Change of Perception: Is it just members or it is all of us?

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Change of Perception: Is it just members or it is all of us?

Change of Golf's Perspective

Do you really have members that you have to drag kicking and screaming into this decade???

Or is it your perception....?
Older generation members have been playing golf for YEARS and they enjoy the traditions and (for example) why should they stop using a pencil and paper scorecard? It's worked perfectly for them - just because some new technology has come out doesn't mean they have to abandon their way of scoring and why should they - it's their choice.
Statements from General Managers insisting that their golf club members need to be dragged into the digital age and/or they don't use technology is akin to saying those older members don't have children or grandchildren - true for small percentage but certainly not for the majority!
Question: Just how do you think your members communicate to their aforementioned kin? Letter? Carrier pigeon? Or do you think they might have moved with the times and phone, text, picture message and Facebook them?
Forgive my flippancy, it's merely to demonstrate that just because they don't engage with your club on Facebook doesn't mean they don't use it and just because they haven't come in waving their brand new smartphone doesn't mean they don't own them!
So no, they don't need dragging and kicking into the 21st century - they are already here.
As with all of us, the older members need to see the benefits that apps and other technology can bring because it's not necessarily about change. It is all about whether or not the new 'thing' is easier to do, can complete a task better and/or quicker, or if it allows them to do something they haven't been able to do before, for example, see how far from the hole they are or to book online.
Which means if you implement a new app for your club - will they all download it? Will they all love it? Will they use all the features?
Absolutely not!

However:

Although they might not want to use the course guide on your app - they know the course - however, they probably would love the GPs location to the hole to help lower their scores.
They might not want to use the scorecard initially, but once they learn that they can track their progress, keep and print records of their games, or play a group games were everyone's scores are correctly calculated allowing an 'argument free' game these sort of features will definitely appeal to many.
Yes, you probably already currently put up the events in the clubhouse and email them weekly - but wouldn't members find it easier and quicker (2 taps and 3 seconds later) to see your latest events in your club app wherever they are? Plus they can add them directly to their own calendars and share them with friends and family if they wish.
Finally new members and visitors will certainly appreciate having your golf course, complete with stroke saver guides and GPS, as an asset to their game (and that's before they use at anything else on there).

Still doubtful?

Remember when golf buggies first came out, although I wasn't there, I can almost hear the cries as to reasons why they should not be allowed on the course: "we don't want to mowed down" "a proper golfer walks" "the cost" "they'll wreck the course" and in all honesty; pretty much most of those objections are valid. The big however is that to many, the benefits prevailed and golf carts are now part and parcel of the golf course experience.
Technology is being used by your members - GPS devices, Garmin and a plethora of apps that give scorecards and gps are being used every day (which by the way, are collecting your members data and not giving your club any of the insights).
Therefore isn't it time your course stopped pretending your members are still stuck in 1995 with mobiles that can only make calls and texts and gave them the choice to aid their games, making bookings easier, check out events quickly and communicate better with your golf club by using modern technology and apps for the purpose that they are designed for?
Sure - some won't take it up, sure some won't use all its features and sure, some will complain, but the majority will download your club app and will value the benefits that matter to them and your club gets to engage, market and sell to your 100% targeted audience - your golfers.
Jenni
Jenni
Dubbed “Miss App” Jenni specialities in creating dynamic apps that deliver results for her golf clients. Writing technical papers for different golf magazines, online blogs and associations she has enjoys educating and helping the golf industry grow.

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