I'm concerned for the future of golf

Let me share with you the story of  Melnibone Golf Club "Fictitious Name"

In the 1990’s the club was thriving with over 1500 members, a waiting list and the tills ringing. As a business, it was a very happy place to be. 

During the course of that decade, to respond to great demand, other golf clubs sprang up in the local area and a few members left.

Over the next 20 years though, the situation deteriorated for Melnibone... membership numbers started to properly slide as people had less time for golf.

Also, technology made it easier for golfers to compare green fee prices and as club after club started discounting their green fees, so the annual subscriptions looked more and more expensive.

And so the Vicious Circle began, clubs looked at what other clubs were doing, trying to undercut each other and saw ever decreasing revenues and profits.

All the while, other sports seemed to be thriving in the new era further taking business from the golf club, cycling, running and even wellness pastimes like yoga and pilates.

Melnibone upgraded their facilities with reserves of cash to try to appeal more to the market but that only led to escalated costs and the hoped-for revenues never came.

By now, Melnibone was getting desperate, membership was at a critically low level, their former members had become nomad golfers - taking advantage of the best local deals available online - and no amount of advertising or marketing seemed to work.

In this vicious circle of discounting, reduced income and spiralling costs, the owners and managers found themselves miserable, frustrated, stressed, resenting their customers and starting to hate the game they’d once loved.

This isn’t just the story of one club...

It’s the story of thousands of golf clubs ALL AROUND THE WORLD

Is it the story of your club?

How do I know? I’ve been there, at the coal-face of the golf industry and I totally understand and appreciate the nightmare of the situation.

So why is the happening and what’s the solution?

The answer is depressingly simple and it’s NOT to be found in any new technology like SEO, Social Media, Apps, drone videos etc which are just marketing mirages, tools dressed up as marketing silver bullets and sold to the desperate.

The answer IS that marketing has been done totally wrong since the beginning of time by 99% of golf clubs and that’s not surprising given the bewildering array of options available, which inevitably lead to...


In golf, we’re all roped together as we climb up the mountain but we’re all headed in wrong direction towards the edge...and if the majority go over, we all will and it will lead to the demise of this great sport so,


It’s our responsibility at GMU to help you understand the predicament golf is in and more importantly - help show you the path away from the cliff edge and you know what?

The future of golf could and should be so bright and with the right effort in the right direction, there’s no reason why we shouldn’t enjoy again those days when clubs enjoyed waiting lists and healthy bank accounts.

There are clubs that are doing that very thing right now.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t be one of them.

It doesn’t need to be this way.

Golf is the greatest of games.

We all once knew that.

We need to re-discover what made this game delight people all over the world, from presidents to paupers, in the words of Arnold Palmer:

“Golf is deceptively simple and endlessly complicated; it satisfies the soul and frustrates the intellect. It is at the same time rewarding and maddening - and it is without a doubt the greatest game mankind has ever invented.”

​If you're ready for the challenge let me reassure you, you're in the right place! 

​Here's to making golf great again!

Elliot Hamilton 

Golf Marketing University 

PS: I'd love to hear your thoughts on this, please feel free to drop a comment in the comments box below.