How To Guide: Marketing Plan for Your Golf Course
Rati Agrawal
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How To Guide: Marketing Plan for Your Golf Course

Success Guranteed

Do you perform an annual marketing plan? A successful golf course needs a lot components and marketing is one of the components that benefits from a little planning and strategic thinking. With competition on the rise, every golf course is employing a marketing plan to stand out or differentiate themselves from the competition. Knowing your basics can help create a marketing plan which can result in answering the questions your potential customers have along with understanding your business better, particularly in the area of how you compare to your local competition. You don’t need extensive degrees to make a marketing plan, but you do need a few key components to make sure you’re keeping pace with changes in your market that could negatively impact business performance.

It’s always good to create a marketing plan for the year. Many times, golf courses go for a semiannually or a quarterly plan as well. It helps them allocate budget and divide the work seasonally as well. In the golf industry some seasons are more important than the others and therefore correct budget allocation is very important. Here is a marketing 101 guide to help create a marketing plan which will help your golf club succeed.

A SWOT analysis

The beginning of the marketing plan needs to be with a SWOT analysis.The full form of SWOT is strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Strength: What is the property’s USP? (unique selling position) Do you know exactly how your property might be unique in order to differentiation yourself within the market? 

Weaknesses: What are the reasons the golf course is losing members or revenues? Customer satisfaction is low in which areas? Which products/services are not selling well?

Opportunities: How are you reviewing pricing and keeping yourself both aggressive but not pricing yourself out of the market? What are the new technological advancements to integrate in the property? How do you plan to keep the course current with the times? What is your plan to allow for members and guests to perform self service activities like registration for events or investigating their accounts?

Threats: What are my competitors doing that makes them better than my golf course? Are there any new regulations or trends which the golf course should be following? From real estate prices to government taxes to even environmental changes can be in this category.

Consumer Research

Are you performing any member or customer surveys?  Do you have a plan to incorporate this feedback into your short and long term decision making?  Is feedback from your members shaping your capital investment decisions?  To make your golf course a success, it is very important to have an understanding of your how your members view the various amenities of your property. To find solutions, you need to know the questions first. The likes and dislikes of your members, their age group, the products they like better in your pro shop, the kind of food they prefer etc. You can conduct small surveys to get a better understanding of what the consumer wants. That will help you better yourself in every category.

Competitor analysis

Pick the top 5 competitors you have and aggregate the important and competitive information about them. Starting from their location, employees, F&B menu pricing on shared items, membership fees and dues, tee time price points, website details and calendar postings, social media posts, attending their events and also subscribing to their newsletter as well. You want to stand apart, for that you will have to know these details about your competitors. Also keep track of the members you lose to the competition and try to understand why the customer decided to join a competitive club.  Market research is a very important aspect of improving yourself. But make sure the top 5 competitors you pick should be similar to you. Take their pros and try to inculcate those characteristics in your golf course.

Picking your channel

There are so many different channels to spread the word. You can pick one or a few ways to market your services. Channel success can vary from market to market, but the important part is having a plan and monitoring effectiveness.  Here are a few channels you can pick from

1-Your website- Make sure you’ve got Google Analytics installed
2-Content marketing- Are you sharing stories and great experiences?
3-Email marketing- Do you have an email campaign strategy that is segmented by behavior?
4-Social Media marketing- Different social media channels are being used by different demographics. Define your target, their social media channel of preference, and then create a specific plan, not just a blast of the same message to all.
5-SEO- Are you reviewing your success in SEO?
6-PPC campaigns- If you’re not engaged in PPC, perhaps it’s time to consider a targeted strategy
7-Google my Business/ yelp/ Zagat listing with good reviews- Make sure you are also monitoring comments and responding.
8-Traditional marketing like Radio, billboards, flyers- Out of home advertising is still a strong way to gain awareness in your market.
9-In store marketing like loyalty programs, discounts, sales- If you have the chance, make sure to place posters and flyers around your property announcing special events, holiday programming or community programming.

Goals (KPIs)

The marketing report needs to have goals or defined KPIs (key performance indicators) to help you realize if what you are doing is making a difference. Setting goals like the marketing budget, number of tee times sold, revenue generated, memberships sold, banquet revenue, F&B revenue, loyalty cards sold, and comparing them to prior year can help you decide if your marketing strategy is working or not.

Want to know how our tools can help you grow your golf club? Send us an email today. 

For more information, please contact:

Lance Merrihew


About Total e Integrated

Total e Integrated is a leading provider of end-to-end business management solutions for recreation, retail, hospitality and community organizations. For over 20 years Total e Integrated has helped organizations to integrate departments, automate marketing, streamline operations and boost revenues with our innovative solutions and expert consulting services team.


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