Industry News

Mobile startup sees growth potential via technology

Study shows new ways to grow the game with non-golfers and Millennials/Generation Z

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Oakland, CA (February 28, 2017) – Mobile golf technology startup, 18Birdies, today unveiled findings from its KRC Research commissioned study** about the current state of golf participation. The study findings revealed tremendous opportunities to attract non-golfers and Millennials/Generation Z to the game through mobile technology and unconventional play.  

“We all know that participation in golf has been waning over the last few years,’’ said Eddy Lui, Founder and CEO of 18Birdies. “What this study proves, however, is that there is a great opportunity for the industry to grow the game through technology and gamification, especially with today’s younger generation, who are going to be essential for growing the sport.”

The research was based on interviews with 1,769 Americans age 16 and older and was weighted to be demographically representative of the U.S. population based on Census reference data.  Key findings include:

There is significant opportunity to convert latent demand

The study revealed that there is a large proportion of non-golfers who are interested in learning the sport:

  • 4 out of 10 non-golfers are interested in learning and playing
  • 67% of Millennials and 73% of Gen Z non-golfers stated they want to learn to play

Leveraging mobile technology would grow the game with golfers and non-golfers

A majority of respondents stated they would welcome mobile technology to assist them throughout their round:

  • 61% of golfers would play more if their smartphone had an app that keeps score. This is even higher among younger golfers:
    • 94% of Millennials and 78% of Gen Z-ers say they would play more with a smartphone app
  • 63% of non-golfers are more likely to play with the help of smartphones
  • 86% of golfers confess to missing a shot because they didn’t know the distance to the hole and would benefit from technology that could track distances

Golfers and non-golfers look for ways to make the game fun

Golfers and non-golfers, particularly among younger generations, look for ways to make the game fun:

  • 87% of Millennial golfers are interested in playing more if they could bet with others
    • 56% of golfers and 46% of Millennial golfers play side games on the course
    • 61% of golfers and 69% of non-golfers would play more golf if they could play side-games on the course

The social nature of golf is a strong characteristic and can lead to more participation

Golfers and non-golfers agree that golf is a good way to meet new people and network:

  • 86% of Millennials and 83% of Gen Z-ers would be more likely to play if they had a friend to take them
  • 92% of golfers and 83% of non-golfers agree that golf is a good way to network and conduct business
  • 90% of golfers and 81% of non-golfers agree that golf is a good way to meet people

 

Different formats of tournaments and game play would lead to increased participation

Additional ways to play the game are very intriguing to golfers and non-golfers:

  • 80% of golfers and 69% of non-golfers would play more if there were more opportunities to play scramble formats. 80% of Millennial non-golfers would also play more with scramble formats
  • Shorter rounds will increase frequency of play and attract new golfers: 73% of golfers and 84% of non-golfers want to play shorter rounds (3, 6, or 9-holes). 95% of Millennial golfers and 91% of Millennial non-golfers would also play more with shorter rounds

Other ways to grow the game with non-golfers

Other factors that would lead non-golfers to play include larger cups, being able to tee up every shot and nighttime golf:

  • 72% of non-golfers would play if they could use a 15-inch hole
    • The number is higher with Millennials at 82%
  • 69% of non-golfers would play if they could tee up every shot
    • The number rises to 82% with Millennials
  • 63% of non-golfers would be more likely to play if they had access to nighttime golf
    • With Millennials, the number rises to 74%

**Methodology

18Birdies commissioned KRC Research to conduct a 15-minute quantitative survey of 1,769 Americans over the age of 16, from October 14, 2016 to October 24, 2016. This base sample, derived from an online consumer panel, was drawn and weighted to be demographically representative of the U.S. population (gender, age, education, race/ethnicity, and region), based on Census reference data. 

To achieve a sufficiently large number of golfers and Gen Z consumers (age 16 to 21) to compare to other groups, KRC oversampled to reach a total of approximately 500 respondents in both categories. These oversampled groups are included in the total, and appropriately weighted to reflect their actual demographic proportions.

About 18Birdies

18Birdies is gamifying the golf experience by making golf more competitive, fun and exciting with a live betting engine that tracks side-games in real-time and provides a tool for creating and managing socially interactive tournaments!

18Birdies includes an extensive side-game library that adds an exciting layer of action to every round. The 18Birdies’ Tournament Scoring+ feature allows users to create a socially interactive tournament experience on one or multiple courses that includes the ability for participants to view a live leaderboard and share their favorite moments as they happen with the rest of the tournament field.

18Birdies is the most complete golf app on the market and allows users to connect with friends, use a sophisticated GPS rangefinder for 30,000+ courses worldwide, quickly set up and run various individual and team-based side games and tournaments, track round histories, player statistics and more!

For more information, visit www.18Birdies.com 

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Anish Patel
18Birdies
510.396.7527
anish.patel@18birdies.com

Kristen Ingraham
Buffalo.Agency
703.761.1444 
kingraham@buffalo.agency