All-encompassing mobile solutions mean growth for golf clubs
About 26 million people in the U.S. alone play golf at least occasionally. Moreover, the U.S. golf economy has an estimated size of about $70 billion (and growing).
No wonder mobile solutions for golf clubs are such a hot commodity. I have in mind all-encompassing mobile tech solutions, not just separate mobile apps.
Golfers are as much as anyone else becoming more and more tech savvy and they look for real-time solutions to their momentary wishes and especially comfort.
In 2015, this can be covered by really good comprehensive solutions that satisfy as much as golf club members as they do golf clubs without threatening their budgets and revenue.
I am not talking about mobile apps that may give amateur golfers the same kind of tools and information that pro golfers have when playing on tour.
Talking to many golfers in the past few months and golf club owners and their marketing, sales and IT staff, it has become clear that it is imperative for clubs to provide their members and other customers extensive mobile services, also as a great upselling and cross-selling solution.
Bare in mind that app installs will continue to increase rapidly; in April 2014, Yankee Group estimated mobile app downloads worldwide would grow by double digits between 2014 and 2018.
However, I think it doesn’t make any sense any more to offer or recommend a myriad of different apps suited to a golf club. It makes much more business sense to offer a comprehensive mobile solution that is actually helpful to club members even before they arrive to a golf club.
Yes, thousands of apps are available for smartphones and tablets that, among other, enable golfers to read club news, book and buy a green fee, look up club information, update their membership and contact details, record their improvement, follow the golf course via web cam, etc.
All-inclusive mobile solutions, on the other hand, should primarily offer innovative and special services to golf club members, including:
- Location-based record of the members arriving to the course, even before they do, which will help clubs organize the work of their staff and really make members welcome at their arrival.
- Ordering food and drink and other delivery services in real time from a golf course.
- Making reservations for club events.
- Recording progress and so much more.
The point is that all of the above should be available from one mobile solution that is easy to use.
The other goal is for this to be beneficial to golf club business as well.
Golf club owners will, like forward-looking hoteliers, not only seriously contemplate comprehensive mobile solutions, but also rethink the entire member experience. They will need to keep up with the pace of times if they want to attract new members and retain existing members.
Let me also clarify that this doesn’t mean yet another costly digital upgrade of golf clubs’ IT system. What’s so great about it, it’s a long-term cost-cutting endeavor.
And do not forget, happier modern and tech-savvy golfers mean growth for golf clubs.
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