6 minute read
It’s no secret that since the beginning of the millenium, internet usage has skyrocketed to a point where it has become an essential part of our daily routines. From paying the bills to picking a restaurant, there’s an app for everything. There is no doubt that this has brought with it, both positive and negative consequences for people everywhere, and in the golfing community it is no different. However, in this article we are going to focus on what we believe is one of the most beneficial aspects of gaining a tighter global society, writing reviews.
Reviews and recommendations have always been a big part of the customer journey. Consumer’s have always asked the opinion of other, similar users on goods and services before parting with their money. These added insights are usually helpful and in most cases, may even be the deciding factor in the buying or selling of a product. One thing that the technological revolution has brought us, is the increased existence of online reviews.
Why Read Reviews?
Many of us have been in that situation where you’re looking for your next round to play. All you can see are advertisements and promotions screaming at you saying that this golf course is the best one for you. Now, they can’t all be the best! So how do you make your decision easier? This is where online reviews come in handy. All we want as consumers, is to know that we are making the right decision with our money. We want to hear experiences from from real players. Golfers that have actually walked the course, ate the food in the clubhouse and talked to the staff themselves. This information can provide us with the knowledge we need to make up our own minds and decide our next action.
Remember when you would decide to go to a particular restaurant, just because your friend had a nice experience there? Well online reviews provide this same service for you, with the added potential of gaining several hundred friendly recommendations instead of just one. By reading these reports, you are taking part in a community which bases itself on the principle of people looking out for one another. Insights from these communities can shed light on benefits or problems that you may not have seen from the outside.
A negative review can be much more powerful when it comes to influencing a potential customer. Studies show that there are much more positive reviews on the internet, so maybe that’s why we immediately stop scrolling when we see those measly 2 stars. Assuming these reviews are written by emotionally stable people, complaining about a real problem, it can stop us in our tracks. It can be the difference between playing golf on one course, or another just down the road.
If you are unsure of the validity of a review or you want to confirm its reliability, it is always best to do some of your own research. Try to see if this particular person has left other reports elsewhere or if this is a once off. It can be helpful to scan over other reviews to see if things match up or if the golf club themselves have replied to the comment. Generally these kinds of reviews are quite easy to spot and just take a little common sense. If a particular evaluation looks like an emotional outburst or personal attack on the club, with no evidence to back it up, it’s usually untrustworthy. But don’t take our word for it, do your research.
Handy online tools such as Trustpilot are also great indicators of secure and honest reviews.
Golfers aren’t the only ones that benefit from honest, informative reviews. The golf clubs themselves can also read these analyses of their facilities and take on board what their customers are saying. It is a great method for a golf club to communicate with its members and it provides a level of transparency for the golfer that may not have been there before. By being aware of the problems their customers are going through, golf clubs can work on improving their product, service and experience for the golfer. It’s a win win!
Why Write Reviews?
So we’ve established that the reading of reviews and testimonies can benefit all of the parties involved – assuming they’re honest and wholesome that is. But how do we keep this goldmine of valuable information fresh and reliable? The answer is simple! By getting into the habit of writing about your own experiences with a golf club (or any product for that matter), you are contributing to this constructive global community.
There are three primary reasons that golfers write reviews. These are:
- To share an experience (good or bad)
- Assisting fellow golfers in making a better (buying) decision
- To reward a golf club for a good performance
There are of course many more great reasons to write reviews, even if it’s just for yourself. It’s exciting to build an online journal of your experiences to look back on, or track your adventures. On Leadingcourses.com golfers have a profile page that includes all their reviews and photos, maps with pins that shows where they have played and rankings of places they’ve been to, so they can see which was the best (and worst). Creating a ‘bucket list’ or checklist of courses to play based on the input of other golfers can also be personally motivating. Finally, the competition between your mates can be fun and of course the satisfaction of showing off where you’ve been.
We mentioned earlier in the text that golf clubs can benefit from reviews as much as the golfer. This provides another sure-fire reason why writing a review is so valuable. By providing your input, you are (politely) bringing attention to the things that they are doing well and highlighting some areas where they could improve. You are dispensing your knowledge, while empowering a golf club or business to be the best they can be. A reviewer can also exhibit their expertise and thereby improve their reputation in the eyes of their fellow golfers. There can be a powerful sense of fulfillment which comes from knowing that the reviews you write have benefited others, and that you are a part of a larger community.
Back in 2007, we started Leadingcourses.com out of our own frustration. Leadingcourses founder Jeroen Korving had only picked up golf a couple years before, and went on a golf trip to Ireland with some friends. He explains: “We had selected the courses via the Peugeot Golf Guide and ended up on The European in Ireland. For us the course was very expensive and way too difficult, so we came off the course grumpy because we lost a lot of balls and didn’t really enjoy ourselves. In the clubhouse we had a conversation with a local, who told us that there were three courses around the corner that were much better suited to our level and for only a fraction of the price. That’s how the whole idea for Leadingcourses.com started and why you should write reviews”.
By establishing Leadingcourses, we aimed to give golfers all over the world a platform to voice their opinions. This is a community of like minded people sharing personal experiences and looking out for one another. This, together with the input of the golf courses themselves, allows us to play the game we love, on the same courses and with the same goals in mind. Golfers and golf clubs everywhere need your reviews now more than ever, and we work tirelessly to ensure that every individual review is checked and up to snuff. This is to provide you with the peace of mind to confidently choose your next round, with the comfort of knowing that there are thousands of similar people helping you out.
We hope this will encourage you to both read and write more reviews in the future. Thanks for reading and happy reviewing!