The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 9
Did Teesnap undershoot the runway?
Strength in numbers - maybe
By Harvey Silverman
e all like to exaggerate a bit, don't we? Maybe it's how tion, there is also attrition.
far you hit your drives, or how much weight you've
But we shouldn't stop here. What about the other PoS providlost, or how many billions you and your family control. ers? How many installs have they? Without a Kepler telescope,
Most of the time, these little white lies are harmless causing no this universe is hard to see because so many systems on the counneed to run to the nearest confessional.
tertops are masked by third-party online booking engines like
When I first entered the golf business, late in the previous GolfNow, Quick 18, W5, and a few others. The Internet Golf
century, I worked for a couple of what today would be called Database (IGDB) attempted a count in 2017 and planned a new
startups, in that they hadn't reached a critical mass of clients. one later this year. However, the only way to know for sure and in
Not even close. As a salesperson eager to introduce game- some cases, see behind the third-party mask, is to inquire of the
changing technology to golf courses (electronic tee sheet/ PoS technology companies themselves. The counts from those
point of sale, cart-mounted GPS), quoting the actual number that responded range from a dozen to several thousand.
of installs might be perceived as a sign of weakness until such
Let's make this clear to start: A correct count is clients, not
time that we determined them to be a sign of
courses. Counting "courses" is how numbers
strength. So, we pumped up the numbers a bit
get inflated. A 36-hole facility is one client,
(or a lot - it's relative) knowing full well the
one contract - not "two courses." Also, while
average golf course owner/ operator couldn't
we asked for exact numbers, we accepted a
validate the numbers. In short, these were
range, understanding that most don't want to
harmless white lies.
show their hand, for better or worse.
Such is not the case when reporting to inOne company executive answered our revestors by a public company. The SEC frowns
quest this way: "We don't disclose course or
upon loose lips and is authorized to levy fines
facility count. And you're smart to ask for
or criminal action. At the fall 2018 NGCOA
course vs. facility. It is another challenge on
Technology Conference, Teesnap CEO Brymaking golf hard to compare." Hard to coman Lord told a group, with me in attendance,
pare? Sure is, as evidenced if all the providers
that Teesnap had "well over 500" installations.
were similarly vague.
Let's make this clear to
In Allegiant Airline's December 2018 earnThe IGDB counted about 1,400 EZstart: A correct count is
ings call, they extolled to the listening analysts
Links installs in 2017 - we'll use that for now.
clients, not courses.
that they expected to have a Teesnap install
Through responses provided by other system
base of 800 by the end of 2019. Now, if one of their salespeople providers we know that Club Prophet Systems' global install
or staff muttered this to a prospect, it likely would be considered base is in the 1,500-1,750 range, likely 80% or so in the U.S.
business as usual - a little white lie.
Chronogolf has 600-plus global installations with about 50% in
However, what if they were proven to have inflated the first the U.S. ForeUP counts 900+ U.S. and a small presence in Cannumber? A qualified source pegged the Teesnap current install ada. We inquired of GolfNow and Jonas, likely the two with the
base at sub-400 as of April 15, 2019. Verifying this was not largest install bases, but received no response as of this writing.
difficult - a ninth-grade STEM student can build a simple web
On the low end of the scale is TenFore Golf with 12-15
crawler and find all the "teesnap.net" subdomains that indicate courses. The only reason it's mentioned is that (1) they readily
the online tee time booking engine at each of their clients. Bry- offered their install count, and (2) it has an attractive transacan Lord may have been catfishing, but he wasn't doing anything tional payment plan. There are a couple of others who displayed
I or lots of others have done selling golf technology - pick an at this year's PGA Merchandise show - Vermont Systems, and
impressive number and run with it. Except, none of us others Northstar in particular- both with relatively small golf course
worked for a public company.
installations. Also, a few more who didn't make it to Orlando.
In an April 29 press release, Teesnap claimed 151 new "sales"
Course counts should not be the sole determinant to purfrom January 1 through the first week of April. What it didn't chase or not (thank you, Captain Obvious). Due diligence
say was how many are installed. Stories abound of courses that should include references, especially references similar to your
have uninstalled Teesnap or may soon do so for a variety of course. How many developers are employed? Is there a Quality
reasons including the December 2018 database fiasco, delays in Assurance team? How big is the support team and what are its
receiving credit card-processed payments, and general service hours? What are the payment options? And lots more. Just don't
issues. Channeling Johnny Cochran, while there may be addi- let numbers catfish you into this critical decision.
The Pellucid PersPecTive
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019
ORCA + weather impact yields new, encouraging Phoenix insights
Industry associations see blue skies, green fields
Public companies have less leeway to “fudge” numbers
April: Solid up, but beats a “soft comp”
Mar Utilization: Flat rounds wastes positive weather
“We’re #2,” chasing San Diego
MCO Consolidation & New Formats Mushroom
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - TOC
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - ORCA + weather impact yields new, encouraging Phoenix insights
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 3
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 4
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - Industry associations see blue skies, green fields
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 6
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 7
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 8
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - Public companies have less leeway to “fudge” numbers
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - April: Solid up, but beats a “soft comp”
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 11
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - Mar Utilization: Flat rounds wastes positive weather
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 13
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - “We’re #2,” chasing San Diego
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - 15
The Pellucid Perspective - May 2019 - MCO Consolidation & New Formats Mushroom