One year ago, the Swiss Golf Association (ASG) started a communication campaign “Golf – It’s magic!”, with the aim to attract new golfers and improve the image of the sport. The feedback from 2016 has been positive, 2,500 people got in touch with the sport at the “Golf4you” days. Owing to the Olympic Games, the campaign aroused great public interest and had good media coverage.
Women and Families in the Centre
In 2016, the campaign aimed to reduce the existing prejudices surrounding golf and the ASG did this with an important print campaign all over Switzerland. In 2017, the association has narrowed the communication by setting clear target groups: women, couples over the age of 40 years, families, youth, former athletes, and expats.
For example, for the female target group, the social aspects of golf, the positive health impact and the fact that you can play together as family, are highlighted.
Additionally, clear emphasis will be placed on social media, where there is great potential for improvement, and where these activities are directly measurable. In doing so, special importance will be given to post content on Facebook and Instagram, as well as on a blog (magicgolf.ch). All aspects of golf will be discussed via videos, photos, numbers and facts, tutorials, etc.
It is hoped to awaken the interest of curious people, while the content is also intended for passionate players that could be described as the best ambassadors of the sport. We want them to relay their magic moments on and off the course on the Facebook page “Association Suisse de Golf”. The existing website “magicgolf.ch” has been adapted and is online in a new look since March, 2017.
Media plays an important role to improve the image of golf and the ASG is trying to attract their support by organizing several Golf4press events and press conferences.
First time “City Golf Tour”
To increase the interest in golf and, for the first time, the ASG is organising a “Tour de Suisse”. People will be able to hit golf balls and putt in the middle of the cities and golf clubs will promote their clubs and offers. The designated cities are Bern, Chur, Luzern, Montreux, Sion and St. Gallen. The ASG is hoping for a “golf festival” in cooperation with the clubs and this initiative should help giving our game a better image.
Further editions of the City Golf Tour are planned for the coming years, but clearly this can only work in collaboration with the clubs, which continue to organise open days. The aim is to bring lots of interested people from the cities to the golf courses.
The campaign the ASG has issued a number of specific visuals. The goal is to “speak” to target groups by showing the social and emotional side of golf.
The ASG also prepared an “image video” that can be used by the clubs to promote their open days: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6GVjRrn1PIlcnJDYk0zaG5hVzg/view
Golfers as Ambassadors
Up to now, many clubs have already organised “bring a friend” activities during which golfers could invite their “non-golf-playing” colleagues and friends to the course. With the support of the association, this offer shall be clearly expanded this year. Golfers themselves are the best ambassadors for the sport and it is hoped that the clubs as well as the individual golfers will actively participate.
For the First Time more than 90’000 Golfers
At the end of 2016, the ASG counted exactly 90’725 members - 3 per cent more than the previous year and the first time Switzerland has more than 90,000 golfers!
While the number of juniors has doubled over the last 20 years, the last few show a decline. Golf – like other sports – has to combat an ever-growing offering of leisure time activities and it is not easy to reach youth outside of the traditional golfing families.
From 2017 on, the ASG plans to better support the clubs with their junior development and has introduced more attractive programmes for juniors, including the support of talents in the regions and the programmes “Golf4Girls” and “Golf4Schools”. The work within the clubs’ junior divisions is extremely important and the contacts with schools have already shown good results. In 2016, 38 clubs have participated to the Golf4Schools programme and welcomed 1,700 pupils onto their facilities, 80 of them registered for the junior programme.
City Golf Tour in Bern, Switzerland