According to golf industry estimates, 18 to 34 year olds have played about 100 million rounds of golf in 2015. This group of young golfers is poised to reshape the golf industry. No wonder, the industry is catering heavily to their millennial clientele. Whether you are heading to a golf course in the Tampa Bay area or to one up north, you cannot expect to walk the fairways without bumping on the younger crowd. This is because golf clubs across the US are pretty serious about making the ‘gentleman’s game’ look fun and cool for their younger customers.
The hospitality and travel sectors relating to golf are gaining from this evolution, too. Here are the top five millennial trends and how they are contributing to the transformation of the game:
Attachment to Social Media and the Need for Connectivity
If the baby boomers remind you of consumerism, the millennial crowd unmistakably stands for the social media. Over 75 percent of young golfers resort to the social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when it comes to finding a suitable golf resort or sharing their golfing experiences. In response to this trend, golf clubs have embraced different marketing tactics. In the world of golf, old school paper brochures, newspaper travel articles, and glossy magazine ads are increasingly becoming passé. An urgency to attract the younger generation of players has forced many conservative clubs to become social media savvy.
Demand for Variety in the Game
Who wants a traditional 18-hole golf experience? Not the millennials. They would rather stay away from it. Not only do they want more personalized experiences, but they also want to keep it short. They prefer playing the nine-holes or even less. They love to play night-golf and are a great patron of innovations like pay-by-hole and golf simulator competitions. Owing to these changing preferences, golf clubs are introducing several new and innovative formats.
Preference for Different Amenities at Golf Resorts
The things that were important for the baby boomers are of less significance for the Gen-Y. Their demands out of life are very different and most of the golf clubs are rising up to the challenge. To begin with, this tech-savvy generation would just hate to check in to a resort that charges for Wi-Fi. Spacious lobbies, lounges and sports bars, mobile charging stations, and healthy food choices are some of the features that millennials seem to deeply appreciate. In addition, a well-equipped gym is a top draw among young golfers looking for suitable golf weekend gateways. They prefer activities over lazing around, and therefore love the resorts that have lawn games like corn hole and bocce ball.
Choice of Golf Destinations
Purpose-driven travel is one of the favorite pastimes for people born after 1987. While traveling, millennials want to be a part of a new culture by mingling with the locals, tasting their cuisine, and getting involved in their activities. And they want to share their experiences seemingly with the whole world. These travel preferences govern their choice of golf destinations. They want to be at the golf courses that are challenging, spectacular, and exotic at once so they are able to make a social media ‘showoff’ out of their exquisite experience. And when it comes to selecting a place, they rely more on the first-hand account of fellow travelers than flashy magazine or television ads. No wonder, user-generated recommendations on popular review sites like TripAdvisor, Yelp, Airbnb, and Oyster play a big role in making travel decisions.
Millennials are transforming the golf landscape in the US. Want to feel the change yourself? Head to one of the exciting golf courses in the Tampa Bay area, spend a weekend at a chic course in upscale New York, or simply play a golf course near your home. US golf resorts are courting millennials – embrace the changes and savor the newness that’s transforming the game.