In today’s technology driven world, there are more options than ever to consider when looking to add or upgrade your Club’s online tee sheet and mobile app.
Your members use their phones to interact with the Club digitally and it is critical to ensure their experience is exceptional. It is imperative to select a vendor that will streamline your operations by making it quicker and easier to bill for tee times and tournaments and to tell the story of what is going on day to day on the course to make data-driven decisions. Use this guide as you are navigating discussions with your current or proposed technology partner to make the best possible decision for your members and your Club.
1. Will you be sending my members to a separate website or app for booking tee times? Before looking at new tee sheet and app providers, it is important to understand the challenges associated with working with a 3rd party provider that is not also responsible for your website, membership database, and Point of Sale. This leads to maintaining duplicate databases which can be challenging and can lead to members not being able to book tee times properly. Meanwhile, you are funnelling away your website and app traffic which costs the club potential revenue. If a member bypasses the Club website or app because they are only interested in booking golf-related activities, you have no opportunity to market other events and activities available at the club.
2. How will I bill my greens fees and cart fees with the new system? Will tee times and associated charges flow into my Point of Sale automatically? Not all tee sheets and Point of Sale systems integrate. Choosing to use the same provider for your tee sheet and your accounting/Point of Sale software makes billing a breeze. With Clubessential, Members book tee times or sign up for events on the app and on the day of play, they are already in the Point of Sale with tickets created with the appropriate fees ready to charge. No duplicate entry into Point of Sale equates to less billing errors.
3. Does the tee sheet integrate with my tournament software and make billing for events easier? Thousands of golf clubs and virtually every State and Regional Golf Association in the United States is now using USGA Tournament Management powered by Golf Genius Software. Ask if your vendor has a robust integration with Golf Genius meaning that the two systems can communicate and push and pull player and round data. For example, Golf Genius event registrants are pushed back to the Clubessential tee sheet on the day of play. From there, all of the registrants show in our Point of Sale for seamless event billing and accurate rounds reporting. You also have the option of billing from the first tee using our Mobile Point of Sale app on a tablet. Imagine taking member and guest payments and selling a tournament polo from the 1st tee on event day!
4. Can your tee sheet handle our Club’s unique member and guest play rules, course configuration, and lottery requests and weighting? The Clubessential tee sheet has a robust rules engine that can allow or prohibit booking based on many different factors: day of week, time of day, season vs. off-season, member type, etc. We custom build each Clubessential tee sheet based on the information that you provide to us. Our system can be set up to support 18 hole courses with very few restrictions to complex lottery request systems for multi-course operations and everything in between. It is simple to change the booking rules for a particular day or time period by applying a template that allows different booking rules than normal. For example, select the Ladies Golfers template and apply it to allow tee times to only be booked online by Female Golfers but Unavailable for booking by others. Open up the Back 9 for play but block the 1st tee. We will work with you to support your unique operations and help guide you through best practices for online member tee time booking.
5. What kind of reporting and statistics will be available to me? Make sure the new system will provide all of the necessary reports that you need to tell the story of what is happening on the course to your stakeholders (GM, Committees, Board, etc.) It is critical to understand who is playing and when in order to make operations decisions to increase revenue. Using the Clubessential tee sheet, you can run Total Round Reports, Course Utilization Reports, and Missed Posting Reports to name a few. Using our Accounting/POS and Membership Analytics Predictor will give you even more insight into who is using the course and who is not and who could be at risk for either canceling or downgrading their membership.
6. Does your tee sheet integrate with GHIN or Golfnet for score posting? If the tee sheet integrates with these handicap providers, members can post scores directly from the tee times system without having to go to GHIN, enter their ID, etc. The Clubessential tee sheet remembers the GHIN ID and the tees typically played so that the member only has to check for accuracy and enter their score. This information is then sent to GHIN. Having a solid integration also allows us to display member handicap indexes on the member and admin tee sheets. You will also have the ability to run the aforementioned Missed Posting Report for your golf committee or take advantage of automated “Please Post your Score” email reminders for all those players who have not yet posted a score for their round.
7. Can your tee sheet handle the “morning rush”? For clubs that experience a rush of activity on the tee sheet for popular weekend morning tee times, make sure you understand how the technology is set to handle this activity. For example, iIf a member doesn’t click fast enough and another member secures the tee time, what happens? Not all tee sheet providers can adequately handle the booking frenzy. The Clubessential tee sheet has a countdown timer so that members know exactly when the times will open. If multiple members try and book the same time, whomever clicks first gets that time- hands down. The member who clicked a split second too late receives a message giving them an exclusive hold on the next available tee time. This process has been heavily pressure tested over the past decade and is extremely reliable. Knowing your system is truly first come first serve eases member frustration that can ensue if your provider cannot handle high levels of tee sheet traffic.
8. Can your tee sheet handle delays or other same day changes without requiring a phone call? How are these delays communicated to the membership? Make sure that your technology provider has options for managing frost delays or rain delays and communicating these changes to the membership. The Clubessential tee sheet has many different options. You can use our Delay Manager to push all starting times for the day back 2 hours OR select the option to push starting times 2 hours but fill any unused times so that you compress the tee sheet and get caught up quicker. If you prefer, you can simply select groups and drag and drop them into their new starting time which will alert them of the change. Even if you want to leave the tee sheet as is, it is simple to send out an email or text to all members on the tee sheet alerting them of the delay and the changes to their starting times.
9. What are your Support Hours? Where is your Support team based? Do you have emergency Support for weekends/holidays? It is key to understand who will be available to support you when you need assistance. This is critical for the golf world which does not follow the traditional Monday-Friday, 9-5 work week. Make sure that you have access to a live Support person when you need it. Clubessential has all day Saturday support hours and West coast hours Monday-Friday. We also offer emergency Support outside of business hours. Our Support representatives work out of our Cincinnati, OH office and we do not outsource any of our support. We also have extensive training resources with instructional detail available 24/7 in case you prefer.
10. What is your development strategy? What features are you committing to bring to market in 2020 and beyond? Before partnering with a technology provider, ask some questions about their Product Roadmap and the initiatives that the company is focused on. The provider should be immediately prepared to discuss their core focuses for the upcoming year. Clubessential has an in house Agile Engineering team and Product Team that are committed to a mobile first product strategy. We are in the process of redesigning our mobile app to revolutionize your members’ App and Tee Time Booking Experience. Members will love the fingerprint/Face ID login, a brand new App buddy list for adding buddies to tee times, and a state of the art redesigned booking interface. Look out for more information as to when this new app will be available for your members.
If you’re considering a new tee sheet or mobile app for your club or considering looking at new providers, schedule a technology assessment with a Clubessential team member to discover what’s involved and how you’ll be supported through the process. Get all of the facts so that you can invest in the solution that’s right for your members and your Club both now and for years to come.