I read just about everything I see as I find it pays off in big ways by helping power creative thoughts. Well last night I was browsing the local college's continuing studies guide and I ran across a golf class being offered at a local course on the indoor golf machine.
I thought to myself "this is brilliant". The course is getting free advertising to a well-targeted demographic for golfers while potentially generating income and new customers at the same time.
I immediately went to the school's website to see what they were doing and here is what I found:
Come play some of the finest courses in the world (such as St. Andrews, Pebble Beach, Troon North, and Torrey Pines) on our Indoor Golf Simulator! Students receive four rounds of indoor golf and may bring up to three additional players with them at no additional fee to join in on the fun. Come Rain, shine, or the winter chill: the weather can't stop you now!
The class is $375 and instructions have potential students calling the golf facility directly versus registering through the school. In looking through the online catalog a bit further I found that this wasn't the only offering. There were others targeting juniors and seniors on the site. Pretty cool and creative idea to extend your marketing budget.
Call your local college today and offer to create a golf class for their continuing studies program.
I am a big fan of an Amazon service that saves me both time and money - Amazon Subscribe and Save. It is an automated ordering service for supplies you use all the time. Things that you regularly use like paper towels, cleaning products and batteries are all available on the site. You can get things like sports drinks, chips, crackers and other grocery items as well.
By setting up a recurring order based on how quickly you go through inventory, you can control when items are delivered, save time manually ordering and save space by having it delivered when you need it. You save up to 15% on your entire order when you receive 5 or more subscriptions on your monthly delivery day and there is free shipping on every Subscribe & Save shipment. You can change or cancel at any time and you only pay when the item is shipped. Pretty cool way to help run your business. Click the logo above or this link for more info.
We all know that bad weather is generally good for indoor golf, but are you making full use of bad weather forecasts to drive traffic and new customers to your golf center?
You could be scanning the weather forecasts every day and then manually blasting out coupons and messages, but that takes a lot of time and there is a better way. You can harness the web to do the work for you.
I've created a very simple to use step-by-step guide that will enable you to set up a custom (and automated) weather alert for your area that will then automatically post content of your choosing to one of many potential online marketing channels (I.e. Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, etc). It does not require any coding and takes less than 20 minutes to follow the instructions.
Check out the details and get the instructions here.
I had no idea that rounds might not count towards a handicap because the course was playing too hard. Kudos to Diablo Golf for an awesome graphic and great information.
With the amount of money you spend on a golf simulator, you would think it would be easy to find a report on golf simulator market share. It has been a singularly difficult task and about the only share metrics come from the manufacturers themselves.
So I'v decided to do my own sort of market share estimate by comparing how often each brand is searched using the Google keywords planner. It allows you to enter search terms and see the average monthly searches on a particular keyword or group of words.
This is an imperfect science, but the results are somewhat intuitive as the larger brands appear to be searched more frequently. In all cases I added either "simulator" or "golf simulator" to the search term so some of the names with generic meaning did not pull in searches about other topics.
Here are the results:
An interesting point of note is that "golf simulator" alone is searched on average 14,800 times a month.
Let me know if there is a brand I've missed.
I've seen a number of threads on various websites debating whether it is better to go big (10+ simulators) or small (3 or less) in setting up a new indoor golf business. No one really seems to have a final answer.
In our survey we saw a wide range in the number of simulators in each facility. Both large and small facilities seemed to be able to turn a profit. I've also seen both models go under.
Looking for commentary from folks on which type of facility they'd prefer to visit or comments from owners on which they thinkn is better. Lets hear from you - please comment.
By Google or Yahoo standards, that isn't a huge number, but for a small website like mine, it is a pretty big deal. Looking at the downloads, I am amazed at how many people are considering opening an indoor golf center. Of the 200 business plan downloads, almost 180 are considering opening a golf center in the next year. Over 2/3 of those are thinking about doing it in the next 3 months. I've also had 10 downloads from people who own or work at an existing golf center.
All of these downloads and traffic growth going along with it makes me curious as to what you all think about the business plan and the study / model (if you downloaded it). Did the plan help? Did you find anything surprising? Have you opened a golf center? Leave a comment and let me hear your thoughts!
As the weather warms, school gets out and round outside really start to crank up, we thought we'd share a few ideas on interesting ideas to market your indoor golf facility that we've seen others doing:
Outdoor instruction simply cannot match the feedback and analysis you can get in a controlled environment loaded with sensors and video equipment. We've seen quite a few facilities marking the science of game improvement to get players to book hours on the simulators - with or without a pro giving lessons.
Not every kid feels comfortable at a course or driving range. Some have difficulty with heat and allergies. Offering an indoor golf camp is a fun an interesting way to learn the game. It can also be a great way to drive known bookings around low volume hours. Make sure you check into any special laws or licensing needed for running a camp.
This is a bit of a twist on the summer camp idea in that it is geared towards kids, just not for as long of a duration. You can offer a special for parents to play on other simulators while their kids attend the party.
Introduction to Golf
Target folks who would like to learn, but may be intimidated by going out on the course. Offer a spouses special for your regular players. Help them get started in the game and you can potentially grow a new base.
Leagues, Contests and Charity Events
Offer special events to draw in players. Contests like closest to the pin and long drive get folks in the door, but you'll probably have a little work to do to keep them there.
Fitting and Demo Days
Partner up with your local sales reps. Offer your customers a chance to come hit all the new clubs in one place. You may even be able to get a piece of the action on equipment sales if all goes well.
If you have food and beverage capabilities, you can offer a combo package of food, drink and play time on the machines. Do a promotion to keep cool at the hottest part of the day and come in for a round and a drink.
It rains during the summer and you can offer a place to play when other courses can't. Give a "Rain Check" coupon to local clubs to let players come to your facility and get a discount when it rains.
I've been running a short golf simulator survey on this site for a couple months to collect information on simulator buying behavior. I thought I'd take a moment to share some of the results to date, but before going into details, I want to highlight a couple points. First, this was by no means a scientific study. I did not attempt to make my sample represent the general buying public - in fact I did not control the sample in any way. This is also a relatively small group, so the results may not be representative of a larger group - that said, here is what the results are showing.
Most of the folks taking the survey plan to purchase one or more simulators. Not surprising given they probably came to my site looking for information on simulators. It does appear though that folks looking to buy, know a good bit in advance and take some time to research and plan their purchases.
Almost all of the survey participants indicated plans to look at more than one simulator before making a purchase decision. More than half indicated looking at three simulators. I wish I'd included a comment section to collect info on the pro's and con's of each brand reviewed. Please comment if you have info to share on this topic.
Price Paid / Quoted
Admittedly, this was the question I was most interested in seeing. Prices for a mid-range golf simulator appear to be $25k+ based on survey responses. I'm not sure what to make of the under $10k response - maybe it was for home versus commercial use.
Since this one allowed multiple selections, it has the most responses. In this small sample, it looks like there is a primary and secondary tier of golf simulator brands being considered by potential customers.
If you like this article, you may also want to check out our article on Golf Simulator Market Share
What is keeping you from opening your indoor golf center or adding indoor golf to your current facility? Is it a fear of the unknown, worry about the worst case scenario? Or is it more a lack of time or money? Perhaps it is a lack of advice, information, support or confidence. Let's hear from folks on what they think it preventing them from getting "around to it". I gave you a round tuit at the left, now give me your thoughts. . .