Grow Your Golf Course with Text Messaging

How amazing is it to be able to carry our phones wherever we go! We are no longer tethered to home or office phones that attach to physical buildings. These days, we can run our errands, go for a jog or eat at a restaurant, and still be connected to the world. This makes communication a breeze, whether it's between friends, family, or business associates.

Text messaging made an appearance in the 1990s when people were just starting to own mobile phones. Fast forward to today, and the numbers will definitely impress you. Statistics show that these days, 90% of the world’s population owns cell phones. Therefore, it would be a shame if your business didn’t make use of this wonderful technology.

Using SMS marketing for golf courses

You can bet that anyone who plays golf owns a mobile phone. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that golf courses worldwide are looking at expanding their marketing campaigns to include text messaging. 

Listen to the findings of a case study performed by the National Golf Club Owners Association. They’ve identified these three main areas where marketing plays a critical role in this business: 

  • Getting new members

  • Retaining existing members

  • Encouraging more golf rounds at higher fees 

SMS is a simple, quick, and cheap way to market your products. The ability to select a group of people to text at any one time makes this a powerful tool. This way, you are not blasting text messages out to everyone but carefully targeting members who will actually respond. 

You are not confined to the plain old text, either. Send your members a message with an enticing photo of the greens to drive responses. You’ll be able to track the number of people who read your texts and identify who clicked on certain links. 

You can even engage in one on one conversations with your members in real-time. This means the ability to communicate with multiple contacts at the same time, unlike a phone call.

As with any other form of marketing, the key to efficient SMS marketing is being savvy and smart about it. There are so many ways to connect with your golf course and country club members. Read on to discover how you can use text messaging as a versatile marketing tool to achieve your goals as a golf club owner. You’ll learn about best practices that will set your golf course apart from the rest.

Implementing text message marketing for your golf club

If you are operating a golf course in the United States, then you are aware of the competitive market you’re in. Considering that there are over 16,000 golf courses and country clubs in the United States, you need to stand out. Otherwise, you’ll be left in the dust. 

Being successful in this tough business involves having a well-designed course set in a prime location, as well as pricing your membership competitively. Besides that, you need a healthy number of active members that will stay loyal to you.

How you establish a connection with your golfers is up to you. You want each player to feel special and catered to because when they do, their friends will sign up, too. When every member feels like a VIP, they will view their membership as gold. It’s crucial for every one of them to experience a close connection. Texting is a great way to form this bond. Here are some ways you can make golf texting work for you: 

  • Update your members with valuable promotions and discounts

  • Enable simple and seamless SMS booking

  • Tee time and equipment booking confirmations

  • Reward loyal golfers with special offers 

Are you excited yet? Wait till you learn of some tailor-made examples of SMS marketing for golf courses.

Make your club feel exclusive

Get your members to sign up to receive text messages. Loyal golfers will appreciate receiving updates on special discounts on golf rounds, F&B, and retail. Nobody reads the notice board anymore. This way, they won’t miss out on anything. Here’s an example:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: As a thank you to our valuable members, enjoy a free round of golf on the driving range. Simply show this text at the desk to play!”

Send weather updates

It’s so disappointing to make your way to the club only to discover that the weather conditions aren’t suitable for golf. Alternatively, your patrons would appreciate knowing that it’s the perfect day for a round. Alert them so they can plan their day ahead. Here’s one way to make this work:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: The day is looking sunny with temperatures at a beautiful 62 degrees. We expect minimal wind and clear skies. It’s the perfect day to practice your swing!”

Course information

Advertise keywords that potential golfers can text to discover new golf courses. You can also use QR codes on your advertisement materials. Interested parties can simply text a word like “ACE” or scan a QR code with their phone and receive an automated response with the necessary information, like this:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: Welcome to our 18-hole course, fit to challenge novices and avid golfers. You’ll love the classic design featuring 200-yard par 3’s, not forgetting our #1 handicap hole, a 400-yard par 4.”

Conduct surveys and collect feedback

Discover what works and what needs improving at your golf course by sending out a satisfaction survey. SMS is the preferred channel to conduct surveys, with a whopping 31% response rate. This beats email or a web survey on your website. 

You’ll want to collect feedback after each golf game to increase responses. Once you know what your clients love and what you need to change, your course can rise above the rest. Additionally, make it worthwhile for golfers to respond by offering a discount on your services. This will further drive your revenue. Here’s one way to do this: 

“Oakpoint Golf Club: Thank you for spending some time golfing at Oakpoint. Let us know how it went by filling in this short survey: https://apnt.be/survey. A surprise is in store for you!”

Get golfers to spend more at the club

The more your members spend at your golf club, the better for you. Encourage them to visit the clubhouse with deals they won’t be able to resist. After a few hours of golfing, many will want to quench their thirst or fill their hungry stomachs. Before they decide to go to a nearby restaurant, entice them with free food or drink. Schedule an automated text after check-in with an offer, like this:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: Famished after a round of golf? Show your completed scorecard at the clubhouse counter to redeem your free plate of Club Hot Wings.”

Send booking reminders

You’ll profit more when the club is at full capacity. Make sure your players show up for their tee times by sending text reminders. This way, you’ll minimize no-shows to lessons and golf rounds. Asking for a confirmation is also an excellent way to gauge how your course will perform for the day. Here’s an example:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: Hello, Stan. Here’s a friendly reminder that you have a golf lesson with Coach Woods at 9 AM today. Text YES to confirm!”

Fix a slow day

Run special promotions on days where you anticipate business to be slower than usual. Even fast-food restaurants do this by offering discounted meals from 3 to 5 PM. Sometimes, a simple text message is all you need for people to decide to skip work for an impromptu round of golf! Here’s a template few can resist:

“Oakpoint Golf Club: Are you looking for something to do in this hot weather? Enjoy tee time at half price today!”

The more subscribers you have, the better

You won’t get far if your members don’t subscribe to your SMS marketing. Take these steps to maximize the number of subscribers you have: 

  • Advertise your keyword and create QR codes to use on scorecards, receipts, and clubhouse menus

  • Provide subscriber-only incentives 

  • Place a web form on your website to drive subscription (from members and non-members)

  • On the tee time booking form, put a checkbox next to the mobile number so members can agree to receive reminders and promotions 

Tracking results

Make use of tracking reports and analysis to shape your future marketing methods. You’ll learn whether your members prefer short or long messages. Take advantage of reports that show you how individual campaigns perform. Before long, you’ll be able to find the perfect text message to drive more tee times. 

By experimenting, you will also discover the best time to send a message to obtain the most responses. Set up a few blasts to different segments. If Group A’s message that went out at 8 AM received the most clicks, then schedule your future texts at that time.

Getting started on golf course SMS marketing

Once you’ve decided to take the leap into SMS marketing, you’ll want to perform these steps: 

  • Set up the phone number: You do not require a new number to receive and send texts. You can use your existing number for texting. If you’d like to use a new toll-free number, we can do that for you, too. 

  • Choose the right keywords – they should be memorable and related to your golf course. 

  • Make your keyword known: Announce it to members every chance you get, create a QR code for every single keyword and place them on your receipts, social media, and even posters in the washrooms!

Sign up for a free trial today

If you aren’t convinced yet, our 30-day trial is sure to do the trick and help you discover how to drive business with very low investment. It’s completely free, with no hidden fees and no strings attached, so get in touch with us today!

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