Jobs in Golf: Marketing
Jan 7, 2015
This is the tenth post in a series exploring professional paths in the golf industry.
Golf courses need customers. Tournaments need players. The field of golf marketing focuses on attracting individuals to these roles, then maintaining them as customers or participants.
Fred Barr, Director of Career Development for Golf Academy of America in Phoenix, experienced the power of marketing firsthand during the time he operated golf courses. “We had a large marketing budget,” he said. “It was to ensure that our branding was prominent in the golf and business community, to attract customers.”
What Is Golf Marketing?
Golf marketing professionals are tasked with understanding customer wants and needs, planning to meet them and then promoting them accordingly. The Four P’s — product, price, place and promotion — are then carried out through advertisements, brochures, websites, press releases and social media all fall under marketing’s large umbrella.
Golf Academy of America offers a course titled “Marketing, Advertising, Promotions & Sales” to ensure students have a solid background in promotion. According to Barr, students are also given an opportunity to develop marketing skills in the Computer Applications course, where they generate a marketing plan, strategy and materials. “Several of our students have started their own businesses,” said Barr. “As a result they have to do their own marketing and sales work.” The work accomplished in Computer Applications gives them a head start.
Job Opportunities with Golf Marketing
Barr explained that there are golf marketing career opportunities with management companies. Additionally, many Golf Academy of America graduates work for private courses where they have created new collateral to be used for the membership as well as tournament promotion.
“We had one graduate who went to work for a company whose Monday tournaments had maxed out at $20,000 annually,” said Barr. “After the alum worked with them and revamped their marketing and collateral, they generated $125,000. He’s since been promoted.”
Barr closed by saying that customer service is the ultimate marketing strategy. “Members are the ones who bring more members in.” Golf marketing can be as big as national advertisements, or as grass roots as keeping club members happy.