Golf nowadays is one of the most practiced sports in the world and its management requires highly trained people with extensive experience who know how to rely on technology to achieve great results. Therefore, we want to share with you the reasons why you need a good golf management software to achieve excellence.
1. Golf as a sport of the masses
Golf, as we know it today, was originated on the eastern coast of Scotland in the early 15th century. Some historians argue that golf originated in the Netherlands (the Dutch word kolf means “stick”), although the Romans already had a game in which they used a bent stick and a ball stuffed with feathers, which may have been the original source of the game.
Like any other human activity, golf has evolved over the years. Originally, the courses where golf was played were practically untouched and did not require special management. They simply marked the playing field, and the greens were lightly used. The rest was almost unaltered.
Clubs began to appear all over the world as the years and centuries went by, some of them for members with a higher or lower degree of exclusiveness, and others with a commercial purpose (public or private), where the concept is like other sports activities: paying a certain amount of money to enjoy the facilities to practice the sporting activity. The management of golf courses became more and more complex.
During the ’60s, Arnold Palmer became the first golf idol and established golf as a sport of the masses. Later, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods crowned it as one of the most popular sports in the world. This is when professionalized golf course management really comes into play, where nothing can be left to chance. The number of areas that need to be managed is huge. Golf course managers must be highly trained and experienced, and the use of specialized golf course management software is essential.
2. Managing a golf course
It is important that current and future golf managers have a strong knowledge, extensive experience in management, and effective business strategies.
All of us in the golf industry must work together to address some of the challenges that the sport must overcome to evolve and remain relevant. Today, thanks to new technologies, there are great opportunities in the golf business.
We must look for innovative products, services, processes, and technologies to ensure that golf remains a strong and attractive product for both players and potential new sponsors.
For example, at the organizational level, the change in the business models of golf courses is particularly remarkable. From private, members-only models to more commercial ones. Consumers are demanding “pay for play” more and more. It is time to make the game more accessible, less complicated, faster, and more affordable.
This leads to more management sophistication, as well as a more profit-oriented management approach. Thanks to technology, these changes can happen more efficiently.
3. Golf and technology
Despite being a traditional sport, the game of golf has been evolving throughout time, especially in recent years since the turn of the century. It is safe to say that there is an overabundance of possibilities for the player: big data, sensors, mobile devices, GPS gadgets, wearables, etc.
Because of this, golf courses should not only make economic efforts but also training efforts to encourage everything that has to do with technology related to the world of golf.
But this evolution cannot be limited to the evolution of the sport itself, it must be accompanied by the evolution of the course itself and the day-to-day management of the entire club.
Thanks to technology, a golf club must be able to make all areas of management efficient and be able to offer an enjoyable playing experience to each and every player that passes through the golf course throughout the year.
There are great opportunities for growth in the digital era for all golf clubs, especially commercial clubs that need to increase their revenues year after year. Therefore, the key to digital success will be the ability to innovate, to be flexible, and to try and test new measures, making as few mistakes as possible and learning from each and every experience.
4. Specialized golf course management software.
The main objective when using a golf course management software must be clear: this software must be a tool that makes the daily management of each and every one of the areas involved in the proper operation of the course and the club easier, it must make the player experience better, and therefore it must be able to generate more income for the club.
4.1. Why use a golf course management software?
For us, some of the main points to be covered by this type of software are:
- Booking management: Any player should be able to book a tee time or a lesson with a professional at any golf club in the world, from their couch or wherever they are by using their cell phone.
- Tee time management: Once the reservation has been made, and to offer the best possible experience, the players should have the option to park their car, check-in by themselves, and go directly to the tee of hole 1.
- Product Sales: For the players to have everything they need; the club should offer additional services in addition to the game. Thanks to technology, the players should be able to buy online clubs, balls, tees, gloves, clothing, or any other accessory they may need.
- Management of other activities: Although the focus of a golf club are matches and tournaments, it is essential to offer other types of activities, whether sporting or social, so that players spend as much time as possible at the club, to generate a bigger income.
- Customer communication: Keeping the players up to date with club activity is essential to achieve a higher volume of players who are interested in our club and to manage them efficiently.
- Tournament organization: Thanks to management software, you can offer more and better tournaments, in an easy, fast, and simple way for managers.
- Bar and restaurant management: One of the most challenging areas to manage in any golf club in the world. The more help a golf course manager can get in this area, the better services he/she can obtain, and therefore, better results.
- Price and promotions management: It is necessary to offer different prices depending on the day of the week, time of day, number of players, etc., and thus ensure that the courses are always full, which at the end of the day is what we all want.
- Management of academies, teachers and new talent: Who has not dreamed of having a future Tiger Woods or Jon Rahm as an advanced student at their club. For that, it is essential to have training methods that make the academy or the golf school highly efficient.
4.2. How to choose the best golf course management software?
Once a club has seen the need and the convenience of using a good management software and has made the decision to get one, it must consider which of all the software available on the market is the right choice.
There are many things to consider, but here are the ones we think are the most important:
- The ability to adapt to the club’s culture: Not all clubs have the same needs, nor the same vision. Some are private and do not admit new members, others depend on match revenues, others on annual fees, others on organizing a big number of tournaments, etc… In short, the software you choose must be capable of adapting to your philosophy, whatever it may be, and not the other way around.
- The ability to evolve: These needs are surely bound to evolve over time, and thinking long-term and knowing that the software will not become obsolete is a must!
- Human team (experience and support capacity): The world of golf has its own intrinsic characteristics, and the experience in the field of the people behind the software plays a key role in achieving success.
- Implementation plans and the ability to take advantage of them: Besides experience, it is necessary for the work team to be able to successfully implement the software within the club and train its managers so that mid-term they can make the most of a tool that has countless features.
- Accessibility: It is important that the managers, the board of directors, or any person involved in the daily operations of the club have easy access to the tool, at any time and from any place or device.
- Consulting: Many clubs have more “manual” tools and need support from outside for their proper digital development.
5. Benefits of using golf management software
So far, we have seen the key elements that a golf course management software must meet, but what do we get out of it? As we have already seen, there are two key points that we want to highlight as benefits. The improvement of the player’s experience and the increase of revenue resulting from it.
5.1. Making the player’s experience better
The golfer, when playing a game, in addition to playing against other opponents, also plays against himself and against the course. A golfer enjoys spending time on an aesthetically pleasing, well-kept course, where every shot is a challenge. But this is not the only thing the player appreciates.
The whole experience around the game also adds value. If a player has all the features, all the services, everything he is looking for, then he will want to come back to the club repeatedly.
If we rely on technology and the possibilities it provides, then we will be able to improve the experience daily.
5.2. Increased revenue
As a result of that improved experience, and resulting from a player’s loyalty to his club, then revenues will increase constantly. And if we, as visionary and commercial managers, can cross-sell, then surely, club boards will see that the efforts made to implement a management software will have paid off and are being profitable.
Like everything else, golf has been constantly changing in the last few years due to the strong impact of technology. Everything is more dynamic; users want to have all the amenities at their fingertips and golf courses must be able to meet their demands. The efficient management of daily activities is essential to achieve this and relying on technology should be a differential factor.
Now it is your turn. Get in gear and start using a software that will help you manage your daily operations more efficiently. Contact us and we will help you grow your golf course.