Get Golf Ready – Crossing The Chasm
In Geoffrey Moore’s book, “Crossing the Chasm”, he identifies there exists a chasm in an idea being widely accepted between innovators and early adopters and the early majority, late majority and laggards.
I ponder if there isn’t a chasm upon an individual completing the Get Golf Ready series of classes and being integrated seamlessly as a regular player. If my wife’s experience serves as an example, perhaps. What has humored me is the game I know and have loved for sixty years is not the sport that she is now hooked for life.
First, there is a new vocabulary I have had to learn:
|Wife’s Term||What I was Familiar With|
|Gift Shop||Pro Shop|
|Gutter ball||Topped shot|
|Beaver Pelt||Massive divot|
|Shooter||Person Whose Turn it is to Hit|
Second, I now have two nights a week to myself. The number of friends she has made is amazing leading to her advising me that Wednesday night ladies league is a must and that she will be off at cocktail get togethers sometime during the week.
Third, for course architecture – shorter is better than longer, easy is preferred over hard. She loves the short Par 3’s and Par 4’s and avoids playing the water laden Par 5’s. Arthur Little has it right.
What is stunned me that the need for social acceptance at the course has to lead to the brand being more important than substance in the purchasing decisions she has made with respect to clubs, bag, shoes and outfits.
The clubs could only be Callaway (which were the rentals on which she learned), or Titleist. Finding used clubs to purchase at a golf course – zero chance. We went on EBay and bought the Big Bertha 1 – 3 – 5 – 7 – 9. The irons came from the Callaway Pre-Owned website (5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – P – SW). The 360 CC head of the Big Bertha was too small so we purchased a Taylormade “Thumper” at PGA Superstore.
Shoes were another matter. None at the golf course. Visits to Dick’s Sporting Goods, Golf Galaxy, Golf Smith, and PGA Superstore resulted in one pair of Black and White Mesh Footjoys being purchased – but, she saw the Footjoy DNA’s white with pink trim – not in her size. We ordered from the talented team at the Golf Club at Bear Dance – a must course to play when you visit Colorado’s Front Range. The item of note was the shoes had to be Footjoys.
As for the golf bag, we visited all four stores again and narrowed the selection down to 6 bags one of which I bought none of which I would have purchased if it was my choice. Fashion trumped functionality.
Then there was a need for outfits. The first was purchased at the Ridge at Castle Pines that has a nice women’s clothing selection. But, buying clothes with the same logo was a no – no; thus, I picked up another outfit at the University of Notre Dame’s Warren Course that has a marvelous women’s selection of merchandise. We have the ordering routine down – I take a picture in the pro shop and text the selections to her for final approval.
A visit to PGA Superstore leads to a wide array of purchases and an argument with the clerk who thought my wife was taking too long (1 ½ hours) to try on and buy $500 in clothes. The store manager gave her a discount for 20% for when she checked out 10 minutes later. Unfortunately, the certificate given to her was invalid prompting a whole new unpleasant shopping experience. I think she feels permanently banned from that store as the cashier gave her a bunch of guff about the invalid certificate that I am very confident that my independent wife returned in kind.
My wife who is very cognizant of etiquette in life, none of the fundamentals of golf etiquette where covered in the Get Golf Ready Clinic, i.e., how to mark a ball, enter a bunker, take two clubs when around the green, where to park a cart in the fairway when playing a scramble, the purpose of the tee markers, the pin locations as marked on the sign in the cart or how to read a putt.
What has ensued is five individual lessons with Trevor Martinet, the ultimate PGA pro. He is so patient and talented and has her hitting the Thumper well on occasion and the slicer consistently.
Where is the chasm for the industry?
Is there a cost effective way to take a Get Golf Ready participant from completing the class to equipping them with clubs, bags, shoes and outfits?
Should the final lesson, in Get Golf Ready, be about the nuances of the courtesies involved, i.e. order of play, tee markers, marking your ball, tee markers. Should that lesson include a club fitting with the ability to purchase a new set of clubs that is offered at Costco or Golf Galaxy starting at $500?
I have no answers but if it weren’t for I shepherding my wife through this transition phase of golf, the risk of her dropping out, despite her love for the game and new friends, was high. The barriers on how to buy clubs and the golf bag appeared daunting to her.
Such would be unfortunate for the golf industry as the Get Golf Ready program and the players it is spawning is so valuable for a business we all so deeply care about.