Go Play Week is coming, May 1-5. Learn more
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New season, new opportunities

GolferswingWith the Masters’ exciting finish, golf caught the eye of the entire sports world. Inspired golfers are taking their clubs out of storage and are primed to get out and play for the first time this year. With the majority of golf courses around the country now open for business, operators are searching for solutions to leverage this excitement and bring more golfers through their doors.

Nearly 1,000 courses across North America are participating in Go Play Week, May 1-5, hoping to attract new customers and provide their current golfers with something extra special. Beginning with the World’s Largest Golf Outing on May 1, many have also chosen to host one or more of the other themed days, which are designed for beginners, women, family and equipment junkies.

More courses than ever are incorporating GolfNow services into their business operations, helping them sell more rounds while saving money in the process. More than 1,000 course partners currently are benefiting from the performance platform offered by GolfNow’s Plus, which provides them with expert consultation and proprietary technology to help manage their businesses in a very competitive marketplace. Ride by GolfNow can save courses up to 35% on their business purchases, lowering overhead on more than just food and beverage. Several of the notable recent additions to Ride — which is free to all of our course partners — include agronomy products, such as fertilizer and chemicals needed to maintain prime course conditions; technology; fresh, locally picked produce; and environmental services.

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Power of the review

Golf Advisor set yet another milestone in March, which now ranks as the best month ever for golf’s leading ratings and review website. For the first time, more than a half million unique users visited the site in March, with the record number of page views exceeding 1.3 million.

If current trends hold true, this milestone may be short-lived when final numbers are released for April. At least one key metric for the past two months has surpassed the previous as the best ever.

Additionally, the volume of reviews continues to grow at a rapid pace. So far this year, golfer reviews have out-paced the same time period in 2014 — Golf Advisor’s best performing year to date — by more than 20%.

More than 85% of the half million golfers visiting Golf Advisor each month say that reviews are important to making decisions about where they play. If your course doesn’t have a review strategy, maybe it’s time. Not sure how to get started?  We’re offering strategies to grow the number of ratings and reviews for your course on Golf Advisor hereGolfAdvisor-Logo300wide

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Rounds 4 Research

Coinciding with Go Play Week, GolfNow is among the sponsors of the GCSAA’s “Rounds 4 Research” project, a program designed to support local turfgrass research. The week-long, online auction, May 1-7, is administered by the Environmental Institute for Golf, the philanthropic arm of the GCSSA. Donated rounds and other items will be auctioned online to raise needed funds for research. If you’re interested in making a donation to ensure the future of the game, visit http://www.eifg.org/research/rounds-4-research/donate-a-roundRounds4Research-600wide

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Reaching golfers for Go Play Week

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With less than three weeks before the start of Go Play Week, May 1-5, it’s all hands on deck here at GolfNow and Golf Channel in our effort to attract golfers to the nearly 1,000 participating golf courses across North America – and we hope your course is joining us!

Dedicated e-mails promoting the event are going out to millions of golfers. Those visiting our digital properties like GolfNow and Golf Advisor are seeing targeted messaging to encourage sign-ups. Representatives in our Golfer Care call center are talking up the events, and the publicity machine is in full swing, working with both national and local media to encourage editorial coverage.

These are but a few of the activities we’ve dedicated to help make a great week even better. As you receive and open up your Go Play Week tool kits, please let us know how we can help you make the week a game-changer at your course.

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Go Play Week begins May 1

LetsPlayGolfOur advertising, social and on-air promotion is in full swing. Golfers will view our messaging and can book #LetsPlayGolf tee times by navigating to promotions.golfnow.com/letsplaygolf, then clicking on the day or event in which they’d like to participate.

Is your course ready for Go Play Week?

If you need to update your inventory in GolfNow Central, drop an email to GolfNowSupport@golfchannel.com, reference #LetsPlayGolf, and our Cares Partner Support team will help make the update for you.

