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Savills plc

12/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2021 06:11

The great golf retention challenge: how tech can keep younger players hooked

Golf has seen a resurgence of interest in the past two years propelled by the pandemic. Golf was one of the fastest activities to re-open after UK-wide lockdowns allowing many to rediscover the sport, but how can it continue to capture this demand?

Data from PlayMoreGolf shows the average age of members dropped by six years to 43 years old and we all know that you need to have a lot of leisure time to play golf, or do we? To cater for younger golfers and golfers that have less time we've seen clubs implement a number of innovations to provide a variety of playing options and keep members happy.

One such innovation has been the Top Tracer driving range technology. This technology incorporates highly sensitive and programmed cameras which track a golf ball from pin to final lay.

The technology is sensitive enough to provide the player with a number of metrics including the distance, trajectory, hang time and ball speed. A smartphone app enables the player to log into an account and save the shots and games played at each course. The stats can be reviewed and localised with national leader boards also available on the app. Rounds of 18 holes can be played virtually, along with shorter mini-games and accuracy games, enabling the members to utilise the golf club all year round, whatever the weather and into the night.

The implementation of this technology has had encouraging feedback with 90 per cent of operators experiencing an increase in new customers, a positive guest experience reported by all operators and 74 per cent of customers saying they attend the club more often because of the technology.

Tracking technology also exists in golf balls, perhaps allowing beginners more time to play golf and less time searching for the ball. These new balls come with sensors within their core meaning that they can be accurately tracked even where tracing technology is absent.

Trends in the industry such as a lack of younger generation retention and the reduction of time in this busy world have led to the driving range being a popular method of achieving all the golfing wins, without the drawbacks.

The experience can also be connected to the provision of food and beverages which further increases income streams and demand. And as the challenge of retaining the increasing number of members experienced over the pandemic remains, operators certainly see a clear benefit for investment into these innovations and more.

Further information

Contact Ian Simpson

Savills Leisure