Marketing

Golf Marketing 101: How New Technology Changes the Entire Strategy

Not sure what golf marketing should look like in the 21st century?

Don’t worry, we’re here to clear up any confusion you might have. Over the years we’ve learn’t a lot about golf marketing. So, let us share some of the insights we’ve learned from our industry partners, customers, and our own experience as a new golf management software provider.

It’s not an easy task to market a golf course anymore. Non-digital costs are extremely high and only produce mediocre results. Online advertising space is becoming more and more expensive while organic search results are getting harder to show up on.

The big aggregators take up a ton of marketing space these days too. Golf operators often feel forced to rely on barter sites as their primary marketing tool. These operators concede that investment in a self directed marketing strategy is a waste of time and money. 

We want to prove that golf operators don’t have to feel trapped. In fact, we believe tons of marketing opportunities exist if you use a little creativity, solid data analysis, and comprehensive club management software.

                                 

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to your golf course marketing strategy?

Start marketing your golf course to millennials.

For the golf industry, millennials have been an elusive group. There are a few theories as to why: some operators say that younger audiences don’t want to play the game and that golf is a dying sport, while others believe that millennials just don’t like playing their golf course. Either way, a trend exists where most golf courses don’t offer anything at their facilities with millennials specifically in mind. 

The reality is that millennials actually do enjoy playing the game now more than ever. So, golf courses need to consider the lifetime value of winning millennial customers since these young golfers will be playing for a long time.

It’s seems like a simple concept, but many golf operators miss it: if you want millennials to play your golf course you need to cater your operation towards them. Here are a few concrete golf marketing strategies we’ve discovered that will help your golf course reach this young demographic.

golf marketing millennials

Mobile, mobile, mobile!

On average, millennials spend upwards of 5 hours per day using apps on their smart phones. Interestingly about 8% of those 5 hours is spent in the phone’s browser and the rest goes to mobile app usage. This means that millennials who want to play golf will not be looking to book a round on your website. Instead, they’ll search for tee times on apps they installed directly on their smart phones.

golf marketing stats

Millennials are extremely comfortable on their cell phones and are willing to download apps if they genuinely believe it will enhance their experience. Automated curb side check-in is one mobile app feature that is sure to enhance the player experience. Imagine how much you can empower your golfers by giving them the ability to check themselves in from the parking lot instead of at the front desk. Millennials demonstrate a preference for automated processes and prefer to skip the line to check themselves in. Not only does curb side check-in make the experience of playing your course unique and interesting, it also cuts front line staff costs!

Want all the benefits of a mobile app at your course?

golf marketing app

Sign up for our mobile app pre-order here!

Make tee time booking a social platform

Another powerful advantage of using a mobile app is the ability to implement a social booking platform. You can drive a lot more reservations by giving your players a social profile that includes handicap, preferred playing partners, and historical scores. A good mobile app should provide users with an ideal tee time and the golfer’s preferred playing partners when creating a reservation. With mobile apps, it’s so much easier to expedite the booking process and delight customers with an optimal reservation.

golf marketing app

The most incredible part about having your customers use a custom mobile application is that mobile apps give you so much control over your audience. Mobile apps create a very powerful marketing channel since they allow you to send push notifications for reminders, promotions, and course related updates. Now, you can get marketing real estate directly on the front of your customer’s smart phone. This quality of ad space is coveted by marketers because it is known for encouraging a higher than average engagement rate.

Encourage a creative and fun culture

Has your golf course ever been accused of being too old school? Too often managers in the golf industry are resistant to making changes to golf course policy or updating menus and pro shop offerings. Unfortunately, to rejuvenate your golf course you need to try new things. Chances are millennials want fun events, menu items, golf products and apparel you might not even know about yet.

There are a few ways to update operations at your course and golf management technology can help. You can collect data through your POS and detect what items resonate well with your audience. You can segment your data base and nurture the younger players who frequent your course. Plus, you can even integrate your golf management system with customer loyalty software to make nurturing even easier. If you’re looking for ideas, check out this list of 12 things millennials want at the golf course.

golf marketing fun

Sell uniqueness and experiences

At the core of your golf marketing philosophy, you need to understand that millennials want unique experiences. You don’t want them to feel like they’re merely playing at a copycat version of their parent’s country club. Don’t tell your younger audiences that your facility is just another place to play golf. The rewards are massive if you make your course a unique experience for newcomers. The best part is that they’ll keep coming back to get that same awesome experience over and over again.

golf marketing millennials

Modern golf management technology enhances your marketing at every level.

