News

GOLFNOW and Troon extend tee-time agreement

Feb 08, 2019

Troon to promote GOLFNOW as preferred partner to its golf facilities worldwide via new multi-year distribution extension.

NBC Sports’ GOLFNOW recently announced an expanded, multi-year distribution agreement with Troon, which extended preferred partnership status for the world’s largest online tee-time marketplace with Troon facilities worldwide. This announcement came close on the heels of news in December that GOLF Advisor was selected by Troon Golf Vacations to be its official licensee.

Building on nearly a decade-long relationship, Troon will continue to promote and integrate GOLFNOW’s distribution platform, as well selective services to its managed golf courses.

“Both our companies have grown at a rapid pace since we became partners in 2009, and our relationship continues to be as strong and successful as ever,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLFNOW. “The value we provide not only helps Troon-managed courses using GOLFNOW to perform well, but also opens up other opportunities within the GOLF and NBC Sports Group universe.”

Foster points to the Troon Golf Vacations partnership as an example. Other examples have included exposure for Troon properties on GOLF Channel shows like Morning Drive and GOLF Advisor Round Trip, as well as opening doors to host GOLF events, including World Long Drive tour events.

“We value our partnership with GOLF Channel, GOLFNOW and all of the channels brought to bear under the NBC Sports Group,” states Bruce Glasco, chief operating officer of Troon. “Our clubs benefit from the exposure, tools and delivery provided as a result of synergies created – from distribution to marketing via our global relationship.”

About GOLFNOW

GOLFNOW is an innovative technology company specializing in golf-related products and services that is creating frictionless ways for golfers and golf courses to better connect. GOLFNOW operates the largest online tee-time marketplace in the world, offering more than 3.5 million registered golfers a variety of ways to stay connected to their favorite courses and the ability to easily book tee times online and via mobile devices any time of day. With offices in Orlando, Fla., and Belfast, Northern Ireland, GOLFNOW also provides technology, support and marketing services to nearly 8,000 golf courses in 26 countries around the world. GOLFNOW is included in the GOLF Business Solutions suite of digital businesses, owned by NBC Sports and managed by Golf Channel, which is available to more than 500 million viewers worldwide.

About Troon

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf management company providing services at more than 360 locations around the globe, including 280 golf courses at 246 facilities. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages more than 150 restaurants located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 35 states and 30 countries, divisions of Troon include Troon Golf, Honours Golf, Troon Privé (the private club operating division of Troon), Troon International and Cliff Drysdale Management. There are currently 60 Troon-affiliated properties featuring 80 golf courses on national and international “Top 100” rankings. Troon-affiliated properties include Bayside Resort Golf Club in Selbyville, Delaware; Kapalua on Maui, Hawaii; Mauna Lani on the Kohala Coast of Hawaii Island; Pronghorn in Bend, Oregon; Lofoten Links in Norway; and Mollymook Golf Club in Australia. For additional news and information, visit www.Troon.com, or connect with Troon on FacebookTwitterInstagramGoogle+, BlogPress Room, or subscribe to Troon Golf & Travel.


Momentum accelerating for G1—PGA Show floor buzzes with interest and signups

Feb 08, 2019

Enthusiasm for a single portal where the whole operation lives.

Golf industry people tend to use the annual PGA Merchandise Show as a marker for progress and a date on the calendar pinned with big goals. It’s no different for the GOLF Business Solutions team that manages G1.

A year ago at the 2018 PGA Show, there were 10 active users of G1’s facility-management technology package. At the conclusion of  the 2019 edition of the Show, the number of golf courses that have chosen to integrate the G1 platform into their operations has well exceeded 500.

Kelvin Wierks, vice president, Business Platforms for GolfNow Technology Products, said G1 is building incredible momentum and running ahead of projections. “And we haven’t really promoted it on a broad scale at all,” he said.

The GOLF Business Solutions exhibit space was large and well-furnished, with seating and modular tables for sit-downs. And yet by the middle of the show’s first day a call went out for more tables and chairs. “By my count there were 133 meetings in which G1 was presented or discussed,” says Wierks. “We talked to people at the show who were telling us, ‘We need G1 right now.’”

