“Grow the Game” is a phrase I hear all the time and often by people whose livelihoods rely on new golfers, but is anyone willing to pay for it or just say it?
New golfers are the life blood of the game. They naturally replace those that cease playing and spend a lot of money in the process. If we look at other industries, the terms finder fee or trailing commission are common but not in golf. I personally think that should change and those golf coaches who bring new players to the game should receive a long term return as long as they keep playing. If that were to happen, I believe the coaching profession would quickly turn on its head and golf would benefit.
Grow the Game, Grow the Game, Grow the Game… you hear it everywhere and, to be honest, I am tired of hearing it, but who is saying it?
Typically, it’s the businesses and organisations that need new players to make money and survive. Equipment manufacturers want to grow the game to sell more clubs, balls, apparel and accessories. Golf clubs want to grow the game to create more members and demand so they can have higher annual subs and charge joining fees. Golf bodies want more golfers as for every golfer with a handicap or membership, they receive $75-odd dollars. Public access courses want more golfers to sell more green fees. Coaches who specialise in fixing teen-handicap golfers’ slices want more golfers because, let’s face it, most of them will slice it.
But is anyone saying I will pay you to provide new golfers and a trailing commission for doing it? In fact, the opposite tends to happen; golf coaches get asked to donate their time for free to coach new players on open days or at golf expos.
Yet if I refer someone to buy a car sell a house, even buy plastic food containers, there is someone out there willing to pay a commission for that customer. If you use an insurance broker every year to renew your policy, they get a clip of the ticket, keeping them in business feeding their families.
Lots of golf clubs even give the member who brings the new member a financial incentive for doing so. Yet in over 25 years as a full-time golf coach having brought hundreds of people into the game, not once has a golf business offered to pay me a commission for the new golfers I create. In fact, the opposite occurs. Golf clubs and facilities want to charge a commission for teaching and introducing clients. Which I understand if you’re not finding, creating or retaining clients, however if you are bringing new golfers in and retaining golfers who are spending money, you deserve an ongoing commission.
Take for instance the private golf club that doesn’t have a full membership, joining fee $2000 yearly, subs $3500, and a member you create joins and stays for 20 years – that’s $72,000! Or a golfer you create spends $40 a week at the driving range hitting balls, pays $50 in green fees or $5000 on golf gear! I think you deserve 10% every time they put money into the business you brought them into, ongoing as long as you stay in that business.
If that were to happen, the best coaches would turn their hands to creating more golfers and getting people into golf would become a very competitive market space. Courses, clubs and ranges would be busier and when advertising for a coach, they would be flooded with applicants rather than struggling to get one.
Never underestimate the value you bring to the golf industry when you bring a new golfer to the game.
Never under sell what you bring to a facility start by asking for a commission from them