It may not come as a surprise to you that the Golfing Industry took a major hit, along with the rest of the country in 2008, when the financial crisis rocked the nation.
According to Jessi Stone, a writer for Smoky Mountain News, “In 2017, more than 200 golf courses across the nation closed as the supply and demand pendulum continues to swing its way back toward the center following 20 years of unsustainable growth.”
The Golf Industry continues to take hits and suffers a continual decrease in interest for a variety of reasons.
1-No longer is it the “sport of business”, cycling is taking its place
2-The love of golf is not being “passed down” and shared with the next generation.
3-Tee times and equipment can be prohibitively expensive
4-The game is long and time consuming, people don’t step away from their phones for that long anymore
So what is our idea for you to solve this lack of interest and resources in golf?
Derek Hall, founder of the successful Torcedores, suggests finding a ‘virtual’ golfing tournament where players can play an actual game of golf and score against fellow golfers they have never met in a virtual tournament.
He suggests one could potentially enter the tournament for a set fee, and that the top 5% of golfers could reap the financial rewards.
But how could this benefit the golfing industry?
1-The sense of competition could pull at the younger rising generation.
2-The younger generation is attracted by technology.
3-Many different avenues could be taken including virtual golf locations AND fairways drawing in a larger crowd.
Something to consider regarding this type of virtual tournament is the integrity of the points being recorded as well as the enforcement of rules and regulations.
A few possible solutions that have been suggested are:
-A golf ball with a specific tracker embedded in it.
-Randomized golf players who score for each other
-Stacking several rounds in each tournament with various random players.
-Live Streaming of scores.
-A smart golf course.
-A Golf Ball with a specific tracker embedded in it would help to ensure that scores are not being fabricated. It would record data like directions, distance, and total hits. This would decrease chances of being able to fabricate false scores to better your odds in the tournament.
-Randomizing golf players who score for each other helps to create a sense of integrity among players. Scoring for someone else leaves a sense of trust and pressure regarding scores entered. One is less likely to falsify a score that benefits someone else and lessens your odds.
-Stacking several rounds in each tournament with randomized various players. Not knowing these players helps to keep things authentic. Rather than one round of golf in the tournament, several rounds are totalled on various days with various players in each round to continue to create more clean scores.
-Live Streaming of scores helps to keep the integrity of the game strong. When scores are streamed immediately there is less chance of ‘fixing’ scores for your personal benefit.
-A smart golf course could be an idea all on its own besides being a great magnet for this type of virtual tournament where real golf is played. The course is digitally scaled so that directions, distance, wind speeds, etc are all calculated digitally. Clubs and golf balls coincide with wave points on the course as well as each cup.
The idea that you play a game of golf in the real world with birds chirping, the sun warming you and the breeze blowing in your face but everything is recorded as though you played it on your phone is something to ponder indeed.
This would also be a great magnet for your virtual tournament set up where users come to your location to compete with other golfers for a top prize. It also helps ensure that fabricated scores are harder to come by.
Sean Bingham shares a word of caution from personal experience. As the founder of Top Blip, an online singing competition and founder of AdventureHunt.com, a competition involving treasure hunting suggests there will always be cheaters. He advises finding a way to minimize those efforts but to always realize they will be there and to adapt as necessary to help combat those nefarious strategies.
Where to Begin
While starting this company out with the mindset of reaching critical mass (the point in which a company can stand on its own two legs with a profit and does not require additional funding from outside sources) as quickly as possible, this idea may best begin on a smaller scale.
Finding a local area where golf holds a significant interest in the community may be your best bet. Pairing with local golf clubs who have established leagues may indeed improve your chances of success in creating the virtual tournament buzz.
Another perk to beginning on a smaller scale is you have a smaller platform in which to work out your ‘bugs’ so to speak. You will be able to fine tune your processes and policies so that as you expand and take your business circle further you will be more prepared to handle the increasing demands.
So does this virtual tournament of real life golfing sound interesting to you? Maybe this could be YOUR next great business idea!Jessi Stone, “On the Upswing; Golf Industry Changes with the Times,” Smoky Mountain News, May 15, 2019, accessed May 17, 2019. https://www.smokymountainnews.com/news/item/26903-on-the-upswing-golf-industry-changes-with-the-times