Reports & Insights

Wild Swing – Golf Tourism Segmentation Helps Market to New Tribes of Golfers

Wild Swing – Golf Tourism Segmentation Helps Market to New Tribes of Golfers

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Reports & Insights

Products are only perfect if the right customers see them. In that spirit, SMS’ affordable new golf tourism segmentation methodology can help make the time-consuming, hard to measure process of tailoring marketing to different tribes of golfers easier than ever. Armed with detailed demographic, behavioural and psychographic profiling information that divides golfers into key segments from a marketing perspective, you’ll be able to create an insight-led sales strategy, understand what factors will generate more enquiries and close more bookings. You’ll learn what factors make the difference, and what strings to pull to help show off your exciting offers to different groups of golfers in different countries.

Debuted at IGTM Links in March 2021, the research is the brainchild of Sports Marketing Surveys, whose sports tourism planning, implementation and measurement pedigree is well established. SMS worked with Visit Wales in the build up to and aftermath of the 2010 Ryder Cup. SMS has also recently helped Tourism Northern Ireland plan and achieve its golf tourism goals ahead of schedule and consulted with Golf Dubai.


Even small snippets of information give a flavour of how the new insight will make a difference in promoting benefits and overcoming potential objections. Taking segment four for example, ‘Adventurous Spenders’ perceive food and drink and the chance to visit somewhere new and exotic to be much more impactful in their golf trip decision making.


There are a higher proportion of these golfers in markets where outdoor pursuits and adventure are more popular, so for those trying to woo golfers from Sweden, Canada or Germany for example, learning how to appeal to this segment is critical. This might mean focusing on vocabulary such as ‘adventure’, ‘unique’, ‘new’ or ‘exciting’ golf breaks. It might also mean reflecting on how imagery plays a role. Making sure that photographs and videos of any package feature food and drink, perhaps being eaten near stunning nature or tourist sites, is key to securing this segment’s business. It can be particularly lucrative to do so, since this group are also less price sensitive than some other tribes of golf tourists.

Richard Payne, director of SMS, added: “With so much ongoing uncertainty around tourism and travel, it is more essential than ever to get a firm grip of the factors that your business can control. That’s what’s great about the segmentation research, and why we have come up with two packages designed to make the findings as accessible as possible to the golf industry.”


The first level of reporting Payne references is the ‘Self-Catering’ package, a top-line report designed to provide an overview of golf tourism behaviour in a particular country. Key findings at this level include:

  • Where golfers intend to travel in 2021, and 2022/23;
  • When they prefer to travel;
  • Who they prefer to travel with;
  • Key metrics on how they research and book golf breaks;
  • The degree to which different factors influence the decision;
  • Key metrics on how COVID-19 is affecting their thinking.


The more comprehensive ‘All Inclusive’ package includes all the above information, plus the following:

  • Expenditure analysis;
  • Full detail on research and booking;
  • Full detail on Covid changes and concerns;
  • The full segmentation market analysis – identifying six groups of golfers and showing how to best market to each group.


Additionally, the ‘All Inclusive’ package features in-depth splits by age, gender and golfing ability.


The reports, which are available for the UK, France, Germany, Sweden USA and Canada, are valuable for tourism boards and operators, golf resorts and courses and media agencies. They are available for immediate download via the SMS website, by clicking below.


Self-Catering package – £1,500 per country

All Inclusive package – £3,000 per country



To purchase via email from SMS or for more information on this project or how SMS can help you develop, implement or measure your sports tourism strategy, please contact


SMS is offering two levels of reporting.

The Self-Catering package cost £1,500
The All-Inclusive package costs £3,000

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