Can PGA Professionals Save the Golf Industry?

Whats your storyIf 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:

The future of the game
The future of the game
  • 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.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Rick

    Great Post! The biggest point I think you have made is that action is required to be successful. What type of action is really up to the professional and how they want to build their business. Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich is not all about money, it is about personal growth that leads to success. Maybe someday, I will be looking for professionals like you to help grow a golfing business……but for now, that is for a later time.


    1. Wow, I’d love to hear more about your golfing business idea whenever you feel appropriate! Thanks as always for taking the time to read and respond. If all of us nurture and grow our little plots, great things can grow collectively.

  2. JL says:

    Outstanding post….a very good read! As a former Canadian PGA member, I agree with your thoughts. The industry CAN save itself, utilizing technology to both engage clients and attract new ones is not a new idea, but it is NEW to many golf professionals.

    I believe golf courses need to take control of their own destiny’s and not “farm out” tee times to third party marketing companies. The course owner, GM or HP, should be working to grow their catchment area, and expand into neighbouring communities, not sell cheap tee times devaluing their product. Golf Courses have so much to share and they so very often forget exactly how much they really do have to offer to their communities.

    I now work in the digital media space as well as being a partner in a personal/corporate tax business here in Canada, I for one am going to embark on a campaign this season to get more club professionals focussing on their social media campaigns, through my services and/or educating the CPGA members.

    Thanks again for the post Rick!

    1. John, thanks so much for the positive comments and I’m pleased you found value in my post. I’m interested in finding out more about what you do up in Canada and will get back to you with questions/comments if that’s ok with you. It’s not just the pro embracing social media, but embracing the concept of how important the overall message is to their players. Consistent, valuable, inspiring, relevant = engaged people. finding the right channels is a big piece of that, too.

      1. JL says:

        Hi Rick,

        Please feel free to contact me at your convenience. I’m always happy to discuss the industry. If you like you can find me on Linkedin, I’m located in Beaconsfield, Quebec



      2. JL says:

        Sorry on Linked in: John Lehman

    2. Steve Deschenes says:

      like it JL
      I have been away from LinkedIn and just read you comment would be interested to hear more about your digital marketing ideas. Also looking to get involve with our PGA of Canada Quebec division to help with our members education and development…
      I’ll try to Link with you to maybe pick on your brain some.



  3. Steve and John – can we find time to have a conference call? You both sound really interesting, and I’m very curious!

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