Golf managers who aren’t stuck on a legacy system know this: modern golf management technology gives you the power to regain control over your customer base, capture crucial data, generate excellent reporting, and utilize the best golf marketing tools available. Best of all, cloud based systems update themselves automatically so you don’t have to constantly keep buying new software. Instead, cloud based golf management systems are built up over time with your feedback in mind.

Data is the number one golf marketing tool

When golf courses aren’t benefitting from the power of data analysis, they miss out on the ability track how customers interact with their business. Modern technology now lets you track touch points across every single part of your operation. These touch points provide important insights that can directly inform business decisions. If you collect data from your CRM, online bookings, pro shop POS, restaurant POS, mobile app, email marketing, customer loyalty software and accounting software you’ll know:

  • Who is booking when

  • Who likes playing with who

  • Brand preferences

  • Product category preferences

  • Spending habits

  • Who is most loyal

  • Who is slipping away

  • Deeper segmentation of your customers

Knowing absolutely everything about your entire customer base is so important for honing your marketing angles, choosing marketing channels, and iterating your strategy. If you know your customer intimately you can craft the perfect message and deliver it at the perfect time. Ultimately, you’ll drive more reservations and purchases at the pro shop and restaurant because your messaging stuck and was meaningful.

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Integrate your operation with the best software on the market

If you work in a cloud based system you can take advantage of its open API or Application Program Interface. Cloud based systems with open API’s are capable of integrating with a vast number of cloud based software companies. Systems like this can integrate with some of the best software available, including awesome marketing tools like Mailchimp, Lightspeed E-commerce, and Dynamic Revenue Services.

golf marketing integrations

Making use of  integrations is like having a team

of 100+ specialized developers at your finger tips. 

Get golf management software that’s built with marketing in mind

Modern cloud based golf marketing software is tailored for the daily marketing needs of golf operators. Tee sheet software is now able to broadcast promotions and messages directly to your Facebook audience. Since social media is all about being consistent, use your tee sheet software to ensure all promotions and messages make it to your Facebook page.

In the old days, promotions and discounts were only offered through print ads and flyers. These aren’t necessarily bad channels. With modern golf management software however, print ads can easily be enhanced with memorable promotion codes for redemption when booking online. Now, you can promote your website and mobile app while also tracking the success of any print ad you publish.

Best of all, modern cloud based club management software permits promotion of green fee deals online with ease and efficiency. Now, golf operators enjoy a greater degree of control when deciding when and where to discount tee times. Deal promotion is especially effective when a user friendly booking widget exists directly on the front page of your golf course’s website.

Golf marketing promotion online

Get your golf course ranking highest on Google search.

With so much advertising space being taken up by tee time aggregators it has become very difficult for golf courses to rank on local searches. If you’re not satisfied with your search rankings, you can take a few actions when trying to rank better online:

  • Make sure your website is well designed

  • Have a social media presence

  • Publish content on social media and your website regularly

  • Register your golf course on Google maps

  • Encourage online reviews of your facility

It’s okay if you still aren’t sure how to get your course ranking better on Google. To help, we broke down search engine optimization or SEO in this handy post: 5 Golf Marketing Strategies for Better Results on Google Search. 

 

Marketing tee times with an aggregator.

By now you’re probably wondering, “what about online tee time distributors? Are they still important?” There’s a lot of negative perceptions in the industry right now, many operators feel mistreated by these massive companies. We hold that tee time aggregation isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, we believe that working with an aggregator that respects your local audience and allows you retain control over your customer base can be an absolutely crucial marketing channel for your golf course.

It’s all about give and take, a prospective tee time aggregator should adhere to a mutual exchange model. This simply means that every tee time you give up gets you something in return. What’s so appealing about tee time aggregators is that they get your golf course in front of a large audience. However, golf managers need to realize that the right audience is searching for tee times locally. There’s a major disconnect here. A lot of big distributors don’t focus on local areas unlike some of the smaller tee time distributors. Online tee time marketing works best when you choose an aggregator that focusses on local markets and tour operators. 

What’s becoming more important in the golf industry now are self directed marketing strategies. It’s time to stop relying solely on tee time aggregators to do all the marketing for you. At the end of the day, the big guys are only focused on pushing their brand and selling deeply discounted tee times that cannibalize green fee revenue. 

golf marketing tee times

Where to start when it comes to marketing your golf course.

We’ve unpacked a lot of technology in this article. There’s no doubt that there are lots of opportunities to take your golf marketing strategy to the next level. You may feel a little overwhelmed and maybe you’re asking yourself whether it’s feasible to implement any of this.

The good news is that for the most part, implementing these golf marketing practices is not that difficult. Modern golf management software helps with automating so much of your marketing efforts. Hopefully that’s relieving since we know golf managers don’t have a lot of extra time to run marketing campaigns. That’s why boosting marketing efficiency with automation is the best way to ensure you are maximizing reach.

