In a world where industries are constantly developing and changing golf may seem a bit ‘left behind’ It seems that the industry is waking up to this and are now making changes to help develop the game and improve its longevity. Here are things to watch out for in the industry this year.
1. Clubs Diversifying – In a year where a number of clubs across the UK have closed down, clubs will be looking to create alternative ways to increase income away from the traditional revenue streams. This may include mini putt courses, foot golf and gyms/leisure facilities. These other services would attract a wider audience, such as families. Which could increase income for the club. It is also likely to help the ‘get into golf’ schemes as it will give clubs more exposure.
2. Young Blood – Emerging young talent will continue to develop taking on a number of key roles within the industry. This ‘young blood’ with leverage their positions and help to develop and modernise key areas within the industry, using technology effectively as well as digital platforms to help with the ongoing issue of membership retention and engagement. These up and coming ‘youngsters’ will also help to revolutionise the game by making it more appealing to a wider audience, through a number of initiatives. This could be changing formats to increase the speed of play, continuing to create membership incentives such as flexi membership and potentially collaborating with other sporting clubs/associations to offer a wider range of services.
3. Modernisation of the Game – Over the years golf has been criticized for its strict and sometimes unfair rules and etiquette. 2018 is likely to be a year where golf ‘lightens up’. More clubs are likely become more flexible on their etiquette introducing less formal dress codes, making the club more accessible to the public and creating a family feel at the club rather than a gentlemen’s club. Rules that golfers see as ‘unfair’ may be changed to make the game more lenient, by doing this it is likely to attract more people to golf as it won’t appear as ‘stuffy’ and ‘rigid’.
4.Personal Brand – As every industry is now ‘going digital’ it is important that the golf industry follows this trend. Industry professionals will follow other industry leaders by building a personal brand, this can be done through social media, word of mouth and advertising. By doing this it allows them to market themselves with the potential to open new doors, whether it be a new role or business development. The successful ‘personal brand’ will be based on credibility and a proven record of accomplishment recognised by peers, this will reduce the number self-promoted ‘leaders.’ By creating a personal brand, industry professionals will diversify themselves in a competitive market.
5. Upskilling Employees – To keep the best talent in the industry at their business, employers will begin to invest more into their employees career development. This may be providing funding for qualifications, it may be placements at international clubs or it may be internal training. By doing this it will keep the employee motivated, therefore boosting their input to the company. As well as keeping employees motivated this will keep our top candidates from working overseas which will grow the golf industry in the UK.
We would love to hear your thoughts on what lies ahead for the golf industry in 2018.