Golf can be a very expensive and exhaustingly difficult sport to play, but watching the pros makes hitting the dimpled little ball seem like child's play. Pro golfers can have the same effect on the car buying process, as a recent study by Compete.com shows that web traffic for three sponsors of The Masters are getting a huge spike in site traffic in advance of the event. Mercedes, Cadillac, and Buick are pouring money into golf, and at least online the strategy is paying off. This is especially true for Buick, which has the one and only Tiger Woods as its pitchman.

Golf lovers are five times more likely to visit a Buick website than the average consumer and two to three times more likely to visit a Mercedes or Cadillac site. We're no marketing experts, but if those numbers hold up, that's an impressive return for the automakers marketing dollar. It'll be interesting to see if the up-tick in online interest will spur sales for Buick, Mercedes, and Cadillac in the month of April. The chart above shows web traffic in the months before The Masters, which begins April 10. Thanks for the tip, Eric!

[Source: Compete]