Scott Clark and I attended the Scottish Golf Conference yesterday which some of you may have watched on the live stream, see below.
It was a good day as Scottish Golf highlighted exciting times ahead whilst also reviewing the year gone by, including the initiatives on membership and diversity.
Membership continues to be an issue for many clubs although to be fair in our case, membership is not an issue, having tee times for our members is an issue.
Our membership for full members is all but full and for U-31 ‘s it’ll shortly be a case of one in for one out. We are currently advertising 5 day membership and twilight membership for that reason. We will be issuing an update later on in relation to membership but the key part of the conference was “GolfsApp”.
The Scottish Golf app will be tailored so Prestonfield will have it own App and this will be appreciated by well over 80% of our members who will be familiar with sites like AirBnB, Booking.com, You Tube etc.
For an idea on the App please review the “live Stream” below, its towards the end. Essentially its just a platform, that we will use.
Initially you’ll be able to make bookings at the course on it, enter opens and pay for them, get a free skycaddie, etc. We’ve registered our interest and will set up a development team with a project manager and identify what further resources we’ll need. Ideally all the project team will come from our membership but if there is any specialist requirements we’ll resolve those as we get to those stages.
Scottish Golf see this as grabbing the 800,000 nomads who play occasional golf and are not members. When they say occasional golf it could be as often as once a year, or the nomads who play for one week of the year.
We’ve all got friends who play golf so infrequently that to join a club would be a waste of their money. I go to St Andrews every year in May and 3 of the 9 are not members anywhere and yet happily pay the £200 we pay for 4 rounds of golf.
Scottish Golfs plan includes offering these people a handicap membership option along the lines of Amazon’s prime, £7.99 a month.
Scottish Golf will offer all those people £4.99 to be affiliated (for handicap purposes) and have access to the Scottish Golf App. It will then be up to the member clubs whether they wish to allow these people to enter their opens or give them any discount on golf.
If they can get 80,000 of those people to use the App it will deliver (@£25 per round) £2,000,000 back to clubs in greenfees. One counter argument is we would have this money anyway, but if they came through free instead of with a 20% commission, its all good. As the App will be happening, it was clear they were rushing the room to jump on-board.
At present we pay 20% to Tee times UK for referral of business. Tee times is probably the biggest golf App in the UK and you can routinely find a game of golf somewhere at a very cheap rate. Scottish Golf’s (and our) take on these individuals is they are unlikely to become members of a club but they will use the App instead of tee times and we wont pay 20%, we will keep all the revenue.
The times that we currently put on tee-times.co.uk are times we want to sell, ie 4pm on a thursday. We never offer discounted times in the peak areas. For Prestonfield the peak times are Saturday and Sunday morning, whereas off peak is the evening.
Allowing Scottish Golf to be the portal through which we get our guests will make them a very powerful product, which will hopefully provide benefits very quickly to the game.
Scottish Golf had a tough time of it under the previous regime and there was a clear wind of change, emanating from the governing body.
There is a real sense of appreciation of the issues coming out from the clubs and the areas, and although this is only a small step forward together, its good to be standing shoulder to shoulder for a change. As a club we rarely find ourselves walking in the same direction so its no suprise that the governing body find it hard to move us to a common goal.
In an era when we are digitalising and moving onto Apps, its hard to for this humble servant to take that we still have Scottish Golf vouchers to post around the country whenever someone wins a prize. As someone who spent a long time with the Government and Bank of England in getting rid of share certificates, I’m still feeling getting rid of Scottish Golf vouchers is pushing a snowball uphill but that’s the golf club grumblings of a bitter little old man who thought he’d left the post room behind, aka another story.
Thank you for attending today’s Scottish Golf National Conference in Edinburgh, it was fantastic to see so many passionate golfers in the room, we hope you enjoyed the day.
The live stream from today can be viewed via the link below, we encourage you to share this with your golfing friends and network.
Register Your Club’s Interest
As mentioned today, we are excited to launch the Scottish Golf Club Venue Management System which will be free of charge to all affiliated clubs. The system includes booking tee-sheet, handicap and membership management, integrated payment processing, tour level live scoring software with more features to come. We will also offer clubs a new website with hosting included.
If your club is interested in hearing more about our exciting new digital solution, please complete the form below and one of our team will be in touch.
Please also take the time to read our Frequently Asked Questions, categorised for golf clubs, golfers and Areas and Counties.
Thanks again and we hope you all have a safe journey home.