• 4 More Common Marketing Mistakes Golf Courses Make

    Kent Ashby  •  July 26, 2018

Back in September of last year, we wrote about 5 Common Marketing Mistakes Golf Course Operators Make. We’ve decided to continually add to this topic and bring awareness to the most reappearing marketing oversights in the golf industry.

Not Including an Opt-In Form

Whether you’re promoting golf lessons, leagues, outings, weddings, or anything in between, it’s always a good idea to include an opt-in form that allows for a potential customer to easily reach out. We commonly see golf courses omit the opt-in form on landing pages, but it’s an easy addition that will help improve conversion rates and ultimately help generate more leads for the various facets of your operation.

We often see the use of a phone number with a Call-to-Action of “Call to Learn More”. However, people that are more passive or who simply don’t have the motivation/time to call your golf course are more likely to use the form. It’s best to include both a phone number and opt-in form where applicable, to ensure the best chance to convert website visitors into leads.

Ignoring Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that provides seemingly endless insight into a business and its digital marketing efforts. However, many golf course operators rarely log-in to Google Analytics. This is largely because Google Analytics can be somewhat daunting at first glance, especially when digging into the details.

While it does take some time to become familiar with Google Analytics nomenclature and layout, it’s well worth it at the end of the day. Here are just a handful of Google Analytics metrics that golf courses might find interesting:

  • What channels are bringing traffic to your website (Search, Social, Email, etc)
  • What geo-locations golfers are coming from
  • ROI from digital marketing efforts
  • What are your most popular pages and which convert the best
  • What actions are people taking on your website (calling, booking a tee time, filling out a form)

In a past article, we’ve gone over the features, benefits and general layout of Google Analytics to help golf course operators become more familiar with the platform. This article also goes over some “hidden” functionality that can provide even future details about your business.

Not Monitoring Search Engine Rankings

A typical public golf course website gets over 60% of its visitors from search engines. That means search engines alone provide more traffic than email, social, advertisements, and direct traffic combined. Even with search engines being the #1 source of traffic to a golf course website, operators still aren’t likely to pay close attention to their search engine rankings.

Where and how prominently your golf course shows up on search engine results pages (SERPs) can have a huge impact on website traffic, which will ultimately lead to fewer rounds being sold. In a report from Smart Insights from May 2018, they reported the #1 position in SERPs gets an average Click-Through-Rate (CTR) of nearly 30%, while the 3rd position was just 10%. That difference in search engine positioning can dramatically change how much traffic your website receives.

There are many tools out there that range in price, but 1-2-1 Marketing provides a free one-time search engine ranking report through The Course Report and provide ongoing monitoring through our digital marketing services for golf courses known as the IGNITE Marketing Suite.

Having Unclear/Non-Existent Call-to-Actions and Value Propositions

Customers need direction. The best way to get them to perform a desired action on your website is to tell them what to do and why they’ll benefit from doing it. Providing clear Call-to-Actions and Value Propositions on landing pages is commonly left out in the golf course marketing world.

Examples of Strong Value Propositions:

  • “Friendly, Affordable Golf Lessons for Beginners”
  • “Save Money and Receive Exclusive Access with an Annual Golf Pass”
  • “All-Inclusive Wedding Packages for Every Budget”
  • “Lowest Rates Here. Guaranteed.”
  • “Get a Free Round of Golf on Your Birthday”
  • “Join us for the most fun tournament in town!”

Examples of Strong CTAs:

  • “Schedule a Lesson Today”
  • “Get A Membership Brochure”
  • “Request Pricing & Availability”
  • “Schedule a Tour Today”
  • “Click Here to View Available Tee Times”
  • “Get Free Golf”
  • “Register Your Team Today!”

Something to Think About

Hopefully, these 4 common mistakes have you thinking about your own marketing efforts and what you can do to improve them. We’ll continue to update and add to our “Common Marketing Mistakes” series throughout the year and help shed more light on the areas of golf course marketing that go ignored. If you have a suggestion for a marketing mistake that you see often, shoot me an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We always appreciate our customers and blog subscriber’s perspective. 

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