Golf club technology failings revealed22nd August, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir
A new survey has found that just 12 percent of golf clubs have mobile-optimised websites and most golf club managers do not even know how their website performs on a smartphone, as golf club technology failings have been revealed.
A poll of 245 golf club managers by The Golf Club Secretary found that just 38 percent believed that their club’s website was responsive on a smartphone or tablet screen – in that the content automatically resizes itself to suit a smaller screen.
However, when those managers’ websites were analysed, it turned out that approximately two-thirds of them were not, in fact, responsive at all, even though modern technology exists to make this a relatively easy process.
This means that just 12 percent of golf clubs have websites that have been optimised to work on phones or tablets – despite the fact that surveys this year have found that well over a third of people in the UK now carry out more online activity on these devices than on a PC, Mac, laptop or notebook computer, and this is a rapidly rising trend.
It also suggests that, as 28.5 percent of managers said they did not even know if their club’s website was responsive on a phone or tablet, and seven percent failed to answer that particular question, that the majority of golf club managers do not know how their website performs on a phone or tablet.
Perhaps more worryingly for clubs, 33 percent of them said that they rely on the mobile version of their website to engage with their members – even though for the vast majority on them, their site is not as user-friendly as it could be.
Less than 10 percent of clubs have also developed a website specifically for mobile phones or tablets, and nearly half of all golf clubs (44 percent) rely on a local person or company, or somebody in-house such as a member, to provide and support their website.
Elsewhere, the survey found that just under two-thirds of golf clubs have a social media profile, with exactly half having a Facebook page and 53 percent a Twitter feed. Only six percent have a YouTube page and less than five percent have a Google+ profile however – even though both of these are very useful for search engine optimisation.
More than 90 percent of golf clubs said that having an app would be ‘definitely’ or ‘maybe’ useful for them.
“Some elite golf clubs can cope without keeping up with modern technology,” said an industry analyst.
“In fact I know of one that refuses to have a website that carries any information at all for non-members, and another that even refuses to engage digitally with its members!
“But for the vast majority of golf clubs it is essential to keep up with technological trends – that’s why so many are getting apps and so many are on Facebook and Twitter.
“But other social media sites, such as YouTube and TripAdvisor, might be even more effective ways to fulfil a marketing strategy. And, above all, while some clubs have got fantastic websites that perform superbly on every relevant platform from phone to TV, many still do not and, these days, if your site doesn’t perform well on a smartphone or tablet, then you risk losing custom.”