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Online Exclusives

June 2019

Connecting through a Digital Content Experience

BY MEGAN WENZL

Golf courses have been struggling to keep their doors open since the Great Recession, according to the United States Golf Association (USGA). In part because of a declining rate of new players from a younger generation, while there’s a natural attrition as players age.

So, how can golf course operators get young people not only interested in playing the game of golf, but also get regular golfers to book a tee time more frequently at their golf course?

Every form of entertainment is competing with golf, so golf courses have to be entertaining – in all experiences.

If that’s the case, then golf course operators need to make their digital experiences as entertaining as possible. One of the first digital places a golfer begins interaction with your golf course is your website.

How One Colorado Golf Courseis Changing the Game 

Mile High Golf Trail, located in the greater Denver area, is an example of a group of golf courses that has created an interactive experience that gets golfers excited when first visiting their website.

When Mile High Golf Trail wanted to put the four separate courses they own into one golf experience they knew they needed a new website to rebrand and show golfers that they were four courses under one name. Before, Mile High marketed themselves as four separate courses with four separate websites.

To further emphasize they were one experience, they created a pass that gave golfers access to all four courses with one purchase called the “Trail Pass.” The pass has increased sales significantly for Mile High Golf Trail.

 “The Trail is creating buzz,” says the team at Mile High. Before the new website, the courses were four separate courses. Now, golfers are curious about the golf experience of all four courses.

The Mission 

Mile High wanted to make sure their website stood out from the competition. The design team they hired to come up with a website idea that united four golf courses into one to create the Colorado destination for golf – all while creating a website experience to interest any golfer in booking a tee time.

The website also needed to reflect the Trail’s mission: “Bring golf back to families.”
 Maggie Fischbach, marketing director for Mile High Golf Trail, explains: “Golf used to be something that was thought of as the father of the house’s sport. Now, golf is expanding to a whole family experience due to the way family dynamics are changing. Our mission also speaks to the way we treat our customers. We want everyone from the customer to the employee to feel like family.”

The Website 

What is the golf experience like when playing a beautiful 18 holes? It’s interactive, it’s detailed, and it’s connecting with nature. That’s exactly what the design team thought about while designing Mile High Golf Trail’s website.

The design team considered what elements about a golf course that golfers would be interested in and let that lead where the content would be viewed. Knowing that avid golfers are “data nuts,” and interested in the details of the holes, the design a similar experience to what players would find in a golf cart.

For example, on the website, there’s a display of different elevations and yardages of each of Mile High’s courses – The Colorado National, Riverdale, Plum Creek and Bear Dance. Each is shown as the viewer scrolls down the homepage.

Users truly get an interactive experience throughout the entire website. They can click on each individual golf course and get an interactive course tour. When a user clicks on each of the holes they get exact yardages to the hole from each color tee. No need to wait until you get a scorecard from the pro shop – the yardages are right there on the website.
 
The Takeaway 

Golfers buy things like every other customer. They go online and search for the product or service they feel is best for them.

They’ll play at a golf course that they think will be fun and rewarding. But how do they know whether or not your golf course is the best choice if they’ve never been there? The golfer’s decision to book a tee time will likely be based on the type of interaction they have with your website.

“[The website] is the first impression of the golf course,” says Fischbach. “I think our website makes us different and stand out from other courses.”

Megan Wenzl is community outreach associate with Clique Studios. For more information she can reached at mwenzl@cliquestudios.com.

 

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