How the "Happiness"​ factor will influence the golf industry?

This article is for golf professionals. To those women and men who teach golf and help us all to develop our “Happiness” factor. 

I have been golfing since 2005. Tiger Wood's aura and charisma attracted me to this sport. I became addicted from the first basket of balls I hit. It was at the Olympic Stadium golf center in Montreal. I gave myself as a dream to play "scratch" in eight years, thus before my 46th birthday.

Five to six nights a week, I went by bike to hit golf balls. At the rate of two baskets of one hundred and twenty balls per night, I “made” myself a swing. Nothing elegant or very effective, but with the help of Daniel Talbot, it became functional enough to try my luck on a golf course in the early autumn of that year. That's when I discovered that golf was a frustration management exercise.

Two years later, I participated in a video analysis session of my swing at the Golf Town Academy with Jean Beaudry. Based on the pictures taken of my swing, Jean suggested some exercises to correct some of my shortcomings.

It helped me a lot to visualize my swing. However, I could not believe, looking at these images, that with this swing I still managed to play 93. I was very discouraged. It was with the advices and encouragements that Jean Beaudry had given me that in 2007 I managed to break the wall of the 90 to get my average around 87.

In 2010, my golf season began in March, due to an exceptional early spring. The swing I had been hanging out with since 2005 was at its peak. I managed to lower my average around 84. I had already played about twenty games when in May I became a member at the Country Club Montréal on the occasion of the centenary of the Club.

In 2013, trying to make progress towards my dream, I let another member of the club coach me. That's when the machine completely derailed. I should never, for 2 days, listen to the advice of this member who thought of himself as a teacher. I had three weeks of extreme frustration. It's as if I had stepped back 7 years in time... It's with an average of 92 and a crumbling dream, that I finally went to see the club pro.

That's when Francis Bergeron, the head instructor at the Country Club Montreal, gave me back my smile. He gave me exercises to do in order to rehabilitate me from the ground up. The idea was simple. It was necessary to obtain small successes, to concentrate on them and not to focus only on my score. 

Certainly I have not reached my dream of playing "scratch" in eight years. However, in 2016 I made my six points at the class "B" interclub in St-Hyacinthe. In 2017, I won our class "B" club championship. I especially learned to integrate into my lifepatience, respect, honesty, humility, mutual help, leadership, perseverance, teamwork and self-confidence.

Today, I often play below 80 and I have a swing on which I can rely on. I have a lot more fun playing now thanks to the different golf instructors I've had the privilege of working with.

Without these instructors, I think I would not play golf anymore. My factor of "happiness" in this sport would be at its lowest. A special thanks to my friend Francis Bergeron who, with his teachings and his philosophy, allowed me to discover the "Happiness" factor.

Let me explain the "Happiness" factor.

To be happy, you have to accomplish things and obtain small victories, small successes. It is with small success that we have the desire to repeat the experience. I believe that we can apply that simplicity to golf.

The happiness factor is directly proportional to the golfers retention rate. It's already a very difficult sport. So, without putting yourself in a position of success, your interest in golf can decrease rapidly.

How can we put ourselves in a position of success? Simply by taking golf lessons. I think we can grow our industry by giving golf lessons to as many people as possible.

In my opinion, we could achieve the following results:

  • more golfers
  • more golf games played by golfer
  • more fun by golfer
  • more money to share in the golf industry

I learned a lot about the golf industry by getting involved in the marketing committee of Country Club Montreal. Winning my life helping companies deploy on the internet since 2002, the committee wanted my opinion about the approach of the club on the internet.

The members of this committee were all very competent. We had talked a lot about the issues in the golf industry. In particular, how the clientele was different from that of the eighties. Today, fathers remains an important clientele of golf clubs. For this type of client, a different marketing approach is necessary because their role and family responsibilities have changed. The same observation can be made for women golfers.

During our meetings, we also discussed the influence of the "Super Hero" factor. The more a sport develops "Super Heroes", the more we talk about it in the media. The more we talk about it in the media, the more active players of this sport can be found. This factor influenced me to become a golfer in 2005. It is also easy to validate this theory by watching the Canadian tennis industry.

However, philosophy and marketing tactics have changed too along with our social media culture. Golf instructors who are successful use different methods than those of 2010 or 2015.

We need to come together to discuss new ways to promote golf lessons. A new bilingual group has been created on FaceBook. This community of practice is only for golf instructors. I want to bring golf instructors from across North America together. I am inviting you to become an active member of this group.

The goal of the Golf Marketing Hackers is to share tactics, tips, sales and marketing information to make it easier to sell golf lessons. 

The more golf lessons are given in a year, the more golf games there will be in a year!

Let's create together a groundswell wave that will positively change the golf industry.