Thorpeness Hotel & Golf Club – Digital Drive

Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club, on the Suffolk Heritage Coast, is a leading play-and-stay golf destination in Eastern England and part of The Hotel Folk, a collection of five distinctive independent hotels.

Due to rapid growth in digital media and the emergence of discounted green fee schemes and OTA’s (online travel agents), Thorpeness needed to redefine its target customer and develop new ways of communicating with them.

Matthew was hired to use PR to target the increasing number of digital media outlets and online communities in golf, as well as consolidating Thorpeness’ profile in the traditional golf media.

Objectives

  • To develop and position a truly unique selling point for Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club and help to develop products to take to market
  • Help Thorpeness break into the UK’s Top-100 Golf Courses rankings
  • Raise the profile of Thorpeness on golf websites, blogs, digital communities and social media networks and increase traffic to the website, generate authoritative back links and enhance SEO activity through online PR
  • Achieve feature length coverage in national golf and travel print media

Strategy

  • Developed the narrative theme “Your Home Club away from home” building on Thorpeness’ heritage as an upscale holiday village and reputation as a remote idyllic retreat
  • Develop and PR bespoke golf break packages including: Suffolk Ale and Golf Trail, Fish and Chips (Golf & Deep Sea Angling), Swings and Strings (golf breaks and Opera tickets for Peter Grimes by Benjamin Britten on Aldeburgh Beach), Thorpeness Festival of Golf, Golf for Girls Getaways and the Thorpeness Ladies European Tour Pro-Am

  • Media visits and review opportunities from leading golf travel writers and national travel journalists

  • Editorial planning and news distribution service to maintain a regular flow of positive news stories, interview and comment opportunities and contributions on specialist coverage of the golf travel business

  • The development of integrated digital communications including a bespoke golf blog, Suffolk Coastal and lifestyle tourism content, email marketing campaigns and social media content

Results

  • 263 media hits in print and online – with more than 70% of coverage by online golf communities, websites and blogs

  • DPS (Double Page Spread) features in The London Evening Standard, Golf Monthly, Golf International Magazine, Today’s Golfer, National Club Golfer, Suffolk and Norfolk Life and the EADT (East Anglian Daily Times)
  • Golf Monthly Editor Mike Harris tweeted that the Suffolk Ale and Golf Trail was “his dream trip.”

  • Broadcast Coverage from BBC Look East (TV news) and BBC Radio Suffolk – as a result Thorpeness Head Professional Christine Langford became a regular spokesperson on golf for BBC Suffolk

  • Thorpeness was ranked at #83 in the UK’s Top-100 Golf Courses by National Club Golfer
  • Thorpeness Hotel and Golf Club was featured in the UK Parliamentary Review as a beacon of best practice in a declining UK golf industry

  • Matthew Moore facilitated the introduction that resulted in Thorpeness being awarded the 2021 Logan Trophy (British Mid-Amateur Championship)