Online reviews now play a major role in golf course decisions

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 13, 2022 12:51

A survey of golfers has found that they are much more likely to leave reviews of golf courses they play and read other golfers’ reviews before deciding to play a new course than before.

Golfshake found that 62 percent of golfers say they would leave reviews online – up from 44 percent in 2018 – and 86 percent said that they read independent reviews online – up from 68 percent in 2018. Most importantly, 81 percent stated that independent reviews could help with the decision on playing new courses – up from 61 percent in 2018.

The golfers also placed ‘word of mouth / peer feedback’ as the most decisive factor when planning where to play.

The site also surveyed golf club members and found that the average rating of their own golf club’s website was just that: average.

The quality of the websites was given 3.44 out of 5, with the majority selecting the option for average.

This comes as 84 percent of visiting golfers have said that they are ‘highly likely’ to visit a club’s website before they visit the venue, and 86 percent of club members say they access their golf club’s website when carrying out a relevant online activity such as looking for and booking tee times.

Meanwhile, 97 percent of non-club golfers said golf clubs should advise of golf course guidelines in advance.

‘Successful digital marketing and communication is now essential for golf clubs to thrive and deliver an experience that benefits members and visitors alike. This is something that begins with a quality, informative and engaging website,’ reports the website.

‘Since the pandemic began, the golf industry has witnessed a major shift in the way that golfers now consume information and content in relation to the game. And if they didn’t already, all golfers were forced to go online and use digital platforms simply to book tee times.

‘Viewing the golf course as a product like any other, websites and social media can act as a significant selling tool, promoting and encouraging visitors to secure a tee time and enjoy the available facilities, best featuring updated information and attractive visual imagery.

‘The website should be viewed as one of the most vital departments for all golf clubs. Not only to act as a shop window but also as a way to inform and update both members and potential visitors.

In terms of social media, 79 percent of club members stated that their own golf club uses social media platforms, with Facebook easily the most utilised network, followed by Twitter and then Instagram. The social media output was rated with an average of just 2.98 out of 5.

The research also found that two percent of golf clubs do not have a website.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 13, 2022 12:51
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1 Comment

  1. SSmith January 14, 12:00

    and it wont just be the course that impacts the reviews that are left- golfers now compare the whole experience to their knowledge and expectations that have been educated by improvements in other leisure industries- A great golf course is no longer enough. To get great reviews and increased revenue from visitors you need to ensure the whole psychological impact of your venue is great from start to finish. to find out how your venue compares on the 7 pillars of the golf venue experience complete the research on the link in my posts to get a free scorecard

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