Peter Kohlöffel, National Sales Manager: Golf Ads™, explains that modern golf courses offer something for everyone, which makes them ideal playgrounds for golfers and non-golfers alike.
When we think of golf courses, we think of tees, greens, bunkers, fairways and driving ranges. But golf courses are not just about golf. Surprised? The golf course environment is more multifaceted and complex than one might expect – indeed, some courses are recreation centres with golf the main focus and a range of other offerings and entertainment. Huddle Park in Johannesburg, for example, offers dog walking, CrossFit training and self-defence classes. It’s also not unusual to find golf course establishments that boast tennis courts, social activities like bingo, karaoke and wine tastings, wetlands, hotels, running tracks, squash courses, bowling greens and excellent restaurants. Furthermore, the modern clubhouse certainly transcends its historical purpose!
Golf courses fall into three categories – golf clubs, golf estates or resorts, and country clubs – and each has something unique for a particular target market, which is not just the golfer. Some are more high-end, some are more child-friendly, but all boast impressive footfall. This is a key feature for advertisers wanting to engage with an upper income market in an environment where engagement, assimilation and recall is extremely high.
In terms of audience, non-golfers can also enjoy the golf-course ambience just as much as golfers – what’s not to love about being outdoors in a quiet, manicured, green space with food and entertainment close at hand. Golfers, as well as their business associates, family members and friends regularly frequent golf course environments as the amenities are available to them also. This is a global trend that is driving the resurgence of the sport, partly in a bid to lure new golfers – but everyone benefits, including advertisers.
In today’s overcrowded neighbourhoods, a golf course offers a leisure package the whole family can enjoy all year round. This partly explains the growing popularity of living on a golf estate, where golf is the cornerstone of a secure, family-friendly, healthy lifestyle. According to Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property Group, it is chiefly a sense of security and community that attract families to golf-estate living and, typically, only about 40% of residents are actually golfers.
Golf courses differ, but all have one thing in common – they attract the highest LSM market in South Africa. Golfers are affluent, influential decision-makers and they and their families are generally most interested in luxury FMCG products that complement their lifestyle. Marketers who bypass the golf-course environment are missing an opportunity, particularly in a case where only one person in a family of four plays golf but the family visits a course for the lifestyle benefits. Marketers should consider that reach and OTS increase exponentially when one takes non-golfing visitors into account.
Because golf courses are leisure spaces, an unhurried atmosphere prevails in which golfers and non-golfers alike are relaxed and open to experiences. Over and above this, long dwell-times mean that most visitors have ample time to engage with a campaign and connect with a brand.
Thanks to Golf Ads™, which offers advertising, branding and activation opportunities on 180 golf courses countrywide as well as in Mauritius, there are multiple branding solutions available to clients. Golf Our very own national television network Golf.TV™ as well as mini-billboards across the golf course and specifically tailored activations speak to everyone on the golf course – not just golfers. Campaigns can easily be customised to engage with a captive target market at a number of touchpoints, ensuring a brand gets the attention it deserves.
A good example of a successful activation is a campaign implemented for Pringles, which saw brand ambassadors engaging with consumers on 25 golf courses, allowing people to sample products in a singularly uncluttered advertising space – the competition you would encounter in a mall is not a factor on a golf course. In addition, geolocation campaigns could see advertisers targeting specific markets in an area around a particular golf course, depending on businesses in the immediate vicinity.
Golf courses should not be seen through the myopic lens of history only. A highly diverse yet uniformly affluent market is waiting to be engaged with, and commercially savvy golf courses know how to increase footfall, which increases marketing reach exponentially. To reach these consumers, contact Golf Ads™ today to discuss a campaign that would increase awareness, affiliation and sales for your brand.