Mobile golf technology startup, 18Birdies, today unveiled findings from its KRC Research commissioned study about the current state of golf participation.
The study findings revealed tremendous opportunities to attract non-golfers and Millennials/Generation Z to the game through mobile technology and unconventional play.
“We all know that participation in golf has been waning over the last few years,” said Eddy Lui, Founder and CEO of 18Birdies. ”
What this study proves, however, is that there is a great opportunity for the industry to grow the game through technology and gamification.
He goes on to highlight the need to keep the interest of the younger generation and engaging the future generation of the sport.
The research was based on interviews with 1,769 Americans age 16 and older and was weighted to be demographically representative of the U.S. population based on Census reference data.
The sport itself is reflecting the statements made by Mr Lui and preparing to embrace the younger generation as they emerge as the future of the sport. The PGA tour has a deal with Twitter about live streaming the competition in an attempted to reach a different sector of the audience.
Every golfer has their favourite club and most will have a piece of technology to help them shave a stroke off their round. The relationship between sport and technology is very apparent in golf, with such small margins for error, accuracy and precision are key.
This report gives insight to the interests of non-golfers and the challenges facing the new generation coming into the sport.
Key findings include:
There is significant opportunity to convert latent demand – The study revealed that there is a large proportion of non-golfers who are interested in learning the sport.
Leveraging mobile technology would grow the game with golfers and non-golfers -A majority of respondents stated they would welcome mobile technology to assist them throughout their round:
– 63% of non-golfers are more likely to play with the help of smartphones
– 86% of golfers confess to missing a shot because they didn’t know the distance to the hole and would benefit from technology that could track distances
Golfers and non-golfers look for ways to make the game fun – Golfers and non-golfers, particularly among younger generations, look for ways to make the game fun with over half golfers and no golfers admitting to playing side games around the course.
The social nature of golf is a strong characteristic and can lead to more participation – all subjects agreed that golf is a good way to meet new people and network. Over 90% of current players agree that the golf course is a good place to do business and network.
As for the younger generation 86% of Millennials and 83% of Gen Z-ers would be more likely to play if they had a friend to take them.
Different formats of tournaments and game play would lead to increased participation – Additional ways to play the game are very intriguing to golfers and non-golfers and show commitment to innovation within the sport. Cricket is a great example of this and the success of T20 and shorter format version of the game.
This report found 80% of golfers and 69% of non-golfers would play more if there were more opportunities to play scramble formats and 80% of Millennial non-golfers would also play more with scramble formats.
To read the full report click here.
Deputy Editor & Social Media Specialist