The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 6

GOLF INDUSTRY
TECHNOLOGY

The NGCOA Technology Conference:
A long time coming, but worth the wait
By Harvey Silverman

D

elving into technology with golf course owners is a bit
like delving into nuclear warfare with Donald Trump -
you know they need to learn lots about it; you're just not
sure what they'll do with it.
Late last month, the National Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) made its first attempt in 20 years to deliver a
technology-focused conference to its membership. Back then,
the focus was on the new and shiny electronic tee sheet/pointof sale systems replacing paper tee sheets and cash registers. The
Internet connection came on an AOL CD, and phones were
wired to the wall. We watched TV on large boxes and listened
to music on Sony Walkmans. Oh, my, how things have changed.
Quickly.
Nearly 150 qualified buyers descended upon the Aria Resort
in Las Vegas for an intense day and a half of education sessions and introductions to new golf operation and marketing
technologies. Presenting sponsors included the USGA, PGA,
Golf Genius Software, Verizon/Nokia, and EZLinks, a PGA
Tour affiliated company. Education sponsors included Golfzon
and OnLink. Golfbook, DirectTV for Business, Tee-On Golf
Systems, Teesnap, and TSYS comprised the Entertainment
sponsors and Club Prophet, Inntopia, Chronogolf, Priswing, To
the Green, and 18Birdies rounded out the Networking sponsor
group.
And now, a bit of full disclosure: I was a member of the
TechCon advisory board and invited as a speaker for one of
the sessions. As an advisory board member, I was surprised and
concerned that TechCon overlapped with a Golf Inc. conference. Would NGCOA have problems attracting sponsors and
attendees? Turns out they didn't. Was a day and a half enough
time to cover such a broad topic? Turns out it wasn't. But it was
agreed that NGCOA should be more cognizant of golf events
on the calendar when scheduling the next tech confab, and look
to expand the schedule to a full two or two and a half days.
As a speaker, I was honored to work with Mike Zisman, the
CEO of Golf Genius Software, on the topic of "Using Technology to Improve the Golf Experience and Generate Incremen-

tal Revenue." It was agreed that Zisman's Golf Genius and my
Quick.golf qualified as technology that met the topic criteria
and thus had an opportunity to present why within the context
of the 1:45 hour presentation. We addressed a standing-room
only group and succeeded in highlighting a number of technologies that met the topic definition, as well as those that were
strictly consumer-facing, strictly golf course-facing, and some
that we determined to be up and comers with the potential to
both enhance the golfer's experience while generating incremental revenue.
All of the sponsors had a display presence throughout the
conference, and the NGCOA allotted ample time for attendees
to meet, greet and demo the products available. Additionally,
select sponsors had the opportunity to lead a 30-minute demo
session in one of the meeting rooms on Thursday. My informal
polling found the sponsors happy with the setup, the timing and
the quality of the attendees.
The education sessions followed two concurrent tracks -
marketing and operations. Marketing subjects covered included
email, social media and website marketing; operations subjects
included technologies for golf shop, clubhouse and course management operations.
Two sessions held particular interest for me, one on a subject
that has received little emphasis, the other on a subject getting
more and more attention. The former was on brand protection
and reputation management. Jared Williams of the USA Tee
Time Coalition invited a trademark attorney and a reputation
management expert to discuss how golf course owners can protect themselves from "brand hijacking" and "brand bashing,"
the former being particularly relevant given the SEO and SEM
tactics of a couple of the third-party tee time providers. The
bottom line - get your course name trademarked. It doesn't cost
much and is the only protection recognized by Google and the
other search engines.
The other session of interest was titled, "Being the Captain
of Your Tee Sheet," but was more about a remarkable new dynamic pricing product from France, Priswing. Dynamic pric-

Late last month, the National Golf Course Owners Association
(NGCOA) made its first attempt in 20 years to deliver a technologyfocused conference to its membership. Back then, the focus was
on the new and shiny electronic tee sheet/point-of sale systems
replacing paper tee sheets and cash registers.
6 The Pellucid PersPecTive

October 2017



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017

TOC
NGCOA casts its benchmarking lot with ORCA
The NGCOA Technology Conference: A long time coming, but worth the wait
City nixes TopGolf deal in surprise move
Credit Management a “hot” topic? Acushnet playing tough?
September golf weather impact: Flat for month, flat for year
Like the Sox, Boston course owners need better pitching
Improving, or approving, one’s lie
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - NGCOA casts its benchmarking lot with ORCA
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 5
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - The NGCOA Technology Conference: A long time coming, but worth the wait
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - City nixes TopGolf deal in surprise move
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 9
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Credit Management a “hot” topic? Acushnet playing tough?
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - September golf weather impact: Flat for month, flat for year
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 12
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Like the Sox, Boston course owners need better pitching
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - 16
The Pellucid Perspective - October 2017 - Improving, or approving, one’s lie
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