Knowledge Library

GolfNow Industry Headlines: December 15, 2020

Dec 15, 2020

HEADLINES FROM THIS PAST WEEK:


GolfNow Industry Headlines: December 08, 2020

Dec 08, 2020

HEADLINES FROM THIS PAST WEEK:

 


Michigan’s Shanty Creek Resorts bounces back

Dec 07, 2020

Forecasting budgets for 2021 is no exact science, given the uncertainty surrounding the economy and the coronavirus pandemic, but Mike Mooney, Director of Golf & Club at Shanty Creek Resort in Bellaire, Mich., can’t help but feel optimistic about the future.

Mooney and his staff have learned a lot during the ups and downs of the pandemic in 2020, which entailed a state-mandated closure from March through April followed by a boom of business from June through October. Long-term, the bumpy ride may have been worth it.

“I am forecasting an 8 percent increase in rounds in 2021,” Mooney said. “We will get the rounds back in early May and June that we lost due to the pandemic and hope to hang on to the rest of the rounds captured during a busy summer and fall. We are feeling more optimistic. There will be a vaccine. People will be ready to be get out (and travel). I’ve talked to others in the area, and they feel the same way, too.”

Considering the dread Mooney felt during the early days of the pandemic when he was forced to close the resort, including its golf courses, business in 2020 turned out pretty well. Shanty Creek was able to reopen all four courses, although its pools remained closed and restaurants operated with limitations to account for safety. “All the courses pretty much finished on what were their budgeted rounds for the season. A couple were up significantly, up to 10 percent from 2019,” he said.

Despite a closure early on, mask requirements and a limit to how many people could be in the pro shop at one time, merchandise sales for Shanty Creek ended up five percent above 2019. All of this was achieved while the hotel and courses were limiting occupancy and capacity to 75 percent.

Mooney said the region benefited from low COVID-19 case counts for much of the year. With the international borders closed, Canadians were missed, but the resort’s traditional drive-in market still attracted people from lower Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and the Chicago area.

“The pandemic did teach us some things,” Mooney said. “We learned about our guests and where they are coming from, and what they want to do when they’re here.” He said they were cautious with their tee sheets, being careful not to handle too big of a load but still handling a lot.

“We feel like it was a good year, and we managed it very well,” Mooney said. “As a golf pro looking at the big picture, we saw a lot of people that were either golfers who haven’t played in a while or people new coming into the sport. They got out and played, and now our challenge in the industry is to keep these people engaged and get them to play more golf.”

Technology also helped Shanty Creek throughout 2020. Mooney said social media and e-mail communications allowed the resort to stay in touch with customers as rules and protocols changed. Online booking through GolfNow helped the resort target golfers for more return play after their original visit. Mooney even believes that some COVID-19 protocols might stick around permanently – notably the ball retrieval system connected to the flags and the removal of bunker rakes. “They speed up play,” he said.



Videos

Hear from our course partners: Chris Jones, PGA, Director of Golf at Hawk's Landing Golf Club at the Orlando World Center Marriott

Dec 14, 2020

The Orlando World Center Marriott, which covers 220 acres, including the 18-hole, championship Hawk's Landing Golf Club, recently went through a renovation to expand the convention center, ultimately requiring changes to holes 10 and 18. 

Watch to learn about the renovation and how the Premium Marketing Program helped Hawk’s Landing Golf Club announce their re-opening to the Orlando market.

 

To learn more about GolfNow's Premium Marketing Platform, fill out the form below. 


Posting tee times on GolfNow.com and the EZLinks technology was just what Fox Hollow Golf Club needed for the club, their staff, and for their customers. 

Find out more about how to get started with GolfNow. 

 


Hear from our course partners: Mike Mooney, Director of Golf, Shanty Creek Resort discusses how the pandemic has impacted his business

Dec 14, 2020

Mooney and his staff have learned a lot during the ups and downs of the pandemic in 2020, which entailed a state-mandated closure from March through April followed by a boom of business from June through October. Long-term, the bumpy ride may have been worth it.



News

PUMA GOLF TO BECOME OFFICIAL APPAREL PARTNER OF GOLFNOW IN 2021-22

Dec 08, 2020

Largest Sales Force in Golf Serving GolfNow’s 9,000-Plus Golf-Course Partners Around the Globe will be Outfitted in PUMA Gear

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 2, 2020) – GolfNow today announced that PUMA Golf will become its official apparel partner in 2021, launching a two-year marketing agreement between the leader in golf design and style, and the world’s leading golf technology and services company.

As part of the agreement, PUMA Golf will outfit the golf industry’s largest sales team, operating from locations throughout North America, United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Australia and servicing more than 9,000 golf course partners in 24 countries.

“It’s exciting to combine two vibrant brands and creatively collaborate with a dynamic partner like PUMA Golf,” said Jennifer Hanson, National Sales Director, Direct-to-Consumer & Sponsorships, GolfNow. “Not only will we highlight the partnership by outfitting our sales team in great PUMA gear, but we’ll also have the opportunity to generate awareness of their innovative designs and cutting-edge technology to our 3.5 million GolfNow users.”

