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Holiday emails with the tools in GOLFNOW Central

Engage customers through the holidays and off-season with the tools in GOLFNOW Central

Nov 18, 2019

Staying in contact with your customers is a critical function for any golf course — even during seasonal closures. If you’re starting to make preparations for either closure or significant downtime, you can create and schedule email campaigns in advance to share golf course news, holiday greetings, and upcoming events with your golfers through the marketing tool within GOLFNOW Central (GNC).

Advanced scheduling allows you to focus on other business tasks that you face during the off-season, while still maintaining a crucial touch point with your customers so they are ready for that first day of the season.

 

How-to setup an email

Setting up a campaign in GOLFNOW Central couldn’t be easier. Simply select Marketing from the top menu and then choose view under campaigns. You will then be taken to the 'Campaign Movement' screen at this point. Click the green 'Create a New Campaign' link at the top right, which takes you to the Campaign Editor screen.

Now, complete the six tabs to customize your campaign—customers, promotion, email, text message, social media, and schedule and review.

 

Customizing your campaign

The Customers tab allows you to define the audience for your campaign. You can decide if everyone who opted-in to receive marketing messages from your course gets this notice, or you can narrow the list by pre-defined groups by selecting customers with specific course tags attached to their names.

Next you can decide to include a promotion with the campaign, an email, a text message or send your campaign out via your social media. When creating an email, you can choose to embed tee times directly into the email for fast, one-click booking. Also, don’t forget to use the administrative settings to add your social media links and logo for a professional-looking email every time. You can send yourself a test to make sure you are happy with your finished product on all platforms and services.

The final tab, Schedule and Review, lets you send the campaign immediately or set it up to be sent at a later date. Once your campaign is scheduled, you can always go back and review it by selecting the Scheduled tab under Campaign Movement. There will be a blue line that displays the send time for that campaign.

After sending out your campaign, you can utilize the “Analytics” tab to gauge its effectiveness. From “opens” to “clicks” to “bookings,” you will have the insight needed to adjust future campaigns for consistently higher conversion rates.

Need help? Contact your GOLF Business Solutions representative for ways to make the most of your next email campaign.


golf marketing for instructors

Better golf marketing in minutes: 5 tips you need to try!

Nov 07, 2019

Leverage the Value of Distance-Control with a Free Wedge Fitting

It’s a tantalizing question that instructor Rob Noel posed to golfers in his database: “Do you really know how far your wedges carry?” Many players who care about scoring aren’t sure at all, and it weighs on their minds when they’re inside 130 yards trying to pull a club. Noel invites them to a “Free Fit Friday,” in the noon to 4 p.m. time slot, featuring TrackMan for accurate measurement of carry distances. Structure of the afternoon was based on 30-minute sessions for each participant, with the chance, in Rob’s words, to “turn yourself into a scoring machine!” Benefit to the teaching professional is profit off wedge sales as well as an intro for non-students to see how competent and dedicated this academy’s coaches and clubfitters really are.
 

Use Nameplates as Rewards and Recognition for Regulars

Golfers see their names on cart signs, bag tags and lockers, so why not on the range? Even if you all you use are plastic plates that with an erasable surface, players will still enjoy seeing those beautiful words—their own first and last name. The plates you order could even have pre-printed titles, like “Golfer of the Week” or “Fast-Improving Student” or “Top 20 Most Improved.”. You don’t have to have one of these plates ready for every student every time—instead use them as an incentive for people who don’t yet have one, as well as a reward and retention tool for lesson-takers who are in your book already.
 

Hand Out Impact Decals on the Range

In the GolfWorks online catalogue you’ll find iron impact decals in rolls of 200 for $30. That works out to 15 cents apiece, a very small price to pay for the chance to create a meaningful connection with a range user who isn’t your student but seems like a good candidate. Make up a small poster showing a half-dozen used decals with off-center hits, blurred dimple patterns and other indicators of sub-optimal impact, topping it with the headline: “What Do These Marks Mean?” On a select basis, invite golfers to take 3 or 4 decals with them when they pick up a basket of balls, then upon their return they can show you the imprinted decals. It will likely be the first time they’ve ever used impact decals or impact tape, which makes this a great conversation-starter potentially leading to lesson signups.
 

