Add Personality to Your Golf Course Internet Marketing Campaigns

Stop shouting your message to as many people as possible, instead focus your efforts on connecting with golfers.  Add personality to your golf course internet marketing campaigns.

I’ve liked many golf course Facebook Pages, checked out several blogs, and subscribed to dozens of golf course email lists and I’ve learned that almost all of them don’t understand today’s online marketing. They are using these platforms strictly as sales tools. People have learned to filter out irrelevant/sales messages. So, the more you push your products and advertising onto customers the less likely they are to connect with your page or open your emails. Blindly sending these messages out to golfers with no intention to connect doesn’t work.

Personality. If you want to build a consistent base of golfers for your course the best way to do that is to add personality to your golf course internet marketing campaigns. By that, I mean connecting with your customers. Make them feel like they are a part of your golf course. Make them feel like they know the people who work there and know the other golfers that play there. If you can succeed in doing that you will develop a strong vibrant community of golfers that will want to come back to your course. People who will tell their friends about what what a great place your golf course is.

It’s about making connections and building a community. Golf has always been a social sport, and today it seems golf courses are trying to automate everything, making it all less personal, less social, and less appealing. We need to bring back the social aspect of going out for a round of golf, and we should be using today’s tools to do it.

Recap. Don’t use Facebook, blogs and email marketing to send out a message. Use them to connect with your golfers and make them a part of your community. Your golf course is going to gain a lot more play in the process.

Share This Article!

Do Golfers Use Social Media???

Do golfers use social media? Read this excerpt from an article we wrote on Welborn Media

Originally posted at by Zeb Welborn

I recently spoke with a General Manager at a golf course who said, “Most of our golfers are 55 and over . . . Do you expect me to believe that golfers over the age of 55 are using Facebook?”

The short answer is YES, golfers over the age of 55 are using Facebook on a regular and consistent basis. In fact, according to a Pew Internet study, more than 57% of Internet users between the ages of 50 and 64 are on social networking sites. To go further, 74% of people making more than $75,000 per year use social media sites and 74% of college graduates use social media sites.

The largest growing demographic on Facebook is the 50 and over crowd. As my 89 year-old grandmother, Lenore Welborn said, “I joined Facebook to keep in touch with my grandchildren. It’s how I keep tabs on them and know what they’re doing.” The over 55′ers began using Facebook to keep in touch with their grandchildren, but are now using Facebook to connect with their interests and are using social media to pursue their own hobbies.

Bob Pouliot and friends

One example is golfer Bob Pouliot who retired years ago and now plays golf almost every day of the week. He connected with our golf course through the Los Serranos Country Club Facebook page and became highly active. Bob contributed 12 articles to the 19th Hole Stories found on the Los Serranos Country Club blog. He encouraged his family and friends to visit each one of the stories he had written about playing golf at his home course. These stories helped to connect him more deeply with the golf course, connected new friends to the course, contributed to an active and vibrant community and increased sales as Bob and his friends began playing at Los Serranos Country Club more and more often.

The General Manager, in the before mentioned comment, is also explaining something very telling of the golf industry as a whole. Golfers are frequenting golf courses less and less often and the response seems to be to cater to the older generation as they are the ones who are playing golf the most right now, but if the golf industry is going to thrive that strategy needs to shift. We need to be thinking about new ways to expose new golfers to the game. We need to start reaching those people in the language they speak and today’s language is social media marketing.

Spend any time with someone under the age of 40 and you’ll understand why social media marketing makes so much sense. Advertise where the eyeballs are.

The younger generation will not be picking up a newspaper or flipping through a magazine, they will be looking online to find out about the things that interest them and if you’re not online you’re missing an opportunity.

As a 31-year old golfer who loves the game of golf, I know how important it is to change the way we reach new golfers . . . By being active on social media and the Internet we can increase play at golf courses all over the country . . . Getting each golf course to implement a social media strategy designed to promote, encourage and enable young golfers to take up the game should be the first and foremost responsibility of any community golf course. Teach the younger generation to love the game and you’ll have customers for life.

If you’re still not sure that social media or Facebook marketing is important for your golf course take a look at the Facebook ”Check-Ins” for your course (even if no one in your organization ever created a Facebook Page for it your golf course will still have one). The “Check-In” feature on Facebook is for Facebook users to indicate that they are currently at your golf course through their mobile phones which then is relayed to all of the family and friends who are connected with them through Facebook.

