A club’s website is becoming an increasingly important tool to get and retain customers. The online presence acts as a portal that informs the customer, answers questions, provides services, and gives them a strong impression of the course in general. Working on the website is vital to the health of the golf course.
A well-designed website will increase memberships, sales, and visibility. It will be visually appealing and easy to navigate. Thankfully, creating a stellar online experience isn’t a mystery. The best golf course websites all contain some common themes and sections that help them become effective tools.
Professionally designed layout
From the homepage onward, the design of the website will be giving the user an impression of what the course is like and what to expect if they decide to golf there. The design needs to be professional, clean, and easy to use. The user shouldn’t have to ask where to find what they are looking for. They should be able to find it on their own. The font and color scheme need to match the feel of the course.
Photos are critical to adding visual flair and setting up expectations for the course. The hero image should include an iconic view of the course, a signature hole, or anything that unique and inspiring from the course. Key photos should be done by a professional to convey professionalism. Someone who knows how to frame a shot to look dramatic and has high-quality equipment will lend authority to the pictures they produce.
Another popular way to add visual flair is to show a drone tour of some of the holes. Showing a hole from tee to green allows customers to see what they will be experiencing and get them excited to play there.
Professional shots are best for keystone photos on homepages, banners, and galleries. However, adding in shots taken from the golfers themselves can be effective too. The amateur shots add realism to the course, show what the course is like, and showcase some of the customers.
While people are often taking photos of their outings, they may not always be keen to share them. Offering a free round or a gallery specifically for member photos encourages participation when gathering photos.
News and blog
Adding articles to the site helps build the SEO of the site and provides valuable information to readers. The articles can cover current events and what is happening at the club to help drive awareness. Blogs can also help inform them on key topics that interest them. As they search for topics, it will naturally bring them in to discover the site and spark interest in the course.
Keyword research helps find valuable topics to base articles around and ensure that the articles will have people searching for that information in the first place. Ideas for content include:
- Keeping people up to date on PGA events
- Showcasing Members
- Traning videos and tips from a Golf Pro
Tee time and booking service
Modern golfers expect to be able to easily book a tee time on their favorite course. Shifting this service online also reduces the labor involved with booking.
Courses can develop their online tools to book directly or integrate third-party options like Chronogolf. The sleek booking system offered by these services adds to the professionalism of a club’s website.
Making it easy to find information about events that are taking place on the grounds means more people who are interested will be able to attend. This section keeps the club actively in the minds of members and allows them to plan ahead and spread the word.
If the club offers catering and hosting for private events, then adding information about what is offered is crucial to drumming up interest. Letting them know what is available for events like a wedding helps the party plan and ask better questions as they move through the process.
Outlining what is offered for corporate events is also critical. This could mean different company retreats, tournaments, or outings that allow employees to accomplish business and socialize at the same time.
Curating a calendar will allow anyone interested to see what large planned events are happening and when. People hoping to book for private events will be able to see if their preferred dates are available. It also helps regulars plan around events to find the best teetimes.
Adding a separate page for special services or events allows the club to showcase photos, videos, and other content from the event to share what has been happening.
Pro shop section
Adding the pro shop to its online presence allows the club to also generate revenue from the site directly. This isn’t a common practice, which will make it novel and more effective.
The shop doesn’t have to be a full-service store but giving customers the ability to buy the course’s branded clothing and products will be appreciated by guests.
Up to date course information and conditions
Maintenance and construction are a regular part of a course’s life cycle. These inconveniences are much less troublesome if golfers are aware that they are taking place. Letting them know in advance that bunkers are being redone, greens are being aerated, hazards are being reworked, or other projects are going on will even out tempers and win their favor.
Being open about what to expect will mean that even though they may be inconvenienced, it won’t be a surprise, and everyone will have a more positive experience.
Listing practice facilities tell people where and when they can practice their game on the course. By outlining and showcasing these facilities, customers don’t have to go through the hassle of calling to find out if there is a driving range, netted driving area, or putting and chipping greens.
Sharing the excellent experiences that golfers have on the course will build excitement around the course and encourage others to book a tee time. Having a place for customers to give honest reviews and feedback provides social proof. Users will be more confident that they will have a good experience if other real people have already been there and are raving about it.
It may not be necessary to add all of these strategies and sections to a golf club’s website to get results. However, the more you add, the more complete the user experience becomes. By continually adding to the website while keeping the design uncluttered, the website will do a better job bringing in new customers and servicing old ones.