From a strategic business point of view, the driving range is probably the most important element in the development of the golf industry. This is the first point of contact with the game for future golfers. That’s where the magic happens. Where one shot can spark a passion for life.
Every golfer remembers a click. That magical moment when golf took over their soul. Maybe it was the first decent shot after several failed attempts; maybe it was a miraculous burglary; maybe it was a long putt that sank.
In fact, it doesn’t matter. The moment it clicked, a new golfer was born.
It is hard not to appreciate the monumental significance of this event for the golf industry. A new loyal customer for life has just joined the game.
And one thing is almost certain: The click took place at the driving range.
Unfortunately, some people never experience a click. They come to the shooting range for the first time, find the game absolutely frustrating, the environment hostile, and never return. This is usually because The Click requires the help of someone with at least some experience.
A group of novices, without any help on their first day at the shooting range, will probably go home wondering how people can like something so stupid and boring as golf. A sad day for them, but above all for the entire industry.
To maximize the conversion rate of non-golfers into golfers, golf clubs need to increase the attractiveness of their golf areas by investing as much as possible in facilities and equipment, but most importantly by creating a warm, welcoming and supportive environment for newcomers.
“In order to maximize the conversion rate of non-golfers into golfers, golf clubs need to increase the attractiveness of their golf areas by investing as much as possible in facilities and equipment, but above all by creating a warm, friendly and supportive environment for newcomers. “
Balls and clubs for hire in immaculate condition; many different range targets; heating for the winter; adding mirrors in the impact bays; maybe even a nice bar in the shooting range; shot tracking technology…
It really doesn’t require much thinking. It’s as easy as looking for inspiration in Top Golf, which single-handedly created an entire industry around the driving range.
Regarding the environment. Why not offer free classes to newbies? How about a referral program that encourages locals to bring new people in exchange for free green fees or other perks? Why not relax the dress code a bit? Why not open up coverage to surrounding schools as weekday sports activities?
When you consider that every new golfer will spend thousands of dollars on golf-related items each year for decades to come, any improvement in driving range, no matter how small, is worth its weight in gold.
“When you consider that every new golfer will spend thousands of dollars on golf-related items each year for decades to come, any improvement in driving range, no matter how small, is worth its weight in gold.”
Of course, some people, even experiencing The Click, never or rarely return to the same course, but the more clubs adopt this philosophy, the more the industry will benefit.
Inventive golf courses may even seek financial assistance from other players in the industry, such as club manufacturers and others, to improve their ranges.
After all, every time there is a click, the whole industry is booming.
About the author:
Germán Lechuga is an enthusiastic, though admittedly not very outstanding, golfer who deeply believes that playing golf is one of the best things that can happen to anyone. After reluctantly ruling out having the talent necessary to advance his career on the PGA Tour, he decided to give the game something in return in the form of writing instead.