do at our clubs,” says Allison George of Toad Valley Golf Course in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.

The marketing message for a golf course has to resonate with that facility’s typical golfer—and they’re not all one and the same. George, the general manager and wizard of fun at her facility, says a lot of her clients have tattoos and piercings, and want a different message than what another course may offer.

“We have to know more than just their age, family and location,” George explained during her education session during the Golf Business TechCon. “We need to dial into what their interests and hobbies are.”

Take a look outside your pro shop right now. What do you see? Understand who your golfer is before you decide to speak to them. Otherwise, you might as well be throwing away your money.

“The foundation of marketing comes with identifying who your golfer is,” George says. “If you don’t know who’s playing your golf course, and you aren’t writing to that specific person, you’re wasting your marketing dollars.”

George understands that words have power, and those words usually trigger emotions that lead to purchases. So to generate those purchases, Toad Valley created a profile of its typical golfer that helps them make smarter decisions on how to target both them and customers like them. The profile says he’s about 36 years old with kids and a [median] income, and it also includes what TV shows and other media he consumes.

“Your message is going to resonate with that perfect golfer,” she says. “When you’re talking to everybody, you’re talking to nobody. This is so fundamentally important when it comes to marketing. Who is your golfer based on? Someone you know? A mix of customers? Many times, it’s you. Golf courses who get specific get profitable.”

Know your golfer and everything about him or her. If you don’t know your perfect customer, you’re likely marketing to your perfect nightmare.

—C.C.

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