The Pellucid Perspective - July 2013 - (Page 2)

GOLF COURSE TECHNOLOGY GolfNow buys FORE! Reservations By Harvey Silverman I t’s not uncommon to awake on a Monday morning and find represented by Jeff Foster, Matt Justine, Mike Friedman, Greg interesting golf stories drifting across the Internet or finding Palmer, and David Schaeffer. The presentation and discussion their way into emails. Multiple golf news sources exist across was revealing and informative and here is what we now know. the globe handily aggregated by services like Google News or With the acquisition of FORE! and BRS, plus what GolfTerry McAndrew’s TMAC Golf (one of my favorites). And Now owns and operates currently, they have become the largest then there’s the golf rumor grapevine, one of the most active golf technology company in the world. They have the resources and mercurial I have seen in any industry. to advance technology to golf course operators in ways seen in Monday, June 3 dawned with a blast of a rumor circulating other industries, like Open Table and Home Away, and unseen via email and phone calls: GolfNow (Golf Channel Solutions) in the golf industry. And that is their plan with “G1,” the third had purchased FORE! Reservations, the largest tee sheet/point leg of their technology triad that is now in late-stage developof sale system in terms of public facility installations. It took just ment. a couple hours to get confirmation, that in fact GolfNow was at G1 is being designed to provide golf courses with an end-toFORE! offices in Chicago welcoming and briefing FORE! em- end, cloud-based solution that includes a tee sheet, point of sale ployees as new GolfNow associates. Shortly after that FORE! system, website, email, mobile app and mobile website, integraowner Harry Ipema called and informed Stuart Lindsay of the tion with the GolfNow platform, and intelligence focused on transaction. better customer service and better marketing capabilities. Built We realized this was a huge story (we were prepared to write on the backbone of existing technology, it’s engineered to operone about a GolfNow ad that had incensed ate on tablets, and it’s the mobile capability at least 593 course operators), and immedi- With the acquisition that GolfNow thinks will enable course staff ately sent an email to Jeff Foster, Senior Vice to better service customers at the multiple of FORE! and President, New Media Group for GolfNow, touch points GolfNow has identified. These requesting confirmation and comment. (As a include the bag drop, beverage cart, range, BRS, plus what monthly publication, The Pellucid Perspective restaurant, golf shop and rangers. doesn’t get many “hold the presses” moments). GolfNow owns and G1 will also include lesson management, Foster responded by phone the next day to operates currently, payroll validation, inventory control including confirm the FORE! purchase as well as that auto-ordering, SMS messaging, and is PCI they have become compliant. It will interact with FORE! and of BRS, an Ireland-based online booking and tee time management system. And, he asked BRS, and current GolfNow technology with the largest golf that we first understand their full strategy bethe goal of creating one integrated, seamless fore writing about the two acquisitions, and technology company technology solution for the golf facility vs. we agreed, understanding that the story would today’s patchwork quilt and API-challenged in the world. not make our June edition. solutions. As GolfNow fields more and more GolfNow suggested that a media and stratrequests to assist with tee sheet and revenue egy briefing for Pellucid and Edgehill Golf be management, GolfNow’s field sales represenscheduled in Orlando where he and other GolfNow personnel tatives, augmented by the addition of those from FORE!, will would lay out the bigger picture, one that was much broader shift into consultative selling roles assisting clients with revenue and encompassing than just the purchase of two key golf tech- management and marketing using the tools offered in the technology companies. It was GolfNow’s desire that whatever we nology. They will be front and center as GolfNow attempts to wrote would be complete and factual as to the details of their create a paradigm change in how golf courses are managed. G1 master plan and vision, one on which they were not quite ready represents a combination of distribution and platform services to remove the wraps. This sparked speculation of another pend- with technology not currently seen in the golf industry. ing purchase or a development/partnership/merger/deployFORE! is not going away. According to GolfNow, it will be ment that, at least on June 4, GolfNow was not willing or able supported with upgrades and enhancements into the foreseeto share. After much discussion in the Pellucid newsroom, we able future. There is a long-term migration strategy and an unagreed to (1) not publish the story in June, and (2) meet with derstanding that G1 won’t be attractive or functional for everyGolfNow at the earliest opportunity. one. They currently plan to socialize it and enlist beta partners The meeting occurred on Monday, July 1 at GolfNow head- as early as the second half of this year, and we anticipate it will quarters in Orlando with Jim Koppenhaver and Stuart Lindsay have a major position in GolfNow’s exhibit at the 2014 PGA in attendance, and myself conferenced in by phone 3,000 miles Merchandise Show. away (too far to fly for a four-hour meeting). GolfNow was The discussion, as one might guess, turned to payment op- 2 The Pellucid PersPecTive July 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - July 2013

The Pellucid Perspective - July 2013
GolfNow buys FORE! Reservations
An inside look at the Fore!-GolfNow deal
FORE! Reservations sells to GolfNow? Preposterous!
PGA of America, Tour (reluctantly) accept anchoring rule
An ominous April for equipment sales
Pace of play campaign picking up speed
June golf weather impact: Flat, but encouraging
Boomers boost Sunshine State market, but clouds looming on the horizon
Cliffs Communities emerge from bankruptcy, Tiger’s course still on hold
Golf fights back, finally

The Pellucid Perspective - July 2013