Ready to walk the equivalent of 45 holes? That’s what this year’s PGA Show will offer.

There will be more than 10 miles of aisle space, 1,000 exhibitors and more than 40,000 attendees in 600,000+ square feet of exhibit space! If your New Year’s resolution was to get more steps, you’re in luck. If it was a “Dry January” you’re probably reaching for the scotch already.  I get it. With so much to see, learn, and experience, it can be overwhelming. 

But with the industry experiencing a resurgence and the fact that the Next Generation Golf Experience is quite simply, cool, you don’t want to miss this.

So what’s the best way for someone to navigate the 600,000 + square foot space of golf innovation in just a matter of days and get useful information to take back home? We’ll skip the booth recommendations because it will vary by the individual, and let’s be honest, I want you to come to booth #4428. And for advice on Orlando, just check out Yelp


The Experience Edge

What I do think is helpful is calling out the trends you should get psyched about. A word I’m certain you’ll hear a lot is ‘Experience’. But like most trending topics, it’s rather squishy and lacks how-to context. That’s why I like to pair it with another word: Edge. Just like when you’re on the course, when you’re at PGA or planning your visit, look for what will give you an Experience Edge

Like almost every aspect of our life, the experience will be enhanced with technology. The Next Generation Golf Experience will center on technology that takes that experience a step farther than expected. From understanding the needs of your members to communicating tee time policies to ordering and selling merchandise to managing your staff, technology can elevate the experience and become the great differentiator, giving you a decided edge. Here are some places to look for it.

Improve Operations with Mobile Devices
While mobile devices have had an occasionally strained relationship on the course, they’re not leaving our lives anytime soon. Look for and consider these potential opportunities:

- Manage and apply schedules and then layer with event templates, making reserved times visible, but only available to identified parties
- Hide times if you need to start later and handle delays by simply dragging and dropping groups to their new times 
- Create member and guest reservation restrictions by day, time of day, or season 
- Block the front 9 and open the back 9 for reservations 
- Integrate with Golf Genius for all your tournament needs 
- Streamline reservations to revenue through seamless integration between the Tee Sheet and Point of Sale System, 
- Eliminate the need for double entry and reduce booking errors for tee times 
- Book and edit member tee times while you are on the go 

Extend the Pro Shop Beyond the Register 
As staffing becomes more problematic, getting high-value associates out from behind the counter and engaging with members is critical. Consider other locations and opportunities:

- Transform tee time check-ins by utilizing more convenient areas to check-in and pay, like the bag drop, 1st tee, or wherever you choose 
- Streamline event check-in and merchandise purchase processes 
- Manage your pro shop inventory from your device or tablet
- Shop with your members and process orders as they browse 

Refine the Member Experience 
What can you do to remove friction from experiences, delight members, empower staff, and make their time with you remarkable? Here are some ideas for starters.

- Provide your members with convenient buddy play booking and tee time management 
- Empower your members with an app experience focused on their individual preferences and behaviors 
- Track member locations and send push notifications to encourage members to post a score, order food, or book a reservation 
- Automatically hold the next available tee time for the member who didn’t click fast enough during high-traffic booking times 
- Display member preference data within the admin tee sheet 
- Understand course utilization trends for members, visitors, and where they’re going 


Walk Away a Winner

If you noticed, everything above focuses on engagement because, well, The Next Generation Golf Experience starts with engagement - and that engagement is all driven by the experience (yep, we’re back to that squishy word). It’s important to remember that the experience is for members, as well as you, and your staff. 

This year’s PGA Show promises to top all others. As you walk your ten miles, hit your resolution-required step goal, and have fun - think about your experiences at the show. What was digital? What occurred on a mobile device? What made you feel stuck? And what felt natural, like the type of experience you want to build at your club?

And did I mention you should join us at booth #4428 for sessions on improving your operations, pro shop, and member-experience game? Well you should. Book some time with us to discuss how to create your Next Generation Golf Experience.