Who will be the PXG for Operators?

By on January 31, 2017 in News

I just returned from the PGA Show last week, where I met a lot of motivated golf course operators and passionate business owners trying to grow their revenue and the game of golf. I walked the floor and couldn’t help but walk away with observations about the industry. Here’s my take…

Who will be the PXG for Operators?

Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) chose not to be at the show at all—no booth, and not even present to see the competition. PXG is the Ferrari of the golf equipment world, and it doesn’t want to be on the floor with a Toyota, or even a Lexus. They think different when it comes to golf, and I love it. In the past year, PXG completely disrupted the way the golf industry approaches player equipment. Not only did Founder and CEO, Bob Parsons, enter the hard goods market—the same market from which the world’s biggest sports brand, Nike, recently withdrew—he stormed it, in the way only a billionaire golf nut like Parsons might.

How? If you believe the hype, and many PGA Tour players do, they did so by creating and selling the best high-performance golf clubs ever made; clubs no one, especially no global brand or corporate behemoth, would ever make—because they were “too expensive.” And yet, where they “failed” to produce a more accessible, millennial-friendly mass market club, Parsons and PXG succeeded in doing the one thing they set out to do better than anyone else: create the golf clubs they wanted.

Like the hard goods market, golf’s digital solutions space is ripe for disruption. Walking the PGA Show floor, you can’t help but see the contrast of antiquated technology on monitors wrapped up and packaged inside expensive booths. The leading providers have been selling outmoded concepts—including the false proposition that course operators can’t succeed without them—for far too long. Tee time distribution companies want you to believe there is only one way to sell tee times. Point-of-sale system providers want you to believe theirs is the only one that meets your needs. Marketers, developers and web designers want you to believe that selling tee times or building and maintaining your online presence is too complex to go it alone.

Take GolfNow, for example. Originally launched to solve one problem, online tee time distribution, GolfNow rose to prominence by successfully motivating course owner/operators to entrust them with their tee time inventory. Then, as the industry’s premier tee time distributor, they cemented their dominance by acquiring the leading reservation and point-of-sale system providers—effectively moving from managing that inventory to owning it. And they’re not the only ones playing this lucrative (for them) game. EZLinks and others have followed suit, each hoping to snag their piece of a distribution pie that prioritizes “selling trade by the boatload over course owners and operators’ interests.

But make no mistake: Bartering tee times is a vicious cycle, one that artificially suppresses real innovation while leaching revenue from courses–losses that hurt operators first (and worst), with a negative ripple effect across the spectrum. In other words: Turning golfers into deal shoppers doesn’t improve the game, it cheapens it. Literally. And yet, despite pervasive discontent and countless articles exposing the “hidden costs” of trading tee times for software and marketing services, few operators have broken free of it.

As a result, most, if not all, continue to be dependent on a small, dominant group of providers whose business models rely more on perpetuating user dependence than solving their problems. But it doesn’t have to stay that way. Some key lessons golf course operators can learn from PXG’s early success:

  1. Never settle. The status quo isn’t necessarily what’s best, it’s just how it is at the moment. Even the 8-track tape was once “state of the art.” Don’t settle for the way things are right now.
  1. You don’t have to be a billionaire to solve billion-dollar problems. Google’s first office was a garage in Menlo Park. Facebook was founded in a college dorm. Throughout history, countless products, companies, and other legendary endeavors have been launched with little more than a great idea and elbow grease.
  1. Passion drives progress. Companies like Apple started small, with a few great minds and a passion to solve a very specific problem—and it not only disrupted the computer industry, but forever turned computer electronics into “personal devices” and revolutionized a few other industries along the way.
  1. Knowledge is power. The better you know your customers, the better able you’ll be to anticipate and meet their ongoing needs. The same goes for operations: The more you know (and do, in-house), the more power you gain over your course, its business, and your own financial destiny. Conversely, the more you outsource, the more dependent on service providers you allow yourself to become—and in turn, the bigger, richer, and more powerful they become.

As the gap between customer and provider interests continues to widen, disruption looms. Operators are hungry for solutions that put them first, and there’s already more than one Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Page and Sergei Brin or Bill Parsons already maneuvering in the space; quietly exploring, identifying and solving the pressing problems necessary to return tee sheets, marketing, and pricing oversight back where it belongs: in the hands of owner/operators. It’s not a question of “when?” or even “whom?” The question is, “what are you gonna do about it?” Yes, you.

Course management problems aren’t just ours to suffer through, they’re ours to solve. No one knows the ins and outs of running your course like you do–no matter what the latest “experts” tell you. To prove it, let’s break down the most pervasive myths tech providers are invested in perpetuating–for their own benefit, not yours.

