The Indoor Golf Player Preference Study
Yardstick Golf recently completed a survey of indoor golfers to understand their preferences and find out more about what might make their experience more enjoyable or more frequent. This paper shares what we found and how you might use the information.
The study is 5 pages covering how factors such as a player's handicap drive differences in how they think about indoor golf, how frequently they'll play, whether they'll recommend to a friend and more. The preferences study is free with your purchase.
Here is a quick insight from the research we're giving away for free: golfers rating beverage choice and quality as excellent at the facility they most visited spent 2x the average respondent in the survey. Might be time to revisit your beverage selection.
Get the Indoor Player Preference Study for free in June when you purchase our Indoor Golf Study and Start up model here http://www.yardstickgolf.com/indoor-golf-study-promo.html
Most people close to indoor golf know it is a seasonal business. Our golf center survey found that business is much more robust in the cold and wet months than it is in the warm and dry ones. No big surprise there. What is interesting is that the trend for "indoor golf" searches on Google is seasonal as well. Notice how the index from Google below shows that indoor golf searches peak around January each year and tend to bottom out in the May through August period.
What does this mean for your indoor golf business?
It means that your off season marketing efforts need to be broader than just talking about indoor golf. Be creative, look for ideas that align with search trends, provide what folks are looking for in your area. An example is "Golf League" in the chart below. It's peak will perfectly correlate with the off season bottoms on indoor golf in terms of search trends. Get creative, do your research and find ideas lie golf lessons, golf tournament, or golf coupon (I know those aren't too creative, but they do better support summer search patterns than indoor golf.
I've recently run across a website called Bundle. It creates ratings on business based on spending patterns accumulated from credit card transaction data. It is all free for you to use. According to the bundle website:
"We use anonymous, aggregated spending data to rate businesses based on factors such as how often people go back, how many people go there and how much people actually spend. Using this data, we can learn a lot about whether a place is good, and further, whether a place is good for you."
I've now spend a little time on this website looking at indoor golf centers. I think indoor golf center owners and potential owners have a treasure trove of information here about their business. Here is an example of the kind of information on the website - I've removed the name and location of the center:
The first page on customers gives a pretty concise view of where customers are coming from and how the business ranks on popularity versus other local recreation.
In this example, 17% of customers are from the same zip as the facility and 69% are from the same county and almost all are from the same state. This does seem to vary a bit by location and it is worth checking out your own statistics.
This could be helpful in understanding where to spend your marketing dollars. The next set of charts they provide cover when your customers come to your facility.
This points to some opportunities around growing Tuesday through Friday traffic with targeted offers, leagues, demo days or other specials.
We took a look at the impact of geography on golf center performance. As a proxy for geography, we assigned each of the golf centers in our study to a planting zone (think gardening planting zones where 4 is up north and 9 is down south). We than took a look at hours per month per simulator to see if we noticed any trends based on geography. For the most part, the farther north a facility, the more hours per simulator and more simulators the geography will support. The cart below is based on average monthly hours per simulator, peak months are much higher and low months are a good bit lower. There are some impacts from age of the indoor center here as some of the southern facilities are a bit newer and new centers tend to have a bit less traffic than established centers.
Have you played indoor golf recently? Do you run a golf center? Join our Indoor Golf Center Customer Satisfaction Survey.
We have decided to create a pooled customer satisfaction survey. Our premise is that we can all benefit from the results of an industry wide customer satisfaction survey.
By participating, you'll not only get the full details on any specific response about your golf center, but you'll also get an aggregate view of customer feedback for all golf centers.
Think about how powerful that would be. You'd get a much wider audience view on things like what incentives would encourage more summer play. The power of the pooled survey is that we can drive a lot more response that will create more confidence in the answers we are getting from the survey.
Please note that we are not collecting any personally identifiable information on the survey, so you can be assured of customer confidentiality.
Here is a link to the survey:
There are several ways to get your customers to participate in the survey. You can add the link on your website, you can email the link to your client list, or you can post it on your social sites like Facebook. We'll run the survey through March and then provide info to all participants.
Thanks for your participation!
An encouraging sign from the survey is the increase in the percentage of visits from repeat customers. As a golf center matures, it appears its clientele is increasingly made of up weekly golfers. How does your center stack up and what are you doing to increase repeat visits?