Is COVID-19 Bringing Golf Back? 3 Tips for Hotels With Courses
- Posted by Mandy Muszynski
- On April 27, 2020
- Search volume for golf courses is increasing as it’s an activity that can easily be social distancing friendly.
- Use Google Ads to build awareness of and drive traffic to your on-site golf course.
- On your social platforms, promote creative golf-related content, as well as information about how your property is addressing social distancing/safety guidelines on the course.
With the rise of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, people want to be outside and exercise. Public playgrounds are closed, as well as some state parks and beaches, but golf courses are starting to open up again. This slow re-opening of courses offers a unique opportunity for hotels who operate golf courses or can capitalize on the golf sector.
For most hotels and resorts, golf has always been a line of business with ebbs and flows. The barrier to entry is something the golf industry has struggled with for years—intimidation around learning the sport as well as the cost of clubs, lessons, etc. is a deterrent for those new to the green. However, the popularity of the sport has steadily increased in recent years—and that’s before something like coronavirus, which has put a premium on safe, small group activities. Golf is actually the perfect COVID-19 sport: you’re outside and usually in a small group free from contact with unknown individuals.
Demand for golf reflects that shift. Looking at search volume over the past year, we can see that when states enacted stay-at-home orders and social distancing became the norm, the search term “golf courses near me” significantly increased [+180%], as did “golf course open near me” with a +350% increase.
As the sport’s popularity continues to rise and the sunny summer season approaches, now is the time to get in front of these users.
Re-Prioritize Your Golf Strategy
The first and easiest way to get in front of users who are searching for golf-related terms is to use Google Ads. Bidding on these terms and putting a radius around your property/golf course is a great tactic to capture users who have interest in playing a few rounds or even staying at your property to enjoy a full weekend of golf.
But you should also think about prospective guests who need a little reminder for their love of golf. Develop fresh new ads for social media, and even consider niche channels like Pinterest and Reddit where people are in search of inspiration. Join their conversations about golf, provide value by offering up any insider tips, and use those conversations to draw people back to your site.
You can optimize your website accordingly as well. If the golf section of your site is typically low on your to-do list for SEO, consider bumping it to the top. Refresh your keyword targets, add new copy or images, and consider developing content that fits the current circumstances. Ask your experts for tips for perfecting your swing at home, share recipes from your course’s clubhouse, or offer packages of tees for use in your prospective guests’ backyard.
Refresh Your Golf Copy & Creative
You may not have given your golf audiences much thought in a while. If that’s the case, your creative probably needs an update. Don’t feel like you have to fall back on your old tricks. Marketing in the age of COVID-19 calls for thinking outside of the box.
Top creative tips to capitalize on your newfound golf market:
- Ask your social users to share photos or memories of their favorite times on your golf course.
- Promote a contest for a free round of golf or a golf weekend getaway. Consider using Flip.to to help generate photos and entries for the contest.
- Create a Zoom background using photos of your golf course for guests to spice up work meetings.
- Distribute an instructional manual for how prospective guests and golfers can set up a practice mini-golf course in their own living room (think putting into a mug).
- Share golf tips on your social media platforms for people to practice at home, such as putting and swinging how-to’s.
Prepare Your Course for COVID-19
Golf does tick off a lot of social distancing and safety guidelines. However, prospective guests and golfers will want to know that you’re taking extra precautions to keep the course clean. Courses and clubs across the country are implementing new protocols for play.
- Lifting the cup. This means the ball doesn’t go in the hole and people don’t need to touch the flags.
- Limiting carts. Some courses are only allowing one person per cart even if they are related to the individual. Other courses aren’t allowing any carts.
- No lingering around. Monitor how early guests show up to their tee times, in order to avoid crowds around the tee box. Encourage guests to leave the course directly after games.
FORE more tips and ideas contact us here at Screen Pilot.
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