The golf industry is embracing one trend—alternative forms of on-course transportation—that may intrigue a large percentage of golfers and possibly attract new golfers to the game.
I prefer to walk when playing a round of golf. I choose this mode for a couple of reasons: One, it provides me with four hours of exercise while enjoying the game I love in the company of some wonderful people, and two, it allows me time between shots. I can either (try to) forget about a bad swing I just took or visualize and prepare for the shot that awaits me.
Unfortunately, many of my friends won’t walk, or some of the courses I play don’t allow walking. I get it—carts can help with pace-of-play initiatives and provide a valuable source of income for clubs. As for my friends who won’t walk—they’re just lazy.
I don’t really blame my friends, however. Today’s golf carts are more like open-air luxury vehicles than the utilitarian forms of transportation they were just 10 or 20 years ago. With ultra-comfortable seats, USB ports for charging devices, on-board entertainment and more, who wouldn’t enjoy some time in a cart?
Well, the golf industry is embracing one trend —alternative forms of transportation—that may intrigue a large percentage of golfers and possibly attract new golfers to the game. As I wrote about in this month’s “Products at Work” feature, Club Car’s Tempo Walk is gaining traction at courses and providing operators with a new revenue stream. Part golf cart and part caddie, this nifty device lugs your clubs while following behind you at a respectable distance.
The Tempo Walk is perfect for me, but many of my fellow golf aficionados still refuse to walk. Clubs looking to lure them onto their fairways now have many more options beyond the aforementioned golf carts. In the last few years we’ve seen an influx of golf transportation that includes bikes, trikes, scooters and even surfboards on wheels! What’s next, drones?
I kid about the drones—sort of—but what’s not a joke is the potential revenue being generated. Take a confirmed walker like me and get him to use your Tempo Walk, and you’ve added cash to the bottom line. Attract Millennials with the lure of surfboards or scooters they can use to zip around the course with their clubs, and you’ve not only made money today, but possibly hooked a non-golfer for life. Give a man a fish and you feed him today. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for life.
Beyond carts or caddies, what is your club offering members and guests to add to the experience of traversing your course? If you’re not bringing in these new, exciting options, why? Shoot me an e-mail and share your thoughts.