A recent report from the National Golf Foundation reveals that interest in golf remains stable, but you’ll certainly test your marketing skills if you’re aiming to attract millennials to golf. Dana is here with a few tips to help you out of the rough.
- Make it mobile. Of all the things millennial players want, the convenience of booking a tee time on a mobile app and then checking in curbside with their smartphones probably tops the list. Besides making it easy to book, a mobile app lets you push offers and discounts attractive to bargain-loving millennials. Automatic check-in means millennials can hop out of their cars and walk up to the first tee without waiting around for an employee. While millennials appreciate good service, check-in is not the place where they’ll find it necessary…or even wanted.
- Reboot your F&B. Millennials like convenience, choices…and craft beer. Let’s rephrase: they love craft beer! (Millennials spend more on craft beer than they do on their cell phone and utilities.) Update your 19th hole options with local craft beers, hard cider and shandy. Other golf course food trends worth checking out: sell beverages in “tasting” formats; add fresh juices, kombucha drinks and smoothies to your menu; offer more “grab and go” options (breakfast sandwiches, wraps, healthy snacks) in a self-order kiosk setup; and appeal to their eco consciousness with a F&B program that reduces food waste and packaging, and offers local and sustainable choices.
- Stock the pro shop with the gear millennials want. Revamp your merchandising to include high-performance clubs and trendy, under-the-radar golf apparel styled to look good on and off the course. For ideas, see what millennial golfers like Jordan Spieth are wearing and carrying. It’s not your granddad’s collared shirt and golf pants, unless worn ironically, of course!
- Sell golf differently. Millennials are busy. Finding a four-hour slot to play golf (that drags into five hours on the weekend) is hard. Sure, you can encourage speed of play, but tell that to a millennial who’s stuck behind a slow-moving foursome on a hot Sunday afternoon. Think about selling golf in more flexible increments than 9 and 18 holes. Sell 3- or 6-hole packages that encourage players to enjoy a few favorite holes before heading to the clubhouse for a craft beer (or brunch, another millennial favorite). For millennials, the experience is more than the round of golf—it’s golf-plus.
- Appeal to their social instincts. Speaking of experiences. Millennials want them, and they want to share them on their social media platforms. Keep in mind that 59% of U.S. millennials are active Instagram users, so be sure to add Instagram to your mix. And it’s a small step to take career networking from LinkedIn to the links. Golf is a great tool for networking for millennials on a career ladder, in sales or looking for a mentor. It’s worth adding content to your website on the pros of networking on the course.
- And relax a little…OK? Whether it’s easing the dress code or allowing music to be played on the course, show millennials that they are welcome. It starts with their first impressions, too. Give your website a critical look and make sure it is visually appealing and features photos of millennials playing the course.
Ready to play? Out of the 33.5 million Americans who play golf, about six million are millennials. Don’t miss out on this target audience. Let us help you refine your messaging and touchpoints to attract millennial players. Contact Lynn Kaniper at 609-466-9187 ext. 117 or firstname.lastname@example.org today.