We are all scrambling to cope with the very strange circumstances we find ourselves in.
The Apparation team has thought long and hard to identify some ways that we can help course operators deal with the unique challenges they are facing in the short-term.
Unlike the U.S. Government, we can’t print money and start writing checks, but we do have some unique assets that we believe provide both short-term and long-term benefits for golf course operators and golfers. We’ve identified THREE specific ways to contribute to the cause.
To make any of these ideas impactful, we need some collaborators who will lead the way by being early adopters… if you’re interested, please reach out. We have been careful to design these ideas so that they will require minimal effort to participate.
#1 KEEPING YOUR COURSE CLEAN AND SAFE (SCAN-N-SCORE) – Course operators are making many changes to reduce the possibility that contagion will spread on their properties… removing ball washers, closing the clubhouse, etc. One small but significant component of this effort is at least temporarily eliminating the use of paper scorecards and pencils; these are surfaces that could spread infection if we’re not careful. Apparation technology guru Jason Patronas has developed a very clever app called Scan-N-Score that allows golf course operators to offer a paperless scorecard that is triggered from a QR code that you can place anywhere on your premises… golfers don’t have to download an app, don’t have to create an account and password… they literally just have to open their smartphone camera, scan and score. We’re planning to roll this service out next week and Apparation will provide it free of charge for 90 days to any golf course in Minnesota or Western Wisconsin that wants to use it… beyond that, the cost of continuing will be less than $1 per day per facility for unlimited scorecards. We’re reaching out to both individual course operators and other golf entities (associations, golf societies, etc.) to see who wants to help spread the word about this very golfer-friendly solution.
#2 KEEPING YOUR CUSTOMERS ENTERTAINED (“While we wait”) – I was only half kidding when I told my golf buddies recently that the biggest danger we all face during this current crisis is the risk that we are all going to die of boredom. Aren’t you weary of receiving dozens of daily updates on ifs, ands or buts about COVID-19? And we can only watch so many movies and TV shows. Many golfers would appreciate getting some interesting local content about their passion but most course operators don’t have the time or inclination to develop that content. During the month of April (and longer if necessary), Apparation will use its unique treasure trove of golf course data to generate a weekly ‘golf trivia’ article with some local flavor and will give it to Minnesota and Western Wisconsin course operators for inclusion in your email blasts or social media. Give your customers a little shelter from the storm and generate a little pent-up demand for golf during the slowdown. The first article (“The Golf Border Battle – Tale of the Tape”) will be delivered on April 6… it will analyze, compare and contrast golf options available in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, both of which have rich golf traditions and a wonderful variety of golf courses. The second article will be a tribute to the golf architects/artists who designed the tracks that our local golfers know and love. We’re working on the content for the rest of the month and are open to suggestions. All you will have to do is drop this content into your email blasts and/or social media pages; your customers will appreciate your effort to keep them entertained. Each article will also include a link to a brief online survey and all survey results will be shared with every course operator that generates at least one response. Let’s keep golfer’s juices flowing as we gear up to start the 2020 season.
#3 MAKING TEE TIME BOOKING MORE CONVENIENT (TEE TIME EXCHANGE) – Most course operators have online booking capabilities on their websites. But as a golfer who books a lot of tee times, I can tell you that I long for the convenience of being able to go to a single website and use a single account/password to book tee times on every course I play. If you book any tee times yourself, you understand that this is SO much more convenient than hopping from website to website to query available inventory at each individual course. This booking portal concept is not new… TeeMaster was the original Minnesota version and GolfNow is the current dominant site but TeeMaster has faded into oblivion and many course operators are not interested in the GolfNow barter model. Apparation has developed a very easy to use booking portal within the GroupLooper® platform that we call Tee Time Exchange. We already have a dozen Minneapolis-St. Paul courses connected to it, but to really make it useful for golfers we need more critical mass. The business model is simple… courses will play a flat annual fee to participate in the Tee Time Exchange… no barter, no per transaction commissions and no booking fees for golfers. Golf course operators will have 100% control over the pricing displayed on the Tee Time Exchange… there is no forced discounting and no 3rd party control of any pricing. And we’ve built some very unique features that are intended to stimulate golfers to get out and play a few extra rounds each year. If you want your course to participate, you will be responsible for authorizing Tee Time Exchange to connect to your tee sheet system, but some software vendors make that as easy as sending a brief email letting them know you want to connect. If you contact us, we can let you know what the situation is with your particular tee sheet/POS vendor. Oh, we almost forgot… to get this party started, Apparation will waive 2020 Tee Time Exchange fees for the first 50 courses that sign up to participate… we already have a dozen courses connected so don’t delay. Let’s work together to make it easier for golfers to book tee times on your course this year… Tee Time Exchange will enable you to extend your marketing reach to golfers who aren’t naturally inclined to visit your website.
Let us know what you think about these ideas and let us know if you’d like to participate in any of these programs by contacting me at [email protected]