According to only 10% of Facebook users actively use the “Check-In” feature, so multiply the number of people you’ve had check in to your course since your Facebook page started by ten and that will give you a rough idea of how many golfers at your golf course use Facebook. The number will most certainly surprise you.

At our golf course, a nearby location with a similar name as the golf course severely limited our Facebook page “Check-Ins”, but within 18 months, our sample golf course had 3,202 people “Checking-In” at the golf course. Which, according to the 10% rule, means more than 32,020 Facebook users had physically visited this particular golf course.

Any way you slice it, golfer’s are using social media and more and more golfers will continue to use social media in the upcoming years. At golf courses, we have an amazing opportunity to use social media to develop strategies designed to build a better, more engaging, more interactive sport. Social media will help us to connect with users of all ages and help bring them into this game. While many people consider golf to be an individual sport, the most fun comes from the interactions that occur between people. As David Kramer, Senior Vice President at Los Serranos Country Club once told me, “Golf was the first form of social media,” and in a way, he’s right.

People golf because they can hang out with friends, tell stories and become part of a community. Social media can do that better than anything out there today. If you want your golf course to thrive, you need to build the game of golf, to build the game you need to increase exposure and there’s no better way to increase exposure than by using social media.

So . . . Do golfer’s use social media? According to the National Golf Foundation, 71% of golfers use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter . . . and that percentage is only getting higher.

If your golf course could use a boost with a stronger social media presence contact Zeb Welborn at (909) 973 – 9089 or by email You can also sign up for our email newsletter which will provide additional tips and advice on how to increase your online presence by filling out our Welborn Social Media Newsletter Sign Up Form.

Share This Article!

My Brother and His Love for Golf

by Lacey Welborn

lacey-and-zebWhen we were little Zeb was an excellent big brother. He always looked out for my twin brother and me, and he was a good role model for us. Zeb was the first to try baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis and golf. He loved sports from the beginning and, maybe because we wanted to be more like him, so did we. We played sports outside all the time with other kids in our neighborhood. It was so much fun.

I remember one time Zeb showed me a golf course he designed. I remember thinking it was a weird thing for him to do, but he was excited about. That was going to be his golf course.

I played most of the sports my brother did, but I grew to love soccer and track and field. I was fast. I could use my speed to beat all the other girls on the field. Zeb will tell you that he had a lot to do with my speed; if I didn’t grow up playing sports with him and his speed pushing me to go faster then I would never have gotten a scholarship for track and field… and maybe he’s right.

Being able to run fast doesn’t help much on the golf course. I never developed the same love for golf as Zeb. He loved being at the golf course so much he got his first job there. And then he got a 2nd job at another golf course and stayed there for years. Even after that, he got his teaching credential and coached the high school golf team.

He has always been connected to the game of golf.

Now that we’re older Zeb is still an excellent big brother. We’ve been working together for a few years now and he is still a good role model.

I built this site for my brother’s birthday. I know this is a perfect gift for him. He can combine his love of golf with his love of helping passionate business owners grow their business. Now he can share his experience and knowledge in this place.

Happy Birthday Brother!

Welborn High Five!

Welborn High Five!

Share This Article!

A Recommendation from James Braid

Contact Zeb:

Passed down in the Welborn family is a crisply folded, handwritten letter from the golfing great James Braid. It’s dated Feb. 1904. In elegant, maroon colored type across the top it reads, ”Memorandum from James Braid, Golf Club & Ball Maker, Golf Club, Romford, Essex.” In smaller letters are the announcements – “Open Champion in 1901”  —  “Specialties: Drivers & Brassies” – and “Patronized by Royalty.

James_Braid_(golfer)_1913James Braid won the British Open five times – in 1901, 1905, 1906, 1908, and 1910. Braid and his contemporaries Harry Vardon and James Taylor, became known as “The Triumvirate.” In the early 1900s they owned golf. Vardon won the Open six times, Taylor five.

The letter is old school – written at a time when penmanship was valued and phrasing had a certain elegance. “It gives me great pleasure to bear testimony that W.B. Sime, whom I have known from a boy, is a first class club maker, good player and efficient instructor. He is steady and of a very obliging disposition. I am sure that he will merit the confidence of any golf club that may appoint him as their professional.

Yours truly,

Jas Braid(signed with a flourish)




This is about the many connections Zeb Welborn has to the game of golf.

