Innovation in IT is moving at a furious pace and, as Golf Genius explain, it can enhance the experience on the golf course as well as saving you time... Understanding and being able to assess the ever-evolving golf software landscape is an increasingly important part of the General Manager’s role. Knowing what’s happening out there and keeping up with the latest innovations can be a source of confusion. However, navigating the impact of software at golf clubs and the key players in the industry need not be scary, it’s not rocket science. If you’re looking to change or add a new club software supplier, or just interested to understand the options available out there, here are some considerations that you should be making and general rules to follow. Odds are, if you’re taking the time to investigate or thinking about how software can help your club, then you’re already a long way towards your goal. Every industry in the world has either gone through or is going through these business decisions and taking on the investment in technology. Embracing software can upgrade efficiency without compromising the traditions of clubs and the traditional golf experience. Looking close to home, you can probably imagine one of your members, or even a few, that will routinely turn up with 17 ‘computers’ - a sensor on each of 14 clubs, an Apple watch, a distance measuring device, and a smartphone. Technology is and will continue to pervade every aspect of clubs, and those that embrace technology will be far better off than those that do not plan thoughtfully. Technology today is about software; sometimes the software is ‘wrapped in hardware’ such as a smartphone or moisture sensor, and sometimes it’s a software product such as a reservation system, but it’s useful to think of all this technology as software. Why has computer technology exploded in the past 50 years? It improves productivity, allowing management and employees to relieve themselves of relatively mundane activities and focus more on high value activities - and in a private club, that means delivering better service to members at lower cost and spending more time interacting with members. An ecosystem is a collection of products and services that connect with each other to form a system. It’s important for General Managers to understand the ecosystem of technology and software that surrounds their daily club life, and where it can be enhanced for these benefits. Clubs have indeed adopted technology-based solutions, but not at the same rate as other industries. For example, the way customers interact with banks and the travel industry has changed dramatically in the past 10 years. In both cases, there was a massive shift to customer self-service. Although most of us see golf as a wonderful social activity shared with friends and close to nature, it is actually a very technology intensive industry. Golf clubs and golf balls are marvels of engineering and agronomy is a science. We use computer aided design (CAD) to map out...
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