Business of Golf: Beyond a Pandemic Pastime
The business of golf was seeing a slow decline in recent decades, but industry insiders have been working tirelessly to reinvigorate what many non-golfers viewed as a ‘dusty sport for old men’. If you’re reading this blog, you’re a golfer: you could see why outsiders *might* think that―but you’ve already experienced the magic golf has to offer.
In October Bloomberg highlighted how the covid-19 pandemic has increased golf’s popularity significantly due to resources, technology, and the fact that it was one of the few ways people could socially distance and still have fun.
Whether you’ve been golfing for one year, ten years, or your whole life, you can still remember the feeling of being nervous to swing a club in front of new people. Does that little tinge still happen every now and then? Maybe. But your love for the sport, and your cumulative knowledge (for better or worse) will carry you through those jitters.
For newbies, they don’t have the luxury of knowledge or quite yet built the love for the game. It usually takes supportive friends/family and sometimes bribery to get them out there. But we can only hope that they’ll get the bug and keep it up. Enter TopGolf― an easy way to introduce non-golfers to the beautiful art of golf.
Related: Abby Liebenthal is Introducing More Women to the Game of Golf
With fun games, food and drinks plus an electric atmosphere, TopGolf is an inviting way to lure people into the wonderful world of golf. While it isn’t necessarily transferable to get someone on a course immediately, it provides the perfect opportunity to help rookies see how fun golf can be. Because whether you are a newbie or a veteran… it’s hard not to be totally intoxicated by a well struck shot.
Callaway recognized this opportunity to sit in the hands of freshly minted golf enthusiasts and purchased TopGolf in 2020. While the effects of COVID on the service industry were still uncertain at the time, the potential to reach an endless number of new golfers was still there.
As these golfers transition from the occasional dalliance to becoming golf enthusiasts is where companies like Callaway, TopGolf and Arccos are stepping up to bring technology to help golfers of any level begin to take their performance more seriously.
Related: Grueter Golf is Growing the Game
While the transition from a facility like TopGolf to on-course is still not seamless, there are still so many opportunities to get more people involved in the sport. What a ‘traditional golfer’ looks like is rapidly evolving to be far more diverse and inclusive. With golf technology bridging the gaps, Arccos is a way for golfers of all skill levels to access powerful data to help them improve their performance (but beginners definitely see strokes fall off of their handicaps the fastest).
And golfers, new and experienced are giving Arccos a try. The Arccos growth has been explosive. Hundreds of thousands of members have now played over 8 million rounds and taken almost 500 million shots in over 194 countries around the world. This speaks volumes to the expansion of the sport and the opportunity that Arccos offers everyday players to have access to data and insights just like the pros.
Whether players are working with a coach or leveraging online content, access to golf knowledge is helping newbies stick to the sport. (*Now if someone would only create an online golf etiquette school to go with all of these skills learning... These newbies will be even more comfortable joining us for fun rounds on the course!*)