Original events to attract new golfers and new business

By Dario Colloi CMDip

Italy has a population of about 60.6 million inhabitants but those who enjoy playing the wonderful game of golf are about 90,000, 0.15% of the Italian population. The reasons why there are so few players in proportion to the population, are different and complicated. I have my personal opinions but this is not the subject of this article.

However, thanks to this point, I asked myself: “if people don’t come to golf why not to bring golf among the people?! What can I do on my own?!”

So in 2011 I created an event format that registered patent as Street Golf™, www.streetgolf.it. In Germany in the eighties there were similar episodes of street golf. What I do is to give an event of Street Golf™ a real organization. In these years I have organized more than 30 events in Italy, with more than 3,000 players between already golfers and non-golfers, and about 58,000 spectators. This initiative has the quality and the attractive power to involve visitors, bringing many new players into this new world of sport: golf. In fact, the Golf Club partner of this event benefits from these new contacts.

In Italy as well as in most of the world we are living the years when Chefs are the new stars. The focus on the food and beverage is sometimes almost exasperated. In television there are dedicated channels and programs that talk about food 24 hours a day.

I got the idea to take this positive trend and involve these famous Chefs into the golf world by bringing the gourmet food on the courses. So in 2012 I created another original event format that registered patent as Ristogolf™, www.ristogolf.com.
The media write and talk about golf through these food events. Many food loving non-golfers come to the golf courses motivated from the original context and to know their idols. And then they know the golf world and they try to play. The Golf Club partner benefits from the media communication and the new gourmand golfers.

The following is a summary of points to note:

Original events attract the media. A lot of media have spoken about these events like private and public television program, differents newspapers, radio, web, blogs and social media. Through these events media talked about golf and the golf club involved. The media are always looking for different and original news that create interest and curiosity and maybe, above all in Italy, makes golf more “normal”.

Original events are different from traditional events. There are many events, often all similar or slightly different from each other. A pinch of originality creates the difference and offers something new and never seen.

Original events attract new sponsors. The sponsorship budgets are becoming less and marketing managers are increasingly careful about what to invest. Original events, studied in detail and supported by an efficient organization can be of interest to companies to promote themselves in a new key.

And finally, Original events attract new golfers. Give golf an image closer to the people, an image more inserted into the daily life of our cities to disclose, engage, transmit messages of openness and availability. To remove any strange idea and shorten the distance between swing and fun. A promotion in the middle of the “people” for the “people” is definitely good for the movement.

I believe that the growth of golf clubs and of golf will keep going if we are able to get involved also with original events, to be open to new ideas and keep up with the trends, that it means to be dynamic and innovative.

If you would like more information from Dario please feel to contact him on [email protected]

Dario Colloi lives in Italy; he’s worked in golf courses from the age of 10 years, as an amateur before and then as a professional PGAI (Professional Golfers’ Association of Italy) and teacher for several years. Driven by the desire to further his education and knowledge, at the Bocconi University of Milan in 2013 he got the Diploma of Sport Manager as a result of courses in marketing and sports management, sponsorship and event management. He has his company, Colloi Golf Plus, which deals with the organization of various events and consulting services in golf and beyond. In May 2015 he got the Club Management Diploma and in 2016 he attended the MDP Food and Beverage. Colloi Golf Plus is Passion for Golf & Excellence.