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

GOLFNOW AND INDIGO GOLF PARTNERS EXTEND PARTNERSHIP

Feb 04, 2021

Extension Highlighted by Best-Selling G1 Technology as Management Solution and GolfNow as Preferred Tee-time Distribution Partner

ORLANDO, Fla. – GolfNow, golf’s technology and services leader and operator of the world’s largest online tee-time marketplace, today announced it has extended its seven-year partnership with Indigo Golf Partners, a division of Troon, the world’s largest golf management company.

Building on long-term collaboration and success between the two companies, the new agreement will continue offering participating Indigo properties within its 160-property management portfolio access to G1, GolfNow’s most-advanced business management technology, which can combine all software and operating systems utilized by a golf course facility into one platform. Demonstrating the flexibility of G1, GolfNow is developing custom technology within the platform to satisfy Indigo’s current and future needs.

“Leading the golf industry through technology and innovation has long been a priority for our organization,” said Alex Elmore, President of Indigo Golf Partners. “Our partnership with GolfNow has enabled us to accelerate these efforts and we are excited to continue this collaborative relationship to enable further advancement for our company, our clients, our guests and our industry.”

Within the partnership, Indigo Golf Partners-managed courses can leverage additional GolfNow technology and services, including a white-label booking engine, pricing algorithms and wide-ranging exposure to the millions of golfers who search for and book tee times through the largest online tee time distribution portal in the world. Other emerging GolfNow technologies gaining popularity and available to Indigo Golf Partners are:

  • SmartPlay – technology found within G1 and running through the GolfNow app, allows a golfer to search for, book and pay for a tee time in advance, as well as check-in and head directly to the first tee. A variety of additional features will be introduced automatically into the technology over time, with no extra work or time required from the golf course operator.
  • GolfNow Payments – Allows a golf course operator to seamlessly integrate online, phone and in-person payments with the course’s point-of-sale system. With that full integration, the processing of payments requires only one vendor, accepting every payment any customer makes, no matter when or where.

For more than 30 years, Indigo Golf Partners has built a reputation as one of the country’s top golf course management companies. Both Indigo and its parent company, Troon, are valued and long-time GolfNow partners.

“We are thrilled to extend our growing relationship with Indigo,” said Jerramy Hainline, senior vice president and general manager, GolfNow. “Their addition to the Troon portfolio brings together two of our greatest partnerships and we look forward to continuing to bring innovation and value to this combined group of great facilities.”

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 Indigo Golf Partners

Dedicated to optimizing all that the sport and business of golf offers, Indigo Golf Partners, a division of Troon, manages more than 160 golf courses, country clubs and resorts in 29 states. Leveraging over 30 years of expertise, Indigo Golf Partners specializes in full-service property management as well as assistance in specific segments of the golf business. They include modern-day golf and property maintenance, staffing and training, clubhouse operations, food and beverage, merchandising, golf instruction, marketing, public relations, HOA integration, technology, special events and financial management. More information: www.indigogolf.com, 703.761.1444.

About Troon

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at 585-plus locations around the globe, including managing 630-plus, 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 620-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Honours Golf, OB Sports, Indigo Golf Partners, CADDIEMASTER, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, and RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design. Troon-affiliated properties include Princeville Makai Golf Club on Kauai; Champion Hills in Hendersonville, North Carolina; Ocean Club in Paradise Island, Bahamas; and Vattanac Golf Resort in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com, or connect with Troon on FacebookTwitter,  InstagramTroon ChroniclesPress Room, or subscribe to Troon Magazine.


OPPORTUNITY FOR JUNIORS TO LEARN FROM GOLF’S TOP INSTRUCTORS WITH COMPLIMENTARY GOLFPASS VIDEO MEMBERSHIP

Feb 03, 2021

Next Phase of New Partnership with GolfNow Offers Youth on Course Members Access to Free Instruction, Original Shows and Golf Channel’s Video Vault Through NBC Sports’ GolfPass

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 3, 2021) – The Youth on Course-GolfNow partnership enters its next major phase today by offering all Youth on Course members a complimentary GolfPass video subscription, giving more than 100,000 young people access to hundreds of hours of high-quality instruction and entertainment programming on demand.

The recently announced partnership is taking major steps toward ensuring the vitality of golf as a recreational choice for kids. GolfNow’s custom technology and GolfPass’ digital content will continue to help Youth on Course create more affordable and equal access to the sport for junior golfers in all 50 states, no matter their socio-economic circumstances.

“Golf is always more enjoyable when you see improvement in your game,” said Youth on Course Chief Technology Officer Grant Gaudette. “Not only will our kids now have on-demand access to more than 20 years of great GOLF Channel entertainment through GolfPass, but also exclusive access to instruction from some of the best golf coaches in the business, like Chris Como and Martin Hall, to help them learn and improve.”

“We’re excited to help the next generation of golfers through our partnership with Youth on Course by providing free access to the GolfPass library of content, which has been expertly developed and curated for golfers of every skill level and age,” said Amanda Norvell, Vice President of Direct-to-Consumer Products/Services, GolfPass. “When you play golf better, you want to play more and you certainly enjoy it more. GolfPass offers lessons from the best coaches in the world, like Michael Bannon – Rory McIlroy’s lifetime coach – to help golfers everywhere do just that.”

