Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, PhD

Committee Chair

Greenwell, T. Christopher

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hums, Mary

Committee Member

Choi, Namok

Committee Member

Hambrick, Marion

Author's Keywords

Sport Marketing; Consumer Behavior; Golf; Virtual Reality; Leisure Constraints; Korea


Just as advances in technology have drastically changed daily life, the entire sport business industry has been altered by the latest technology (Lee, Cheon, Judge, Shin, & Kim, 2012). A virtual sport, called "screen golf", has offered a virtual reality via simulators and has seen enormous growth in the Republic of Korea (Kim, Seo, Kim, & Chang, 2014), not just as an alternative to the existing sport but as an entirely new type of sport entertainment (Han, Beak, Lee, & Huh, 2014). Knowing that there are significant gaps in consumer behaviors between existing sports and emerging sports (Ko, Park, & Claussen, 2008), investigating consumers' decision-making processes for participation in virtual golf is essential for the sport to be successful in this new market. As new trends of enjoying sports, like sport-related online games (Hur, Ko, &Valacich, 2007; Seo & Green, 2008) and video games (Kim, Walsh, & Ross, 2008), have emerged, and efforts to understand changing consumer behaviors have continued, it is necessary to explore virtual sports, which have had little attention so far, from diverse marketing perspectives. Hence, the primary purposes of this study were to (a) investigate differences in constraints between participation in actual golf and virtual golf, (b) compare constraints between experienced and non-experienced individuals in virtual golf, (c) examine effects of household income on constraints in virtual golf, (d) investigate effects of mastery on constraints in virtual golf, and (e) explore relationships among service quality, perceived value, consumer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions in virtual golf. A total of 389 surveys were collected from five virtual golf centers and two actual golf clubs in Korea using an intercept data collection technique. The result of this study revealed significant constraints differences on four constraints (cost, weather, time, and skill/confidence) between participating in actual and virtual golf. Next, the effects of personal golf experiences had significant influence on four constraints (social, cost, time, and skill/confidence) when participating in virtual golf. Furthermore, the low income group was more constrained by four constraints (social, cost, time, and skill/confidence), and the low mastery group was limited in their participation in virtual golf by two constraints (cost and skill/confidence). Lastly, all the given factors (core service, perceived value, consumer satisfaction, and behavior intentions) except peripheral service were significantly related each other. The current study provided a comprehensive insight into consumer behaviors in virtual golf from diverse marketing perspectives. In particular, this study investigated an individual's entire decision-making process in leisure participation and offered more detailed information to service providers and researchers through application of diverse variables. Consequently, the findings of this study contribute to future research regarding technology-driven sport industries striving to attract potential consumers and could expand literature on consumer behavior, including leisure constraints, service quality, perceived value, consumer satisfaction, and behavioral intentions.