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Know your systems status

Our GolfNow Cares team wants to ensure that you have the tools you need to enhance your partner experience. One of the most important tools is our System Status Page located on GolfNow Business, http://business.golfnow.com/status .

The System Status page is where you can check the real-time status of all GolfNow systems, confirming any potential widespread performance issues. Bookmark this page, and learn more about additional support tools at the GolfNow support site, http://business.golfnow.com/support .

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Go Play

Go-Play-Week-Banner-ads-300x250Nearly 200 courses have chosen to participate in the World’s Largest Golf Outing, taking place on Monday, May 1. Golfers, too, are anticipating the chance to join with thousands of fellow golf lovers across North America for a day of fun, camaraderie and a chance to play for something bigger than themselves. It’s a terrific chance to play golf and give back, with proceeds benefiting two worthy charities: Fisher House Foundation and Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.

WLGO is only the first of five themed days that week. With almost 1,000 courses participating in one or more event that week, #LetsPlayGolf should be a big deal.

If you’re hosting one of the themed events, there’s still time to plus-up your participation with the “better” and “best” event packages offered by our partners at Perfect Golf Event. Learn more at http://perfectgolfevent.com/goplayweek/.

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‘Live From’ the Masters

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Notah Begay (left), Brandel Chamblee and Steve Sands on the Golf Channel set at Augusta National.

Blooming azaleas in Augusta can mean only one thing: the Masters is finally upon us.

Golf Channel kicked off its coverage on Sunday with a live telecast of the Drive, Chip & Putt Championship National Finals from Augusta National. Now, we’re in the heart of more than 90 live hours of comprehensive coverage, features and original programming throughout the week.

One of the highlights will be the latest Golf Films project, Jack, a three-part biopic about 18-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame member Jack Nicklaus. Beginning Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET and presented with limited commercial interruption, Jack is the result of more than 100 interviews and hundreds of hours of archival footage.  See the full trailer here http://www.golfchannel.com/video/jack-full-trailer/

Clearly, the major season is ready to begin. Enjoy!

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PowerUp conferences are a great way learn more about GolfNow

GolfNow’s popular PowerUp conferences will soon kick off a new year of events. Will you be joining us in 2017?

Many of our product and technology enhancements over the years have come directly from our course partners, who share their knowledge and ideas with us during these PowerUp events.

Upcoming conferences
Our PowerUp conferences are all-expenses-paid events, and there’s still space available in several of the upcoming sessions. Here’s the preliminary line-up for 2017:

  • May 8-10
  • June 12-14
  • August 21-23
  • September 18-20
  • October 16-18
  • November 6-8

To learn more, contact your GolfNow representative.

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#LetsPlayGolf commences May 1

The course participation phase is now complete, and our attention turns to attracting golfers for this special week.

There’s a lot going on between Monday, May 1, and Friday, May 5, and we appreciate all participating courses are doing to make it a very special week. The standard “promotion in a box” should arrive at participating courses around April 15, but for the courses looking to make their events extra special, we recommend they take a look at the exciting and creative packages offered at very special prices from Perfect Golf Event. PGE EventsClick on this link to learn more.

Throughout the week we’ll be supporting the GCSAA’s and Environmental Institute for Golf’s Rounds for Research initiative, featuring a rounds auction supporting turf grass research. Tell golfers they can find some special courses and deals; we certainly will.

On Monday, May 1, GolfNow co-sponsors with Billy Casper Golf the World’s Largest Golf Outing, the largest single day, multi-course golf outing, featuring charitable contributions supporting the Fisher House Foundation and Arnie’s Army.


On Tuesday, May 2, the theme is welcoming new golfers with Bring a Beginner. We suggest courses promote to experienced and new golfers alike, encouraging regular customers to bring out to the course someone new to the game.

