Blazing Golf Trails in Wisconsin: Attracting Avid Golf Travelers to the State

in Case Studies in Sport Management
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Chip Jahne loves the challenge of the game of golf and his career in the industry. A young executive at the Wisconsin Alliance for Golf (WAG), he has only two weeks to prepare and present well-reasoned arguments to the WAG Board for designing and implementing state golf trails. The great advantage to Wisconsin of a sponsored golf trail is that it attracts tourists to travel, to stay overnight while playing multiple days, and to spend not only on greens fees, but also on lodging, food, and beverage in the state. To prepare his case, he accesses secondary market research and conducts demographic and psychographic analyses. He realizes that extending the target market to nearby out-of-state population centers depends on funding from the state department of tourism. He preliminarily designs three golf trail options for the state and contemplates the use of social media as promotion tools. Wisconsin has three resources necessary for successful golf trails: 40 or more high-quality public access golf facilities, an excellent reputation as a state for outdoor recreation, and an interstate highway system connecting population centers to tourism destinations. The missing ingredient is a consensus by the interested stakeholders on how and when to take advantage of these resources for their mutual benefit. Chip recognizes that the economic benefits to golf trail participants will depend on his tourist projections and financial forecasts, so his design must seek to maximize them.

Michael T. Manion is a Professor of Marketing and Strategy in the Department of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Peter Knight is a Department Chair and Professor of Marketing and Sales in the Department of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Brenda Hayden Sheets is a Professor in Management-Marketing-Business Administration at Murray State University, Kentucky. Norman O’Reilly is a Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Sports Administration at Ohio University.

Address author correspondence to Michael T. Manion at

Supplementary Materials

    • Teaching Note (PDF 761 KB)