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With many offerings on the market today it is easy to get confused as to what your club needs. There are some companies offering free apps to your club, whilst some will be beneficial to you, not all of them are what might seem and function in the way you would expect them to. Golf Courses are unique to the app world and this makes it even more important to get it right.
This is where knowing the few simple differences between web and native apps can make all the difference to the success of your app and give you choice of of what is best for your course.
Pulling Data from the Web
Native apps have all the important features installed on them. This includes the main reason the golfer will download your app - the course guides and videos.
Web based apps do not, and rely on connectivity to download the app's information and this downloading is NOT limited to the course guides and videos, but to the WHOLE app itself.
Below are 3 screenshots of golf course apps (native and web). We are trying to load the flyover of each of these apps.
As you can see, we were unable to even open the app on the first screenshot. Now image you are the golfer out on the course wishing to view the course guide and you now find you have no wifi or 3G?
These two web app screen shots are sadly not unique, unless you have a great speed over the entire course, web based apps simply won't load or function fully.
As silly as it sounds, the difference here is whether or not you want your customers to read what is written. Many web apps put in a simple page link to your website, with claims that it will allow all your golfers to see your services, ie. pro-shop, events, general information and so forth.
Native apps display your online information differently to web apps, because everything is designed for your course to the strict guidelines that The Stores set out, including a set minimum pitch for the text and offline functionality.
Below is a typical screenshot of a web app showing a golf course's Pro Shop compared our Native CourseMate App first and second screen.
Web links are often the case in many "free" and cheaply made web apps and although their claims it allows your golfers to see all your website is not untrue, it can be slightly misleading. Putting aside that you (again) need good connectivity for it to work, I don't know about you, but even when they load smoothly, I can't read them! Unfortunately this means many golf courses are missing out on revenue by going down this route as most people won't bother to even try and read the page.
All phones and tablets can display full resolution graphics which means there should not be any differences between the two. However, with some web apps pulling everything from the web, low res images are often used because they will load them faster.
Native apps can hold much better quality images and more of them because the loading takes place on the initial download. This also applies to videos (flyovers, pro tips, promos, etc).
What this means to your club is with a native app you get better quality images and videos, instant loading/no waiting time for your golfers and due to the flexible nature of our CourseMate native apps you can have a whole host of different images on different pages making your app look and feel bespoke to your club.
Below is an example of how two different web apps show the course guide compared to the native app that uses your own course guide assets.
As you can see, there is nothing specifically wrong with any of these images but as a Golf Club Manager, one of the objectives is to be representative of the club and useful to your golfers to encourage repeat play. The Google image graphic on the left can be confusing, especially first time players, as the tees and hole is not marked. The 3D guide is visually very nice, but again lacks guidance that your own course graphics give in the CourseMate App.
Native Apps have the reputation to be extremely expensive, take months of work and lots of involvement from you. This no longer the case due to advances in technology and popularity, native apps have dropped considerably in price, for example, our CourseMate native app pricing starts from as little as £1,995.00.
Once established what your requirements are, the input from yourselves is generally minimal because we use the assets that you already have in stock. You, of course, can have new assets created (images, text, videos, etc) but it is not essential. Another great thing with our CourseMate App is that you can have the app created and then add your new flyovers in at later date, with no disruption to your users.
Timewise, you're only looking one-two months, depending upon what you require, to have your very own fully functioning, profit making golf course app.
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