GOLFPASS HELPS GOLFERS PLAY MORE AND BETTER GOLF:  GolfPass is designed for today’s golfer and is the only digital golf membership that delivers exclusive content and comprehensive benefits designed to help every type of golfer – from beginner to expert – play more and better golf. 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 and high-quality video content. Series included in the vast library of video content available exclusively as part of a GolfPass membership, are originals like The Conor Moore Show, Breaking into the Game: Juniors with Michael Bannon, My Daily Routine, My Roots, and more. GolfPass’ expert staff of golf instructors include Michael Bannon, Chris Como, Martin Chuck, Martin Hall and fitness expert Don Saladino. 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.

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 1,400 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. Youth on Course serves young people, ages 6-18, across North America and parts of Canada, including  Alberta and Ontario. 


TAMPA SPORTS AUTHORITY TAKES MAJOR STEP TOWARD FUTURE WITH ADOPTION OF GOLFNOW TECHNOLOGIES AND SERVICES TO RETAIN AND ATTRACT GOLFERS

Feb 02, 2021

TSA’s Three Golf Courses Will Feature Futuristic SmartPlay Technology, Ensuring Contactless and Seamless Experience for Golfers

ORLANDO, Fla.  – As golf continues to boom as a safe sport during a global pandemic, Tampa Sports Authority is taking a futuristic look at its golf business and has partnered with NBC Sports Group’s GolfNow to help incorporate new “smart” technologies and services designed to better retain new and existing customers while addressing the demands of the modern golfer.

Now featured within the GolfNow platform, the three TSA-managed golf courses will benefit from the industry’s leading tee-time booking engine technology, as well as inclusion within the world’s largest distribution marketplace.

The new, multi-year partnership is an extension of TSA’s existing relationship with EZLinks Golf – now part of Orlando-based GolfNow – and is highlighted by the adoption of GolfNow’s SmartPlay technology found within its best-selling G1 golf course management platform. SmartPlay runs through the GolfNow app and allows a golfer to search for, book and pay for a tee time in advance; check in and head directly to the first tee; place food and beverage orders prior to or during a round of golf, and get orders delivered anywhere on the golf course.  A variety of additional features will be introduced automatically into the technology over time, with no extra work or time required from the golf course operator.

“The Tampa Sports Authority is very excited to build on its partnership with GolfNow, which will allow us to enhance the overall guest experience at our three public golf courses,” said Kennie Sims, Vice President of Golf Operations for TSA. “The SmartPlay technology will allow us to connect with new customers by offering improved reservation methods, advance tee time payments, and contactless check-in. Our existing customers will benefit from SmartPlay’s enhanced options and services designed to improve a golfer’s experience.”

TSA is leveraging a full complement of GolfNow’s industry-leading technology and services in addition to the wide-ranging exposure its golf courses will receive to the millions of golfers who search for and book tee times through GolfNow’s industry-leading tee-time marketplace:

  • G1 – GolfNow’s most-advanced business management platform, which can combine all software and operating systems utilized by a golf course facility into one platform. Tee sheet, point-of-sale, social media, employee schedules, inventory, payroll, vendor relations, and more can be controlled from an internet-connected smartphone or tablet – from anywhere, anytime.
  • Payments by GolfNow – Allows a golf course operator to seamlessly integrate online, phone and in-person payments with the course’s point-of-sale system. With that full integration, the processing of payments requires only one vendor, accepting every payment any customer makes, no matter when or where.
  • GolfNow Answers: white-label service that answers every call – day or night – for a participating golf course, helping it capture at-risk revenue, improve customer service and operate more efficiently.

“The Tampa Sports Authority team should be commended for recognizing that the demands of today’s golfer have changed and putting themselves at the forefront of new technology that will better serve their customers going forward,” said Jerramy Hainline, senior vice president and general manager, GolfNow. “They will be great a great showcase for G1 and we’re excited to see how our SmartPlay technology will help each of their courses create amazing golfer experiences.”

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 Tampa Sports Authority

The Tampa Sports Authority (TSA) is the manager of Raymond James Stadium, three city golf courses and the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex, as well as the landlord for George Steinbrenner Field and Amalie Arena. The Authority was created May 28, 1965 by Governor Hayden Burns for the purpose of planning, developing and maintaining a comprehensive complex of sports and recreational facilities for the Tampa Bay area.

 



Downloadable Resources

Playbook Chapter 8 - Payment Systems

Playbook Chapter 8 - Payment Systems

Jan 25, 2021

Streamline point-of-sale and improve customer intelligence at your course  

Prepayment has been a staple for years in other industries, and golf saw a major shift in 2020 towards this preferred form of transactions.

The rapid rise in rounds played has spurred on this new adoption process to create seamless and easy transactions between courses and golfers, but accepting credit cards can mean dealing with confusing payment systems rife with inefficiencies and hidden fees.  

Learn how new cost-saving technologies are helping streamline point-of-sale and improving customer intelligence here!  

 


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.

 

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