EMEA/North America
The Challenge

Creating a brand, a brand story and supporting digital experience to help increase interest, participation and safe guard the future of the sport.

The Outcome

A stand-out brand and mobile-first digital platform that will enrich the golfing experience for current and future members for years to come.​

Weekly Visits
Players per year

The Client

Golf New Zealand

With over half a million Kiwis playing each year, golf is New Zealand’s most played sport and one of its most cherished. Golf NZ is the governing body for all amateur and professional golf played in New Zealand.

Golf has traditionally been perceived as an elitist, exclusive sport that is only played by a very narrow and privileged demographic: wealthy white men in their middle to old age. Golf NZ needed to shift this perception. 

They wanted to break down the stigmas and perceived barriers to playing Golf and in doing so, attract as broad and diverse audience of players as possible: the younger generations who will ultimately carry the future success of the game. ​

Golf NZ approached Journey with this challenge. ​They recognized that their brand felt dated and wasn’t going to help them in achieving these ambitions. Similarly, the digital experiences they were providing felt ‘old hat’ and out of kilter with both the quality of the ’on course’ experiences and their need to reach new and different audiences.​

Our Approach

Journey’s strategy team hit the fairways, greens and 19th holes to conduct user research. ​We visited a number of clubs, spoke with a diverse range of players and surveyed Golf NZ’s 180,000+ member database to gain a clear understanding of our audience and how they interacted with the game.

This research — and the rich quantitative and qualitative feedback that we received — helped to directly inform the rebranding exercise — both in terms of its visual elements and also the brand story. It also told us that the vast majority of players wanted to do one of four things: find somewhere to play, book a tee, check their handicap, and check/compare their live scores posted during a round.

Our solution

Based on the research, we designed a bold new wordmark for Golf NZ. The wordmark contains a golf ball symbol on a tee, with a koru in place of the ‘O’. We wireframed and mapped out how we could improve the player UX. A fully functioning prototype was created, tested, and fine-tuned over several months to make sure that both young and old could successfully use and complete tasks on the new platform and across different devices.

Our Approach

The rebrand included a transition from the name ‘New Zealand Golf’ to ‘Golf NZ’ (to better align with the strategic vision for the code) and the incorporation of the Māori translation of Golf NZ, ‘Korowha Aotearoa’.

The rebrand helped to shift the focus from being ‘high performance first’ (New Zealand Golf) to being ‘sport and grassroots first’ (Golf NZ).The website has a clean, fresh and modern aesthetic – putting players and courses ‘front and centre’.

The Outcomes

As a result of this year-long project, we have delivered a world-class, mobile-first digital platform and brand update for Golf NZ and its membership. The functionality, features and user experience of the Golf NZ website have become a benchmark for the code worldwide and is streets ahead of any other golfing site. Golf NZ can now confidently take its place on the international stage, knowing that they have a platform that enriches the golfing experience of their members today and tomorrow.