Golf clubs are increasingly turning to PR agencies

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 7, 2023 13:33

A number of golf clubs have signed up with marketing companies in recent weeks, in what could be perceived as increasing professionalism in the industry.

Royal Ascot Golf Club, for example, has appointed Fortitude Communications to lead its strategic public relations management. The agency was appointed following a competitive pitch process to support the prestigious golf club to enhance its profile and develop engagement with its audience and community.

Stephen Nicholson, Royal Ascot Golf Club general manager, said: “Increasing our brand awareness via PR will help the club deliver its exciting growth strategy. Fortitude impressed us with its clarity of thought and strong track record in the sports and venue sectors. Its team are excellent storytellers and we’re pleased to have them on board.”

Scotscraig Golf Club recently appointed Magna Marketing to the role, which has produced a video of the club.

The video takes viewers on an aerial tour of the historic course and clubhouse, highlighting the stunning beauty and charm of Scotscraig.

“This promotional video truly captures the essence of Scotscraig,” says Liam Greasley, general manager of Scotscraig Golf Club. “It tells our story, highlights our heritage, and showcases the breathtaking beauty of our course and facilities. We’re excited to share this with our members, the local community and all golf enthusiasts.”

In conjunction with the video, Scotscraig has also launched a social media campaign. This interactive initiative will feature club members and committee sharing personal insights into what Scotscraig means to them, further emphasising the strong community ties and passion that make the club so special.

Clubs outside the UK and in less traditional golfing locations are also employing UK marketing agencies to promote them, particularly to British golfing tourists.

For example, Thailand-based Siam Country Club Group has selected Golf Marketing Services (GMS) to fulfil an international PR brief, highlighting the strong heritage and world-class golf offering the destination proudly exhibits.

Siam Country Club

The brief centres on re-establishing Siam Country Club, home venue of the LPGA of Thailand, alongside the four additional properties comprising ‘The Group’, as a must-visit golf destination.

“The excitement and opportunity surrounding Siam Country Club, as well as the additional properties, really epitomises what exceptional modern golf is all about,” commented Phil Craghill,  director at GMS. “The end of coronavirus travel restrictions has seen the appetite for golf tourism significantly pick up, with golfers now far more ambitious with where they go – Siam Country Club should definitely be on their bucket list.”

He continued: “The destination has hosted some of the finest professional golfers at the highest level of women’s championship golf and, with an impressive golfing heritage crafted in just a short period of time, we’re eager to begin garnering this top-class venue the international recognition it deserves.”

Dubai Golf LLC has also appointed GMS to fulfil a brief that centred on elevating and promoting the destinations of Dubai and Abu Dhabi to golfers in target markets globally.

The agreement sees GMS represent facilities including Dubai Creek and Yacht Club, Jumeirah Golf Estates, Emirates Golf Club, and Topgolf Dubai, as well as three properties in Abu Dhabi; Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, Yas Links and Yas Acres.

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, the luxury golf and lifestyle venue nestled on Dublin’s links-rich north-east coast, has partnered with PR and marketing specialist Azalea to help build its reputation across the UK and Europe.

Tucked away in a quiet corner of ‘The Velvet Strand’ – one of Ireland’s most prominent stretches of uninterrupted coastline that serves up stunning views out to Lambay Island and the Howth Peninsula – the historic site was once the family home of the Jameson dynasty.

Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links

Under the ownership of the Sandman Hotel Group since 2019, the venue has undergone an extensive refurbishment programme, including a complete elevation of its 18-hole golf course – which reopened this summer – to bring the layout up to championship links standard.

The new partnership will see Azalea activate media and marketing campaigns across the UK and mainland Europe, and to cement Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links as central to Dublin’s ‘stay-and-play’ golf offering.

Azalea partner and director, Sean Noble, said: “The elevation of the historic links provides Ireland with a much-needed ‘new’ championship experience on the country’s east coast.

“At a time of a well-documented increase in global golf participation, we are excited to be partnering with Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links to spread this message to new and established markets.”

Director of golf at Portmarnock Hotel & Golf Links, Paul McCanny, said: “We appointed Azalea based on their excellent reputation and experience in highlighting golf and lifestyle destinations to a wide audience. We believe we have created something special here and look forward to seeing our story being told across Europe and beyond.”

The Grove, meanwhile, has appointed Performance54 to drive awareness and increase sales for the five-star resort.

Performance54, one of the fastest-growing sports agencies in the world, will support The Grove in strengthening its position as one of Britain’s most-loved luxury golf, hotel and spa destinations by providing a comprehensive range of services, including strategic consultancy and global PR and communications.

Designed by Kyle Philips, the championship course at The Grove near London shot to popular acclaim in 2006 when it hosted the WGC-American Express Championship, won by Tiger Woods.
Brad Gould, director of golf at The Grove, expressed his enthusiasm for the new partnership: “The Grove is always looking to enhance its presence and reputation in the golf industry.

The Grove

Performance54 has a proven record in the destination marketing space and is the perfect partner to promote The Grove globally and further establish our resort as one of Britain’s most-loved luxury destinations.”

Scott Peddie, executive director, Performance54, added: “The Grove is among the UK’s best golfing experiences and ideally situated to capture the attention of a significant local audience and of international golfers travelling into London for business and pleasure. It has all of the necessary attributes to demand an increased share of both domestic and overseas visits, and we are excited at the prospect of helping Brad and his team make significant strides in this space.”

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 7, 2023 13:33
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  1. ORBIS September 8, 10:01

    We’ve had great success working with Aquila Golf Ltd in the UK, can’t recommend Sam and the team highly enough ✅

    Reply to this comment
  2. Sapey September 7, 18:01

    Golf clubs finally realising the importance of Marketing… Wonder if they’ll cotton on to Sales too?

    Reply to this comment
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