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Growing Golf Participation

Growing Golf Participation

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Growing Golf Participation

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  1. Growing Golf Participation Jim Baugh Industry Consultant, 30 SG Industry Vet Focusing on Player Development

  2. Growing Golf Participation Trends, Competition, & Retention Programs Practical Applications for Golf Course Owners

  3. 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

  4. Trends in Golf Participation (Facility Research) Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

  5. Trends in Golf Participation (Facility Research) Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

  6. Trends in Golf Participation (Facility Research) Biggest challenges for Facility Operators

  7. 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

  8. Growing Golf Participation Looking at Trends in America

  9. 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???

  10. 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

  11. Growing Golf Participation Looking at Successful Sports & Activities

  12. New SGMA Research Fitness activities rank 12 out of the top 15!

  13. New SGMA Research – Frequent Participants Notice the void of “Traditional Sports”

  14. New SGMA Research - Total ParticipantsNotice the 6 year growth patterns Americans are notdoing what they are watching!

  15. New SGMA Research - Total ParticipantsNotice the 6 year growth patterns Doing Watching Americans are notdoing what they are watching!

  16. Growing Golf Participation A New Research Project Reveals… • What Americans have tried • What they want to try • What is easy to learn & enjoyable

  17. “Which of the following sports or activities have you ever played or tried?” Golf has been tried by 30% of Americans

  18. Which of the sports or activities have you ever played regularly? 10% have played golf regularly

  19. 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

  20. For those who have tried golf, it seems even harder vs. other activities 20

  21. Even regular players see golf as “hard to learn and enjoy”

  22. 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!

  23. Americans have limited interest 23

  24. For those who have tried golf, interest is better 24

  25. 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

  26. Golf is the ONLY sport or activity with a national “play” campaign 26

  27. Growing Golf Participation Is there a traditional sport similar to Golfthat is breaking through? Tennis & Golf…Similarities

  28. 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

  29. 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!

  30. Growing Golf Participation Tennis - the growth in players, revenues, etc. And…How this Growth Happened!

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. 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

  35. …is working! • Beginner retention rates improved from 18% to 54%! • 87% of facilities offered “transition programs” • 73% offered follow up “ beginner leagues”

  36. A new way to attract fitness oriented Americans to Tennis Players of all abilities have fun! 60 minutes of action!

  37. 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%

  38. 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!

  39. Growing Golf Participation How YOU can make it happen! The Steps to “Stepping Up” to growing the game of Golf

  40. 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

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. 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.

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. It comes down to … A commitment to the 5 P’s • People • Passion • Programming • Promotion • Patience

  48. 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 Rich Richeson, PGA Member Richeson Player Development, LLC Owner, Adams Golf Learning Centers 2809 Fountainhead Dr. Plano, TX 75023 972-529-8790

  49. 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!