Here are some ideas for making “Bring a Beginner” special:

  • How about the ultimate BOGO (buy 1, get 1 free) offer? Beginners play free when accompanied by an experienced golfer?
  • Offer special discounts on rental clubs.
  • Special pricing on golf shop merchandise.
  • Buy one, get one hot dogs in your snack bar.
  • Print a simplified rules sheet for new players. Consider Golf Channel’s “Relaxed Rules of Golf.” relaxedrules
  • Set up closest-to-the-pin prize on the course’s shortest par 3. Offer two prizes: one for lower and one for higher handicappers.
  • Provide a warm welcome to new customers. Escort them from the parking lot or bag drop to the range and make them feel right at home.

On May 3, it’s Women’s Wednesday. This is our most popular scheduled event, with more than 800 courses participating. Virtually every industry group says the women’s market is underserved and brimming with potential. Promote nine-hole rounds, new player clinics, advanced skills education and fun, fun, fun.

Here are some ideas for “Women’s Wednesday”:

  • Invite local women’s groups such as the Junior League, area school PTAs, and others.
  • Offer child care options.
  • Do a ball fitting to demonstrate which balls work best for which golfers.
  • Consider a special 9-hole rate and begin or end the golf with lunch or a wine and cheese reception.
  • Offer a special clinic for getting out of bunkers, reading putts or even scorekeeping and popular wagers.
  • Encourage your regulars to invite a friend new to the game.

So many courses sponsor a number of demo days, but Test Drive Thursday, May 4, is an opportunity to attract accomplished and new golfers to try out new equipment. We hope to help make it the biggest demo day yet.

Here are some ideas for “Test Drive Thursday”:

  • Offer a discount on purchases for anyone who plays a round today.
  • For those who make a purchase from a demo, offer a discount on their next round.
  • Set up a “World Long Drive” contest course on the range and offer competition and prizes.

Finally, continuing the trend for inviting new golfers to the game and the course, there’s Family Golf for Friday, May 5. Encourage regular players to bring out the entire family for some quality good times. Include an afternoon clinic, consider a special 9-hole rate, a putting contest and other fun activities.

Here are some ideas for “Family Golf Friday”:

  • Introduce Drive, Chip and Putt to all juniors.
  • Prepare kid-friendly snacks such as chicken fingers, mini-pizzas and ice cream.
  • Set up putting competitions for parents and their children.
  • Make an evening of it. After golf, consider dinner and a family-friendly movie.

As the week gets closer we’ll share content from Golf Channel and other media supporting #LetsPlayGolf. For now, let’s work to make events at all participating courses the best they can be.

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After further review … you win!

More than 85% of the half million golfers visiting Golf Advisor each month say that reviews are important to purchasing decisions about where to play. Are you leaving business on the table because your course doesn’t have a review strategy?

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Golf Advisor set another all-time record in February, proving golf’s #1 ratings and review website is becoming an increasingly important information source for golfers on the lookout for a great courses to play. Golf Advisor closed the month with the highest number of page views ever for any month since its 2014 launch. Year-over-year increases also were impressive, with page views up 18%, unique visitors up an impressive 38%, and total visits up 36%.

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Last week to sign up for Go Play!

Go Play 2017

Last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational rekindled fond memories and reminded millions of golfers who march in spirit with Arnie’s Army of the special relationship they have with the game.

Time is running out, but you still have time to connect your course with armies of new and familiar golfers by signing up for Go Play Week, May 1-5.

As you may know, GolfNow and Golf Channel have partnered to create a five-day slate filled with themed activities designed to attract thousands of golfers of varying interests—but all with a common desire to get out and play and do good at the same time.  All five days offer the chance to attract newcomers, while providing current customers with fun and different experiences.

Beginning with the World’s Largest Golf Outing, which benefits Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation and Fisher House Foundation, you can sign up to host as many of the themed days as you like. But hurry — course registration closes March 24.

We’re gearing up to kick off an outstanding golf season with Go Play Week, and we want to make sure our course partners are signed up, prepped and ready to host avid golfers and new players alike. If you are already signed up, now is the time to lay the foundation for a groundbreaking week that will help your business start the summer off strong.

 

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