“My Golf Teacher Reached Out to Me!”

Apparently this was the excited thought that went through the minds of 10 students who received texts from New Jersey-based instructor Brian Dobbie. The question Dobbie sent to his students, none of whom were currently active in his book, was disarmingly simple—he asked: “How is your game?” The message went out to the 10 golfers simultaneously and results came back to Brian quickly. All 10 golfers responded and the outreach resulted in Dobbie booking three standard lessons plus one playing lesson. He puts this nice success down to “the importance of following up,” in all kinds of different ways—including a quick, simple text.
 

Take Lessons in a Skill besides Golf and Blog Your Progress

Instructors are often advised to take lessons in tennis, guitar, fly fishing or some other motor skill, in order to remind themselves what the motor learning process is like from the student’s side. But if you ever do take this advice, don’t miss the opportunity to bring your golf students inside the process of what you’re being taught, how you’re going about practicing and what kind of progress you’re making. It will increase their respect for you (especially if you practice faithfully!) and it will build a narrative quality into your messaging, as your progress continues.


Discover all GOLF has to offer instructors! To check out our tools, tips, and more, CLICK HERE.

 


beyond yelp reviews

Beyond Yelp reviews: consider a secret shopper

Nov 07, 2019

Go through checkout at a big retailer and the cashier is bound to ask, “Did you find everything you were looking for?” Apparently there is research telling Target, BestBuy, and the other big boxes that consumers would spend more money if store inventory were somehow different or if items were displayed differently—so they constantly ask us about it.

Public-facing businesses—and golf instruction is no exception—can learn something from watching chain stores dig for data about the customer experience. The extreme way of doing it involves the trained “secret shopper,” hired from a legitimate agency and posing as a customer. Online reviews have reduced the need for secret shoppers, but they’re still around, supplying objectivity and professional reporting.

A marketing specialist with expertise in golf shop retailing, Jackie Beck, got hired a few years back to do some secret shopping in the instruction category. Beck was given a list of 50 contacts—academies as well as solo teaching pros—and told to proceed as any curious golfer would. She studied the instructors’ websites, checked on prices, called or emailed to inquire about available services and in some cases attempted to book a lesson.

In a presentation that Beck later made to a gathering of coaches—some of whom were among the 50 she had secret-shopped—her report had the attendees studying their own websites on smartphones, real-time, as she went through actual examples of what she saw working and not working. In many cases there were broken links within websites, long scrolls to get to important content, missing information, weak photography and a general failure to “tell the customer what makes this teacher a great choice.”

Beck found a disconnect between golf shops and the lesson tee, especially for teachers who are independent contractors at public courses. The staff in those shops are trained to promote the golf operation but not the lesson business. Beck addressed this issue, asking: “Is the golf shop delivering messages to you, with accurate information about people who have called asking about instruction? If you suspect that’s not happening, have a few people you know and trust call in, inquiring about golf lessons.” Consider “hiring" a former junior golfer who went on to study marketing or management at college then returned home with a degree. Trade a 3-lesson series for an objective report on what the customer experience was like, in fine detail.

Beck understands that instructors have to address the operating details of their business in small doses. “Prioritize the things you want to check on, and take them one or two at a time,” she advises. Are golfers arriving on-property and getting confused about where to go? Are there messy or cluttered spaces they would find unpleasant. Is noise a problem at certain times and places? Are the restrooms clean? Are the range balls noticeably deteriorating?

Unlike a BestBuy or a CVS, golf facilities aren’t chains that all look alike. That gives the instructor a chance to liven up the surroundings and add a little sparkle, making return visits more enjoyable.

“Your teaching skill is the big draw, but a golfer’s overall experience will play a part in whether they want to come back,” says Jackie. “If it’s a $75 lesson and they feel the experience was worth $100 they will automatically come back.” It takes a long time to learn how to teach effectively, and yet being around for a long time can dull your eye and ear for what’s pleasant, interesting and appealing about the details of a visit.

