How apps can create golf days that amaze

    Phone app

    Having an app can create a fantastic experience for your members and guests. Jenni Biggs imagines how one such day could ideally work. 

    It all starts here, the moment they arrive. A little beacon sends out a personalised welcome message as they park their car. At the same time, the same technology lets the club know that their next guests have arrived.  Rewind back a few weeks to when you sent out your welcome pack, in it was an invitation for your corporate golfers to download your club app and to let them know that the countdown to their day had just begun. Your invitation explains that upon downloading your club app they will get a sneak peak at your course – layout, flyovers and yardages – to help them with the forthcoming competition.

    Your invitation continues that by choosing your golf course it enables them to have an action- packed, fully interactive golf day with live scoring, along with a built-in scorecard that calculates their handicaps and the indexes of the holes, so they can see just how they and their team are doing. They will also be able to have their own personal/team scorecard sent to them.

    Creating the bespoke welcome

    Now approaching your reception desk is a couple of your corporate golfers and your receptionist welcomes them with a big smile and asks politely which one is Chris and which one is James before guiding them to the clubhouse for their introductions to your team and their day ahead. In our great English tradition no golfing day would start any other way than with a delicious bacon roll and a large cup of coffee! Once the initial merriment and introductions have calmed, your director of golf goes through the outline of day and asks your guests to login to your app to join their designated team using the simple select drop down at the start of the tournament scorecard.

    Just before they all head out onto the course there is time for quick team photos; there’s no need for them to leave your club app for this as a built-in camera is ready for capturing their whole day. They can even share their photos direct from your app by linking to their own social media – which of course can be harvested and repurposed by your own team, showing your own social media followers just how great a day golfing at your facility can be.

    Bringing interaction on and off the course 

    Now the real fun happens as they set out in the groups to begin the game. The easy-to-see-and-use scorecard pings back to the scores to the clubhouse as they happen.  A big live leader board displays the ongoing results on your clubhouse screens and, for those golfers out on the course that just can’t wait to see how they are doing, the URL link you gave them enables their smartphones and, if applicable, your golf buggies’ tablets to mirror a scaled down version.

    Your club app’s scorecard makes the scoring easy because it works out their handicaps against the hole’s index so there is no need for anyone to do any calculations, meaning they all can concentrate on enjoying the game, dispute free! And to help them win/improve their game all the golfers can use the other great built-in features that come with your app, like easily moving between the scorecard and the course guide which comes complete with GPS location to the hole to help them select their next club, or they can have a look at the topography of the fairways with your flyover.

    Once back in the clubhouse they can chat, have food and drink and watch the rest of the scores coming, keeping them still fully involved with the game whilst waiting for the rest of the players to return. As they file back in those that have not been following it out on the field can see just how they and everyone has done before the official meal and presentation. Upon leaving your golf club, a final farewell and thank you message is sent out from your club’s beacon to each player and the following day your team can send them a follow up email or notification, thanking them and perhaps offering a special discount or free balls to try out on the range.

    Not just a scoring system

    Besides enhancing your corporate day, your smart club app isn’t just some cool looking scorecard and live scoring system; it is a fully rounded business tool coming complete with club promotions, special offers and an events section that your visiting players now have access to. They can see how active your club members’ events are, they can browse with interest at visitor event days/evenings or the latest offers in the pro shop – or even email your pro directly from the app enquiring about lessons.

    The best bit for your club is that not only do your guests have an unforgettable day but you get to collect their details, and have the chance to entice them back for additional rounds of golf and, ultimately, try to get them to become new members.

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    Miles is the Owner and Managing Director of Robel Media, and the award winning GOLF RETAILING Magazine. With over 25 years in the media business, Miles has a wealth of experience in magazine publishing, digital media and live events. HANDICAP - 7.2