Golf Marketing University

What a High Handicap Golfer Can Teach us About Golf Marketing

"I've been playing golf for too many years to be this bad at golf"

This is what a friend of mine said to me recently. 

He loves the social side, but he's so frustrated he's not improving his scores. He's played off a 22 handicap for 20 years.

"I'm not sure how to improve, where do I start? Should I go to the driving range more? Play more? Buy some new clubs? Take lessons?”

If you were me, what would you advise?

A true friend who knows the golf business should say something like "if you're serious about this, find an excellent teaching Pro before you waste time bashing balls on the range. And definitely don’t waste money on equipment until you’ve improved your technique".

Would that be fair? 

So what makes an "excellent" teaching Pro? Someone who...

  • understands your goals?
  • has a vested interest in your improvement?
  • has achieved SUCCESS teaching other golfers already 
  • you like and trust

And most importantly, someone who guides you with a plan which, with your commitment, will help you inevitably achieve your goal

Ok, so What is 'Success'?

Measurable improvement over time? In golf, it’s pretty easy to measure ‘return’ on lesson investment by looking at improving scores or handicap.

But don’t forget there are softer measures too, like enjoyment. Remember my friend is suffering from 'frustration'. If he played better golf, he'd enjoy his golf more.

In the end, here's the advice I gave him. He should...

  1. Set a goal
  2. Find an excellent teacher/mentor who he likes & trusts 
  3. Make a plan
  4. Invest time and effort working through the plan
  5. Measure results and…
  6. Over time, he WILL achieve his goal. 

Does that sound reasonable? Effective? I thought it was great advice. So you know what he did?

You already know without me telling you, don't you?


Doh! It never ceases to amaze me how often poor golfers are seduced into buying an expensive, shiny new set of clubs from salesmen (usually golf pros) who know deep down that it'll never make them a better golfer.

Poor golfers get dazzled with technical jargon and the dream of immediate and painless success.  

"Take the shortcut to improving your golf by buying the latest equipment”.

You know this is just a crazy pipe-dream. You know that the path to success in golf has no shortcuts. Success is hard earned. Expert tuition followed by hours, days, months of disciplined practice.

Anything else is just smoke and mirrors.

How else did the greatest golfers in history shoot such low scores with such primitive kit? Where equipment makes the big difference is at the margin, when technique and method are already good.

That’s why tour golfers today hit the ball an extra 100+ yards on average than their counterparts 100 years ago. Professionals leverage technology after they've perfected technique.

Now, with this in mind...

...substitute the word “Golf" with “Marketing”

Makes you think huh? 

How many golf club marketers:

  • take a methodical, disciplined approach? 
  • Set a goal?
  • Make a plan?
  • Take expert advice?
  • Put in the hard, disciplined work?

Or how many want the easy, shortcut to success?

The marketing equivalent of a new set of clubs is probably something like social media or apps or video. All are up front expensive, shiny and new, promising immediate and long-last results.

And in the real world?

No more effective than the last 'new' offering, if not underpinned with fundamental improvement in technique and focused, disciplined work.

Getting really proficient at marketing isn't easy. It's really tough. Time is always short. Technology keeps changing. And everyone needs results yesterday.

And just as some people become 'scratch golfers', it is possible to become a 'scratch marketer' and achieve results that also look effortless...You just need to follow the right steps.

Click HERE to find more articles to help you improve your golf marketing handicap.

Happy learning 🙂

Elliot Hamilton

Elliot doesn't just talk the talk...As Co-Founder of GMU, Elliot isn't just a marketing guru, he's also a 9 year Chief Executive of Hunley Hotel & Golf Club in North Yorkshire. So he really knows how to deliver game-changing marketing and golf operations in the real-world.

From directing strategy to delivering small (but devastatingly effective) campaigns, he's learnt the hard way how to maximize the return on every penny of marketing spend & grow a bottom line.

And with that 'skin in the game' experience, that makes him pretty qualified to share high quality knowledge of a fast-changing marketing environment - no marketing diploma can match that!

Add comment