If I were still a PGA Professional working at a golf course, I would be doing everything I could to grow my local community. As it is, I work in the online marketing world of the golf industry, and consult with PGA Professionals around the country on just this topic; growing communities, effective communication and making a difference in their business.
The golf industry is not going to save itself. Change will turn on the local level with PGA Professionals like Bob Doria at Makefield Highlands Golf Club making an impact with his Get Golf Ready programs or PGA Professional John Graham putting his message out via social media, or Rob Noel Golf Academy and their Junior Champions Academy. Dee Forsberg continues to grow her community up in Minnesota. Like political change, I think it’s a “local” thing. We can only “save” ourselves. We can’t look to the “industry” to do it for us. Looking for ideas? I have a few:
- A short 30-60 second video profile of you junior golf programs, or your teaching facility, or your Pro Shop. Get the video published to your players via YouTube, your Facebook page or other social media channels. Persuade your local golfers to WANT to come see you because you make a positive impact on golfers in your local community. Not using social media yet or looking to improve your message to your golfers? Contact me and let’s talk! Another good resource is HubSpot (great blog) and tons or resources and links. Check this out and see if you’re making any social media blunders.
- Tell your stories. Start a blog (not for the faint of heart, it does take time and commitment!). Golf pros have tons of stories that inspire people. How do you handle pressure? How do you manage your game? What’s in your bag? People want to know this from you, trust me. Don’t underestimate what you do and the experiences you have.
- Get creative with programming, try new things. Think about setting up all 18 holes as Par 3’s and challenge your members to an Opening Day Par 3 Tournament. Challenge their short games with a refresher clinic before play, then turn them loose and see how their 160 yards and closer games are.
- Embrace technology and combine it with traditional learning. Experience, communication and knowing your students is a great thing. Having launch monitor technology, video lesson capability and social media savvy to promote what you do is even better. How are you set up in 2014 to take advantage of all the resources available?
Inspire people to play. Most of all, build from the ground up. It’s up to the individual golf pro to make a difference. We all love the game and each of us has to do his/her part in growing the future. No excuses, no “the market is horrible”. Find out what makes you and your facility different, tell your story, and grow your brand, grow your business and grow raving fans. You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you make a commitment to grow your community.