Our prayers have been answered!
Picture a group of twentysomethings--some ink, some beards, some flat-brims (backwards), sometimes looking up from their phones--sitting on the conference call with World Golf Foundation CEO Steve Mona to discuss their findings.
Ah...dreams come true!
Golfweek.com's Adam Schupak talks to Mona about various World Golf Foundation grow-the-game efforts.
There's plenty of meat on this bone, but this is special.
GW: How is the industry trying to engage a younger audience?
SM: The Millennial committee started meeting this year – I joined the first conference call, gave them the broad parameters and that was the end of me. It’s made up of all Millennials, as it should be. It’s a blend of people from inside and outside the industry, including people from some of the big tech firms. Long story short, the final report and recommendations aren’t officially made yet, but I can tell you the direction we’re heading.
Everyone have their pen and paper ready?
There are three separate strategies. One is ensuring that golf facilities are “Millennial ready” because if we start driving Millennials to golf facilities and they show up, and it’s not the experience we promised that defeats the purpose.
GW: What does “Millennial-ready” mean?
SM: It could mean different things to different facilities but what it means is that it is an environment that Millennials feel comfortable in. Addressing things like dress code and technology on the golf course.
Like buttons and charging stations at every tee, woohoo!
Things like music on the golf course and alcohol on the golf course.
Alcohol on the course? I never thought of that! These kids today are so progressive.
I’m not trying to stereotype here but things that a lot of places Millennials go that are just what they expect.
Green feels in all lower cases, typewriter fonts, with a little locally source quinoa thrown in?
To just have to go to a place where you have to dress a certain way, and by the way, you can’t have your phone on. You have to leave it in the car. And turn off your music. You get my point.
What about their love of Mary Jane? Oh okay, that's pushing it. Anything other awkward, embarrassing images you want to give us?
The other is go where the Millennials are.
Oh no. Don't do. Don't say it...
There are places like Coachella (Music Festival), Lollapalooza, South by Southwest, that we don’t have a presence.
Maybe because they're music festivals?
Even if we can just go there and see what it’s about and figure out how we might be able to connect better, we’re going to do that. We tend to get very insular as an industry and talk to ourselves and we don’t get out as much as we should, in this case where Millennials gather and, learn from that.
Oh come on, golf executives get out a lot! To Shinnecock AND National. To Cypress Point AND MPCC! That's diversifying.
The third piece is the whole communications message/marketing piece, and that is the least defined right now. Those are the three specific tasks being taken. In all four cases, I want to make the point that these are not one-and-dones.
Well, that's a load off.