I was reading one of Golf Business Development's edition about a non-profit organization called Golf Environment Organisation(GEO). They claim about themselves that they are an international non-profit organization working to integrate the social, environmental and economic benefits of golf. Their 3 major aims are:
- Strengthen the Golf Industry;
- Enhance and enrich environment;
- Encourage sustainable lifestyle. (e.g. facilitating informed golf tourism, providing inspiration, and utilizing golf's influence)
When I was reading their goals and objectives (I totally agree with them), they reminded me another "independent" organization with similar objectives but in different industry, Superbrands. In Superbrands' independent research process they ask a panel of experts and thousands of consumers of their opinion. In both places you have to pay for using the title.
So is this another PR tool or they real mean what they say? Will they be able to fulfill their mission and objectives? The participation in Golf Environment Organisation's programme rises many issues to think about:
- Would it make any difference to golf players if they know/aware of this certificate?
- How this will influence green fees?
- Can I expect more golf players in my golf club or not?
- Can I reduce operating costs? If yes, how much (%)?
If I am not able to monetize my investment in GEO than it better not to deal with it. My impression about Superbrands that nobody cares if a company or a brand holds such title, beside PR professionals and marketing directors.
Currently 3 golf clubs holds their certificate: Ljunghusen GC, Viborg GC and Forsgarden GC. 12 other golf clubs registered to this programme: El Plantio GC, GC Udine, La Pinetina GC, Kristianstads GC, Loch Lomond GC, Auchterader GC, Golfbann GC, Zaanse GC, RJ National GC, Celtic Manor GC, Bearwood Lakes GC and Coventry GC.
On Superbrands TOP500 list in UK, there is no golf brand or golf industry related brand.