Zeb Welborn and a MacGregor BAP

Zeb Welborn and a MacGregor BAP

  • Zeb’s golf heritage began in the 1800’s in a tiny village on the North Sea of Scotland. That’s where Zeb’s great grandfather Will Sime was born. It’s just a few miles north of the mecca of golf — St. Andrews. The family’s stone cottage is still there today. It’s a mashie away from the centuries old course at Elie, that grew out of what was referred to as the commons – land set aside by royal decree in the 1500’s to belong to the townspeople. They turned it into a golf course. Elie was hometown to both Will Sime and James Braid. They both learned to play golf on the seaside links, and learned to craft clubs by hand. Braid was a little older than Will, and by 1904 had established himself as one of the three best golfers in the world. When Will boarded ship to come to America at the turn of the century, he carried a letter of recommendation in his pocket from his childhood friend and mentor. With Braid’s endorsement Will quickly found work designing woods for golf club manufacturers. He designed golf courses throughout the Eastern United States. He eventually became the head wood designer for MacGregor-Canby in Ohio. His designs were popular. One design in particular — the Bap — named after the biscuits his Scottish mother baked, became the biggest seller of its day. Remember a few years ago how popular the Big Bertha was? The Bap was kind of like that.
  • young-zebZeb’s grandparents on his father’s side are lifelong golfers. For 25 years they were members of the Western Hills Country Club. For a portion of that time John was the president of their Men’s Club.
  • His grandparents on his mother’s side — also golfers. His grandmother, Catherine Sime Hoover, who learned the game from her Scottish father, played in tournaments in and around Dayton, Ohio, in her teens and early 20’s, using clubs handmade for her by her father. She married an aeronautical engineer/pilot during WWII, who surprised her with a one-of-a-kind golf cart he had designed using airplane parts. That little red aerodynamic pull cart accompanied her on golf rounds into her 70’s.
  • Zeb’s father, newspaperman and writer Larry Welborn, has two holes-in-one to his name. For years, Larry along with his photographer friend and golf buddy, Lazarus, collaborated on golf stories for Southern California newspapers and magazines. Larry researches and writes about the courses and the highlights of their rounds. Laz, a world-class photographer, contributes artwork that is dynamic and inspiring. Among the many venues they’ve featured are Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, and St. Andrews.
  •  Zeb’s cousin, pro-golfer Ryan Welborn, has been a moneymaker on the California Golden State Tour, making it to the U.S. Open in 1999. He and his family are currently managing and operating Foley’s on the Green Bar & Grill on the Meadow Park Golf Course outside of Tacoma, Washington.
  • Zeb at Los Serranos Country Club

    Zeb at Los Serranos Country Club

    Then there’s Zeb himself. The home he grew up in is within a solid 5-iron of the 11th hole of Los Serranos Country Club.  His very first job, at 14, was at Western Hills Country Club, where his grandparents played so many rounds.  His mother would drop him off in front of the cart barn before dawn each morning.  His second job was at the nearby Los Serranos Country Club in Chino Hills – keeping carts running and working the pro shop.  His time spent on his high school golf team gave him the chance to play courses throughout Southern California. After graduating from Cal State Fullerton, Zeb taught history and helped coach the both the high school’s soccer and golf teams. A few years ago his passion for education prompted him to start The Tutoring Solution – a service that offers one-on-one tutoring to youngsters in the Inland Valley.

Always interested in the business world, the experiences he gained in establishing and promoting that business led him to join forces with his sister to launch Welborn Media. One of their first projects was establishing a social media presence for the historic Los Serranos Country Club, where both he and his brother had worked and played as teenagers.

Welborn Media focuses on utilizing social media to promote businesses, organizations, and nonprofits. His sister Lacey is a talented, cutting edge web designer. And Zeb has established himself as a social media and internet marketing expert.  Whether it’s Facebook, Linked-In, Twitter, Google+, You-Tube, search engine optimization, or website design, Zeb has made a practice of understanding and using the internet in fresh and creative ways to connect businesses and promote causes.

With the knowledge and skills he’s honed, Zeb has been successful at applying his social media savvy to golf course promotion — happily joining his passion for educating businesses on the vast potential the internet offers with his love of the game of golf.

If you have a little time – between rounds – check out the Welborn Media website at

You’ll get a taste of the enthusiasm he has for sharing what he’s so good at with others, and a glimpse of how appreciative his clients are of his work.


He is steady and of a very obliging disposition. I am sure that he will merit the confidence of any golf club that may appoint him…

That’s what James Braid said about Will Sime. The same can be said about Sime’s great-grandson Zeb Welborn.


Share This Article!