Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship #ADGolfChamps

Everything is ready for the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. Let the game begin!

Teeing off in 2006 and quickly becoming established as a favourite event for players and spectators alike, the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship is recognised as one of the biggest events on the European Tour, regularly attracting some of golf’s most famous names. Since its inception by TCA Abu Dhabi, it has been staged at the sublime Abu Dhabi Golf Club as part of the Tour’s Gulf Swing.

In 2011, as part of a five-year partnership with HSBC the event’s prize fund raised to US $2.7 million – an increase of US $500,000 – making it the richest purse of the Gulf Swing. The partnership ushered in a new era for the Championship and golf in Abu Dhabi, and TCA Abu Dhabi, together with HSBC, are committed to hosting the event’s most impressive playing field.

Over the years, the Championship has consistently attracted a world-class field of the game’s top international stars, and boasts a player field unmatched in the region and among the best on the European Tour!

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Let’s Look Beyond Borders

Putting the Poor Domestic TV Ratings from The Masters in Perspective

CBS released ratings from The Masters Final Round coverage on Sunday where Bubba Watson cruised to victory in a rather subdued back nine to capture his second green jacket by three strokes.

On Tuesday Sport Media Watch reported the Final Round coverage earned a 7.8 overnight rating down 24% from last year (10.2), and the lowest overnight for a final round since 2004 (7.3) when another lefty, Phil Mickelson, captured his first green jacket. The rating equates to ‘million’s of viewers’ meaning this year attracted 7.8 million viewers. This is well off the record in 1997 when Tiger Woods took the world by storm capturing his first Masters that attracted 15.8 million viewers to tune in.

What was not reported to give this ratings story more balance was that The Masters is now televised in over 200 countries worldwide, and in regions where golf is growing like never before. Did you know there could be in just a few years time over 40 million core golfers in China?

While the data is spotty on how many viewers actually tuned in globally to watch The Masters, you can bet that a conservative estimate would be one or two times the domestic market. When accessing the most densely populated counties in the world where golf is growing the fastest it’s China, South Korea, Brazil, Argentina and India that come to mind. Furthermore, when you convert even a subset of new golfers in those respective countries into eyeballs it becomes a significant amount that were no doubt watching golf’s most celebrated Major this past weekend.

This is the reason Augusta National Golf Club is making such efforts abroad with the recent invitation to the Asian Amateur Champion to play The Masters as they look to extend their brand worldwide and grow the game concurrently.

These are constant reminders that golf is a global game and the industry encompassing it whether it is events, golf courses, resorts or travel companies must be continually looking at the current state of the game with this mind set. In the end it’s what is going to keep it healthy and evolving.

Play Global. Stay Local.

Transforming Golf Travel with the Shared Economy and Crowdsourcing 

I spoke with a golf journalist recently who shared a story with me. When he visited the International Golf Travel Market 2013, IAGTO’s flagship travel trade show in Marbella – Spain, he wanted to try an experiment. He booked his flight and transfers himself, but then tapped into a Peer-to-Peer community via Airbnb and other shared economy platforms to plan and book the remaining golf / accommodation components of his show visit.

He ended up locating and staying in a private residence he discovered through one of the platforms, played a handful of rounds at top courses in Marbella that the host arranged on his behalf and made a life long friend that shared other insight on the golf destination he never knew about (no easy feat for a know-it-all journalist that prides himself on being fully informed).

The transaction was secondary to the interaction. That’s community in my mind.

There’s no doubt that my friend’s previous knowledge of the region as a journalist from countless years covering the destination armed him with enough knowledge, and more importantly comfort, to go about planning and booking his trip in a self-directed manner. Some in golf might call him a vagabond, while others perhaps just calling him a normal 30-something using the shared economy to cultivate his own unique, personal and downright simple to organize golf travel experience that offered so much more.

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How is your Destination Performing with the Lucrative Canadian Golf Travel Market?

Canadian golf travelers for sometime have represented a solid 10-15% of the business for United States golf destinations and daily-fee resort courses. But where are they going? With golfscape.com being a team of analytics and data-driven golf geeks, we thought we would dive into the data via Google Auto Fill and share our findings.

From Toronto, Canada, we searched “golf in A_”, “golf in B_”, etc. and recorded the results of each top search query from A-Z. The findings were insightful and both reinforced our pre-conceived notions of what we thought were the most popular golf travel destinations users seek out, based on marketing / advertising awareness, but at the same time showed some lesser known destinations performing extremely well as a quote-on-quote underdog.

Golf in Jamaica outperforming Golf in Jacksonville, FL

You would think with the Jacksonville, Florida area hosting the annual Players Championship and TV spots you see promoting “Visit Jacksonville” during the telecast, that it would trump any competing destination. However, evidently Jamaica’s “Get in the Swing of Things” golf tourism campaign and newly enhanced digital presence seems to own the highly coveted Google search ecosystem in the letter “J” category.

Golf in Williamsburg, VA outperforming Golf in West Palm Beach, FL

I guess the 50,000 likes Visit Williamsburg has on Facebook is really moving the needle in comparison to West Palm Beach despite the fact that the later is home to the PGA of America, enjoys the PR buzz worthiness that follows countless Tour pros living in the area and more golf courses per square mile. Another victory for the underdog Williamsburg, VA in the “W” category!

Take a golfscape and #PlayGlobal

golfscape.com is everywhere! Six continents, 42 countries and over 100 destinations worldwide, and best of all, you can now discover golf in the most personalized way ever realized in this mobile-driven world.

We’re a young, fresh technology startup solving big challenges head on and accelerating golf travel into the 21st century. Let’s face it, the golf travel industry in its current form is broken. No more old-fashioned tour operators that your grandfather used, requiring expensive phone calls, to play in far flung parts of the world. Instead, you are in control with golfscape – our self-service platform for the do-it-yourself inclined makes experiences unique to you.

Considering a nice stay-and-play vacation with your partner? No problem, there are plenty of fantastic five star locales you can discover within our “Golf Destinations” feature at golfscape.

Want to play where royalty has played? We’ve got that covered as well with our curated content. How about Royal Adelaide Golf Club or Royal Blackheath in the UK? The latter was established in the year 1608 and arguably the oldest club in the world!

golfscape provides instant access to connect and play leading courses around the world, and simplifies golf destination planning for the self-directed traveller. That’s you, right?

We’re thrilled that the golf community has responded and we welcome you to connect with us through our social platforms on FacebookTwitterGoogle+Instagram, and Linkedin. Share our story far and wide!

Now #PlayGlobal golfscaper’s!