This year’s PGA Trade Show in Orlando, Florida marks a major turning point in the golf industry! Yes, the trade show was full of great new products (I will highlight just a few in future posts) and there were famous PGA and LPGA celebrities around every turn (I caught a few with my camera…) but the biggest news from the show is the new focus on bringing women and families into the game. The PGA is calling the program Golf 2.0! And it is a major refocusing of the industry. The goal is to reach 40 million golfers by 2020.
The golf industry experts are painfully aware of how many golfers they have lost in the last few years. In spite of their efforts, golfers are just not sticking with the sport the way they used to. The game takes a lot of time to play and costs more money then many people care to spend. When it comes to time and money, many recreational golfers are choosing to spend their resources in other ways.
So what is to be done? In an effort to introduce new golfers to the game and bring back those who may have “strayed” the PGA of America has engaged Donna Orender on board as a consultant. I attended one of Donna’s presentations at the show, and I can assure you that this woman is so full of great ideas and enthusiasm, that Golf 2.0 is sure to succeed.
Here is an excerpt from the PGA website:
Orender—who served as Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) President from 2005-10, after working 17 years with the PGA Tour, and is the founder of Orender Unlimited, a marketing, media and strategy company in Jacksonville Beach, Fla.—will steer industry efforts to grow women’s golf participation; identify and shape female-specific programming; and create a welcoming environment for more women to enter the game. Orender will also guide the establishment of partnerships with top women’s organizations to leverage knowledge and resources in support of facility adoption and programs. In addition, Orender will position golf as an anecdote for women achieving balance in their busy lives, all the while pursuing good health, business networking, and family time in a fun-filled environment.
“The PGA is thrilled to retain Donna Orender to lead in the strategic development of our Connecting with Her initiative for Golf 2.0,” said Darrell Crall, PGA senior director, Golf 2.0, for The PGA of America. “Donna’s expertise in steering the growth of women’s sports at the highest level will be critical in guiding the golf industry, as we tap new initiatives to appeal to women, who represent our game’s fastest growing demographic.”
Speaking with several PGA pros at the show, I found there is a new level of excitement in the industry around this new program. The golf pros know they have to do something to increase revenues and this new initiative is giving them the structure to go back to their club members and really begin to introduce an entire array of new programs focused on women and families. It may take a while and some rethinking among the traditional club members who want to cling to the old way of doing things, but time is marching forward and Golf 2.0 is happening. I welcome this new program and encourage you to encourage your golf pro to do the same.
Exciting times ahead for sure. What do you think?