One final point Beck makes is focused on programming, and the need to bring flexibility to it. “Some instructors will schedule a ‘Chips and Sips’ clinic for women and be overly concerned about whether chipping can be taught properly in this type of setting,” Beck observes. “I say, ‘Who cares?’ The women are happy. Some nights they’ll be fine with skipping the golf part altogether—let them!” If you have reservations, ask directly whether social-night only is of interest to the participants. “Ask and listen,” Beck repeats. “We have to get over the idea that we know better than the customer.”

To learn more about our instructor offerings, CLICK HERE.

 


Videos

Kelly Morrow, PGA

Boosting events business with GOLF Business Solutions

Sep 19, 2019

EagleSticks Golf Club’s Kelly Morrow is boosting his events business with the help of GOLF Business Solutions’ Advanced Marketing Program – or AMP.

Learn more about our Advanced Marketing Program, HERE.


Chef Ponzio

Medinah’s culinary team delivers at BMW Championship

Aug 22, 2019

While fans at last week’s BMW Championship kept a close watch on the FedExCup leaderboard, they probably paid little notice to the show being staged by the culinary staff at Medinah Country Club – a performance that proved just as compelling as the action on the course.

As the host golf course, Medinah’s culinary operation, led by Executive Chef Michael Ponzio, efficiently and seamlessly planned and served more than 33,000 meals throughout the week at the Chicago-area club. While the best golfers in the world competed for the win and a top position in this week’s season-ending TOUR Championship, Ponzio’s team catered to their every culinary need, while doing the same for their club members, and a large contingent of news media.

The sheer volume of just the food prep, alone, for the week was mind boggling. This included making more than 5,000 bagels from scratch, smoking more than 2,000 pounds of meat in their on-site smokers and hard-boiling more than 6,000 eggs. The team worked in multiple shifts around the clock.

“We had an incredible week and I learned how far our team could be pushed, especially considering many of the curveballs thrown our way,” Ponzio said. “To produce that kind of volume from scratch was quite an accomplishment. Food is such a big part of major golf events, and we truly executed a showcase of what we call the ‘Medinah experience.’”

Ponzio’s prep for the week was captured by GOLF Channel cameras and he was interviewed by Morning Drive co-host Gary Williams during the show’s Wednesday telecast on location at Medinah. The Chef also provided a look inside the Medinah F&B operation as part of the original GOLFPASS series, My Daily Routine, which is currently available as part of a vast video library accessible to anyone with a GOLFPASS membership.

Ponzio is keenly aware how golf course culinary operations – both big and small – can benefit from a group-buying program to help them succeed, like the Ride serviced offered by GOLF Business Solutions. The source of Ride as a procurement difference-maker is the immense purchasing power of Comcast, the $84 billion company that owns Xfinity, Universal Studios and the NBC networks, including GOLF Channel. Currently, more than 700 golf courses use Ride to save anywhere from 6 to 35 percent annually on agronomy, food-and-beverage and business supplies.

Medinah joined the Ride program in May and leaned on the service to help the club prepare for its big week. “US Foods was very helpful and accommodating,” Ponzio said. “Their online ordering system made things very simple and gave us the time-saving power to search and order on our own, without having to call a rep and wait for options. For example, if I wanted a snack mix, I could go online and search multiple options and just pick what I wanted.”

“We really did our homework leading into the week,” Ponzio said. “We talked with other chefs who have hosted big golf events before and worked with local farmers to bring in some really cool food options that created special, unexpected moments.

“It definitely had an impact,” he said, “I’ve never seen food talked about so much before during a golf telecast.”

To learn more about the GOLF Business Solutions food and beverage group purchasing programs, CLICK HERE.


Transition to Ride

Transitioning to Ride is a seamless golf solution

Jul 24, 2019

Group purchasing delivers bottom-line savings, period. Joining or transitioning to the Ride service offered by GOLF Business Solutions can be easy, seamless and stress free. Hear why from Matthew O’Connor, executive chef at Bonnie Briar Country Club in Larchmont, N.Y.

To learn more about our Ride program, CLICK HERE.


