Golf Inc - Summer 2012 - (Page 35)
The state of technology in the golf industry
From e-specials to the functionality of tablets on the course and in the pro shops — technology is ever changing in the golf industry.
By michelle weyenBerg Out on the course and in the pro shop of Coppinwood Golf Club in Uxbridge, Ontario, golfers checking in and ordering from the food and beverage cart are addressed by name. Some may even be surprised when the employee already knows their favorite drink or lunch item, which was updated to their profile from their last visit to the course. It’s called the tablet and some golf courses and clubs are now getting on the e-train — all for accuracy, efficiency and better customer service. Kevin Thistle, president of Coppinwood, says there is too much human error involved with paper. By touching a screen, the tablet has become an efficient communication tool between the greeter, first tee, beverage cart and pro shop. “I think the tablet itself was a great thing [for us,] and I think it’s going to be cutting edge for years,” Thistle said. The golf course began using the eIntegrated tablet and its software from Total eIntegrated Inc. a little over a year ago, at the start of the piloting phase by the Toronto-based business solutions company. The ease of use in which employees can sign people in and out of tournaments, book tee times, take beverage cart orders — and yes, even check the weather or a tournament score for a guest — takes customer service to a whole new level. Greg Gates, assistant golf professional at the course, says the user-friendly tablet has allowed him to focus more on the people and not the processes.
Kevin Thistle (left) and Greg Gates (right) checking in a guest with the eIntegrated tablet computer at Coppinwood Golf Club
Tech trend: the tablet Mike Flannagan, president of Total eIntegrated Inc., said his company has seen two technology trends in the golf industry. The first is customer relationship management, or CRM. Flannagan says the company’s platform was built from the ground up with a CRM philosophy. “Many golf courses have bought separate systems,” he said. “Our philosophy is to have them all in one area.” The second trend — and more exciting one, he said — is the tablet, which runs on
a wireless network. Though adoption of their eIntegrated tablet has been slower, Flannagan said they’ve sold quite a few tablets in the food and beverage setting. RAM Wireless is also focused on food and beverage. Rick McKeen, president of the Scottsdale, Ariz., company, said it has been developing a solution to provide a rugged tablet and private WiMAX network for golf courses that allows beverage cart attendants to take a credit/debit or smart player card from the beverage cart, print out a receipt and log the sale directly into
Summer 2012 www.GolfIncMagazine.com 35
phoTo by ian crysler
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Golf Inc - Summer 2012
Golf Inc - Summer 2012
Table of Contents
Hiring Right: The First Step Toward Great Customer Service
New EPA Regulations Will Increase Turf Equipment Costs
Britain’s Greenkeepers Association Makes Operational Improvements, CEO Says
What the Future of Golf Could Look Like
Textron Financial, Capmark Put Golf Portfolios Up for Sale
With Commercial Real Estate Confidences Up, Is Golf Close Behind?
The Evolution of Donald Trump
Tasmania’s Coming of Age
Largest Management Companies
Renovation of the Year
Bald Head’s Logistical Challenge
The State of Technology in the Golf Industry
Britney Spears as Golf Spokesperson?
Golf Inc - Summer 2012