Start by taking an audit of all the marketing activities you currently engage in. To know where you’re at, ask yourself these questions:

  • What marketing activities are generating ROI?

  • Are there better ways of determining ROI?

  • What are the most time consuming marketing activities?

  • What channels have the best and worst reach?

  • Has the golf club taken any meaningful action to reach millennials?

  • Do we know our most and least loyal customers?

  • How do we reward or re-engage them?

When you come up with good answers for these questions you’ll be able to determine what your marketing needs are. Make an effort to regularly audit your golf marketing strategy and then commit to iterating. Whether you choose to adopt new technology or update course standards, get a clear idea of the audience you’re trying to reach. It takes time to find that perfect marketing mix but when you do you’ll be more effective at reaching your audience than ever before.

See how our software reaches millennials
Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

How to Reach Millennial Golfers: 12 Things They Want at the Course

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Golf operators are struggling to attract millennial golfers to their courses. This not a new challenge: changes in technology, millennial culture, and the internet have left directors scratching their heads when trying to understand what younger golfers really want.

Attracting millennials means looking at your golf operation a little bit differently. To understand what young players want it comes down to updating technological features, rethinking course culture, and choosing better product offerings. So, what golf marketing actions can you take to get millennials on your greens? Here’s a helpful breakdown of 12 simple things millennial golfers are looking for when choosing a golf course to play at.

1. A smart mobile application

Millennials want to easily book tee times online through their smart phones. Encourage your golfers to book more rounds by making use of an accessible app that shows their golf history and seamlessly connects them with preferred playing partners. With a mobile app, you also get an incredibly powerful marketing platform that allows you to send push notifications, discount green fees, and promote offers directly to the user’s smartphone. Millennials live on their phones so don’t sleep on the opportunity to truly engage your younger clients where they’re most comfortable.
millennial golfer mobile app

For what it’s worth, we think our mobile application is pretty snazzy.

2. Automatic mobile check-in

Let’s take the mobile app concept one step further with curb side mobile check-in. This feature allows a golfer to check in from the parking lot upon arrival, walk on the course and tee off without speaking to even one employee.

This is an opportunity to cut frontline staff costs, but it also effectively addresses how millennials want to experience customer service. It’s not that millennials don’t like customer service, they simply prefer to receive it when required rather than being forced to deal with a clerk upon arriving at the golf course.

 millennial golfer mobile check in

You’ll never need to check anyone in ever again!

3. Interesting restaurant options

Complete experiences are crucially important for millennials. An amazing round can be quickly tarnished by a mediocre experience at the restaurant. If your golf course is truly awesome, and we’re sure it is, your restaurant better reflect that. Look for ways to test new menu items: hire a chef who understands what millennials desire and look to internet culture to understand what kind of food trends they’re talking about.

Once you’ve tested some new ideas, you’ll be able to measure what items were hits and which ones got the thumbs down. To do all this you’ll definitely need a good restaurant POS that can track data, link purchases to customer profiles, and provide detailed reporting.

millennial golfers instagram food

If your food rocks they’ll share it on Instagram!

4. Self serve POS in the restaurant

While we’re talking about the restaurant side of your operation, it’s worth pointing out the many benefits of using a self service kiosk. Empowering customers to enter their own orders eliminates the risk of miscommunication with staff, and the kitchen receives more accurate tickets. Streamlining the ordering process will help to cut frontline staff costs, but it will also give servers more time to master the menu and better inform all customers.

It’s well known that Millennials like the efficiency of self serve kiosk ordering, one study showed that 96% of 18-34 year olds say that having a self serve kiosk at a restaurant is a benefit. With modern advances in cloud based POS systems, golf operators can now access technology that once was only available to airports and big box retailers. 

millennial golfers like kiosk pos

The future is here, make ordering hassle free!

5. Craft Beer

Here’s a quick and easy one: millennials love craft beer! Stocking a few household beer brands just doesn’t cut it any more. Offer a better of selection of beers and make sure your staff are connoisseurs of the new options. We’re sure that customers will love testing your new selection!

Again, when trying new items at the bar we recommend tracking sales and purchases with a good POS. You should make sure that the new beers you are introducing are actually selling, so make sure you track every possible data point.

millennial golfers love craft beer

Beer taps for miles, they’ll want to try every single one!

6. Make club house culture more fun

Unfortunately, golf is still seen as an activity for old people; the sport has an air of seriousness which can push younger clients away. We recognize that golf is rooted in tradition, but you can certainly try and freshen up the atmosphere at the club!

