Market Focus: Golfers: In the Green, on the Green
Most golfers are men, but there’s a fair share of women golfers as well. However, according to Last, while new women take up golf every year, an almost equal number of women leave the sport, which makes participation numbers among women remain flat. Last theorizes that this is because marketers and other golf industry insiders don’t understand the benefits different segments of women golfers are looking for. For example, only recently have manufacturers started to develop golf products specifically with women in mind.
Golfers may sound like an amorphous mass of a market, with players at every age range, income point and location in the U.S., but in reality they can be segmented into a number of different clusters based on attitudes, behaviors and demographics. According to research by Golf Digest Publications, male golfers are divided into five clusters: “Making It Work” golfers manage to integrate the game into their lives despite their busy schedules; “Executive Course” golfers are very busy and can’t always play golf, but when they do they’re very passionate about it; “Life’s Rewarded” golfers are empty-nesters and frequent players who are interested in the social camaraderie aspect of golf; “Maxed Out” golfers are busy professionals who have not managed to integrate golf into their lives, but would like to increase their playing; and “Family Men” try to balance work, family and leisure, and are more value-conscious in
Four clusters make up the women’s market, says Last: “Testing the Waters” golfers are intrigued about golf but not totally committed to the game yet; “The Now Generation” is young, image-conscious, affluent and eager to learn golf; “Country Club Elite” golfers are interested in the country club experience; and “Living to Play” golfers view golf as their passion and spend disproportionately on the game and on a wide variety of products and services.