Myth: Millennials are the future–and you just don’t understand them.

Truth: Every generation is unique, but at their core, millennials are no harder to understand than Gen X-ers or the Baby Boomers before them. Sure, they do more stuff online/on mobile, but they’re far from inscrutable–and any technology provider who tells you otherwise just wants to obscure the fact that, as the ones who actually interact with millennial golfers on the regular, course operators likely know a lot more about them and their habits than the people who write and maintain their software.

Myth: Mobile technology is the future–and you just don’t understand it.

Truth: Have you ever made a reservation or purchase online? Used GPS to get somewhere? Congratulations, you’re fluent in mobile technology. According to eMarketer, 51.8% of travelers who booked trips digitally did so using a mobile device, up nearly 8% from the prior year (2015). Yet, roughly 10% of all tee time bookings are made online while most industries have over 50% of their conversions online. What’s the barrier? Why is golf so far behind the mobile/digital curve? There’s plenty of blame to go around. For one, there hasn’t been enough competition. Competition drives innovation in all things, especially mobile. Likewise, mobile adoption has historically been supported by special access to offers/discounts/deals–though thanks to the prevalence of tee time bartering, there isn’t any fat left to trim (not from tee time costs anyway).

To truly breakthrough, the right mobile management solution needs to do more than just handle distribution. It needs to tie into existing services (reservations, loyalty programs, F&B, etc.) while providing value-added features like GPS, scoring/leaderboards, special offers and more. And above all else, it needs to be intuitive and responsive; to keep players feeling connected–and loyal–to your course and brand. It may sound daunting, but there are companies making positive waves in this space.

Myth: It’s all about “big data”–and you just don’t understand it.

Truth: “Data” is just a fancy word for actionable information, which can be gleaned from the same info you’ve been collecting all along: member names and addresses, their purchase and play patterns, etc. Every line item a vital insight that, properly applied, can help cut losses/increase revenue and build customer loyalty. Are you charging enough per round? Giving discounts to customers who would have paid full price? Which promotions are most effective and with which customers? Outsourcing key transactions may save you a few pennies on the service side, but at what cost? The answers are in your data. Stop giving it away.

Myth: It’s all about marketing–and you just don’t understand (or have time for) that.

Truth: The key to effective marketing isn’t baffling customers with buzzwords or badgering them with bargains; it’s understanding them and meeting them where they are. You interact with your customers, every day. Why trust someone else to close that loop? The same goes for maintaining your online presence; if you use email or MS Word, you can manage a Facebook page or WordPress website. With the right data and the right tools, building, maintaining, segmenting and communicating with past, current and future clients is easy.

Consider this a wake-up call. The time has come for owners and operators to regain control over their marketing, data and their destinies. There are better partners out there, companies who care about golf–and you–as much as they care about technology. Teesnap is one of them.

Bryan Lord
Founder & CEO, Teesnap
Golf Course Management Software

Nice Meeting You at the PGA Show

By on January 28, 2017 in News

What a week! Here’s hoping those of you who made it to Orlando for the PGA Show left as inspired and optimistic about the coming year as we did. As a technology company, meeting so many customers, old and new, IRL (in real life) is a rare treat–so special thanks to everyone who came by to check us out, give us feedback or otherwise tell us about your properties, operations and challenges.

In addition to showing off Teesnap, it was a delight connecting with so many who share our passion–for the game and business of golf. Leaving Orlando, the team is beyond fired up to synthesize all that info and inspiration into an even better, more responsive product. Again: We couldn’t be more excited about all that 2017 holds ahead, and look forward to continuing to provide you with the industry’s leading tools for growing and managing your business.

Golf POS

8-time PGA champ Brad Faxon visits Team Teesnap

Golf Course Point of Sale System

PGA Show 2017 – Booth 2909

By on January 22, 2017 in News

Teesnap isn’t merely a technology tool. It’s the assertion of a completely new approach to golf. Intuitive, smart, powerful. It’s bringing an entire industry into the 21st century. Together we can help you build a course that’s simple to run, easy to manage, and increases revenue, while opening up new opportunities.

With decades of engineering experience and millions of lines of code, Teesnap is bringing powerful technology to bear in a simple, intuitive platform that you can control from anywhere on any device.

We look forward to seeing you at the PGA show.  We want to learn about your course, and your needs. Come and meet the crew that is putting the most technically advanced Course Management Eco-system together for you to better manage your course.

Golf Management Software

Top 6 Christmas Websites for Teesnap 2016

By on December 13, 2016 in Websites

We wanted to show you some examples of courses utilizing their websites to their fullest potential for the holidays.  These are the best of the best, taking advantage of their easy to change and brand Teesnap home pages.  We are looking forward to seeing the programs and marketing efforts used in 2017 to drive revenue!

