Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Harnessing technology to eliminate the need for face-to-face contact must become the new norm for golf clubs around the world.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, golf clubs are having to rethink their modus operandi and standard operating procedures. And more and more are quickly coming to the conclusion that making the most of technology is critical to creating a safe environment and an optimistic outlook.
“As golf clubs begin re-opening, we’re looking at any way that we can to leverage technology in order to eliminate the need for face-to-face contact. It’s becoming the new normal,” said DJ Flanders, Senior Vice President, Troon International, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, which manages and operates more than 400 properties in 35 countries.
Flanders said Troon has developed an App which enables members to check in at their clubs and is frequently adding new features.
A 21-year veteran of the company, Dubai-based Flanders said: “Technology is definitely going to grow in its presence through this phase and it’s probably going to stay as we move on because people will see how easy it is to use and how it can enhance the golf experience.
“We’re moving to the point where people can pre-pay on our App, come in with the bar code, scan the bar code and walk out of the shop. The less time they’re their the better.
“We’re also looking at ways of introducing retail into that App so that people can pre-purchase balls or whatever it might be. That way, we can still sell retail during this timeframe. Retail has been struggling because it’s a touch point and people are wary of trying anything on.”
Similar technology can also be adapted for a club’s practice facilities or driving range.
“Once again that’s an area where you want to be controlling your social distancing. We’re now looking at creating tee-sheets for the practice facilities where people have to pre-book their slots through the App. That gives us the ability to regulate who is there and know that there’s not too many people so that we can manage the spacing and keep everyone safe,” said Flanders, speaking in the latest in a series of AGIF podcasts with leading lights from the industry that are being broadcast at www.agif.asia
He added: “Through the App, you can also buy your food and beverage and order takeaway and have that ready for you to grab-and-go so you’re not standing around and potentially creating cross-contamination with an associate or guest. It’s a seamless experience to pre-book through the App.
“Another touch point we’re seeing move to technology is scorecards. More people are using scorecards on their phones because they’re the only ones touching that versus cross-contamination of touching a scorecard. These are the kind of things that everybody’s starting to look at now.”
**Troon is an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. If you’d like to reach the Federation’s 10,000+ global audience via newsletter, website, Facebook and LinkedIn, become an AGIF member. For further details, please visit https://agif.asia/join-the-agif/