Posted by: Bob Fisher | September 11, 2011

Niche Golf … and Other Delights at Diamond in the Ruff

... A podcast with Doug Wilson, General Manager and Golf Professional at Diamond in the Rough

To listen to this podcast, click on the PLAY button below.

The focal point and vision of the game of golf

Golf is a sport; but it is also an aesthetic experience. It is a search for the ideal; and a visionary’s game which requires a quiet mind.

Ask any golfer.

And the real essence of the “game” is to focus your mind, to feel and to experience being “in the moment”.

And golf courses that are especially well-designed with this in mind, are physical and psychological landscapes in which golfers feel totally integrated.

Landscape shapes culture; and golf as a culture unto itself is often not well understood by those who do not golf.

Niche marketing and the golf industry

In the case of travel and tourism, a niche market defines and communicates a specific travel product aimed at satisfying specific consumer market needs. And there are niche marketing initiatives aimed at wide demographic audiences — also referred to as mainstream niche markets — as well as narrower and very customized niche markets.

The wide world of golf travel and tourism is both of the above. And consumers, using such electronic tools as Google, for example, can now locate, define, and create their own travel packages — and even better they can communicate directly with the service provider.

This results in a win-win situation for both parties. The service provider can find a loyal customer base and the customers can initiate and eventually develop — if they choose — a long- or short-term relationship with the service provider.

And in many ways Diamond in the Ruff embodies these principles and social values.

But, as I learned from Doug Wilson, General Manager and Golf Professional at Diamond in the Ruff, marketing golf can also be a challenge.

Economic realities of all kinds come into play. However — and this is the good news — as a result, the general public has increasingly become consumer-enlightened; and those who golf (or travel and golf) are now very much in control of their destinies. They are demanding a more meaningful experience.

The key factors in the new approach to niche marketing are: cost (both the cost to the consumer and to the golf course); the time it takes to play a round of golf (there are direct and indirect costs involved); and whether a course is perceived to be intimidating or accessible to all.

With regards to the last factor, I have had the opportunity to play some impressive “showcase” golf courses; but I often felt “out of my league” not because of my ability but because the course seemed “over the top” and larger than life — and one which lacked a human scale that was consistent with my comfort zone.

Unfortunately, some golf courses also suffer from what I would described as a gender divide or even class distinctions.

However, this is not the case with Diamond in the Ruff. This is a full-service course (and getaway destination) that is challenging, inspiring, and beautiful.

Diamond in the Ruff gives all levels of golfers a comfort zone.

More images and imagery of Diamond in the Ruff

To view this slideshow, click on the “Slideshow” icon in the upper right-hand corner.

Resources

1. The Diamond in the Ruff website

2. The Cottages at Diamond in the Ruff

3. Sandra Post

Other relevant stories from The Philosophical Traveller

1. Muskoka: Cottage Country Canadian-style

2. Zen and the Art of Muskoka Wooden Boats

3. Golfing by the Book: A Philosophical, Anthropological, and Literary Look at the Game

4. Green Golf, Sustainable Golf

Doug Wilson, General Manager and Golf Professional at Diamond in the Ruff

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