News

NBC Sports Logo

NBC SPORTS GROUP ACQUIRES EZLINKS GOLF, EXPANDING DIGITAL PORTFOLIO OF GOLF-RELATED LIFESTYLE BUSINESSES

Nov 20, 2019

ORLANDO, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2019) – NBC Sports Group today announced it has acquired EZLinks Golf, a PGA TOUR-affiliated company, including its online tee time marketplace for golfers and its technology platforms, business solutions and customer service for golf course partners. The addition of EZLinks will complement NBC Sports Group’s existing portfolio of golf-related lifestyle brands dedicated to enhancing the golf experience through technology, including GOLF Business Solutions, GOLFNOW, and GOLFPASS.

“As an innovative leader that is at the intersection of golf and technology, NBC Sports continues to invest in our portfolio of golf lifestyle businesses to better serve golfers and golf courses,” said Will McIntosh, executive vice president, NBC Sports Digital and Consumer Business. “Incorporating the technology and services of EZLinks into the comprehensive digital solutions we already offer will enhance our ability to help golf courses operate more efficiently and make the game more accessible for golfers.”

For more than 20 years, EZLinks has provided software and services that power the unique operations and marketing needs of the golf industry, as well as TeeOff, an online tee time marketplace for golfers. EZLinks brings deep experience in working with independent golf course operators and management companies, as well as resorts, municipalities, and private clubs, and its addition will further bolster GOLF Business Solutions’ comprehensive offerings for golf course partners.

“Like GOLFNOW, EZLinks has been committed to maintaining an open platform for golf operators,” said Gary Cohen, chief executive officer of EZLinks Golf. “The combination of our two organizations will only enhance that shared commitment as we work more closely together to serve the needs of our clients and golfers everywhere.”
 

NBC SPORTS’ PORTFOLIO OF DIGITAL BUSINESSES ARE DRIVING INNOVATION AT THE INTERSECTION OF SPORTS AND TECHNOLOGY

“Simply put, our strategy is to make golf more accessible, simpler and more enjoyable to play by using tech and services that help better connect golfers and golf courses,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLFNOW and Emerging Businesses. “Teeoff and EZLinks Golf will round out our comprehensive portfolio designed to help courses elevate the golf experience at their venues and to better serve needs of the modern golfer.”

NBC Sports’ portfolio of lifestyle businesses is tailored to the specific needs of passionate participants and valued partners looking to enhance the experience of playing sports:

  • GOLF Business Solutions offers course partners access to a portfolio of business-to-business solutions and technology, highlighted by:

    • G1 and GOLFNOW Reservations, which are golf course management and point-of-sale platforms developed for courses’ technology needs.
    • GOLFNOW Central, which provides marketing, engagement and reputation solutions.
    • GOLFNOW Payments platform, which allows a golf course to seamlessly accept every form of payment from everywhere at their facility.
  • GOLFNOW, an online tee time marketplace featuring more than 6,000 golf courses in 24 countries, making it easy for golfers to find a course that best fits their taste, budget and needs. GOLFPASS+ members receive additional Play benefits, including no booking fees, cancellation protection and 25% more rewards points.

  • GOLFPASS digital membership program, co-founded with Rory McIlroy, which offers exclusive benefits and perks encompassing the things golfers love to do most – Play, Learn, Shop, Travel, Watch. Now available in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland, and Australia.

  • Shop with GOLF, an e-commerce platform giving golfers new ways to engage with their favorite brands, shows, personalities and content, and an integral part of GOLFPASS’ Shop benefits. The platform is a partnership with NBCUniversal Ad Sales.

  • SportsEngine, the leading provider of Sport Relationship Management software, serves more than 1.2 million sports teams and 40,000 sports leagues, resulting in 16 million coaches, parents and athletes using the platform. SportsEngine is the largest integrated amateur sports technology platform in the world and provides SportsEngine Safety, the largest youth sports background screening and abuse prevention training company in the market.

  • NBC Sports Gold, a direct-to-consumer live streaming product, features tailored passes across Premier League, PGA TOUR Live, Notre Dame Football, cycling, track and field, snow sports, ice skating, rugby, Pro Motocross, and Premiere Lacrosse League. NBC Sports Gold is powered by Playmaker Media and is available on Xfinity X1 and Xfinity Flex, Apple iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast and online at NBCSportsGold.com.

