Online golf communities: an exploration of participation, involvement, satisfaction & social capital
van der Colk, Jimmy
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This study is an exploration of whether golf-related online community use is related to sport involvement, social capital, the social aspect of life satisfaction and golf participation. Golf-related online community use was measured in two ways: total time spent in online communities and the extent of contribution in online communities. The study is best characterised as quantitative research. In total, 101 usable responses to an online questionnaire were received using convenience sampling. The data was analysed with mean difference testing and correlation analyses. It was found that those who contribute more often in online communities experience greater levels of one of the three dimensions of involvement, bonding and bridging social capital and the social aspect of life satisfaction. There was no significant difference between those who lurked (individuals who do not post but regularly read content in online communities) and those who contributed in two of the three sport involvement dimensions, the influence of golf on the social aspect of life satisfaction and the average number of rounds of golf played per month. The correlation analyses suggest that when an individual spends more time online they are likely to report greater levels of all three dimensions of sport involvement, bonding social capital, bridging social capital and a greater influence of golf on the social aspect of life satisfaction. However, the analysis did not suggest an individual would play more golf, improve their handicap or report greater levels of the social aspect of life satisfaction if they spent more time in online communities. Recommendations are made for future researchers and implications are identified for sport managers.