Golf had its first technology boom when big hitters and long courses spawned space-age approaches to equipment and balls. The next high-tech wave promises to have more universal appeal, and some clubs are moving quickly to get at the head of the pack to capitalize on the growing prevalence of smartphones, wireless applications and social media.
Location: Newark, Del.
Forewinds Hospitality now seeks to position Deerfield, a public course in Newark, Del. that is owned by the state of Delaware, as “clearly the region’s high-tech solution for golfers,” notes Steve Furman, Deerfield’s General Manager.
“We’ve enhanced what we’ve had in previous seasons with significant new investments like our iPhone app that make playing Deerfield even more fun,” Furman explains.
The new app, which can be downloaded through the iTunes Store or Deerfield’s website (www.deerfieldgolfclub.com) “has been getting rave reviews,” says Kurt Zolbe, Deerfield’s PGA Golf Professional. “It allows our golfers with iPhones to do everything from make tee times and communicate with the pro shop to enjoy the GPS distance features and hole-by-hole course tour with pro’s tips.”
The app also “links right to our Facebook and Twitter feeds, which keeps all of our golfers up to date with the course’s latest news and events,” adds Jeffrey Robinson, Sales & Marketing Director. “In addition, there’s a photo gallery and information about dining or hosting catered events. Plus, the app lets you keep your group’s score on your phone, and e-mail it to yourself or your friends once your round is complete.”
The free app is also proving to be effective in introducing Deerfield to new golfers. “We’ve seen players come to us for the very first time who learned of Deerfield exclusively due to our app,” noted Furman. “This technology allows us to grow our customer base while continuously giving them added value when they’re on the course; that’s the ultimate win-win.”
Deerfield is also offering a “Mobile Club” that offers coupons and specials via texts to golfers’ cell phones, complimentary wireless Internet on the property, and the use of QR Codes so golfers can scan ads and promotional materials that link automatically to content on Deerfield’s website.
“Our approach is simple,” said Robinson. “If it’s going to make it easier to get golfers here and then deliver more fun once they are on site, we are absolutely going to do it.
With as much as our guests now rely on their mobile devices for the rest of everyday life, why not allow it to carry over to their leisure time on the course?”