PUMA Golf continues to take golf style to the next level, delivering on-trend, performance- ready apparel, footwear and accessories that help golfers of all levels look their best and play with confidence. The new GolfNow partnership also will provide PUMA with brand exposure across various GolfNow platforms, including GolfNow.com, the largest consumer tee-time marketplace in the world.

“We’re excited to partner with GolfNow as their official apparel sponsor, outfitting their team in the latest PUMA Golf styles,” said Jason Personette, Senior Director U.S. Sales for PUMA Golf. “This partnership with GolfNow will provide increased visibility and awareness around our PUMA Golf gear at a global level and help drive demand among core golfers.”

About GolfNow

GolfNow is an innovative technology company that creates seamless ways for golfers and golf courses to better connect. GolfNow operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, offering 3.5 million registered golfers a variety of ways to stay connected to their favorite courses and the ability to easily book tee times online and via mobile devices any time of day. GolfPass members receive special playing perks through GolfNow, including tee time credit and rewards. GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group with offices in Orlando, Fla., and Belfast, Northern Ireland, also provides technology, support and marketing services to more than 9,000 golf courses in 24 countries around the world.

About PUMA Golf

PUMA Golf is a corporate division of PUMA, one of the world’s leading sports brands, designing, developing, selling and marketing footwear, apparel and accessories. PUMA golf is an inclusive company, promoting game enjoyment for golfers of all abilities, attitudes and styles. The brands portfolio includes sport lifestyle inspired footwear, apparel and accessories. Fusing performance and style, PUMA Golf brings a focus on innovation, technology, compelling design and superior performance with an edge to the global golf marketplace. For more information, visit cobragolf.com/pumagolf.

 


GOLFNOW AND YOUTH ON COURSE FORM LANDMARK PARTNERSHIP, PROVIDING MORE ACCESS FOR KIDS

Dec 01, 2020

Partnership to Implement Technology Solutions for Youth on Course, While Generating Funds through GolfNow Round-Up Campaign

ORLANDO, Fla. (Dec. 1, 2020) – A new partnership announced today between GolfNow and Youth on Course takes a major step toward ensuring the vitality of golf as a recreational alternative for kids, as well as using technology to create more affordable and equal access to the sport for youth in all socio-economic circumstances.

Two of the more significant elements of the partnership include the development by GolfNow of a custom Youth on Course booking engine, allowing kids the ease and convenience of booking tee times online or via the Youth on Course mobile app; and a GolfNow “round-up” campaign, which will offer anyone booking tee times on GolfNow.com the opportunity to round up the total cost of the reservation to an even-dollar figure. For example, if the cost of a tee time totals $34.65, the golfer can elect to round up the cost to $35, donating the additional $0.35 to Youth on Course.

“Growing the game of golf is part of the mission of both GolfNow and Youth on Course, so not only are we proud of this new collaboration that will help welcome more kids to our great sport but we’re also extremely excited to be lending our industry-leading technology to help Youth on Course advance their efforts exponentially,” said Jerramy Hainline, GolfNow SVP/GM.

GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group digital portfolio, operates the largest tee-time marketplace in golf and is the industry’s leading provider of golf course operations software and services to more than 9,000 courses worldwide. GolfNow will help Youth on Course with marketing, fund-raising and technology solutions, furthering the non-profit’s mission to ensure all young people have affordable access to play golf and can unlock the life-changing opportunities the game provides.

Additionally, each Youth on Course membership will now include access to hundreds of hours of high-quality golf instruction thanks to a complimentary video membership through GolfPass, NBC Sports’ digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle. GolfPass also will help develop welcome and training curriculum for Youth on Course members and affiliated golf courses, while Youth on Course will help GolfPass with content creation and distribution.

Youth on Course is dedicated to establishing more opportunities for the younger generation to access golf courses at an affordable price. It provides its 100,000 members with access to play more than 1,000 golf courses across the U.S. and Canada for $5 or less. Members also are offered career opportunities through the caddie and internship programs and have the chance to receive college scholarships.

“Looking back at the history of Youth on Course and the mission we set out to accomplish in 2006, joining forces with GolfNow is a valuable milestone for both organizations,” says Adam Heieck, Youth on Course CEO. “Placing access to golf content and technology in the hands of our members has been something we’ve dreamed about for a long time. Together we are in lockstep, working to grow the game through youth golfers while keeping accessibility and affordability top of mind.”

Fueling the golf industry, Youth on Course subsidizes rounds for members and puts money back into allied golf associations and individual courses. The organization’s structure helps golf courses fill typically unused tee times and garner additional revenue with more than 40% of members playing with paying adults. The amount reimbursed back to participating courses has almost doubled in the past year, reaching close to $2.8 million this year alone and totaling nearly $8 million dating back to 2005.

Mutual elements of the partnership include cross-platform marketing and golf course relationship and recruitment opportunities, which will help bring Youth on Course to more regions across the country.

