Singapore: Covid-19 has turbo-charged the desire of clubs to move from using physical scorecards to digital scoring and other such contactless golf.
With golf clubs continuing to adopt new safety protocols to reduce contact points in a bid to combat the Coronavirus outbreak, employing technology to keep track of your score is an obvious and easy-to-implement measure, according to Craig Higgs, Managing Director, Golf Genius Software.
“There is definitely a very strong market force that is pushing the printed scorecard to one side. The desire and movement towards using the phone to score is super-charged,” said Higgs, speaking during the latest Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF) webinar on ‘Why New Technology is Now Essential in Golf Course Management’.
“There’s no doubt that the market is being forced to move that way. We only see that movement as getting faster and we are significantly developing our app product to take advantage of that opportunity,” added Higgs, who highlighted changes in demand over the past few months among the company’s customers, which includes more than 9,000 clubs globally.
Higgs said contactless golf is the new normal with digital scoring among the elements being embraced by clubs and golfers around the planet.
“As people come back from the lockdown period, we know how important it is to keep golf safe. Typically, what we’re seeing across the 50 countries that we deal with is that golf is now generally moving to a state of being open – and clubs want to make sure it’s done in a socially responsible and contactless way.
“Across our country markets, we’re being asked to rapidly help clubs with their digitisation. They’re looking to reduce the traditional touch points in a golf event and that’s increased the demand for standard features that we have, like on-line registration, tee-time booking and live app scoring.
“We pride ourselves on the fact that tournament management is what we do. All day, every day, we’re there to make the task of creating golf events a lot easier and making sure that creating great golf events will bring back to clubs the revenue that everyone has lost in the last couple of months.
“We fervently believe that a golf club is about golf and is its primary product. We are there to make it safe and to make it more fun. When it’s more fun we know as we can chart the increasing rounds. And with an increase in rounds, revenues go up, whether that be through participation or food and beverage,” he said.
As well as running some 500,000 golf events and more than 20 million rounds annually, Golf Genius is at the forefront of the World Handicapping System, an initiative by The R&A and the United States Golf Association to introduce a single handicapping system to the game.
Joining Higgs and Peter Shaw, Director of International Sales at Golf Genius, in the discussion on tournament play and software in the time of Covid-19 were Steven Thielke, Chief Executive Officer at Malaysia’s TPC Kuala Lumpur, and Paul Booth, General Manager, Al Hamra Golf Club, located in the most northern of the UAE’s seven Emirates, Ras Al Khaimah.
The webinar, which was moderated by Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Gs3tk3ARpqc