The manager’s office: Alan Oliver

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 14, 2018 14:25 Updated

The club secretary at Silloth on Solway Golf Club in Cumbria says selling television rights to tournaments to certain broadcasters may make financial sense – but at what cost to the game?

Are we doing enough to attract more golfers into the game?

I was taught the three basic rules of social media marketing are ‘engage, educate and entertain’. I think these rules are vital for more than just social media marketing.

How the golf industry as a whole does these three things will be vital to the future health of the game.

From the top of the game down to each individual golf club, we are all responsible for doing our bit to attract more gofers to this wonderful game. Remember: a rising tide lifts all boats.

Those at the top of the game have opportunities to reach out to millions of people and carry out these three basic rules. The strength in depth of the world’s best golfers is as good as it has ever been. The governing bodies decide where these top stars play and ultimately who sees them play.

Let’s take this year’s USPGA Championship at Bellerive. In the UK, the rights to televise this event were sold to Eleven Sports, a fairly unknown broadcaster prior to the event. They are making strides though and have already secured rights to show Spanish and Italian league football for the coming season, taking these rights from Sky Sports and BT Sport. They will also show six LPGA events this year.

The decision to sell the rights for the USPGA to Eleven Sports for the UK coverage may have been in the best financial interests of the USPGA but surely not for the good of the game of golf.

Why can’t more of these events be on terrestrial TV so everyone in the country can watch it and be inspired by these superstars?

It may well be that watching golf on Facebook and Youtube is the future but being too far ahead of future trends is the same as being wrong.

I stand to be corrected if someone can point to millions of young people viewing Brooks Koepka winning the USPGA while watching on Facebook.

I firmly believe that if more people watch golf then more people will be inspired to play the game. More golf on terrestrial TV would benefit the game hugely.

Clubs have a responsibility too.

There are millions of ex players out there who need to be targeted to get back into golf. They know what the game is about and quite probably still have a set of golf clubs collecting dust in their garage just behind the fishing rod and gym equipment. There is a great scheme, Get into Golf, which gets new golfers into the game, which is fantastic. There maybe needs to be another scheme called ‘Get Back into Golf’ to attract people who used to play golf to take up the game again.

Golf needs a coordinated approach to help grow the game, as we all benefit if the golfing tide rises.

Silloth on Solway Golf Club is rated by Golf World as the 22nd best golf course in England. For more information, visit www.sillothgolfclub.co.uk

 

Tania Longmire
By Tania Longmire December 14, 2018 14:25 Updated
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1 Comment

  1. Steve Wilkinson December 20, 21:10

    Good point of view. The biggest faux pas in this area was for the R&A to sell the Open rights to Sky.
    If you are a golf fanatic you will subscribe to Sky, Our target market is potential new golfers who may be attracted to the game watching the superstars on terrestrial TV.

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