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Growing Golf Participation. Jim Baugh Industry Consultant, 30 SG Industry Vet . Focusing on Player Development. Growing Golf Participation. Trends, Competition, & Retention Programs.

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slide1
Growing Golf Participation

Jim Baugh Industry Consultant, 30 SG Industry Vet

Focusing on Player Development

slide2
Growing Golf Participation

Trends, Competition, & Retention Programs

Practical Applications for Golf Course Owners

slide3
1

Trends in Golf Participation

  • Rounds, participation = stagnant!
    • 28 million players, 17 million Core Golfers
  • SGMA data shows a 2% decline in total golfers
  • 4 million people try/rejoin each golf year
    • 4 million leave each year!
  • 2006 - More course closures than openings
  • A great sport with potential to grow!
  • Lots of press…Lots of meetings…
    • Rounds and players…FLAT
slide4
Trends in Golf Participation

(Facility Research)

Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

slide5
Trends in Golf Participation

(Facility Research)

Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

slide6
Trends in Golf Participation

(Facility Research)

Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

slide7
Growing Golf Participation
  • We can learn by…
    • Looking at American trends
    • Looking at successful sports & activities
    • Looking at successful golf programs
    • Keeping things simple and focused
    • Realizing who is responsible for the growth of the game
slide8
Growing Golf Participation

Looking at Trends in America

slide9
American Trends

Much more competition for people time

  • A Few Years Ago
  • 20-30 Sports / Activities
  • 30 + TV Stations
  • Phones
  • Computers
  • One H of H Working
  • Active Society
  • Today
  • 40-50 Sports / Activities
  • 100 + TV Stations
  • Cell Phones, PDA’s
  • PC’s, Blackberrys
  • Two H of H Working
  • Less Active Society

America is making BIG changes!!

Are WE changing???

slide10
American Trends
  • US Population grew by 50 million in the last 15 years (+17%)
  • Will grow again by 50 million people in the next 20 years
    • Lower growth rate for Whites (+5%)
    • High growth rate for Hispanics (+62%)
    • The ‘next 50 million’ in growth will have lower disposable incomes
slide11
Growing Golf Participation

Looking at Successful Sports & Activities

new sgma research
New SGMA Research

Fitness activities rank 12 out of the top 15!

new sgma research frequent participants
New SGMA Research – Frequent Participants

Notice the void of “Traditional Sports”

new sgma research total participants notice the 6 year growth patterns
New SGMA Research - Total ParticipantsNotice the 6 year growth patterns

Americans are notdoing what they are watching!

new sgma research total participants notice the 6 year growth patterns15
New SGMA Research - Total ParticipantsNotice the 6 year growth patterns

Doing

Watching

Americans are notdoing what they are watching!

slide16
Growing Golf Participation

A New Research Project Reveals…

  • What Americans have tried
  • What they want to try
  • What is easy to learn & enjoyable
slide17
“Which of the following sports or activities have you ever played or tried?”

Golf has been tried by 30% of Americans

slide18
Which of the sports or activities have you ever played regularly?

10% have played golf regularly

slide19
How easy it is to “learn and enjoy” each of the following?

For those who have NEVER tried the listed sport or activity

Americans say “Golf is Very Difficult”

19

slide21
Even regular players see golf as “hard to learn and enjoy”
slide22
What do these 3 charts say???
  • Traditional sports have huge competition from “fitness activities”
  • Golf is an extremely hard sport to learn and enjoy…one of the hardest!
  • If a person just goes out and tries golf on their own, they will be very challenged!
  • Proper introduction to the game is VITAL!
slide25
What do these 2 charts say???
  • When Americans are deciding on which of leisure activity to try… golf is not the first thing they think about
  • We must promote golf…for the beginner
  • When we realize NO other sport is promoting “play” like golf is… the present PR and advertising campaign for “Play Golf America” doesn’t seem to be connecting
slide27
Growing Golf Participation

Is there a traditional sport similar to Golfthat is breaking through?

Tennis & Golf…Similarities

tennis golf similarities
Tennis & Golf similarities

Golf

Tennis

Retention is the Problem!

Traditional sport

Skill based

Powerful Governing Bodies

28,000 Local Pros

17,000 Local Facilities

29 million golfers

3-4 million people try golf each year

Trial is not the issue

Traditional sport

Skill based

Powerful Governing Bodies

17,000 Local Pros

10,000 Local Facilities

23 million tennis players

5+ million people try tennis each year

Trial is not the issue

slide29
Is the beginner’s experience in tennis similar to those trying golf?

Other facts

  • Only 17% of new tennis players had a good initial experience
  • Only 15% of Americans were aware “new player programs” existed!
slide30
Growing Golf Participation

Tennis - the growth in players, revenues, etc.