  • Rotoworld, the industry leader in fantasy sports information as the highest-trafficked site, which features news, headlines, fantasy columns and premium draft kits via the web, the NBC Sports mobile website, Rotoworld Fantasy News app and two paid Draft Guide mobile apps for football and baseball.


About GOLF Business Solutions
GOLF Business Solutions is a complete spectrum of business-to-business services offered by the family of golf brands within the NBC Sports Group portfolio. Building off the recognition and trust of the GOLF Channel brand, the offerings of GOLF Business Solutions are designed to meet the comprehensive needs of businesses interested in investing in golf, helping them to become more efficient and effective.

About NBC Sports Digital
A division of NBC Sports Group, NBC Sports Digital provides sports fans with live streaming of premier events that air on NBC, NBCSN, GOLF Channel, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, Telemundo, including the Olympics and Sunday Night Football; sport-specific websites that provide 24/7 news, scores and updates, including Mike Florio’s ProFootballTalk and Peter King’s Football Morning in America; best-in-class fantasy sports information through Rotoworld, the No. 1 fantasy sports information site; hyper-local coverage via websites and apps for the nine NBC Sports Regional Networks; and NBC Sports Gold, NBC Sports’ direct-to-consumer live streaming product that offers fans extensive access via 18 individual sport ‘passes.’ Additionally, NBC Sports Digital includes SportsEngine, an amateur league and team management platform; GOLFNOW, the leading online tee time marketplace; and GOLF Business Solutions, best-in-class business-to-business products and services. NBC Sports Digital also owns and operates Playmaker Media, a technology service that provides end-to-end support for companies in need of best-in-class live streaming and VOD solutions. The Yahoo! Sports-NBC Sports Network, a digital content and promotional partnership, constantly ranks among the most-trafficked digital properties in all of sports.


Women's Golf Day

GOLF Business Solutions partners with Women's Golf Day

May 02, 2019

Supporting women in the game of golf

ORLANDO, Fla.(May 1, 2019) – Celebrating women in golf, GOLF Business Solutions has partnered with Women's Golf Day to support its June 4 event and the organization’s efforts that encourage women and girls to get more involved in the game.

"Our team works continually to provide solutions for our partners, and collaborating with Women's Golf Day to provide our partners with unique access is one of those solutions,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLFNOW and Emerging Businesses. “Growing the game through increased female participation is good for everyone, and the attention we will help to create for this day is another step in the right direction. We hope to see hundreds of new golf facilities participating in 2019."   

As part of the partnership, GOLF Business Solutions will launch various marketing initiatives to encourage GOLFNOW's 7,000+ golf course partners to host Women’s Golf Day activities. Providing an incentive, registration fees will be waived for all GOLFNOW courses that utilize its Plus  service – a $79.99 value! All other GOLFNOW partner courses will be receiving a 20 percent registration discount.

Women’s Golf Day is a one-day, four-hour experience that is becoming a global movement. It combines golf with social and networking activities and allows every woman the opportunity to explore the various golf-related options in her local community. Over the past three years, the event has been hosted by more than 900 venues in 52 countries. It has engaged a community of more than 50,000 women. 

The rapid rise in the number of women playing golf isn’t just a trend. It's real evidence that women have become an important segment of the game – not only socially, but economically as well. Savvy golf course operators already know this and over time have taken steps to accommodate the needs and wants of the female golfer.

Courses utilizing Plus should contact their GOLF Business Solutions representative for directions on how to register for free.

Other GOLFNOW partner courses who wish to participate in Women’s Golf Day can click here for more information or register to host the event with the code GOLFNOW2019.  

 


NBC Sports Group Launches GOLF Business Solutions

NBC Sports Group Launches GOLF Business Solutions

Feb 28, 2019

NBC SPORTS GROUP LAUNCHES GOLF BUSINESS SOLUTIONS, PROVIDING SINGULAR SOURCE FOR ALL SERVICES OFFERED BY ITS FAMILY OF GOLF BRANDS

Comprehensive Business Solutions from GOLFNOW, GOLF Advisor, Revolution GOLF, GOLF Academy, GOLF Am Tour Now Consolidated Under One Umbrella Brand

GOLF Business Solutions Website Launches Wednesday, Jan. 23, During PGA Merchandise Show

NBC Sports Group today announced that business services once offered separately by its GOLF brands portfolio will combine under one umbrella brand called GOLF Business Solutions. The new GOLF Business Solutions will be formally introduced at the 2019 PGA Merchandise Show, displaying at booth #2173 and located adjacent to GOLF Channel’s Morning Drive stage.