About GolfNow

GolfNow is an innovative technology company that creates seamless ways for golfers and golf courses to better connect. GolfNow operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, offering 3.5 million registered golfers a variety of ways to stay connected to their favorite courses and the ability to easily book tee times online and via mobile devices any time of day. GolfPass members receive special playing perks through GolfNow, including tee time credit and rewards. GolfNow, part of the NBC Sports Group with offices in Orlando, Fla., and Belfast, Northern Ireland, also provides technology, support and marketing services to more than 9,000 golf courses in 24 countries around the world.

About Youth on Course

Youth on Course helps young people grow and succeed both on and off the course by providing opportunities to play, learn, grow, and build relationships through affordable, inclusive access to play. More than 100,000 members play more than 1,000 courses for $5 or less, benefit from career opportunities through its caddie and internship programs and pursue higher education through college scholarships. Headquartered in Pebble Beach, Youth on Course is a 501(c)3 organization that began as the charitable arm of the Northern California Golf Association. Since 2006, more than 1 million rounds have been played by Youth on Course members and nearly $2 million has been awarded in college scholarships. Across North America, Youth on Course serves Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and parts of Canada, including Alberta and Ontario.

About GolfPass

GolfPass is the only comprehensive digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle across five pillars – Play, Learn, Shop, Travel, Watch – which are the most frequent ways golfers engage with the sport. Developed in partnership between global golf superstar Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports Group, GolfPass is a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-consumer subscription program, which offers opportunities to play more golf, comprehensive tools to improve any golfer’s game, high-quality video content, and enhanced shopping and travel experiences. A GolfPass membership is available in North America at GolfPass.com, in the U.K. and Republic of Ireland at GolfPass.co.uk, and in Australia at www.GolfPass.com.au. The GolfPass membership also is available via connected TV, iOS and Android apps.

 


Metro Detroit’s Boulder Pointe Golf Club rebounds with record increases in online rounds and revenue through golfnow pre-paid technology

Jun 25, 2020

ORLANDO, Fla. (June 24, 2020) – As golf across the northern U.S. rebounds and golf clubs throughout Michigan begin to welcome back golfers in record numbers with the help of GOLFNOW pre-paid technology, Boulder Pointe Golf Club stands as a leader in metro Detroit, enjoying a record 190 percent, year-over-year increase in online rounds sold year to date.

During this time, Boulder Pointe also has seen its online revenue more than double year over year, making it the online rounds leader among golf clubs in the entire Detroit market.

A long-time GOLFNOW partner, Boulder Pointe first began posting rounds inside GOLFNOW’s industry-leading tee-time marketplace in 2013 and has incorporated additional technologies and services over the subsequent years. The golf club also utilizes GOLFNOW Reservations point-of-sale and booking engine technology, Premium Marketing Program, Answers telephone service, as well as professional guidance with inventory and revenue management through the GOLFNOW Plus service.

In order to adhere to safety protocols issued by the state of Michigan in April due to COVID-19, Boulder Pointe also began utilizing GOLFNOW’s pre-paid technology, which allows golfers to book tee times and pay online in advance.

“We have had a great working relationship with the GOLFNOW team for several years – they listen to our needs and respond quickly to accommodate,” said Rich Morgan, PGA, Director of Golf and Head Professional at Boulder Pointe Golf Club. “From our Orlando contacts to the local and regional management team, all of our needs are exceeded. We were able to completely shift our tee sheet to 100 percent pre-paid in a matter of two days, which allowed us to continue to expand our golf revenue while maintaining lower staffing levels.”

Morgan also points to the recent Memorial Day weekend as an example of the power of pre-paid. Rounds sold online represented 67 percent of the total revenue generated by Boulder Pointe over the holiday weekend, compared to 29 percent in 2019.



Downloadable Resources

The Playbook - Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - SmartPlay Transactional Technology

Nov 17, 2020

Bring cashless, contactless convenience to your golf course

Golf's first contactless technology that is fully integrated with multiple operating systems is changing the way golfers experience the game.

With SmartPlay enabled at your course, golfers can ensure a safe round by taking advantage of prepayment options, mobile check-in and contactless transactions for F&B options or items out of your golf shop. 


GolfNow Fall 2020 COVID-19 Golf Course Operations Survey

GolfNow Fall 2020 COVID-19 Golf Course Operations Survey: Fall 2020

Nov 09, 2020

The 2020 Golf Operation COVID-19 Impact survey by GolfNow might help owners and operators better understand the pandemic’s long-term impact on the game. More than 300 owners and managers, mostly from public and semiprivate clubs, responded to the survey, representing 45 states, six Canadian provinces and several international properties, as well.

 

DOWNLOAD NOW


Chapter 6 - Procurement

The Playbook - Chapter 6

Feb 20, 2019

Time to think outside the procurement box

Group purchasing brings new profit possibilities to golf operations. Courses can stock up on products they already buy, as well as others they need at a significant cost savings. With significant cost savings and ability to earn points toward tech, satisfied golf courses see enough savings to make a difference.