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So, what’s so special about your golf course anyway?

Have you ever noticed how most golf courses market themselves with pretty pictures of a Å“signature hole and not much else. Or sure, they throw in a discount here and there or even put together a promotion every once and a while (the ol` nine and dine comes to mind). But rarely do golf course owners market what is unique about their product.

By the way, what exactly is a Signature Hole? Is it the toughest hole on the course? The best designed hole? The prettiest hole? Or is it simply the hole that makes the best looking add or fits best on the front of the scorecard. Do owners and/or architects decide what the Signature Hole will be before the course is designed or do they let it emerge from the land? Every and any course can have a Signature Hole. As a marketing tool, a Signature Hole wears thin on the golfer.

If you design a marketing campaign around the same concepts as everyone else you`ll start looking like everyone else and you won’t stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Owners should ask their regulars why they come out every week to play the same course over and over. They`ll give them valuable insights. Maybe it’s the customer service. Maybe it’s the food. Maybe it’s the cart girls. Employees should be engaged for their input too. If two heads are better than one, it only makes sense to engage as many heads as possible to determine what the best selling points of the club are. The owner may have set out to have a course percieved one way but the customers and employees percieve it another.

Variety is an excellent way to keep the industry vital. If every golf courses marketed their unique attributes it would stimulate more talk, more excitement and more dollars.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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