For the most part golf courses are small businesses (on big pieces of land). Most don’t have the budget or required funds to spend the needed a minimum of 2% of gross revenues on marketing. For a $1M revenue golf course this would be $20,000, for a $3M revenue golf course this would mean an annual marketing budget of $60,000. Most of the golf courses we work with work on about 0.5%-1.5% of gross revenues for their marketing spends.

Wasted Money
With such tight budgets, we hate when we see good marketing dollars spent on ‘awareness’ advertising or marketing with no distinct call to action (phone, email, click). You need to have an objective, strategy and a way to measure what you are doing.

Poor Marketing Example
Recently we were in Kamloops, BC and walked from our hotel across the street to a casino that had a number of restaurants for dinner. While walking through the casino on our way to a restaurant we saw a golf cart parked in the lobby. Intrigued, we took a look (and a couple of photos). For one, the golf cart had a Titleist golf bag on the back of it. Interesting, but should the bag not be turned around with the golf course logo embroidered on the front of it? We walked around the golf cart and the only visible mention of the golf course was on the front. Sorry Tobino! There were no materials available, no view of a logo and certainly no USP (unique selling proposition). Seems like a bit of a waste of marketing funds (maybe it was free), but for sure time and energy to have $6,500 golf cart not being rented but parked in a lobby with no marketing materials displayed.

Bottom Line 
Review everything you do! Spend you marketing budget strategically. Re-think and evaluate all marketing activities. In this case we don’t know the arrangement that golf course has with the casino, but if we are loaning out a $6K plus golf cart there better be a benefit!

We, Jeff and Tara Ciecko of CK Golf write two blogs, one is our 19th Hole Blog where we share personal experiences and the other an Industry Blog where we comment on general business and internet marketing best practices, sales strategies and give golf industry related opinions. We have owned CK Golf  for 9+ years and provide business services to the golf and other industries. As of August 2016 our life and our business is ‘location independent’. Our 19th Hole Blog is about the places we visit and the things we do. If you have any questions or comments, or happen to be in the same location as us please reach out and contact us anytime.