Put some real thought into the way your facility presents itself to younger groups, and put yourself in their shoes in order to understand what they might want out of an experience at your course. Look no further than the Waste Management Phoenix Open (and the raucous coliseum atmosphere of the 16th hole) for an example of how catering to younger sensibilities can be incredibly profitable!

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Make your customers feel like rockstars.

Not sure how to bring your golf course into the future?

millennial golf operator

Download the white paper

7. Ditch the formal attire

Stuffy, outdated dress codes imposed by many courses will only continue to put off millennial golfers. Millennials are all about self expression and when you limit them, you risk alienating them. Moreover, golf fashion has evolved! It’s ok to ditch the “no slacks, no play” mentality – Air Jordan golf shoes are worn by multiple PGA Tour players, so you can loosen restrictions, too.

Of course, your older members can continue to dress in the manner to which they are accustomed, but the younger generation should be allowed to feel comfortable at the course. Adopting a fresh policy on golf attire will also allow you to stock your pro shop with new threads from the game’s growing brands, building your credibility (and sales numbers) amongst your millennial clientele!

millennial golfer fashion goals

Fashion goals.

8. Let your golfers play music on the course

Sharing music with your friends is fun, and young people do this all the time through Spotify and Apple Music. With music streaming so prevalent these days, it’s not a bad idea to allow clients to play music (at a reasonable volume) on the course!

Not only will it help your players create memorable experiences, but it can be used as a marketing opportunity – your course could be the first to have an official Spotify playlist, perfectly curated for the links!

millennial golfers music

Check out this cool bluetooth speaker that fits perfectly into any golf cart.

9. Stop selling only 9 and 18 hole rounds

Millennials have short attention spans, they might not have 4-5 hours to spend golfing on their precious days off. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like the sport! They would just prefer to play fewer holes and then head to the bar for a drink. Depending on your hole configuration and relative distance to the clubhouse or halfway house, sell “rounds” in 1, 2, or 3 hole packages! You’ll see people coming multiple times a week to play their favourite stretches of the course and to hang out at the lounge, increasing enjoyability and helping your bottom line.

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Time is of the essence! Millennials just want to have fun.

10. Empower millennial golfers to play with their ideal partner

Golf is a game that was designed to be played with friends, young people especially value this. You can encourage more bookings by using software that tells millennial golfers when their ideal playing partners are available to play. When you collect good data and apply simple artificial intelligence software in combination with mobile and online booking, it’s suddenly possible to promote optimal tee times through mobile app and email marketing.

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Playing with your friends is what it’s all about.

11. See your golf course as an interactive experience

Every part of your operation should be designed to create an experience. Ideally, everything at your course should reflect each other in terms of ambience and atmosphere. Golf is a form of entertainment and that’s why clients come to your club house! By creating a complete experience you’ll leave an important and real memory of what visiting your golf course is like.

One way to increase your course’s interactive appeal is to add more entertainment options in the clubhouse. People love using golf simulators at the bar (especially in the off-season), attending events like glow in the dark golf night, and using fun amenities like golf boards. There are several options that can make your facility the go-to choice for fun both on and off the course! 

Golf Board Pic - How to Reach Millennial Golfers: 12 Things They Want at the Course

For real, these look so fun.

12. Drive online sales by using the Pro Shop as a testing centre

Millennial golfers like trying out products in person but often they are more inclined to buy online. Many courses are losing to internet giants like Amazon or used golf equipment resellers. One way to fight this is to introduce an e-commerce platform for your pro shop. Launching an online retail presence for your pro shop allows younger customers to try out products in person and then, when they’re ready, purchase online.

Plus, if you collect good data on your customers you can capture their product and brand preferences. By capturing that data your e-commerce can provide smart, well timed, preference specific advertisements that are much more likely to close a sale. When it comes to competing with online giants like Amazon, quality data will serve as your principal advantage – you will know know your audience far better than they do.

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Take the pressure off and let your golfers decide when they want to buy.

See how our software reaches millennials
Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

The Perfect Thursday at the PGA Orlando Merchandise Show

The 2018 PGA Merchandise Show is coming up next week and we’re sure you have a lot planned for the duration of the exhibition.

Preparations aside, you might be feeling a little bit overwhelmed after the first day so we put together a little itinerary for the perfect Thursday in Orlando.

