Golf Course Apps: 5 things to avoid: A golf course app is an investment and when done correctly can be a great asset to any golf club. As with any marketing material, when selecting your app, there should be at least two primary objectives met:
a) It must be appealing and useful for the golfer (so they will download it and use it!).
b) It must generate income (and pay back its initial set up cost in the shortest time possible).
With the above in mind it is worth remembering that not everything is created equally and apps are no exception to this that so below are a few things that were thrown up during our research of varying golf course apps available on the market to today that you might like to keep an eye out for (plus remedies from the more thought out apps).
There a balancing act to be had here – your app must attract the golfer’s attention so they will download it and be useful so they continue to use it. However, if you simply choose an app that benefits only the golfer (course guides/flyovers/scorecards) you are leaving a lot of cash on the table. What to expect in a top golf course app is an article based upon months of research that will show what the best apps out there have to offer that master this balancing act.
This may seem like an odd thing to ask, but a number of companies are offering “free” apps or flyovers with the funding coming from them by getting sponsorship from advertisements within the app.
There is one thing being able to have your own app created and having funded by local sponsorship by either having a page dedicated to them or opening page showing logos, or even a small banner at the bottom of the screen and then there is these “free” apps that bring up a full screen advert at every single hole which either hang there for a few seconds or you have to close it manually.
Now that might not seem like much or a big deal, but you try going around a course with an app that does that – from speaking with various golfers that have used such apps, it is highly annoying and most of them do not bother using the app any more!
If you opt for the cheaper web or hybrid app versions you might find that your golfers might complain due to lack of coverage or it eating their data allowance as everything is pulled from the web – this includes course guides, flyovers, scoring, etc. (There is nothing worse for a golfer to not be able to access the course layout/flyover half way around a course due to no signal)
Unlike its web counterparts native apps can store all videos, images, course details, etc, within the app itself thus avoiding slow or non loading of items. Although some functions will still require a connection (like uploading to social media) in areas of no coverage any input data – like scores to the clubhouse (not for individual rounds as this is done within the app itself) and social media – items are polled and then sent once it establishes a connection again.
One thing we did hear about was how much administration some of the well intentioned golf course apps needed. With some apps requiring so much input from the club itself that the apps were either abandoned or not used for its full intended purpose. From our review, the best apps once set up have very little in the way of administration for the club.
A few elements like sending notifications, events or special offers do require some input, but with the right content management system in place often is a fair quick and painless job.
There are some really neat apps out there that give GPS location, yardage to the hole and even some that will recommend a club for you. These great for those golfers looking to improve their game and for those unfamiliar with the course as it takes away some of the guess work.
However, for a club to offer this in their app it does cause conflict if they wish to use the app for matches and tournaments as these functions are illegal and that in turn renders the use of the club’s app useless. Away round this is to have an app the has the capability to turn this off or require a separate login and locks the user out of the GPS element until they have finished their round.
As you can see, choosing the right type of app (whether you need a native or web app) and what elements you select to add within your app can have a big bearing upon how successful your app becomes and its ROI. We have done extensive research into golf course apps and selected unique combination of features outlined in this article which makes the course course app a powerful marketing tool.