Golf is one of the things millennials have been accused of killing, but it’s not like the golf industry has been catering to their needs lately. Now that they’re noticing record low memberships, many are trying to scramble for ideas to attract a younger, hipper and more fashion-conscious crowd. But are they doing enough? Here are some of the steps the golf industry will have to take to reach a younger demographic and ensure the future of the sport.
Jazz up your Pro Shop
You should consider rejuvenating your pro shop and focus on the fashion aspect of it. There are tons of great golf apparel brands out there that are trying to break out of the mold and sell clothing that targets the younger crowd specifically. And their clothes look great on and off the links. Even if they only come for the fashion, you’ll still be making sales and get to upsell them on a few rounds. Brands you should look for include Foray Golf, Birds of Condor, and Matte Grey.
Sell the Lifestyle
Golf clubs will have to focus more on the experience aspect of golfing. One of the things they could do is take inspirationfrom the ski industry, and focus on the après-ski, or should we say après-golf part.
Some have already started by introducing things like mixologists and craft beers to attract a more knowledgeable crowd. They’ll also have to relax some of the traditional rules on golf courses. For instance, the inability to play music on the course is something that will be enough to deter a lot of younger players who may be playing simply to enjoy a fun day in nature with friends instead of trying to perfect their game.
Cutting overheads will also allow golf clubs to allocate resources to additions that could attract a younger crowd. For instance, a simple thing they could do is renegotiate their deal with their current energy providers. Services like Utility Bidder allow them to compare golf club prices for electricity across a variety of providers. Just making this change could be enough to give them more room to breathe and redirect that money towards more pressing needs.
Get out of the 9- or 18-Hole Round Mindset
Millennials have been said to have notoriously short attention spans, and not everyone is ready to spend five hours + on a golf course. So, golf clubs would be wise to reconsider 9- and 18-hole packages and maybe cut it down to at least three. This would be more than enough for casuals who just want to try, and those who would like to squeeze in a few rounds at night before tucking in.
Golf can be marketable to a younger, and hipper crowd. However, the industry will have to be ready to step out of its comfort zone and focus on all the things that make golf great, while adding a little twist.