Nextgengolf is excited to announce the creation of a "PGA Professional of the Month" award in 2017. The award will be given to a different PGA Pro that goes above and beyond for their facility, and will look at social media, course rates, teaching, email marketing, community involvement, and more.
The recipient of the PGA Pro of the Month for January is Martha Hudson! Hudson is the Head Professional at Tobacco Road Golf Club in Sanford, North Carolina. Tobacco Road is a Mike Strantz designed course located in the heart of North Carolina. The course is one of the top public golf courses in the golf-rich state of North Carolina, and #50 on the Top 100 Golf Courses in the World according to Golf Course Architecture.
The reason Hudson was selected as the January PGA Professional of the Month award though, isn't because of the golf course's beautiful design or lofty ratings. It's because Tobacco Road Golf Club, led by Hudson, is setting the standard for golf Instagram accounts.
The Tobacco Road Instagram account (@TobaccoRoadGolf) boasts over 4,000 followers, and routinely receives 300+ likes per post. The Instagram posts specialize in providing a unique perspective of the golf courses, capitalizing on dramatizing lighting at different parts of the day.
Hudson would often find herself at the course earlier or later than many golfers, and the sunrises and sunsets at the course couldn’t be ignored. For the past 2 years, she has been posting stunning posts, focusing on vantage points everyday golfers wouldn’t see.
What's even more impressive than the photos though, is the amount of engagement. A majority of Tobacco Road's posts receive double-digit comments, with many followers asking questions, complimenting the course, or even sharing their stories of that time they played the course. The engagement is not by accident though, as Hudson frequently re-shares customer photos and responds to almost any comments that are left.
Hudson finds interacting with current customers essential.
“It is all about the experience for us, if we can showcase the experience for millennials that is what they are going to remember." Hudson said. " They will remember the golf course and how they were treated so re-living that through social media is how I feel we can show Tobacco Road in a great light."
The Tobacco Road Instagram account has been around about 2.5 years, and features over 400 posts in that time. The posts range from shots of the golf course, re-posts from golfers, and shoutouts to individual accomplishments (such as a Hole-in-One).
Chris Brown, the Director of Golf Operations at Tobacco Road, notes that their Instagram account is part of a larger digital strategy that included Facebook and a revamped website. The improved online presence has led to a drastic increase in online booking for the course.
We're excited to see more golf courses embracing social media, and hope even more will join. For golf courses that want to learn more about how Tobacco Road has been successful on Instagram, check out our newest case study: 5 Keys to Tobacco Road's Successful Instagram Account.
Stay tuned for the release of Nextgengolf's February PGA Professional of the Month! And if you have anyone you'd like to nominate, please don't hesitate to share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.