SMS & Text Marketing for Golf Courses and Country Clubs

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Question: What do Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and over 80.9% of the U.S. population have in common?

Answer: They all have a cellphone!

You don’t have to be a golf pro to want to stay in touch with everything happening at your home course. And courses around the country have started turning to mobile devices for their communication needs.

What is Text Message Marketing for Golf Courses?

As a top tier tool for customer satisfaction and personalized communication needs, text messaging and SMS provide a savvy solution for any golf course or country club looking to connect with their members and the local golf community.

A longitudinal case study conducted by the National Golf Club Owners Association identified the following areas as the top focal points for golf course marketing:

– Attract new golfers
– Retain the golfers you have managed to attract to the course
– Drive additional rounds of golf at a higher average green fee

This guide will show golf course owners how text message marketing can assist you with all three of those goals, as well as several other golf course marketing best practices sure to drive you ahead of your competition.

How Does Text Marketing Work for Golf Courses & County Clubs?

There are 34,011 golf courses in the world, 45% of which are in the United States! That’s grounds for some pretty heavy competition. Having a good course, prime location, and reasonable prices are all contributing factors to success.

But when it comes to deciding where your course loyalty is, delivering an elevated experience for your customer will set you apart from the rest.

Texting is a great way to make every golfer feel like a VIP with high-value, exclusive promotions, and a variety of ways to connect with the course.

If the rise of businesses like Top Golf has taught the industry anything, it’s that the golfers of today want to embrace technology. Here are some specifics examples of ways you can work SMS into your daily communication strategy:

– Use a course keyword that, when texted in, will provide golfers with updates and specials
– Enable 1-on-1 business texting to create an easy, concierge-style tee time booking system
– Confirm tee times and rentals with easy templates and duplicates
– Send out exclusive offers and offer discounts to loyal golfers

And these are just the beginning! In the next section, we’ll share some more in-depth examples of the kind of texts your club may want to start sending.

🇨🇦 Hey Canada, we didn’t forget about you! Around 7% of the world’s golf courses are in Canada. With locals presented with less choice, texting is a great way to make sure your course is there go to choice!

Examples of Text Messages For Golf Courses and Country Clubs

Here are a few sample texts that demonstrate the value, speed, and efficiency of golf SMS!

1. Create a Golf “Club”
Use text messages as a way to build out a VIP network of subscribers. Frequent flyers of your establishment can sign up to receive texts with special discounts on rounds, retail, and more!

Today 11:34 AM
Stow Acres VIP offer: To thank you for a wonderful season enjoy 1 free hour on the driving range this week. Just show this text at the desk to get started!

2. Send Course Condition Updates
For regulars, the weather is oftentimes the deciding factor on whether or not they’ll “swing” by for a game. Send daily course conditions to subscribers to make that decision easy all while staying top of mind. You can also use this as an alert system for incoming severe weather.

Today 8:00 AM
Butternut course conditions today are good: 62 degrees, sunny weather anticipated, minimal wind and moderate cloud coverage. A perfect day for golf!

3. Visitor Course Overviews
If you live in places like Arizona, Florida, North and South Carolina (or any other popular golf destination) you have people traveling from around the country for a round. Make it easy for them to get to know your course by advertising a course overview keyword. Visitors can simply text in the keyword and receive an autoresponse with all the need to know info!

Today 10:15 AM
Arrowhead: Tees, greens and fairways are bentgrass. Water comes into play on 17/27 holes and 77 bunkers dot the course. Practice area: lighted driving range, putting green, chipping green & bunkers.

4. Survey Golfers
Collecting feedback on course conditions and experience is an important step in ensuring your golf club is the best it can be. By texting out satisfaction surveys to golfers after each game increases the odds of receiving feedback. Research has shown that on average 31% of consumers will respond to a survey via SMS, with an average response time of just over five minutes!

Today 4:00 PM
Thank you for golfing with us today at Piper Glen. We would love to hear how everything went. If you could, please take 3 minutes to complete this satisfaction survey:

5. Send a 19th-Hole Invitation
The average golfer spends 2-5 hours at your location. During that time frame, there’s a high chance they’ll want to make a food or beverage purchase. To help keep these sales in-house (as opposed to a close local restaurant) send out a text near the end of a player’s game with a food or drink special they can redeem with a completed scorecard! You can schedule this message to send a few hours after a golfer checks-in, or create a sign at the tee with a code to text in and receive the special!

Today 3:30 PM
Feeling hungry? Head to the clubhouse after your game and show your score card for BOGO wings!

6. Send Reminders
A missed tee time can cost you. Help cut down on no shows by sending text reminders about upcoming games or lessons with your pros. You can also use these blasts as a way to run special promotions, such as a 100 degree discount (with slashed prices on hot days with a discount too sweet to resist)!

Today 9:18 AM
Russ- a reminder that you have a tee time at Magnolia today at 5pm. Please reply C to confirm!

Of course, a key element of making these texts successful is gathering a list of people to receive them. Here are some ways your club can start signing folks up to your text list.

How to Engage Golfers and Club Members with SMS Marketing

We wrote out some general tips and tricks for gaining subscribers, but here are some ideas specific to your industry:

– Put your keyword onto your score cards with a message encouraging golfers to subscribe
– Place your keyword on the sides of golf carts
– Hold contests and raffles auctioning off free rounds of golf or other incentives in exchange for subscribing
– Include a web form on your site where visitors can sign up
– Include a checkbox that allows people to put in their cell phone number and agree to receive messages when booking a tee time

How to Get Your Golf Course Started With Text Marketing

The final steps in getting your club set up with texting combine everything we’ve learned so far. We can break it down into three essential steps.

1. Choose a number: The very first step in text marketing is always picking the right phone number. If your golf club already has an existing 10-digit landline, we can help you text enable it! We can also set you up with a new toll-free number. Finally, you can also opt to get set up with a new local 10-digit number, for added familiarity in case most of your subscribers would be from the area.

2. Reserve your keyword: Keywords are an essential piece of the puzzle. These short, memorable words or phrases are what connects your golfers to you. Most often, your keyword can be the name of your club, or something related. Your keyword confirmation, which can be an SMS or MMS message, also gives you a great opportunity to welcome new subscribers right off the bat!

3. Advertise your keyword: As we mentioned above, a keyword only becomes useful if people are texting it in to your number! Let anyone and everyone know how they can reach you with their cell phones. Put your keyword and number anywhere where your branding appears, from receipts to social media posts, no place is a bad place to advertise! Not even the bathroom (we’re looking at you 75% of humanity who bring their phones with them to the toilet).

Now, just picture this. It’s a slow Friday morning at the club, so you send out this text to your 150 subscribers:

Today 9:45 AM
2 for 1 green fees and cart, offer available TODAY only! Reply to this message to reserve a tee time!

Two people respond to the message, each one bringing a friend. Two people who otherwise had no intention of coming in to golf today. With the median weekend cost of 18 rounds of golf and a cart rental at a public course being $36, you just brought in $144 from a message that cost mere cents to send.

Now imagine the rest of the possibilities texting has in store for your operations. Give us a try for free for 14 days and we think you’ll see what we mean!

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