G1 is next-generation cloud-based technology for facility management that holds itself to high standards where efficiency and integration are concerned, but seeks to set itself apart by delivering to the golfer a “frictionless experience,” as Wierks describes it. It’s also a smoother ride for the course operator. “We have people who log in and change their rates remotely,” Wierks says. “You could have one course in Florida and one in New York and you’d be able to engage with all the activity at either one in real-time.”

G1 combines all software and operating systems used at a golf facility into one platform. That’s tee sheet, point-of-sale, social media, employee schedules, inventory, payroll, vendor relations, and more—all controllable by an Internet-connected smartphone or tablet, from anywhere.

“At G1's first PGA Show a year ago, we were in the beginning stage and course operators weren’t thinking much about self-registration at the golf course, or pay-anywhere technology,” says Wierks. “Now those functions are part of retailing, generally, so courses are wanting to remove shop counters and put merchandisers with tablets out on the floor.”

For facilities that are G1-driven right now, there’s a steady and frequent release of new features and functionality. Feedback from those active users is one important source of new feature ideas for the engineering team to work on. “For any of the add-on products we devise and build, G1 courses automatically have 3 million consumers using them,” says Wierks. “The job of training the customer to take advantage of one feature or another is already done—that’s a major advantage for any piece of business software.”

The state of the art of management software has been improving, driven by the cloud-storage option (over local servers) and by engineering innovations. It’s a competitive and dynamic category in which the G1 product competes well from a pure technology standpoint and benefits uniquely from its consumer-centric approach and from the huge built-in audience. Look for an upcoming B2B advertising campaign that tells the G1 story in helpful detail and shows a future, in Wierks’s words, “where the whole operation lives on one portal.”

Learn how G1 can deliver for your course. 


Rory McIlroy and NBC Sports Group launch GOLFPASS

Feb 07, 2019

Modern, Digital Membership Designed to Better Connect Golfers to the Sport

A new digital membership delivering comprehensive benefits tailored to the modern golfer’s lifestyle was launched earlier this week with the help of global golf superstar Rory McIlroy. GOLFPASS, a first-of-its-kind, direct-to-consumer subscription program, offers opportunities to play more golf, comprehensive tools to improve any golfer’s game; high-quality video content; and enhanced shopping and travel experiences. GOLFPASS is the product of two years of development and collaboration between Rory McIlroy Inc. and NBC Sports Group.

Through guest appearances on several shows during a whirlwind media tour of New York City, including  The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, McIlroy introduced GOLFPASS to a national television audience, giving golfers their first introduction to GOLFPASS.

“Golf has been a constant in my life, a passion I share with millions of others. Creating GOLFPASS with NBC Sports was driven by my desire to enrich the golf experience for fans all around the world,” said McIlroy. “Arnold Palmer showed tremendous vision when founding GOLF Channel in 1995 and it now stands as a significant part of his legacy. I have the utmost respect for the impact he made on the game and I will carry that spirit forward by helping to lead our sport into its digital future with GOLFPASS.”

“GOLFPASS is designed to make golf more accessible and fun using NBC Sports’ portfolio of golf tech and services that help better connect golfers to the sport. Whether it’s video instruction from the best coaches in the world or enhancing the golf experience on and off the course, GOLFPASS adds tremendous value for golfers,” said Mike McCarley, president, GOLF, NBC Sports. “Rory is the perfect partner for GOLFPASS, not only because he’s an approachable, genuine and global ambassador for golf – much in the same way Mr. Palmer was – he’s also eager to modernize how golfers engage with the sport in their daily lives, whether watching a screen or with a club in their hand.”

GOLFPASS perks and benefits span five pillars – Play, Learn, Watch, Travel and Shop – which are the most frequent ways golfers engage with the sport. A GOLFPASS membership – $9.99 per month or $99 per year – is unmatched and available today via www.golfpass.com and soon via connected TV, and iOS and Android apps. Memberships tailored for the U.K., Ireland and Australia will launch in the coming months.