A Golfing Enterprise
When I started out in the business 30 years ago, a very experienced businessman told me that if I could find a customer’s need and then fulfil it, I would have a great business enterprise.
However, it’s easy to say, but not so easy to do!
How do you invent something totally new when there are so many competitors out there that are offering a similar service or product? The answer is to think objectively, step outside the box and look at the problem from a different angle. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes to see if you can find a new or better way.
In the industry of golf – something I am vaguely familiar with – facilities, playing surfaces and the equipment used have been upgraded and amended many times. But the golf swing itself has changed very little. It is still two turns and a swish!
For putting, the length of the shaft and the weight of the head have been developed to create a better-balanced stroke. Drivers have changed from wood to metal, to graphite, then to composite materials used in the aerospace industry. This has increased the overall size of the driver, giving players a better chance of hitting a high, straight shot.
Golf balls are now made from more durable compounds so that they last longer; provided they don’t get lost on the course. No-one seems to have come up with a solution (yet) to stop the ball from going out-of-bounds or getting lost in water!
Technological advances in dimple patterns now provide better aerodynamics and a more stable flight. And GPS-enabled devices have been created, so that the player knows the exact distance from where their ball is to the target and can track their movements as well as club choices that have been used during the round. There are also laser devices that can pinpoint the distance to a flag and tell you the slope and contours of the ground.
If we add to this, the use of launch monitors that track the ball flight, pressure plates that determine the weight distribution throughout the swing and vests that can measure how the body distributes energy, it’s clear that golf now offers a lot of modern high-tech solutions to players.
I’m sure many industries are like golf in trying to find that next “big idea” to keep people purchasing products or services. However, it will be the most enterprising individuals that monetise these developments.
And remember despite the advancement and complexity of the tools that are used to help the player, the swing has changed very little. It is still two turns and a swish!