1. Grab a hangover breakfast before arriving at the Orange County Convention Centre.

If you had a little bit too much fun last night, kickstart your day with a good breakfast. We recommend the B-Line Diner across the street at the Hyatt hotel. Don’t rush your morning, today is about exploring, learning, and most importantly enjoying the experience.

golf conference

2. Walk the floor and take in the atmosphere of the show

We’re willing to bet that Wednesday was a total sensory overload. The PGA Show offers every kind of golf product imaginable and some beyond the imagination. With more than 2 Million square feet of convention floor to walk, there is plenty that you missed on day one so spend some more time taking it all in.

golf conference

Don’t miss the new exhibitor section. Everybody loves the novelty products, they probably won’t be back next year so check them out while you still can!

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3. Stop by for a demo at the Chronogolf booth

Don’t miss a good chance to catch up on all the new technology that is changing the golf industry as we know it. If you operate a golf course and think your technological solutions could use a facelift, stop by to see us at booth #3729 for a demo of our revolutionary club management software.

Schedule an in person demo today!
Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

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4. Attend the Golf Operator of the Future seminar

Join us in room W309 for a panel discussion that will unpack new technology and outline strategies for updating golf course operations. We’re excited to welcome a talented foursome of panelists: Jason Wilson (CEO – Gallus Golf), Scott Merchant (Co-Founder – GolfBook), Stuart C. Lindsay (Pellucid Golf), and Matt Welliver (VP of Corporate Development – Chronogolf). Moderator Jim Kloppenhaver will do his best to keep the guys on the fairway, but this conversation is sure to cover all sorts of interesting topics! Space is limited, so reserve your seat now.

golf management seminar

Reserve your seat now!
Learn how your course can benefit from modern technology.

Key topics our panelists will cover are: 

  1. Getting the best insights out of your data

  2. Mobile experience innovation

  3. Best practices with internet tee times and marketing

  4. Benefiting from cloud based club management solutions

Going to miss this years PGA Show? You can still download the companion e-book we wrote for the conference. It covers the seminar and provides real insight into industry marketing trends and technological advances.

the golf operator of the future

Download the white paper

 

5. Network with industry professionals

At such a huge event there are endless opportunities to network with people from all around the golf industry. You never know who you could meet so put yourself out there and shake some hands. We recommend putting together a hit list of people (or kinds of people) you would like to make connections with. 

golf operator conference

6. Swing on over to Topgolf in the evening to hit some balls and enjoy a pint

Orlando is host to one of the hottest new trends in golf, Topgolf! This unique driving range experience is a fun place to blow off some steam at the end of the day. What better place to woo a key contact who could bring your course to the next level!

golf operator conference

A golf managers guide to the first 90 days on the job

Golf management is no easy task and now that generation X is getting promoted into management level positions you might find yourself operating day-to-day operations, like pro shop inventory and tee sheet management sooner than you think. 

When you become the top-dog at the course you’re going to face many challenges that operators are facing day to day.

  • How will your course reach millennials?

  • How can you reduce costs and improve efficiency?

  • What technological tools are available to improve marketing and course operations?

  • How will you grow revenue while keeping your loyal members happy?

Of course there’s no easy answer to any of these questions but leveraging modern tools and strategies developed by and for the golf industry will make it easier to impress customers and stakeholders alike.

tee sheet management for the first 90 days

1. Get tee sheet management with key performance indicators

Look at key performance indicators to get a real understanding of the value of each tee time you sell. Value often depends on the weekday and time you sell the tee time at. Data provided by your tee sheet and golf POS can tell exactly what times are most valuable. From your POS you can also learn what reservation channels people are using to book tee times and when your course is most and least occupied.

Your tee sheet management software should be able to provide this kind of detailed reporting and will help you make key decisions related to pricing, timing, seasonality, and marketing channels.

Furthermore historical metrics can help determine benchmarks to measure your performance against.

CourseAnalytics - A golf managers guide to the first 90 days on the job

2. Assess your inventory management system

How well is the pro shop managing its inventory? A lot of golf courses sacrifice revenue when they use a poor inventory management system

Your POS is the heart of your pro shop and will be imperative to your success as a golf operator. Ideally, your golf POS should be able to tell you what categories and items perform best, but on top of that a good POS can tell you what employees are selling best.

Improve efficiency by using a POS that integrates directly with your CRM and Teesheet. You can save so much time by implementing a system that seamlessly transfers information about pricing, players, tee-times, and house accounts.

tee sheet managment for inventory

3. Re-evaluate past marketing strategies

What has the course been doing to drive more business and attract new members? If your operation has not moved past traditional advertising strategies (print ads, radio, snail mail) there are a lot of options available, especially through online channels. 

Some modern marketing channels include:

  • Email marketing software with nice templates and click tracking

  • Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

  • Google Maps

  • Online booking through your golf course’ website

  • Online tee time marketplaces

You can also enhance your print and digital ads by adding promotional codes that are redeemable online, as long as your POS supports this kind of feature.

