With features that help golf courses maximize revenue, the GolfNow Plus Toolkit has become a popular option for operators who prefer to put this proprietary technology in their own hands. The Toolkit offers guidance and more than 10 data-driven enhancements that work in concert, ranging from algorithmic pricing to sales pipelines. Getting the most out of this technology will be offered at the Plus Performance Center, a hands-on training workshop that will take place June 15-16 at Golf Channel World Headquarters in Orlando, with lodging and amenities provided by Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. This invitation-only event will include one-on-one consultation, training and discussion with experts about the Plus Toolkit’s main features, including competitive analysis through Plus Vision, tee time management with the auto-pricing tool, reputation management, and more. Attendees also will have the opportunity to tour the Golf Channel production facility and studios. Details about a second Plus workshop in July will be available soon.
Since parting ways with a third-party vendor in the fall of 2015 to create our own, in-house Golfer Care team at Golf’s world headquarters in Orlando, working space has been at a premium. But recent building expansion has allowed the team some breathing room. Why is this important, you ask? It further demonstrates a commitment to the golfer we share with you. This improved office functionality has made our Care team more efficient and created for them a more comfortable setting to serve golfers with a variety of needs. In turn, this has increased what already were stellar golfer satisfaction ratings, as well as improved conversion rates – both resulting in more rounds booked.
Making it easier for golfers to book and play more golf isn’t just a pledge. It’s a mission carried out by our dedicated Golfer Care team every day.
The recently released NGF 2016 participation report reveals that, as golf evolves, so do the methods by which we now measure it. No longer is 18 holes on a traditional golf course our only barometer. Overall involvement in golf actually is up from 2015 to 2016, but this is being attributed to an 11% increase in off-course golf participation – from driving ranges and TopGolf facilities to indoor golf simulators. This means – more and more – people are engaging with golf in different ways. The study also states the number of non-golfers expressing the highest level of interest in playing golf in 2016 increased by 7.6% to 12.8 million; and the total number of beginning golfers (those playing on a golf course for the first time ever in 2016) rose to a record-high 2.5 million, surpassing the previous record set in 2000, when Tiger Woods was at his prime.
All good news. But the study also states that golf participation the traditional way – playing 18 holes on a golf course – declined slightly (1.2%). The number of courses that participated in “Let’s Play Golf” may have showed us that operators are realizing that – in such a competitive marketplace for consumers’ recreational time – they need to continue to innovate to find new ways to attract new golfers and keep the golfers they already have.
Let’s Play Golf week earlier this month was embraced by nearly 1,000 golf courses across North America who recognized that if you offer golfers new ways to engage with the game, it can have positive effects on your bottom line. Proof was in the pudding during the inaugural year of the joint GolfNow and Golf Channel initiative, with “Women’s Wednesday” and “Family Golf” headlining the five themed days as the two most popular of the week.
Kris Strauss, vice president of sales and marketing for Troon, appeared on Golf Channel’s Morning Drive on Friday to talk about his company’s year-round initiatives to promote junior and family golf. Troon Family Golf is offered at all 270-plus Troon facilities around the globe, where kids not only play free with a paying adult after 3 p.m., but also get free rental clubs and instruction when they play with Mom or Dad.
A recent NGF participation report states that the number of golfers between the ages of 6 and 17 grew more than 20% from 2011-2016. Also, in addition to the nearly 24 million golfers in the U.S., another 40.6 million are interested in playing. Troon has recognized the importance of player development on both ends of the spectrum – from youth to adult. GolfNow course partners that have embraced different strategies to attract new golfers, such as our Play Nine program, are taking the right steps to help fill their tee sheets on a more regular basis.
The runway to attract new golfers is long and wide open. What strategies are you incorporating that will allow your business take off?
Golf fans in connected homes have a new alternative to the latest news from the golf world, with help from Golf Channel and Amazon Alexa-enabled devices, such as the Echo, Tap and Dot. These hands-free, voice-controlled devices are delivering golf scores and other news via a daily flash briefing, voiced-over by personalities from Morning Drive, Golf Channels daily morning news series.
The new Golf Channel skill on these devices also can be enabled to provide the latest tournament leaderboards from all the world’s major golf tours, including the PGA TOUR, LPGA Tour, European Tour, PGA TOUR Champions and Web.com Tour.
More than 140 golf courses hosted Monday’s World’s Largest Golf Outing, which provided the perfect kick-off to Let’s Play Golf week. Initial reports indicate that WLGO 2017 may be the best ever since the event was launched in 2011. Elaborate opening ceremonies, appearances by local personalities and politicians, and other fun activities were just a few of the headlines that made it an event to remember.
Dubsdread Golf Course in Orlando, Fla., incorporated a local high school’s ROTC squad into a formal Opening Ceremony, which featured speeches by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and other dignitaries. Cranbury Golf Club in West Windsor Township, N.J., lined the driveway to their course with American flags and members from the local VFW provided a gun salute to start the tournament.
Let’s Play Golf week continues today with one the most popular themed day – “Women’s Wednesday.” Courses are offering special perks such as clinics, lunch specials and preferred rates. Equipment junkies are stoked to try out the latest equipment tomorrow, as part of “Test Drive Thursday,” and “Family Golf” on Friday will cap what is sure to be a very successful grow-the-game initiative for the nearly 1,000 courses that hosted part or all of Let’s Play Golf week.