And…How this Growth Happened!

slide31
Tennis is on a Roll!
  • Participation Numbers are very strong!
    • Total players are up over 1 million players in the past two years
    • Frequent players are up over 14%
    • Total Play Occasions are up 23%!
  • Facility and Retailer businesses are strong!
    • 71% of club owners have either very high or high optimism about the future …only 5% are not optimistic
    • 55% of retailers say sales are up… 66% say because of new players joining the game
slide32
How is Tennis growing??
  • We learned how to grow through “Trial and Error”
  • We tried…
  • National Advertising promoting “Play Tennis” using Donald Trump, Jeff Gordon, etc.
  • “Mall Tennis” – promotions in malls
  • “Kids Days” at Pro Events (too much of a circus)
  • “Free lessons” (with no follow up programs)
  • We spent over $5 million while learning
slide33
Tennis is NOW growing with…
  • Focused local facility based programs
  • Supported Nationally
  • Giving Americans what they want
    • A better initial “experience” when trying tennis
    • A better way “to get fit” in tennis
slide34
A Better initial experience for beginners!

We recruited facilities & pros who established…

  • ONLY 2000 facilities
  • 4-6 week classes for new players
  • 6-8 players in each class – group instruction
  • Taught by Pros who like teaching beginners
slide35
…is working!
  • Beginner retention rates improved from 18% to 54%!
  • 87% of facilities offered “transition programs”
  • 73% offered follow up “ beginner leagues”
slide36
A new way to attract fitness oriented Americans to Tennis

Players of all abilities have fun!

60 minutes of action!

slide37
Results are Positive!

74% of all facilities rated Cardio Tennis “very good” or “good” for their facility

Over 1000 Cardio Tennis facilities said Cardio Tennis

increased the club revenues 15%

slide38
Three Other LOCAL Tennis initiatives
  • 1. New Schools Programs
    • Only promote tennis in schools …which have RETENTION programs
  • 2. New Parks Programs
    • $’s Invested in new public facilities …where Americans start to play tennis
  • 3. Expanded League Programs
    • Increase frequency, fun, & good experiences

Tennis is starting to promote too many initiatives

Keep programs and promotion focused!

slide39
Growing Golf Participation

How YOU can make it happen!

The Steps to “Stepping Up” to growing the game of Golf

slide40
The Steps to “Stepping Up”
  • Understand the changing dynamics of American demographics
    • Time crunch
    • Instant gratification
    • Fitness / other activities are easier to learn… and more desirable
    • Multi-cultural
slide41
The Steps to “Stepping Up”

Golf Welcome Center

Learn to Play Golf Here!

2. A commitment to Player Development from top down

  • Give new players the “right experience” … “hold their hand”
  • Run Player Development as a separate business? (make $ to breaking even)
  • Think long term
  • Track results - research
slide42
The Steps to “Stepping Up”

Don’t try to be all things to all people Stay Focused!

3. Define your target market

  • Adults
  • Kids
  • Women

4. Find the right pro or instructor

  • Great with beginners (or kids)
  • Great with groups
  • Motivational & Fun ….a person with PASSION
  • With the right compensation
slide43
The Steps to “Stepping Up”

5. Use or capitalize on “trial programs”

  • Free lessons, etc.

6. Establish a good retention curriculum

  • Multi-session classes
  • Basic skills, chipping, etc
  • Golf etiquette, basic rules, golf cart
  • On Course sessions with the pro
  • 8 to 1 ratio (players to pro) GROUPS
  • Not expensive

7. Have follow up programs & leagues

slide44
Trial & Promotion

Retention Curriculum

Follow up Programs

Vital steps are the Multi-session Retention Curriculum & Follow Up Programs

Golf has a lot of this

But, needs to focus on here!

And also here

  • Play Golf America Campaign
  • Free Lessons
  • Take a daughter to the course
  • Family golf month
  • American Express Women’s Golf Wk

Multi-session, right $, Group sessions, etc.

“Wine and Nine”

“Couples Night”

“Nine hole or less”

“Play with the pros” days / events

“Corporate Leagues”

“Teen Time or Kids Leagues”

“Executive Women Golf Leagues”

Multi-session, right $, Group sessions, etc.

Multi-session , right $ , Group sessions, etc.

Multi-session, right $, Group sessions, etc.

Multi-session, right $ , Group sessions, etc.

slide45
The Steps to “Stepping Up”
  • Local Marketing
    • Increase awareness of your “Learn to Play” program
    • Use Guerilla Marketing
      • Visit local businesses
      • Articles in newspapers
      • Social groups (couples, etc.)
      • Banners in visible locations
      • Schools
slide46
Other things you can do…
  • Do you have the right forward tees?
  • Look at other locations for Player Development (where we have a leaky bucket)
    • Go into the schools (Snag)
    • Work with ranges, public courses, par 3’s, executive courses
slide47
It comes down to …

A commitment to the 5 P’s

  • People
  • Passion
  • Programming
  • Promotion
  • Patience
learning centers experts
Learning Centers Experts

A couple of people who understand the formula

Ted Eleftheriou, PGA Member

Founder

Blueprint 4 Business

P.O. Box 457

Fruitland Park, Florida 34731-0457

Tel: (407) 928-3976

[email protected]

www.Blueprint4Business.com

Rich Richeson, PGA Member

Richeson Player Development, LLC

Owner, Adams Golf Learning Centers

2809 Fountainhead Dr.

Plano, TX 75023

972-529-8790

[email protected]

slide49
Summary…

Don’t wait for a fancy national program!

Grow this great game in your facility and your community… with entrepreneurial approaches!

You can make it happen!

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