The importance of social media goes without say. Customers are changing the way they consume information. Forward thinking golf management software has the ability to publish social media posts directly from your software.

4. Implement a loyalty program

What better way to immediately delight your most loyal customers and potentially improve revenue from return visits? Implementing a loyalty program will help you make your most important customers feel appreciated and valued by your course.

tee sheet management for email blasts

If your golf POS has an open API, it should be possible to to integrate a loyalty program, such as Thirdshelf, directly into your system

Schedule an in person demo today!
Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

4 club management solutions golf operators tend to overlook

1. Mobile applications

Nowadays it’s pretty standard for golf managers to have online booking services available as part of their club management solution. Of course, not all online booking providers are created equal but in general most courses offer customers and members the opportunity to reserve online. What most courses overlook is the increasing shift towards mobile amongst consumers. Today, 68% percent of all consumers use smart devices, and it’s a safe bet that this ratio is even higher amongst golfers. The paradigm shift towards mobile demands a response from every business, including golf managers who want to leverage technology to maximize profits.

mobile club management solutionSo, how should a proactive golf manager respond to the mobile revolution? It’s time to move past dated, browser based, online booking software and move towards mobile app based online booking. Studies tell us that of the time spent using digital media, 51% is spent on a mobile device and 90% of that time is spent in an app.

mobile club management solution

What we know for sure is that golfers, especially the younger ones, love using apps on their phones. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to impress your phone addicted customers with mobile app booking and check-in. Younger demographics will absolutely love this futuristic functionality and you’ll reduce time spent managing reservations over the phone and in person by implementing a mobile check-in system.

Learn more about how a mobile application can help your course

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Download the white paper

2. A cloud based club management solution

One the most important advances in the management software industry has been the advent of cloud based software. There are so many advantages to applying cloud technology to your club management solution. For one, you don’t necessarily need to buy new hardware, in fact you can access all your information, manage your golf course, and take care transactions from any device with an internet connection. Technology in golf management that uses the cloud makes for an incredibly powerful tool that allows managers to track and manage operations anywhere, anytime, from any device.

cloud connectivity - 4 club management solutions golf operators tend to overlook

Cloud based club management solutions help cut down hardware costs and are much more cost efficient than old clunky software that doesn’t automatically update and becomes obsolete in five years. The best part about a cloud based club management solution is the constant updates with new and improved features. Even better is that often these cloud based club management solutions listen to your voice in choosing what aspects of their service to improve. Don’t allow your golf operation to fall behind the curve or you’ll risk losing younger customers and frustrate your valued members with antiquated technology.

3. Online tee time distribution services

A well known dark horse in the golf industry, some course managers despise online tee time distributors while others swear by them. There’s a ton of debate around the subject but it really boils down to two questions:

  1. Am I getting the right amount of exposure?
  2. Am I getting a fair deal?

Often golf managers feel boxed in by a handful of golf industry giants. They attract a lot of golf operators by promising a wide net of exposure and a boost in reservations, and then lock them into exploitative long contracts that take away a huge chunk of the tee sheet and discount your precious tee times by up to 100%. The best option is to find a golf management solution that features a mutual exchange model whereby you receive some kind of benefit or feature for every tee time you give up.

marketplace club management solution

4. Feature rich tools

It’s one thing to have tee sheet software that takes online bookings, but not all tee sheet software solutions are created equal. The most advanced tee sheets on the market are user friendly and feature rich with tools like detailed reporting, analytics, and radar that detects when credit cards and member accounts are expiring.

reporting club management solution

On top of all the built-in features, advanced tee sheets have an “open API” meaning that other best of breed software can be integrated directly into the software. Imagine if you could combine the data in your CRM with power of Mailchimp email marketing or Thirdshelf’s customer loyalty system? Making use of these integrations can take your marketing to the next level, meaning a filled tee sheet and more revenue.integrated club management solution

Schedule an in person demo today!
Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

The Secret to Saving Time During the Golf Industry Buying Season

The season is over and you’ve had chance to catch up with your year end review going forward, now the time is coming to put in your purchase orders, peruse a golf industry catalog, and begin stocking up the pro shop for next year. Perhaps you will attend a buying show and meet with vendors in person, or maybe you will make purchase orders online or with your account manager. In any case, you are probably dreading going through the time consuming process of ordering, inputting, and stocking your inventory. If done inefficiently, this part of golf management can take months! Fortunately, Chronogolf is here to help with some advice on cloud based inventory management systems.

