When something has a really challenging, unique feature, there are two choices the managers of that something can do.
They can either downplay it.
Or, they can embrace it.
I think the former is an easy, safe route – after all, you don’t want to scare people away – but the latter holds a really intriguing angle on human (and, yes, golfer) behavior.
A Few Examples
Consider these examples.
Jackson Hole has an extremely difficult run called Corbet’s Couloir. They’ve embraced it’s difficulty and it’s become a bucket list item for skiers all over the world.
Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park is a steep, narrow path with precipitous drops on either side with only a chain for safety. It’s also the singular reason many people visit the park.
Tough Mudder has nothing short of electrically-charged wires for participants to run through after a dozen miles of mud and obstacles.
But look at that last one closely, because you know what that couple is feeling after finishing that challenging thing?
The Snake Pit
It’s interesting how few resorts embrace their hardest holes, but Innisbrook is one of the best at doing so with The Snake Pit.
They promote it, brag about it, and even have a statue to mark the beginning.
And at a time where getting solid coverage is becoming a tricker game to play, outlets see the value in covering branded holes and do so over and over again.
What’s funny is that every course has a few tough holes, but only the savvy ones have embraced this difficulty and turned it into a marketing strength.
A strength that gives people something to challenge themselves with and, even more importantly, to accomplish.
Well done, Innisbrook.
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