22 Apr Online visionaries take on the growing golf participation problem
Depending on who you ask, the game of golf is either experiencing a slight dip in participation or a dramatic mass exodus, the likes of which the game has never seen. There is no grey area in this discussion, it would seem, and it has become a polarizing subject for pundits across the sport. Many believe there is no hope to save the game.
Luckily, true fans and businessmen of the game aren’t going down without a fight.
The theories behind why golf participation is dropping are as varied as the opinions on whether there is a problem in the first place. One such theory focuses on cost. Any fan of the game will tell you that golf is an expensive hobby, having long established itself as a game to be enjoyed by society’s elite. Times change, of course, and the rise of modern-day golf superstars like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler have introduced a flurry of younger players to the game.
More players mean more business, so it would make sense to keep prices consistent to profit on this customer surplus. That might be fine for golf courses, but not very much fun for beginner golfers.
In an effort to mitigate costs for all golfers, websites that allowed discount online tee time bookings began popping up across the internet. Sites like GolfNow, GolfHub and Groupon quickly rose in popularity as golfers now had a way to play more golf without breaking the bank.
As the online tee time market grew, however, golfers began to question if they were getting the best deal possible at the courses they wanted to play. For example, if one site offered a tee time at a local club for $50, a competing site might offer the same tee time at the same course at a lower price, or even at a better time.
Enter SupremeGolf.com, an online tee time booking service that collects and compares times from top booking sites — such as GolfNow, TeeOff, GolfHub, Golf18 Network, BirdieBug, Groupon, LivingSocial and more — in one convenient place.
Similar to how KAYAK.com collects and compares hotel and travel deals so buyers can make the choice best for them, Supreme Golf eliminates the “fear of missing out” for any golfer booking a tee time online. Players can also read more than 480,000 user-submitted reviews on the site, adding another layer of buyer information geared toward helping you save money.
While the expensive nature of the game is not the only factor to blame for any drop in golf participation, it is perhaps the only one that is within the scope of control for the consumer. Online tee time booking websites like SupremeGolf.com strengthen this level of control by offering opportunities for players to get out to the course more often than ever before.
Introducing more golfers to the game — and providing them a realistic opportunity to actually play — is the first step in boosting participation across generations and socioeconomic statuses. In time, and with a little luck, redundancies can be identified and applied to other areas of the problem.