Why Golf Resorts Don’t Want Golfers – It’s Just Not Sexy Anymore!


For the last twelve weeks, I’ve been touring around the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal staying at some very nice golf resorts. I’ve met with a bunch of managers and owners and something very interesting is happening here because every single golf resort that I’ve been to has told me that they don’t want to be seen as, “Just a golf resort.” I guess golf is just not sexy enough anymore with all the bad press the industry has endured for the last decade? (The other unspoken reason is of course that they have been ineffective in attracting enough golfers and so are scrambling to fill the gaping holes in their room revenue any way they can, more on this in a moment)

The conversation has gone something like this:

Andrew, we don’t want to market just to golfers. We don’t want to be known only as a golf resort.

Really, I say then why did you build a X%&@%*# hotel in the middle of a golf course, 3 miles from the ocean?

At this point they look at me shocked, get kind fidgety and say well, we just don’t want to attract only golfers we want to attract families as well.

Okay, I say what are these families going to do when they get here?

Well, the manager says hopefully, they could play golf!

I smile, what else can they do?

Well, we have got a nice pool area and we have a shuttle to take them down to the beach.

Well, then wouldn’t it be better for them to stay at the beach in the first place where they have the beach and a pool on their doorstep rather than the inconvenience of waiting for a shuttle to get there?

It’s really quite amazing, but every single one of the properties I visited wanted to downplay the golf aspect of their property in favor of a family aspect, or a corporate aspect, weddings or heaven forbid their spa. (Do you have any idea how many individual massages it takes to earn back a two million dollar spa investment?) Every one of these golf resorts and I’m talking about eight or nine different properties that I’ve visited would be far better off killing it in their core market “GOLF” which none of them are doing and ignoring the rest. Every single one of these golf resorts is trying to market to a wide segment of the population including many segments for which their properties are simply not well suited for, while not actually maximizing the revenue with the one segment they are perfect for and trying to fill in the gaps from there.

You cannot be everything to everyone and yet I find worldwide that is exactly what most resorts are trying to do. To go after markets with limited resources that they are truly not suited to serve, while starving resources from the one or two markets that they are uniquely positioned to capture and serve with excellence.

Most resorts squander their limited marketing budgets on shotgun marketing to various target groups or generic demographics like “families”. There is a far simpler, far more boring solution to growing any resorts’ business QUICKLY than being seen in glossy magazines, attending tour operator conventions or paying vast sums of money for a single Google ad click.

Grow your proprietary database of golfers!

If you have 20,000 golfers in your database that generates 20,000 rounds. Double your list to 40,000 emails and you will have the potential to generate, using the good old 80/20 rule, 20% more rounds, (4,000.) Even if it’s only 1,000 more rounds and room nights (a 5% response) that’s a substantial increase in revenue. The best part is it just keeps going, get 80,000 golfers in your database and you have the potential of 12,000 more rounds and rooms! (20%) Plus golfers spend far more money in the pro-shop, bar, and restaurant than any other segment!

Is it really that simple?

Yes, it is just as long as the communication with your database is creative and not simply one boring special offer after another which depletes your lists earning power rapidly. At Treetops Resort we went from a 10-year legacy of million dollar losses to a 1.2 million dollar profit in just one year, on the back of growing their database from 18,000 to 58,000 names. This produced an increase in rounds from 60,000 to 94,000 rounds. I have many other examples in many countries of rapid increases in data driving rapid increases in revenue:

Mayakoba Resort 18,000 new golfer names in 90 days

Innisbrook Resort 4,000 new golfer names in 90 days

Pine Needles 5,000 new golfer names in 60 days

Golf Vacation company 17,500 new golfer names in 90 days!

There are two other huge plus to having direct contact with your customer via email. One you don’t have to pay a third party booking service or tour operator a 10-25% commission!

Secondly and perhaps for the first time ever, you will have control of your own destiny!

Hotel MarketingStop all resort advertising now

Instead, spend all of your marketing budget on growing your database of golfers. Contact them often and in creative ways via email and the money will surely follow as night turns to day. Then with revenue up dramatically from your core business you can apply this very same strategy to other groups you may wish to serve!

He with the biggest database wins! It’s not sexy, it just works and no one can help you do it faster, worldwide than www.LegendaryMarketing.com 1-352-266-2099


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