  • Import items from any golf industry catalog imaginable

New POS systems offer the ability to import items using vendor catalogs procured and organized by companies like us. At Chronogolf, we make thousands of golf industry catalogs available from major brands and vendors such as Acushnet, Titleist, and Nike. Don’t think we have your golf industry catalog on file? No sweat! We will happily add any catalog you send to us.golf industry catalog display

  • Spend less time with manual input

Probably the worst part about the off season is the time spent doing tedious activities like counting stock and comparing expected versus actual counts. Not to mention all the time consuming manual data entry.

Modern inventory management systems make it possible to save hours of time and energy with our golf industry catalog import feature. All you have to do is create your purchase order and the cloud based system will handle everything else for you. These systems typically offer automatic entry of shipping, receiving, stocking, and pricing information when you enter a purchase order.

golf industry catalog ipad

  • 100% accurate reporting

When taking care of your inventory, precision is the most important part. Reporting inaccuracies will cause a major headache if any information is entered incorrectly. Using a POS system that is equipped with a catalog importing feature is one the best ways to reduce the chance of making an error. 

Chronogolf is integrated with every possible vendor catalogue a golf course manager could need, meaning that users of our software rest assured that their inventory reports are 100% accurate. To save a lot of headache and time, make sure your inventory management software can track live inventory reporting in real time.golf industry catalog reporting

  • Keep all information in the same place

Disorganized golf managers often scatter information between inconvenient and unrelated places. It’s inefficient to search for inventory records in one filing cabinet, while sorting through your purchase orders in that messy PO binder somewhere else.  

Disorganized inventory management wastes time and can lead to more opportunities to make silly errors. Using a modern inventory management system really gives you the chance to save your time for actual analysis and allows you the opportunity to see the important data in an organized and user friendly way.  

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6 ways your golf course will benefit from a cloud based golf POS

Cloud technology is nothing new — by now it’s even become somewhat of a cliché to reference The Cloud when referring to a cloud based golf pos. That doesn’t mean, however, that everybody understands what it means and what the benefits are. We’re here to help!

Cloud-based means that a program or app, and its data, is accessed and stored on the internet via cloud computing. In simpler terms, your system lives online versus on your computer server or hard drive.

Cloud technology has affected every aspect of the golf industry, from online booking to pro shop management and every thing in between. Most advanced point of sale systems are now online and functioning at a much higher level (doing much more for the businesses that rely on these systems) than their predecessors. Here are six ways golf courses benefit from a system that’s based in the cloud:

1. Cuts infrastructure and updating costs

While most technology traditionally came with a slew of costs in addition to the system in question, for example IT help and software updates, this concept is null and void when it comes to cloud-based systems. No more investing in costly IT specialists or hardware. Cloud-based software is on the internet and can therefore be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection regardless of the system on which you operate. What’s more, anytime there’s a software update to be made, the update takes place automatically, without requiring the user to do anything except open the app.

Cloud-based technology limits your need for IT

2. Allows for quick changes

Think about the food and beverage side of the golf industry, your restaurant menu can fluctuate on a nightly basis based on what you have in stock or what your chef wants to make. On a cloud based golf POS, these changes are extremely simple to make from anywhere, meaning you can present the latest and greatest to your guests within minutes.

 

3. A cloud based golf pos will grow with your business

Whether you’re organizing new purchase order for your pro shop or trying out a snack bar on the 14th hole, as your business grows and evolves into something new, a cloud-based system will accommodate your needs. Adding a new register is simple, adding a new location to your system takes seconds and adding (or removing) a user is no problem at all. You’re not restricted to the package you initially signed up for with a cloud based golf POS.

Background - 6 ways your golf course will benefit from a cloud based golf POS 

4. You can take it wherever you go

Being internet-based also means that cloud systems are mobile – they go anywhere your iPad goes. For cloud-based point of sale users, this means anytime you leave the grounds and need access to your system, it’s there. Want to look at your daily sales from home — or the parking lot outside the club house? No problem. Going to a trade show and want your inventory to come along with you? That’s what it’s there for. A cloud-based system is a mobile system that lets you run your business your way.

IMG 0083 - 6 ways your golf course will benefit from a cloud based golf POS

5. Simpler integration with other systems

Your point of sale doesn’t operate in a vacuum. In many cases, you may need to add features available through other apps, which means integrating them into your cloud based golf POS. This integration of multiple systems in one is much simpler when the apps in question are cloud-based. Basically, your system can do much, much more for you — and the possibilities are endless! — than one that isn’t.

6. Protection from hardware malfunctions

This may seem obvious based on point number 1, but should be said anyway. You are free from dependency on your hardware. If your laptop, iPad or iPhone dies, your data is remains unaffected. All of the business data, such as customers, employees, inventory and sales data, is kept safe online in case your hardware crashes and burns. You may need to invest in a new tablet, but that’s a far cry from losing precious numbers or access to your business.

