Golfshake continues to provide a valuable and informative service for both golfers and golf clubs through their Course Guide & Directory and highlights the importance of online reviews. The Golf Course section of the website is a tool for players to seek out potential new courses to visit, and an effective digital channel for clubs to reach golfers and potential customers.
In a recent survey of over 4000 UK Golfers undertaken by Golfshake, focusing on the current state of golf in the country, 80% of golfers said that they read reviews to help them find new courses to play, with 74% stating that those ratings had, at times helped them to decide whether to play a new course or not.
Furthermore additional research & analysis by Golfshake has found that more and more golfers are going online to read reviews with golf related search traffic using the term ‘course reviews’ increasing by over 400% in 2 years *
Those findings are reflected elsewhere, with a recent survey from Invesp Marketing ** discovering that 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business. Golf Courses, who historically have relied on more traditional methods to spread knowledge of their qualities and strengths now have the ability to reach consumers via online platforms like Golfshake. In fact the Golfshake Course Guide & Directory facilitates traditional process such as word of mouth, but via an online and mobile platform, which has the potential to reach thousands of UK golfers.
With a monthly average of 150k online visitors to the Course Guide in 2015, which totalled at more than 900k for the year, it is a service that has continued to grow in popularity with many golfers using it for essential information before booking their next game of golf.
This growth has resulted in the Course Guide now featuring more than 180k golf course ratings, 100k independent reviews, with 30k of them being submitted during 2015. The section also boasts 600 feature articles and a search engine consisting of more than 28,000 golf courses worldwide.
Overall, former Ryder Cup venue The Belfry is the most reviewed location, totalling more than 819 ratings at an impressive average of 4.77 out of 5. Last year, the most frequently rated courses in England were Pine Ridge (South East), Morley Hayes (East Midlands), Liverpool North (North) and Stableford Abbots (East). In the rest of Great Britain, Celtic Manor was the most reviewed venue in Wales, with St. Andrews (impressively rated 5 out of 5) being the most popular location in Scotland.
What is also noteworthy is that 97% of reviewers left a positive rating with a recommendation or a suggestion that they would play that course again. This is an indication that golfers are more likely to submit a review if they found the experience worthwhile and rewarding making reviews a valuable resource for both golfers looking for recommendations on where to play and for golf courses looking for customer validation.
The importance of online reviews and ratings is becoming ever more apparent. Research by two economists from the University of California discovered that when a restaurant improved its customer rating by just half a star, it was significantly more likely to be full at peak times of the week. ***
Through the continued growth of the Course Section & Directory, Golfshake are able to offer a facility for both golfers and clubs that makes it easier for players to discover new courses, and for those venues to connect with potential visitors increasing awareness in product performance and sales.
For more information or data from the Golfshake ‘State of the Game Survey’ please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.golfshake.com
* Golfshake analysis 2013-2015
** http://www.invespcro.com/blog/the-importance-of-online-customer-reviews-infographic/ *** http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2012/sep/02/ratings-boost-restaurants