"Playable for all skill levels" is golf course marketing gone genaric
“The course is playable for all skill levels”
I’ve heard this from designers and golf PR guys about few dozen times, read it even more, and I’ve never really thought it’s an effective way to market a golf course. “Google” it and about 10,000 courses show up. The only purpose a saying like this has is trying to include every golfer with a set of clubs in their market share. I heard a marketing rule once, that if you market a product to generalize, you end up marketing to no one, right?
On the flipside, I think about a course like The Bear. Now the Bear is difficult, but a bad golfer on their worst day could get around this course before sunset and leave happy they plunked down $120 to play. But The Bear is one of the most successful northern Michigan courses because it marketed itself from Day One as THE Test in Michigan.
When you play the Bear, you show up to the first tee with an Avg. Joe vs. The Bear approach and it makes golfers feel like the underdog, like Michelle Wie right? (Just kidding). Furthermore, golfers almost feel obliged to shoot a high number so they can tell their buddies back home, “I got eaten by the Bear!” Thus spreading the legend.
There’s harder courses in Michigan, but none with the reputation the Bear has, thanks to marketing.
For the courses out there trying to appeal to bad golfers, market to bad golfers only. There’s way more of them than good golfers, so don’t be shy.
Try using these little slogans instead:
“Happy Lakes: YOUR best chance to break 100.”
“We guarantee you won’t lose more than 10 balls”
“We don’t call our fairways ‘bowl-shaped’, more accurately they’re ‘bumpers’.”
“When the USGA rated our course we had the heather grown out, then after the course was slope/rated we mowed it all down. Handicap friendly!”
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