The manager’s office: Alan Oliver

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 2, 2019 06:31

The secretary at Silloth on Solway GC in Cumbria says clubs will be better suited to recruiting new customers if they market their unique selling points instead of trying to attract all golfers.

If I was to ask you what is the best film of all time I’m guessing there would be many different answers. If I asked what is the best car, book or golf course, again there would be a number of answers. But why would there be so many different answers?

From a marketing perspective it is vital to understand why there are different answers to these questions, why isn’t there a single best film, car, book or golf course?

If your course is short do you need to call it a ‘championship course’? Highlight the fact it is better suited to new golfers or you can get round it quickly – this will attract the right customers


There are over seven billion people on earth all who have different cultures, beliefs and lifestyles – how could there possibly be one single best product or service that would fit all of these people.

Every company has to ascertain who their core audience is and who their products or services fit best.

There are millions of people around the world who buy cars but car companies don’t just target car buyers when they are trying to sell their latest model. They know what type of person is likely to buy their cars and they target smaller more specific groups of car buyers who they believe their product is best for.

Golf clubs need to adopt the same strategy in order to attract more customers to their clubs. Identify what kind of golfers will find their golf clubs the best fit for them as at the moment too many golf clubs are just targeting golfers as a whole rather than specific types of golfers.

Golf clubs need to be brave in identifying what type of club they are, only then can they highlight and find who their target customers are and how to attract them.

If the golf course is a difficult 7,000 yard course with severe rough then trying to attract beginner golfers will be a waste of time; aim this at serious golfers who will relish the challenge the course presents. Once you are brave enough to do this it will mean you can tailor your marketing message towards telling people what your golf club is and this will help to attract the right customers. Tell them the course is tough, tell them it is a challenge if this is what your course is – you can’t be everything to everyone.

If your course is 5,500 yards long with very little rough do you need to call it a ‘championship course’? Highlight the fact it is better suited to new golfers or you can get round in under four hours – this will attract the right customers.

Every golf club will have customers now that are their ideal customers, so who are they? How old are they? Where do they live? What standard are they? Golf clubs can use this to build profiles of their ideal customers and then look at how they can find more customers with similar profiles.

Once you are clear with your identity, clear with who your ideal customers are, it makes the tasks of marketing your company and attracting more customers a bit easier by targeting smaller, more specific groups of customers.

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


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir April 2, 2019 06:31
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1 Comment

  1. peter April 3, 15:14

    Absolutely ! A reason to better understand everything you can about your primary market and those in it ! The more accurate knowledge you have the easier it is to know who you’re appealing to and the type of offerings and programs that will help you attract new members.

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