July 11, 2017
"Business gets done on the golf course," is becoming "an old chestnut". The ruling associations' and tour officials' comments to the contrary, the game has lost 20% of it's players since 2006, when there were nearly 30 million golfers. As of 2015, that number was barely more than 24 million.(Source: Statista) From conversations with golf pros, 2017 is not better.
It's really not that hard to understand. Golf has a rich history, and tradition has always been important. And rules. Bill Storer, president of Business Golf Strategies and known as "the Ben Hogan of business golf", even developed his own "rules of business golf". Rule # 3 (of 8) is "Don't discuss business before the 5th hole or after the 15th hole."
That used to be great advice, and it's still good. So far.
Before smartphones, it was easier to "disconnect" long enough to play 18 holes of golf. Even if you had a cellphone (and not everybody did), using one on the course was frowned upon. It still is. But fewer busy professionals are willing to be "out of touch" for that long in 2017. And fewer young people are showing interest, even after participating in PGA Junior League Golf (age 13 and under).
And "people ... experiencing golf outside of traditional golf courses..." might excite the PGA Tour Commissioner, but golf courses are closing. And the 26% drop in equipment sales that made Adidas sell TaylorMade and falling TV viewership of major tournaments aren't good signs, either.
Mark King, CEO of Adidas USA, commented that tennis, bowling, and skiing had "to do things differently," and thinks "that's where the game of golf is today."
And they're not gonna stop for 4 to 6 hours. There are contracts to be negotiated. Deals to be done. Money to be made. NOW.
They can go cycling with peers that do business the way they do.
It's not that honoring tradition isn't important. It's that tradition isn't negotiable. And in the last ten years, they learned that if it isn't negotiable, you can't buy anything with it.
It's not a question of "if", or "whether". It's a question of "when".
The only way that any business - including golf - won't be offering WiFi is if they have no one that wants it. And that won't last much longer.
Golf course management can either tee up WiFi for a new generation, or become park rangers.
Follow The Data - April 11, 2017 Gather The Data - April 18, 2017 The_Right_WiFi_=_REVENUE$ - April 25, 2017 DATA Makes Business Blossom - May 2, 2017 A New Age In Free WiFi - May 9, 2017 WiFi Reported Dead - May 16, 2017 WiFi: Growing By Leaps & Bounds - May 23, 2017 WiFi: Analytics Offer Opportunities - May 30, 2017 Killing the Mall - June 6, 2017 Bringing A Knife To A Gunfight - June 13, 2017 MONETIZE YOUR WIFI - June 20, 2017 Poking The Hornet's Nest - June 27, 2017 The Age of Big Data - July 4, 2017
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