Golf product companies go to great lengths to attract customers

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

It never ceases to amaze me the lengths golf product companies will go to market their products. This week, I got an e-mail asking me to participate in the National Golf Association’s American Golf Census initiative. I was told this was my chance to be counted and “possibly win a great golf prize!”

It went on to say: “The American Golf Census is counting as many of the country’s 27 million golfers as possible. Being counted shows your support of the game and lets policy makers better understand how golf enhances the lives of millions of Americans from all walks of life.”

My question is, if they already know there are 27 million golfers in America, why do they need to do a census? All they really want is for me to supply them with all of my personal information so I can get more and more golf-related product offers flooding into my e-mail box.

For supplying them with everything from my name, address, phone and fax numbers, height, weight, annual income, handicap, names of everyone living in my house (including pets), color of eyes, how many times I’ve seen the movie Tin Cup, etc., I would be entered into golf’s most spectacular sweepstakes totaling more than $100,000 in prizes! It sounds too good to be true, right? I’m sure it is.

The prize package includes the latest golf equipment from TaylorMade, Callaway and Nike; dream travel for two to Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Southwest Ireland and Pinehurst; not to mention a once-in-a-lifetime April weekend in Augusta, Ga., and golf instruction at the ANNIKA Academy. I’m positive that even if I didn’t win, I would soon be hearing from all of those companies and resorts if I filled out the census.

I was then promised that my participation in the American Golf Census would only take a few seconds, and “it won’t cost you a thing. You can even increase your odds of winning by referring your golfing friends. But you need to be counted to win, so please take part in the census.”

Referring my golfing friends? No way! If I give up their names and e-mails, I’ll never hear the end of it. I’m not going to rat them out to these golf-marketing companies. Then they, too, will get all of the same great offers that I currently receive promising to lower my handicap by 5 strokes or increase the distance of my drives by a guaranteed 10 yards. I can’t beat them now; what if they did buy all of these miracle golf products? I’d owe them every dollar I’ll ever own.

Needless to say, I did not “CLICK HERE” to be counted. I’ll continue to be happy to play in relative obscurity. Trust me, it’s really better that way—for everyone!

From the Nov. 10-16, 2010 issue

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