Welcome to digital future
This is the connected generation and smartphone penetration in the Asia-Pacific region is booming, with many developed countries having already eclipsed the penetration levels of the U.S. and many European nations. However, there is one industry that is failing to capitalise on this – the golf industry, or more specifically, the golf club industry.
Given the fact a 2016 study by Google and TNS found that apps are the driving force of the mobile phone experience in Asia should be enough in itself for any business savvy GM to be actively seeking out a smart app for their club.
So what is stopping these smart GMs? The fear of change, the uncertainty of what to do and fear of getting it wrong!
This has always held back people from adopting newer ways of doing things. However, a smart app isn’t all about change; it’s about improvement. It is how your club can benefit its members and visitors, allowing them to do things quicker and easier. Mobile technology is also about driving additional revenues, communicating effectively and cutting costs. A smart app can also help with green credentials, which is often viewed favourably with overseas visitors.
Having worked extensively in the corporate sector, and seeing new trends come and go, our company understands the reluctance felt by many to jump upon the next “hot trend” but mobile technology and apps are not a passing phase and those clubs that fail to capitalise on them will be heavily penalised in forthcoming years because not only will they be missing out on this powerful sales and marketing tool, but golfers will expect to be able to download a professional app.
In order to create a successful golf club app there must be balance between club and golfer interests, which is why we completed over 18 months of study and research speaking with golfers, managers and industry advisors as well as pooling our corporate expertise into creating an app that blends flexibility with practicality, technology with simplicity and reliability with usability.
The solution we came up with perfectly balances the need between the clubs; their members and their visitors. Thus allowing private members-only clubs to focus upon the app’s ability to engage golfers at a personal level right through to those clubs that wish place more emphasis upon revenue generation and for attracting repeat play from visiting golfers.
Every section of the app is carefully designed to reflect our findings
The Outdoor Challenge
Firstly we had to overcome the unique challenges that faced clubs and their golfers. Unlike our corporate clients our app had to operate outside often in bright daylight in areas of no or patchy signal without any drop in performance. This meant that CourseMate had to be a native in order to fulfil these basic requirements because once downloaded, native apps can operate fully offline and then simply update, if required, once they regained connection.
“If you don’t capture their details, you’re missing out on future revenue”
Smart data was our first benefit for the club. This was achieved by CourseMate’s ingenious corporate design of having a onetime login screen allows the smart clubs to capture both member and visitor information with every download ensuring up to date information for all their other marketing.
This exportable data even includes a “My Account” section which allows clubs to view their player’s general data – age, gender and handicap – to give clubs greater insights to their players.
The most popular apps that are downloaded by golfers give “Google map” course guide, which can sometimes be hard to read and GPS location to the middle or back of the green.
However, using assets that the club already owns (course guides and stroke savers) CourseMate gives golfers a clear visual representation of the individual holes.
For the GPS location, we included a ‘green keeper’ function that allows the club to set the new hole position directly from the app making CourseMate one of the most accurate apps out there on the market for hole precision.
Clear large scorecards enable golfers to track their progress the smart way. With the choice of stroke play, stableford and match play CourseMate’s scoring system can calculate their results effortlessly using both the golfer’s handicap and the hole’s index. These results are stored on the phone with a full scorecard sheet being email/share able.
With an in-app leader board, CourseMate’s 4-ball scorecard gets the whole family involved, injecting some fun and friendly competition.
Stepping it up the action for both players and the club we included free live scoring into the app allowing everyone to watch the match’s progress right from in the clubhouse screens!
This simple 3-step set up allows visiting societies, corporate days and junior matches to become involved with the excitement of live tournament scoring bringing greater club vibe, increased takings at the clubhouse and giving your marketing efforts a boost.
This is advertising the way it is supposed to be done. Combining both profitability for the club and golfers own desire to be included, feel special and “get a deal”. This section is visual appealing, effortless to update and not popup in sight! Just the freedom for the club to choose their own adverts, images and calls to action. We’ve even add a direct one-touch contact ensuring that the golfer can easily take advantage of the club’s offer.
Because the control is with the club they can maximise this real estate to showcase their entire club’s offerings plus able to sell sections of it as advertising space thus generating even further revenue via sponsors.
Events and Fixtures
Keeping both members and visitors up to date with your latest events and fixtures, this section features a rolling calendar that also includes social sharing which allows non member events (for example wedding fairs) to be shared amongst the golfer’s own network giving clubs greater awareness than normal print or digital marketing would, not to mention the power of referral marketing!
CourseMate right on trend with the2016 Google study that shows brands increase engagement with their apps by using targeted ads that reach users at relevant times. For golfers these ‘adverts’ range from special offers to upcoming club events and with CourseMate linking part of push notification system directly to the app’s promotion and event sections delivers these targeted ads in a timely manner to increase turnout/uptake.
Using our push notification system, clubs are also able to send out general notifications and course updates.
Social sharing and keeping your golfer in your app is key to ensuring your app is used time and time again. CourseMate is able to access the camera on the golfer’s smart phone, capturing their day and then allow them post directly to their own social networks. Making them the perfect unpaid brand ambassadors for you!
The power of social proof is not new – referrals have for centuries have been instrumental in businesses attaining new clients and with the aid of social media, clubs can leverage this influence with ease.
…And more! CourseMate allows your golfers to link directly into your online booking system. If you have a third party online supplier that gives your members more than just tee booking CourseMate can also access these additional benefits at the same time.
Great photography captures a scene, giving it life, emotion and depth. CourseMate app is designed to allow clubs showcase days, events and golfing moments, updating with new relevant image as the seasons change.
Clubs can also get golfers involved with photo contests. This on the surface may seem like a small thing, but we are all proud by nature and the pride of having your photo being displayed will generate goodwill and much social sharing by the golfer themselves as they proudly show their photo to anyone that will look… on your app…!
From weekly specials to new seasonal menus tempt your golfers and increase f&b takings. And in tradition with the rest of the app, clubs have the freedom of ensuring their menus are as fresh as the food they serve.
Set to your course location, the all important weekly forecast that golfers check before booking… Or heading out for the day!
For times when your members or visitors want to contact you CourseMate has options of one touch dialling or a simple contact form. For visiting golfers we have even included directions which uses the smart phone’s “map” services.
Designed to be intuitive with everything instantly accessible to the golfer the CourseMate app is so easy to use, so whether they are young or old, club’s members and visitors can easily get the full benefit from this smart app.
If your club is new to apps don’t worry, the CourseMate team is here to support you all the way and give you full training to ensure you get the maximum out of your smart app. The best of all, your back end content management system is easy to use with familiar layouts and take just minutes to update. This means it is suitable for almost anybody at your club to manage:-no specialist knowledge or recruitment required!
Branded to your club CourseMate app comes fully set up and ready to go. And within a month your very own app could be up on the Stores earning you revenue and benefiting your golfers.