Jupiter, Florida, United States: The National Golf Foundation (NGF), the trade organisation that works with every sector within the golf industry, has released its latest member research publication: Technology and Golf’s Best Customers.
The NGF’s report takes an in-depth look at technology’s role in the traditional game, from the equipment purchasing cycle and online tee times to game improvement, media consumption and social communities, and examines the differences in the findings from the foundation’s previous tech study in 2011.
The use of mobile devices, notably smartphones, is up 47% since 2011, and almost four of every five golfers surveyed say they’re connected to their phone the majority of the day during waking hours.
For some golfers, the golf course remains an escape from the connectivity of the modern world – four hours or more of time away from emails, text messages and phone calls. For many others, the mobile phone has become as regular a part of their golf experience as a divot tool – used as a GPS device, a scorecard, a camera, to book tee times or to track stats and data through a game-improvement app.
Away from the course, golfers’ general online activity and interaction is up drastically from the NGF’s last technology study in 2011. They are searching out customer reviews and ratings, reading digital magazines and newspapers, joining online forums and discussion groups, and engaging with social networking sites.
Online reputation is critical for businesses and more than half of those surveyed by the NGF say they regularly read ratings and reviews from other consumers.
More than 600 core golfers (those who played eight or more rounds in the past year) were recruited from the NGF’s consumer research panel and surveyed online. This group, as a whole, exhibits greater commitment to the game than typical core golfers, as they tend to play more, shoot lower scores and spend more on equipment and apparel.
These engaged survey respondents are more accurately labelled as ‘Golf’s Best Customers’.
This report includes three unique profiles for golf’s best customers. The profiles describe how a particular demographic engages with technology, whether that’s connecting with golf businesses and brands on social media or using distance-measuring and stat-tracking devices.
NGF’s Technology and Golf’s Best Customers is now available at www.ngf.org. The report is free for NGF members, or at a cost of US$395 for non-members.
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