Case Study

How the R&A are utilising the Played platform to grow the game of Golf

Max McLoughlin

Golf.Golf is an exciting new initiative by The R&A to attract new golfers into the game by making it more accessible than ever before.

The R&A are utilising the Played platform to provide an end to end experience helping people move from being inspired to play through innovative marketing campaigns to signing up for a beginner programme in a few clicks. 

The Golf.Golf team at the R&A are focused on making golf as inclusive as possible for everyone by increasing participation in underrepresented areas.

We caught up with Lisa from the Golf Development team @ The R&A to learn more about her and the team's experience working with Played.

The R&A use the Played Platform to:
  • Provide a smooth experience for new golfers to discover, book and pay for beginner golf programmes.
  • To provide a powerful call to action to their participation campaigns.
  • Enable venues to promote their programmes to a wider audience.
  • Automate admin related to managing programmes at a national scale.
  • Access powerful data and insights to better market to non golfers. 
Mobile friendly experience
“Last year we ran a Women’s Get Confident in the Basics session targeting the mums of the juniors we already coached but didn’t get the same level of pickup. When we launched the same sessions on the Golf.Golf platform we were sold out in 24 hours with lots more people phoning up to enquire about it” Joyce Boyd @ Westhill.
Before working with Played, the R&A Golf Development team had the following challenges: 
  • It was difficult for individuals wanting to get started with golf to seek out, sign up and register for beginner programmes, especially outside of clubs opening hours.  
  • They ran a compelling campaign with the four nations to raise awareness about beginner golf but there was a missing link between people seeing the campaign and being able to get involved. 
“We wanted to eliminate the perception that it is difficult to get involved in golf… the simple and easy user experience of the platform was perfect in helping us achieve this”
  • The team couldn’t measure how many individuals were interacting with their campaign and whether those signing up to participation programmes were as a direct result of their marketing efforts.
“Our efforts felt intangible as we were not able to access all the data and insights we needed from our campaign. It was unclear what messaging worked and what messaging actually converted interest into people taking part” 
“We noticed firsthand the success England Golf’s Girls Golf Rocks had with Played and immediately saw the potential to scale up programmes across all of our affiliates”
By using the Played platform:
  • The Golf.Golf team were able to implement a targeted marketing approach through Facebook ads to generate interest amongst those most likely to participate in a new sport and the Played platform helped them to effectively convert this interest into actual bookings.
“Played has helped us to create an end to end consumer journey which enables participants to discover, book and pay for beginner golf programmes near them with ease”
  • They had access to new insights and data which allowed them to better market their programmes.
  • Venues were able to easily set up and customise their own pages and include information that set them apart from other venues. 
“Played makes it as easy for venues to set up their beginner courses and sessions as it is for participants to sign up to them”
As a result of using the Played platform the team have:
  • Saved significant time associated with admin and the Played platform was rated a 4.7/5 for ease of use amongst Golf.Golf venues.
“We love taking online payments, it’s easy, straightforward and help is always at hand” (Golf.Golf venue)
  • Increased participation and conversion in their activities as automated bookings allowed people to book golf activities when venues were closed.
“Over 50% of bookings have come outside the 9-5 hours Monday to Sunday”
“The Played platform has helped us grow the game for non-golfers”
  • Access to new data and insights which guide their marketing strategy.
“The insights have helped us to market to a wider audience and increase our member base”
“Working with Played has been the easiest part of this Golf.Golf journey, they provide a really good customer experience through their willingness and openness to accept new ideas and feedback”

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