As a comprehensive offering of solutions designed to help any business looking to connect with the sport of golf operate more efficiently and effectively, GOLF Business Solutions simplifies the way companies like GOLFNOW, GOLF Advisor, Revolution GOLF, GOLF Academy and GOLF Am Tour have previously served their partners. Once offered separately by each business, GOLF Business Solutions will provide the complete spectrum of services for virtually any need within golf, including technology and operations, brand management, advertising, sponsorships, event planning and management, content development, and more.

“GOLF Business Solutions is very much a customer-centric brand, built on the recognition and trust GOLF Channel has earned as an innovative leader within the golf industry for more than two decades,” said Jeff Foster, senior vice president, GOLF Business Solutions. “Whether you’re a supplier, instructor, resort operator or any business looking for a solution within golf, we’ve made GOLF Business

Solutions a destination that is relevant and purpose-built to support their business needs through best-in-class technology, marketing and services.”

One of the primary points of connection for customers of GOLF Business Solutions will be a new website, which has launched in beta, with an official debut on Wednesday, Jan. 23, in conjunction with the PGA Merchandise Show. Easily navigated, it will feature information on a broad spectrum of services relevant to various customer categories, including:

  • Golf Facilities: technology and operations, purchasing, consulting and support, marketing for golf courses, practice ranges and other off-course facilities.
  • Instructors: brand management, consulting, website design and management for golf instructors.
  • Suppliers: distribution, advertising, partnerships and content creation for product companies.
  • Golf Outings: event planning and management; marketing support for charity/fundraising and/or professional outings.
  • Hospitality & Tourism: operational support, technology and marketing support for resorts and other travel destinations.
  • Media: TV and digital exposure through partnerships, advertising, sponsorships, content integration.

GOLF Business Solutions’ website also will include The Index, featuring compelling and relevant business-to-business editorial content that will offer information, insight and thought leadership designed to help professionals working within the golf industry run their businesses more effectively and contribute toward their success.

This tailored content for golf industry professionals will include informational tips, best practices, online learning series, white papers, podcasts and video, including roundtable discussions featuring leaders from all segments of the industry.

About GOLF Business Solutions

GOLF Business Solutions is a complete spectrum of business-to-business services offered by the family of golf brands within the NBC Sports Group portfolio and managed by GOLF Channel. Building off the recognition and trust of the GOLF brand, the comprehensive offerings of GOLF Business Solutions are designed to meet virtually any need of businesses interested in investing in golf, helping them to become more efficient and effective. Included are services offered by GOLFNOW, GOLF Advisor, Revolution GOLF, GOLF Academy and GOLF Am Tour.

-NBC Sports Group-

Media Contact:

Dan Higgins
GOLF Communications
Dan.Higgins@golfchannel.com
407-355-4018


Downloadable Resources

Chapter 6 - Procurement

The Playbook - Chapter 6

Feb 20, 2019

Time to think outside the procurement box

Group purchasing brings new profit possibilities to golf operations. Courses can stock up on products they already buy, as well as others they need at a significant cost savings. With significant cost savings and ability to earn points toward tech, satisfied golf courses see enough savings to make a difference. 


chapter 1

The Playbook - Chapter 1

Jan 17, 2019

Who doesn’t want to book more rounds and generate more revenue?

And while you’re at it, let’s solidify your position in your marketplace and start operating at peak efficiency. Private club, daily fee, municipal or resort course — all have the same goals in these competitive times. Finally, there’s one go-to source to help golf operations learn and activate best-practices throughout their operations.


The Playbook - Chapter 2

The Playbook - Chapter 2

Jan 17, 2019

Best practices for having the right product at the right time for the right price.

What started with the airline and hotel industries is spreading to restaurants, theaters … and golf courses. Dynamic pricing is the inventory strategy courses are using right now to maximize revenue.