Yes, I will finally admit it…more golfers are coming online. I have been harping for nearly fives years that online marketing anything to do with golf was like attempting to boil the ocean with a Bic Lighter. The reason was there are just not enough REAL Golfers* online to make it worth the time or effort.
Yes, I caught crap from the more senior golf bloggers out here claiming to get trillions of hits to their site by golfers, golf group founders who calm that those same trillion golfers are members of their group and entrepreneurs who claim they are making a lot of money selling their golf Stuff online. However, my contention then remains the same today…
Are they real golfers who have a permanent footprint online or part time wannabe golfers coming online for a few moments, trolling for a specific item and are just saying they are a golfer to attempt to win over the trust of the deep pocket golfer?
Several years ago there just were not that many real golfers online. Today, that seems to be changing. Why all of the sudden are the golfers coming online?
Could it be that there are more interesting things and places online for golfers to now do and see? OR, Could it be golfer have always been here but the glamour of the social networking mega groups they signed onto years ago when they initially entered the pearly gates of La-La-Land have became less interesting or they became frustrated with the endless “OMG, Check this out” mentality that populates those bottomless pits of moronity.
What has stirred more real golfers to come online? The exact answer is still to be determined, but an educated guess would be the economy has some bearing on driving more golfers online. This is not to say the economy of golf has not warranted these golfers to be online before, it just is now forcing golfers online to fulfill their interests they are unable to obtain unless they spending a lot of money offline to find it..whatever “it” is.
Still the fabric of today’s online golf community has not yet been completely weaved. However, the foundation of a thriving true golf community has started. It is true, Social media has been a catalyst to bringing more golfers online. The curiosity of meeting other golfers and sharing their golf experience has played a great part in more golfers wanting to find out what the hype is about here in cyberspace. All of these new arrivals to the online golf community is strengthening the fragile online and offline golf market.
Technology and changes in how the internet is used can be recognized as why more golfers are coming online. Now anyone can literally put people thousands of miles away in the palm of their hand. With applications like Twitter and FriendFeed golfers do not have to be part of a mega social conglomerate to find and visit with other likeminded people.
Of course the emergence of a number of Professional Tour Golfer personalities has helped the caused. I am sure there are golfers online today who came online to find out what John Daly (@PGA_JohnDaly), Stewart Cink ( @stewartcink), Natalie Gulbis, ( @natalie_gulbis ), Morgan Pressal ( @morganpressel ) and now Annika Sorenstam ( @ANNIKA59 )and many others, all have to say.
Is more golfers coming online good for Golf? I feel it helps golf…being good for golf?..only time will tell. If more golfers continue to gravitate into the direction they are going, which is into congregating in niche interested groups, like the Business Golf Country Club, then the online golf community will be viable for a much longer time. However, eventually, the professional interests of each golfer, professional and amateur, will become overbearing of their social or personal interests. The time people are spending online in their personal endeavors will lead to their need to move on to making a living. If they are not able to monetize their existence online then their time online will become more and more limited tearing a huge hole in the fabric of the online golf community. So, the online golf community needs to be open for these people to market their businesses..even if their businesses are not golf related.
Having more golfers online is a start in the right direction. To keep the momentum going new things need to continue to happen online. More relevant information needs to be offered. More solutions to economic problems need to be provided. And keeping unity of the online golf community needs to be the focus.
So, I say to all the real golfers, let’s work to make the online golf community a safe, purposeful, fulfilling and intellectually challenging place to be. Lets provide more than video’s of golf swing mechanics and eBooks on mapping the neurological aspects of the game of golf. Those senior to golf should pass on their experience and those new to the game of golf need to be open to everything offered to learn the game. Everyone else in the golf community should be supportive to the golf economy. If all of this is followed then the cycle is sent to continue to weave the fabric that holds a very strong online golf community together. Without it, all this effort will be lost.
I am exited to say to all the new arrivals into the online golf community, “Welcome to La-La-Land! And let me know how I can help”.
* REAL GOLFER- A person who really plays golf, really knows golf, really plays more than 20 rounds a year, really is interested in golf and the future of golf. Someone who is not afraid to reveal their identity and step out from behind the veil of a business logo or cartoon character.