American Marketer

Travel and hospitality

Waldorf Astoria entices golf enthusiasts with access to private courses

June 30, 2016

Waldorf Astoria New York Waldorf Astoria New York


Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is targeting a high-value client with yet another program of exclusive experiences.

The hotel chain has partnered with Golf Digest magazine to launch Waldorf Astoria Golf Experiences that pairs rounds at some of the best golf courses in the world with equally luxurious hotels. Because golf is a high-income hobby, Waldorf can rest assured that news of the latest initiative will reach an interested and viable audience.

"In launching the Waldorf Astoria Golf Experiences, Waldorf Astoria guests now have access to several of the most exclusive golf courses and itineraries that are nearly impossible to book otherwise," said John T.A. Vanderslice, global head of Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts. “Giving our guests the access to book these bespoke offerings – from a brand they already trust to exceed their expectations – further positions Waldorf Astoria as a leader in guest service and unforgettable experiences."

Once in a lifetime
The hotel brand and Condé Nast-owned magazine worked together to curate the experiences included in the package. Golf Digest named each of the courses in the Waldorf Astoria Golf Experiences one of the “100 Greatest Golf Courses.”

As the premier publication on all things golf, a partnership with Golf Digest ensures the hotel reaches an ideal audience that will have both interest in and the monetary means of accessing the promotion. Targeting a precise subset of affluent consumers may result in higher returns and also encourage a closer bond, leading to repeat business and brand loyalty.

turnberry isle golf

Turnberry Isle golf course

The Waldorf Astoria Golf Experiences take place at the Chicago, New York, Orlando, FL and Edinburgh, Scotland properties. The Chicago and New York hotels will host the experience Aug. 18-20 and Sep. 28-30, respectively, which will take place on undisclosed private golf courses.

The chance to golf in private, otherwise inaccessible courses will also entice a number of golf enthusiasts to book the package for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Between the two, the Edinburgh property will host golfers Sep. 21-23 at Carnoustie Golf Links, while Orlando will close out the year’s program October 21-23 at Streamsong Red. The program will visit new destinations in subsequent years.

The package includes two nights of hospitality, with one full day spent on 18 holes of golf, with lunch, beverages and post-round cocktails provided. The day will also include an “Inside the Ropes Bull & Bear Dinner” hosted by a Golf Digest senior editor; group breakfast; transportation and a Pro Shop gift card of $100.

Waldorf Astoria Chicago

Waldorf Astoria Chicago


Bookings are available now from $3,999 per player. Each destination is restricted to four groups of four, with the exception of the New York property, which will accept the first 11 bookings.

Additionally, Waldorf is also offering packages through the year at a larger selection of properties for avids and amateurs alike. The package includes a $150 hotel golf credit (or rough equivalent in international properties) and requires a minimum of one night stay.

Targeted programming
The Waldorf Astoria has introduced themed experiences for those with other hobbies in the past, hoping to develop loyal followings among populations that are more easily segmented.

For example, in 2014, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts released an ultimate driving experience at six of the brand’s locations that allowed guests to drive several luxury vehicles with a professional driver.

The program, which continues today, began that fall at select Waldorf Astoria locations across the United States and offered guests firsthand experience with racecars from Ferrari, McLaren and Porsche. Since specific brands are featured, the brand may attract loyalists of the particular models or more general automotive enthusiasts (see story).

Because an inordinate proportion of golfers are affluent and prone to travel, other hotels have also sought to capitalize by giving golfers a reason to select their brand.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts also recently began offering golf enthusiasts an experience they will never forget.

The brand’s hotels in Miami, Nevis and Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica are partnering with Magellan Jets to offer an opportunity to play on three world-renowned championship courses, complete with the personalized service of Magellan and Four Seasons. The high-end attraction will thrill a select few, but news of it will extend to a broader consumer-base and showcase the hotel chain’s creativity and dedication (see story).