Golf Course Apps: 5 things to avoidNovember 17, 2015
Difference between Native and Web Golf Club AppsJanuary 11, 2016
If you owned a club (or was in charge of marketing/new business) would you want to put your golf members and visitors through this??! Surprisingly some clubs do!
And because of this, what could be a very useful and beneficial app to both the club and the players, has already started to get a bad reputation, poor downloads and little or no repeat users of the app.
One of the reasons behind this is that golf course apps are currently in the startup phase that websites were many years ago - you know you needed one, but did not fully understand why you needed one. So many businesses just "chucked" one up there so they could say they had a website. It really did not seem to matter if this website was actually helping them, they could say they had one!
The sad irony behind it was they missed out on the opportunities that a good website offered them and they actually paid to put up something that was a poor reflection of their company which actually deterred people from doing business with them. Not what one would call ideal or good business sense.
Golf courses and course apps now find themselves in this same situation.
With the main reason for golfers to download the app being course guides, clubs are thinking, sensibly, that adding on their other options (clubhouse, fees, events, etc) is a good idea. However what starts as a good intention, a club app that is useful to the golfer and upsell the rest of the course has turned into something that accomplishes neither very well.
Common Golf Course App Mistakes Which Cost Golf Clubs
1) Having your app web based (meaning it pulls the data from the web)
2) Having a simple webpage link on your app to your services.
- If your are a golfer and your main reason to download the app is the course guide and you now find yourself out on the course and you have no wifi or 3G the app simply won't load or function fully.
- If it does load, unless you have a great speed over the entire course, things like CGI and/or flyovers can take a long time appear.
- By using a web based app and not having free wifi available the 3G/4G will eat into their data plans.
I do not know about you, but I really can't read them and I have 20:20 vision! And courses are missing out on so much revenue by doing this. (See below for the comparisons on the Pro Shop)
Would you be interested in looking what the Pro-shop (or any part of the business) had to offer if the club's app was like the one on the left?
3) Not making it easy to navigate
Having reviewed loads of golf apps, they seem to fall into two camps - 1) either a drop down menu or main screen with buttons taking you to x section or 2) let's play a guessing game and see if you can find what you are looking for or how to use it. I have found some apps have some really neat stuff on them, but I found them under the misc tab or by just swiping sidewards to see if anything else popped up. Now I know there are tons of inquisitive people like me out there that like to find out what things can do, but going with option one really is not difficult!
4) Pop up adverts
There is getting advertising and sponsorship that covers the cost of the app and makes money for the club. And then there is this formula below that certain app developers are doing (which, on first site, looks tempting to the club on the outside as they give the app for "free"and they then make their money by advertisements throughout the app):
Imagine this; you are a golfer and you have just downloaded club x's new app and you have just got to the first tee. You open up their course guide, excited that it has a flyover and GPS locator on it so you can see how far you are to the hole, you select hole 1 and.... a BIG advert pops up over your guide... And it STAYS there for a number of seconds and then.... you can see your guide. Ok, that's a bit annoying, but you watch the flyover and take your shot. You then walk to you ball and pull out your app to see how far you are for the next hole and guess what happens... a BIG advert pops up over your guide. And it STAYS there for a bit and then.... you can see your guide. And this happens at every hole, every time.
Now, let me ask you a few questions: Would you rate this app? Would you use it again? Do you think it reflects favorably on the course that had it created?
There is a better way. Do not be fooled by jargon, or tempted by a "free" app. You would not do anything else in business that was so fundamentally flawed, so why should your course app any different?
Golf apps should MAKE your club money. They should be representative to your branding in both look and feel, they should be an extremely beneficial extension to your club and provide your members and visitors with everything your course has to offer.
Golf2Win has done many months of research as to what exactly should go into a golf course app from both a business income generating perspective and from the view of the end user; the golfer. We have compiled our research and created the ultimate app - CourseMate App
- for any course that wishes to improve their spend per golfer, attract new members/visitors, access the golfer’s own networks, boost their social media campaigns and improve communication with your members.