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In a “Content Everywhere” World, Golfers' Media Preferences Show Specialization
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Over the last several years, smart phones, and consequently mobile apps, have gained huge momentum thanks to consumers’ quick adoption of the technology.


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While no uniform answers can be provided to situations that are factually and legally distinct, there are certain issues to which aspiring golf community residents should be attentive.



In a “Content Everywhere” World, Golfers' Media Preferences Show Specialization
Core Golfers’ Preference of Media Type Shows Differences Driven by Subject Matter

Content is king.  But today’s world could easily be viewed as one with too much content.  Prior to the smart phone era, we might have actually had to do some research to find information on a particular subject, even an obscure one.  With the instant gratification at our fingertips in 2013, Google might present you with more than 1,000,000 options for the same information item.  This creates a different dynamic altogether.  Our challenge today is sifting through all the available data and perspectives to find the source and the article that we feel will be the most accurate, insightful, entertaining, well written or cleanly designed… or perhaps some other personal criteria that drives your media choices.

The delivery format of the content is entirely another matter.  Even though the screens in your life are getting more and more prominent, is print really dead?  It doesn't appear so, as recent research with NGF's proprietary Core golfer research panel supports a broad array of choices, including magazines.

Media research within the golf industry has historically focused on the amount of time the golfer spends viewing or reading certain media types.  This is certainly useful, but perhaps not as actionable as golfer preference.  The research we conducted was not a comprehensive media study, but an attempt to get a quick read on media preferences, by delivery format, and we discovered that some of the consumption decisions differ based on what type of golf-specific content the golfer is seeking.

We asked our over 600 Core golfers to indicate their preference for reading or looking into specific golf subjects using a selection of media types.  The data suggests the existence of some clear “subject matter” preferences.


With respect to “golf-related instruction,” Core golfers prefer turning to Golf Channel more than other media types surveyed (See Chart Below).  On a preference scale of 0 to 10 with 10 indicating strongest preference, Golf Channel received mean ratings of 6.6 and half of Core golfers surveyed gave a rating of 8, 9 or 10 (Top 3 Box%).  Golf-related magazines came a close second, with websites, other TV outlets and mobile apps behind.

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However, when golfers have “equipment news and articles” on the brain, a golf-related magazine is where they most prefer to turn.  In this instance, magazines received the mean ratings of 6.6 with nearly half of our Core golfer sample giving a rating of 8, 9 or 10 (Top 3 Box%).  Golf Channel and websites make up a solid second preference group, with other TV outlets and mobile apps behind.

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We also asked about media preferences when seeking “golf travel news and articles.”  Core golfers prefer golf magazines most for this type of inquiry - with mean ratings of 6.0 and 41% responding with Top 3 Box ratings.   Golf related websites and Golf Channel were also relatively high on the panel’s preferred media list for “where to play” material. 

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NGF will continue to look how golfers interact with media and how it adds to their enjoyment of the game.  It is inevitable that new technologies and the development of alternative ways to deliver golf content is not going to slow down any time soon.

Featured Report
2012 Golf Course Openings & Closures Update
U.S. golf course openings remain at historic lows, as NGF recorded only 13.5 openings in 2012, compared to 154.5 golf course closures, measured in 18-hole equivalents (18HEQ).
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