  1.  Chequamegon Bay Golf Club.

Chequamegon bay

2.  Dragonfly Golf Club.

Dragonfly Golf

3.  Bahle Farms Golf Course.

Bahle Farms Golf

4.  Pleasant View Golf Club.

Pleasantview Golf

5.  Hollywood Beach Golf Resort.

Hollywood Beach Golf

6.  Old Corkscrew Golf Club – Though not a Christmas branded homepage, the team at Old Corkscrew has generated an enormous amount of revenue through the use of their online store.  Kudos to the team at Old Corkscrew!

To view a short video on how to manipulate features on your homepage click here!

Golf Marketing

Capitalizing on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

By on November 16, 2016 in Email Marketing

Do you have your digital marketing plans ready to go for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?  Have you ever tried to participate in the $2.68 Billion of sales volume as reported for Cyber Monday sales for 2014?  Maybe this year you should?  Take action, try this out this year, starting on Monday of next week.

Search Engine Optimization golf courses

Search Engine Optimization Explained

By on November 16, 2016 in Websites

Imagine for a minute that you where a librarian but not a normal one, your a librarian responsible for every book in the world.  People rely on you every day to find the exact book they need.  How do you do it?  You need a system, you need to know whats inside every book and how the books relate to each other.  You system needs to take in a lot of information and spit out the answers to patrons questions.  Its not an easy job.

golf email marketing

Using emoji and symbols in your email subject lines

By on October 31, 2016 in Email Marketing

When was the last time an email subject line made you smile? Thanks to emoji, email subject lines are getting a lot more expressive with everything from 😍, to 🍕 and even 💩 making appearances in our inboxes.

By using emoji in place of words, or to complement words, marketers have unlocked a new way to engage and connect with their subscribers. And engagement is the name of the game when it comes to email marketing.

Brands using emoji in their subject lines have seen a 45% increase in their unique open rates according to a report by Experion.com.

Emoji are popping up all over. In fact, Jess Nelson of Email Marketing Daily reports that “the use of emojis in mobile and email marketing messages has increased 775% year-over-year” and “triggered email messages containing emojis have jumped more than 7,000% in recent months and emoji use in marketing messages has shown a steady 20% increase month-to-month in 2016.”

How to design high-performing email campaigns using the inverted pyramid model

By on October 5, 2016 in Email Marketing

Are your email campaigns as effective as they could be?  If you’re not designing your campaigns the right way, then you might not be capturing your audience’s attention and getting your key messages across, and this can result in fewer people clicking-through from your campaigns than you’d like.

That’s where the inverted pyramid model comes in.

What is the inverted pyramid model and why does it work?

Research shows that an adult’s attention span is, on average, eight seconds.

Golf Course Marketing with Email

Email marketing in the era of 8-second attention spans

By on October 5, 2016 in Email Marketing

Did you know that the attention span of the average adult is less than a goldfish? That means, adults typically pay attention to one task for about 8 seconds.

It’s not that adults aren’t capable of paying attention. It’s simply that there are so many different factors continually vying for the mind’s spotlight that it’s difficult for anyone to pay attention to one thing for an extended period of time.

If you don’t easily believe that there is a world of information competing for your attention, consider the following statistics:

  • Businesspeople send and receive an average of 121 emails a day.
  • The average adult is exposed to an average of 247 marketing messages a day.
  • 28% of the average adult’s time a day is spent on social media where marketing messages are abundant.
Golf Holiday Gift Card Sales

Double your Christmas Gift Card Sales this Year

By on September 27, 2016 in Email Marketing, News, Websites

Do you want to double the amount of holiday gift card sales you did over last year?  Let’s decide to double our sales this year during this holiday season!  Isn’t it a cool idea to think of all your sales this way?  We can accomplish this task this year because we have the tools, we are starting early and we have the plan.  The following tips and techniques will set you on the right path to double your sales this Christmas!

Preparing for Christmas Sales 2016 – Start Now

Website – add a row of “sales space” under your main menu and before the featured image on your homepage.  You can feature a nice Christmas branding area here and drive them to your shopping cart to purchase online or to call and order at the pro shop!

Double your Gift Card sales this Christmas

Online Store – If you are utilizing your online store and have various gift cards set up as products use the URL’s of these products in your blog posts and email blasts to drive them back to buy!  Change the images now on these gift cards to brand them for Christmas.  If you don’t have an online store set up on your Teesnap website and you want one ACT NOW and Email Mark to set this up!  Let’s get this done now in time for the holidays!