Marketing The Buck Club – A Golf Course that Doesn’t Exist
The 2019 Masters starts this Thursday. Unlike other PGA golf tournaments like the Valero Texas Open (played this past weekend with a less-than-star-studded lineup of golfers), the Masters is a tournament even non-golfers know about. It’s one of golf’s four annual majors and is played on arguably the most iconic course in the world, Augusta National Golf Club.
But this Masters week, we’re going to talk about a golf course with a somewhat less storied history. Jack Nicklaus never played it. Arnold Palmer never played it. Tiger Woods hasn’t played it. In fact, no one has played it. Because it hasn’t even been built.
Yet The Buck Club in faraway Utah, with no members and no course at all, is one of the most talked about clubs in the entire golfing community.
Behind The Buck Club
Zac Blair is a pro golfer currently playing on the Web.com Tour. He has no PGA Tour wins, and his best showing in a major is finishing in the top-40 of the 2014 U.S. Open. He’s not what you’d call a household name among fans of the PGA Tour.
But among so-called “golf geeks,” Blair is a visionary. He’s a golf purist and knows more about golf architecture than just about anyone. He believes golf should be “fun, interesting and never-ending” – terms that few associate with today’s game of golf. And that’s what he wants The Buck Club to be – golf without all the excessive frills, exclusivity, and pompousness that it often comes with.
With no golf to sell and nothing more than a master plan, Blair has built a devoted community of golfers around The Buck Club’s marketing who follow his every move and gush about their excitement for his soon-to-be set of 18 holes. They follow him and his club on social media. They buy The Buck Club apparel to support his vision. Golf bloggers and influencers have him on speed dial to discuss the latest updates with his club and share his story.
Blair can’t promise when people will be able to join his club or what exactly it will look like when it’s complete. But the excitement he’s building for his vision is growing by the day.
Long story short: You don’t need to have a fully executed product to build buzz about it. Even the announcement of a plan or strategy can be newsworthy if the messaging and the passion for the product is there.