How to Build a Successful Golf Business from Scratch
This is something I know a lot about because I have been doing it week in and week out for almost twenty years. My first big client was Empire Golf Management in New York. I built them websites years before most clubs had them.I built them a huge database of over 100,000 emails when the rest of the clubs in New York combined most likely did not have that many! We used their emails not only to drive business but to build relationships. Never a week went by without our landing pages generating membership, wedding and outing leads.
I built them a huge database of over 100,000 emails when the rest of the clubs in New York combined most likely did not have that many! We used their emails not only to drive business but to build relationships. Never a week went by without our landing pages generating membership, wedding and outing leads.
A decade and a half later when I was called by Treetops, four years ago to help turn around ten years of million dollar losses. We were able to go from 66,000 rounds to 96,000 rounds, in a single year. That meant making 1.2 million dollars instead of losing a million dollars. A 2.2 million dollar difference!
We took their database from 18,000 to 86,000 emails and their fan base from zero to 53,000. Sure there might have been a hundred other factors including a great CEO but together they don’t beat this one factor.
I could tell you about hundreds of other clubs I have helped both big and small but while the media has changed the formula never has. There may be other ways to grow but this is the fastest, the simplest, and the one that will keep you in control.
1. You have to build your own large databases of people in your market who play golf.
If you rely on the data some third party vendor has built instead of your own, one day you will wake up and your ability to drive business at will… will have vanished!
That database should include:
- Facebook fans
- Snail mail addresses
- Phone numbers
Each has its own unique uses. If you fail to do this the rest doesn’t matter.
2. Building, grooming, and maintaining your database is the most important job at any golf club after growing grass. At many clubs with small marketing budgets and even many of those with larger budgets where I control the budget, I spend 100% of the available funds on simply growing, grooming and enhancing the database.
Today that means lots of custom landing pages.
A/B testing and targeted pay per click on Facebook to drive golfers eyeballs to our pages. Right now nothing is cheaper or more effective that using Facebook to drive traffic. Getting rid of bad emails and bounces at once. Be real about your data.
3. Once you have a huge database of emails, fans and leads you must communicate with them in an engaging, educational and entertaining way.
If all you send is discount offers you lose. You might not lose today or tomorrow but ultimately you lose because your people will eventually just switch off.
4. Here is why most clubs are failing.
Third party vendors don’t care about building your database. They care about theirs!
Third party vendors don’t care about generating wedding, outing or memberships leads because they don’t make any money from them. That’s why the landing pages for these income sources on GolfNow and CourseTrends websites are so horrifically bad! They just don’t care!
Third party vendors don’t care about creating interesting emails and growing your brand or customer loyalty either. They care about selling tee times! Which is why the emails they send out always look the same no matter which course they are from.
5. Now we could look at other factors
Course conditions, weather, market saturation, too high on initial building cost or land acquisition, poor management, and a hundred other factors but in 95% of the cases you need look no further than my first three points.
- Clubs with very large databases and fan bases.
- Who focus first and foremost on generating an ongoing stream of data and leads.
- Then communicate with that data in an ongoing basis in a fun and entertaining way that builds, brand and loyalty don’t just survive they thrive!
If you think you are going to do that with a third party vendor who is not only your supplier but your competition….
Well, my friend, it may be time to polish off your resume and look for another career.
For those of you who are ready for a different option, a proven option, generating 7-15% increase in revenue call me.
For I have something very new and very interesting to offer you, in fact, some might call it a revolution.
It all starts here TeeTimeRevolution.com
All The Best,
Andrew Wood is CEO of Legendary Marketing, a Tampa/Orlando-based ad agency. He is the world’s leading expert on golf, resort, destination and real estate marketing although his successes go far beyond these core industries. The author of over 20 books including; The Golf Marketing Bible, Cunningly Clever Marketing, Cunningly Clever Entrepreneur and Making Your Business The One They Choose! Andrew has spoken to thousands of audiences worldwide and was the top-ranked speaker at 97.7% of the events where he spoke on sales, marketing, entrepreneurship or leadership. A pioneer in Internet marketing his creative talent, out of the box ideas and copywriting skills are at the core of his expertise. Regarded as one of the top marketing minds in the world for his ability to craft a winning strategy, generate leads and increase income!
Contact: Andrew Wood, Direct @ 1 352-266 2099