Course Marketing

Resolve to generate reviews in 2019

As a rapidly growing digital destination for the avid, traveling golfer, Golf Advisor has achieved record recent growth, highlighted by all-time milestones in 2018 across various key metrics. The site features more than 800,000 user-generated golf course reviews of more than 14,000 golf courses around the world from its active community of golfers, as well as its popular Best of Lists – the latest is scheduled to be announced next month.

Recent moves, like expanding Golf Advisor’s travel footprint through a new Golf Channel television series, hosted trips, expert editorial content and more, help ensure golfers deciding where they want to play next will continue to begin that search at Golf Advisor and GolfNow.

It’s common knowledge these days that the majority of shoppers depend on reviews to help them make their purchasing decisions – and golfers are no exception. More than 85 percent of the up to 1 million golfers that visit Golf Advisor each month state that reviews play an important role in making decisions about where they play. This peer feedback is increasingly important, with 87 percent of golfers saying they are likely to believe online ratings.

If it’s not part of your marketing mix, establishing a review strategy for 2019 might be the best New Year’s resolution you can make.

Reviews are valuable currency in today’s marketplace, and the more of them you have, the better. Keep marketing materials handy and conspicuous throughout your facility — stickers, posters, table tents. Print up business cards that ask golfers to visit Golf Advisor and rate their round. Have your cart and bag drop staff pass the cards out. Train them to ask every customer about his or her round and ask for the review. Some operations have iPads or computers available to employees so they can ask for the review right there with the customer.

Train all of your staff to greet guests, communicate politely and deliver top-shelf service. Consider rewarding any employee who gets called out in a review by name. That’s one way to incentivize great service and ensure a great review.

And, finally, put your best foot forward on Golf Advisor by updating photos and content here, and dedicate time daily to engaging with reviewers. That two-way conversation is your opportunity to thank customers, acknowledge when you’ve made a mistake and show every potential customer considering your course the kind of experience they can expect.