What is Golf Course Digitization exactly?
Let’s talk about it; digitization refers to the effect and action of digitizing. When this is translated to the business world, digitization is associated with digitally transforming businesses, which means evolving, improving, and enabling business operations, business functions, communication processes, and customer management models to take full advantage of digital technology.
- Digitization is not about getting a CRM set up.
- Digitization is not about an action being computerized that had been done hand until now.
- Digitization is not about occasionally being on social networks.
All of the actions above and many others are used by digitization. However, tools are available that have much more strategic purposes of completing the depth of changes within an organization.
Digitization for golf courses and clubs
As golf course managers, we cannot and should not fall behind when it comes to digitalization. First of all, we want to increase the profitability of our courses. And second, because our players would like to be able to book tee times online. Also, they would like to be able to directly order drinks or food from any hole on the course. They would like real-time course information available on their mobile while playing. They would like to purchase a new golf club while sitting on their couch at home. Briefly put, they would like to have all services directly at their fingertips (or, more specifically, on their cell phones), and we need to be able to respond to these demands.
As you can see, digitalization is a really broad concept. In this article, we cover six strategic elements to help your golf course succeed:
1. Club Management Software
It cannot be otherwise, of course, that the basis for developing a digitization strategy for golf courses is the unified management f all aspects making up a club by using a 100% cloud-based, all-in-one golf club management software. The management software will be the basis for planning and executing the remainder of your digitization strategy. Due to technology, golf courses need to make all management areas that they are comprised of as efficient as possible.
From this standpoint, the goals that should be set by a manager when selecting a management software to use for a golf course fundamentally are the following:
- Continuous improvement
- Integration with other types of tools
- Ease of use for employees
- Satisfactory experience for players
- Economic efficiency
2. An Optimized and Modern Website
Completely digitizing golf courses cannot be achieved without an ideal digital showcase.
Unfortunately, golf course websites are often 6-8 years old, with no further development done after it was launched. With technologies and designs that are now obsolete and websites that have not been properly optimized for mobile devices. Unreliable and unsafe websites for users. Or websites that have never had any content optimization for appearing on top of Google’s search results or other search engines.
From our perspective, having a visually unattractive website is similar to having a golf course that is poorly maintained. To achieve complete digitization, it is essential to have a modern website with a nice aesthetic, easy to maintain, secure, well-prepared for all devices, and fully optimized for the search engines.
3. Automated Email Marketing and Communications
Communications in the age of digitalization need to be highly segmented, personalized, and optimized for every kind of target audience and player. This is the only that we can provide users with value. All of this without any direct intervention from our employees through the use of automation. From there, as many variables can make this form of communication a very powerful digitization tool.
It is impossible to understand the complete digitization of golf courses without the processes being automated and utilized to meet the main goals of exceptional customer service, work optimization, and profitability.
4. Digital Presence
As golf course managers, we need to know where customers are and then be present in these channels.
These days, those channels are mostly social networks. They each have their own characteristics and target audience. Not every social network communicates effectively with our players. For example, being present on TikTok would be useless since its audience doesn’t fit with our Buyer Persona profile. Social channels need to be well cared for, well planned, and well studied.
Social networks are not the only thing that needs to be taken care of with detail and care. Another important factor is search engine positioning. Our keywords need to be taken care of. The content on our websites also needs to be taken care of. Everything that appears online with our brand needs to be taken care of very well.
5. E-commerce for Golf Courses
These days, offering our players the ability to purchase golf equipment directly from home or any place in the world and then use their purchases when they come to play at our golf course is something we definitely do not want to miss out on. An online store can be a new source of high income. All of these incomes do not all come from green fee sales and membership fees.
6. Golf Course Mobile App
Finally, when it comes to digitization, we want to highlight the potential for each club to have an app that is specifically designed for mobile. All of the possibilities that management software are adapted to users’ cell phones.
Reservations that are made directly from a cell phone, making payments from a cell phone, golf course information on cell phones, communications on cell phones between caddies, marshals, players, and the club. Everything is in the player’s pocket or hand and in real-time.
Undoubtedly, a club having its very own application is a huge step forward if it wants to have a golf course that is 100% digitized.
Throughout this article, we have seen that the digitization of a golf course isn’t something you can achieve overnight on several different occasions. This process goes well beyond changing concrete actions. This is all about changing how things are done. It involves doing things in a different way than your competitors do, being disruptive, and relying on technology at all times. Just as players can improve their golf games due to technology, managers also need to take full advantage of all of the benefits to improve their management skills.