Will COVID-19 Kill the Paper Scorecard?

Many essays on weighty topics are being written and shared via social media these days… as they should be during these dangerous times. This is not one of those weighty essays… while it is about an impending death, hopefully it offers a brief respite from our temporary barrage of depressing news.

The paper golf scorecard should die… it should go the way of the rotary dial phone… the paper airline ticket… the horse and carriage… the typewriter.

Golfers have begun to experiment with golf apps that include paper scorecards, but progress has been proceeding verrrrrry sloooowly.  Relatively few golf course operators currently offer convenient alternatives to paper scorecards.

But suddenly, we have the impetus that will likely put the dagger in the single-use paper scorecard. Most golf operators trying to germ-proof their operation to combat COVID-19 are not handing out paper scorecards and pencils… disease-carrying surfaces that are passed from hand to hand many times before, during and after a round of golf.  Other operators are taking expensive measures such as handing out scorecards in zip-loc baggies!  Long after the pandemic is behind us, our new germ-phobic habits will linger and many of us will be careful about what we put our hands on… paper scorecards and those ratty little pencils will likely be a casualty.

“Say it ain’t so”, say the golf traditionalists. Golf scorecards contain beautiful pictures, unique course logos and paid advertising for the local funeral home, used car dealer and pizza parlor! But those features can be delivered in even more stunning images and with more lucrative results via the pixels on your smartphone screen. Now we have a compelling reason to cross the chasm. Golfers taking up the game during the Roaring 2020s may never use a paper scorecard.

Course operators have two basic means of providing golfers with paperless scorecards.

#1 Punt the problem to a 3rd party – you could recommend that golfers at your course use a 3rd party scoring app. This seems like an ok solution on the surface, and better yet it’s free for you. But remember that last ‘free’ service that you used that put a 3rd party between you and YOUR customers… how did that 3rd party booking site work out for you? And many of your customers may be reluctant to have to download yet another app or sign up for yet another account/password and subject themselves to an endless string of spam messages encouraging them to upgrade to a premium service. By the way, many of these paperless scorecard products have user interfaces that seem to have been developed by people who have never played a round of golf… try one and you’ll see what I mean.

#2 Offer your own paperless scorecard – Find a service that allows you to provide golfers with convenient access to an electronic version of your branded scorecard. How about an alternative that allows golfers to use their smartphones to scan a QR code and start scoring immediately… or better yet integrates directly into your tee sheet system to automatically fill in the names and handicaps of the golfers in a foursome? that doesn’t require golfers to register their email address and risk being spammed? that doesn’t require users to download another app or create yet another password that they’ll forget before they get to the 2nd tee? that has an insanely intuitive user interface? that can cost a course operator less than $1 per day and is being offered with a FREE TRIAL PERIOD and DEFERRED BILLING during 2020?

Yes, that is a shameless plug for Apparation’s Scan-N-Score… available now at an internet site near you.  Since we first mentioned Scan-N-Score just a few weeks ago, private club software heavyweight ForeTees has stepped up to deliver this capability to private club operators all across the US and Apparation is already rolling it out to early adopter public courses in Minnesota.

If you want to learn more and/or schedule your implementation of Scan-N-Score, let us know:

Public course operators – contact sales@apparationllc.com
Private club operators – contact sales@foretees.com

Let’s improve golfer convenience… let’s reduce your costs… let’s kill the paper scorecard… NOW!

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