Scottish Golf Courses

Membership Drive Launched In Scottish Golf

Governing bodies aim to increase golf club numbers

THE Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association have launched their latest marketing campaign to boost club membership across the country, as they look to capitalise on the successful hosting of the Open Championship and Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open.

Following on from the buzz around golf created by Phil Mickelson’s two victories on Scottish soil, the new campaign has been launched in the hope that it will encourage nomadic golfers and lapsed members to consider taking up membership at one of the country’s 578 clubs.

The three striking visual advertisements for the campaign highlight the benefits of golf pitched against other competitor leisure pursuits; football, fishing and mountain climbing.

The first stage of the advertising campaign will see large format posters displayed in gyms and 5-a-side football centres across Scotland, while a series of online newspaper and sports websites will also be used to target golfers and competitive sportsmen and women, predominantly aimed at the 18-45 year-old market.

Over the past five years, Scotland’s golf club membership figures have been in decline and both the Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association have been working with clubs to provide increased marketing support to help attract new members, giving guidance in areas such as running open days, creating local marketing campaigns and advice on improved price segmentation.

By adopting these methods moving forward, more than 30 per cent of clubs bucked the trend and recorded an increase in membership numbers between 2011 and 2012, showing the positive impact such knowledge can give.

“We launched our first ever Golf Awareness Week back in 2009 and have continued to provide national marketing support to clubs since then,” says Ross Duncan, of the SGU.

“This year’s campaign was deliberately timed to coincide with a high profile fortnight for golf in Scotland, and there could have been no better advert for golf than the fantastic scenes we witnessed on TV and for those spectating at Castle Stuart and Muirfield.

“The weather has finally been on our side this summer, and we are hearing great reports from clubs and their members on the fantastic condition of their courses all over Scotland, which we hope we can harness in a positive way to get more people out playing and joining or rejoining their club.

“Clubs need to attract a younger audience and the advertising campaign we have used targets that market and communicates the benefits of joining a club to those consumers. We know we can’t have a magic wand, but this campaign, combined with the hands-on work we are doing with clubs through our Development Officers, helps position golf club membership in a positive way.”

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