As we all know there is a social network for every audience. Golf is not an exeption. For this reason I made a little research to find out if there is any golf social networking site and what characterize them. I looked for an online service, platform, or site that focuses on facilitating the building of social networks or social relations among people.
What I found mainly is websites providing discount tee times (e.g. Golfzing.com, GolfWaggle) or community websites dedicated to golf (e.g. The Golf Space (with cca. 5400 members), Koobflog) or a golf media portal with social media features (e.g. Back9 Network) or simply focusing solely on golf stats tracking (e.g. Stracka, Golfshake). In neither case, the platform evolve to facilitate sharing and collaboration or to feel I am in a community like on Facebook or LinkedIn. In cases there is a chance, people rarely share significant information.
Maybe 4 portals are close to my social network site definition:
- The Social Golfer
- The Golf Street Journal (a little bit old fashioned, but here is some kind of community feeling)
- Linked:Golfers – a vivid group in LinkedIn.com, probably the largest online golf community (updated in 2015)
- Golf+ Golf Community – on Google+ (updated in 2015)
- All Square Golf – already found some partners/advertisers Troon Golf, KPMG (updated in 2015)
- gottaGolf (updated in 2016)
I think the developers of these portals have not found the solution to motivate people to join and live their virtual life on their portals. I would think about how to mashup with Facebook (beyond using Facebook/Twitter login button). People prefer to use a minimal number of social network accounts. Let’s save time for them to create another account and a network of connections. Connections do not come overnight. Social media account without connections is not so useful and fun.
Personally, I have not found any reason why should I keep my handicap record and other stats in neither portals. Probably a good mobile application could solve this issue since it is always with you. For other golf related questions, I recommend the LinkedIn.com group called Linked:Golfers (20,877 members).
Since I first published this post, many golf social media network disappeared. This is why I deleted their links: Koobflog.com, Back9Network.com, Meetgolfers.com and The Golf Street Journal. Currently, who is performing quite well are:
- All Square Golf
- The Social Golfer
- Linked:Golfers (the largest golf LinkedIn group)
- Google+/Golf Community.