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Alleviate These 5 Pain Points Your Golf Management Team Faces Everyday

Why does golf management sometimes feel like a juggling act?

These days the golf industry is becoming a tough space to compete within. Everyday golf management faces major challenges that determine how the course will perform over the season. To overcome these pain points golf managers must be diligent while using best practices and modern technology.

1. Reducing Costs

In the back office its no secret that margins are getting thinner and thinner, so where are the additional costs coming from? Heightening costs of maintenance, labour, and member demands are certainly not helping but even worse, the increasing importance of online booking and tee sheet management software has allowed software providers to charge extremely high prices.

Often software providers demand a huge chunk of the tee sheet or charge sky high monthly fees, leaving golf managers to struggle with handling lost revenue and questioning the promise of high ROI on their management software. 

The solutions for this financial pain point are easy to say but hard to put into practice. In a practical way, how can managers reduce their costs while keeping their operations viable and customers happy? There are options available for affordable tee sheet, golf pos, and online booking software so if your course is giving away hundreds of tee times or spending a fortune on software it’s time to take a look at new solutions.reduce golf management costs

2. Saving time and improving efficiency

One of the most challenging aspects of golf management is the sheer number and variety of tasks golf managers must achieve every day. Put simply, golf managers must wear many hats. 

Unfortunately, that this can cause major issues with respect to effieciency since general managers must decide what golf management activities are most important and how to divide time between tasks. To overcome these problems it takes excellent time and people management skills, even the most talented golf director can get distracted and waste time with menial, time consuming, and unimportant tasks.

In 2017 there are many ways for golf management to reduce the administrative burden of scheduling, rescheduling, and booking tee times over the phone. These days, managers should instead put online tee time booking platforms to work while giving their customers the opportunity to see the tee-sheet and select their own booking. It’s time to empower your customers, while saving time for more important tasks.

booking tee times online golf management

3. Grow revenue

The golf industry’s razor thin margins force golf management to look for ways to reduce costs, but what if there are opportunities actually improve revenue? A lot of high level thinking has to be done in order to organize a golf operation with maximum efficiency.

The best analysis can only be done by looking at reports that give all the information you need from high level data to the granular details. Understanding exactly how your customers are interacting with your course will tell you:

  • Opportunities to improve your pricing
  • Which tee times are underperforming
  • Merchandise and employee performance on the pro shop floor
  • How your food and beverage operations can be optimized

By looking at accurate data and reporting, your golf management team can learn better revenue management strategies. Golf management software can help, especially when it comes to segmenting your CRM into different pay scales, knowing which customers whom you profit most from, and determining which tee times are premium versus which tee times should be discounted.golf management reporting

4. Marketing

In many cases golf course marketing has been slow to catch up with modern best practices. Newspaper announcements and a sign by the road just won’t cutit anymore, especially if you want to attract those lucrative younger audiences.

Nowadays, it’s vital that your golf course be online specifically on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There many resources that can help you create good content for your followers and your software can help, especially if your tee sheet allows you to share announcements directly to your Facebook.

Email marketing is an increasingly vital part of your golf course’s marketing activities, you can easily reach your customer base with important information such as announcements, promotions, and confirmations. Sending out a mass emails can be pain staking and time consuming, make things easier by using your CRM to collect customer emails at the point-of-sale.

Chronogolf is proud to offer software that integrated with several marketing tools including MailChimp, Thirdshelf, Facebook, our very own tee time marketplace, and TeeOff.com by PGA Tour. Use our software capture customer emails, market discounted tee time, and implement a customer loyalty program.marketing golf managment with emails

5. Member service

Your members are your most special clients. Make sure you keep them coming back with exceptional service, customer loyalty, and an exclusive experience. From the initial reservation to the paying the bill at the restaurant, the member experience needs to be seamless and consistent.

One way to alleviate this pain point is by implementing software that integrates every aspect of member management in one place. Your golf management software should also permit automatic billing. Giving your members the ability to see a consolidated bill is an incredible strength and creates simplicity and transparency between you and your members.

Another way to create an awesome experience for your member is by implementing a simple, easy to use online booking system. Ideally, customers should be able to book tee times on your website or through an app on their phone. Creating simplified channels such as these makes booking online more attractive, especially to millennials, and will create a modern, unified experience your members will love.

One last way to improve member service is by implementing a loyalty program using software with trackable point balances and rewards for certain actions. Drive returning customers back to your course with Thirdshelf, a loyalty points system that makes your most valuable customers feel special.

reduce golf management inefficiencies with online booking

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Get an in depth look into our innovative golf course management software suite

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