The game of golf arrived at that level/stage – like runners – where golfers want to learn more about their games on the course (e.g. by Arccos Golf), but on the driving range as well.
Wearables, smart clothing, and personal measurement applications are likely to gain momentum among golfers too.
From golf club and golf academy perspective, it is time to rethink driving range experiences, how you can help golfers with the most accurate and user-friendly solution.
We are competing for customers’ (=non-golfers) and golfers’ leisure time. Hence we must exceed their expectations. You will find in the 2020 ASGCA-SLRG study as the most crucial issue.
A Product-Service System is an integrated product and service delivering
value in use.
In other words, from now on, those driving ranges that are not able or not willing to provide performance measurement and entertainment solutions will struggle to:
- attract newcomers;
- exploit the latent demand for golf. Syngenta’s Unlocking Golf’s True Potential study found that there are almost 37 million women worldwide who would be interested in picking up golf. Just in the UK & Ireland, there is a 29% latent demand for golf. This is equal to 3,79 million women.
- remain relevant and attractive among avid and casual golfers who represent the majority among golfers. In other words, you will not strengthen their engagement with golf.
The National Golf Foundation (NGF) says in 2018, 23 million golf balls were hit (in the U.S.) with clubs at golf-entertainment facilities like Topgolf and Drive Shack, indoor simulators, and driving ranges.
Inrange Golf vs Trackman Range & Total Range & Toptracer
- tracks over 98% of shots to within 1-meter accuracy in all weather conditions.
Inrange Golf is utilizing FEKO, a computational electromagnetics code for high-frequency engineering applications (such as radar). It is also used by NASA, Boeing, BMW, etc.
Toptracer is using camera-based technology. The brand new Topgolf Flex venues in Augusta and Chattanooga are solely Toptracer/camera-based.
In my mind, Trackman and Foresight Sports are for the tour players & single HCP golfers and not for the double-digit HCP golfers like me.
I assume they want to take advantage of the popularity of entertainment, golf, and to impress ‘want to be’ single HCP & tour players.
The question which segment/product will get a bigger focus. Can they finance the expansion of their organization to meet the market’s expectations and needs?
Trackman Range‘s in bay monitors you can check in Hoebridge Golf Centre (based in Woking, Surrey) and Redbourn Golf Club (near St Albans). They are the first clubs in the world to install them.
The segment of ‘avid’ golfers in the U.S. is not so small: cca. 37%. My forecast is that both Trackman and Foresight Sports will give up the non-avid segment.
Inrange Golf & Toptracer can address more easily the non-golfers and ‘want-to-be golfers’.
Of course, there are many opportunities to turn these solutions into multifunction solutions by adding:
- F&B solution – to be able to order food and drinks;
- Book golf lessons at the local PGA Pros;
- Book table at the driving range’s or golf club’s restaurant.
Foresight Sports is already offering some of these added-value services.
I would rather develop an API (Application Programming Interface) to allow to connect existing golf club management software with our systems (e.g. Inrange Golf / Toptracer / Trackman Range / Total Range / etc.).
This way it would ease the management of F&B, golf lessons, and table booking orders in the golf club.
Inrange Golf vs Toptracer
Finally, the battle for the non-avid, casual golfers will be between Toptracer and Inrange Golf. Both of them will have to:
- prove that they increase driving range revenues (at least);
- prove the ROI;
- show the connection between their solution and customer experience and employee experience at the golf club, golf academy.
At Greenwich Peninsula Golf Driving Range I saw a 20-40% growth in the number of golf balls played by using Inrange Golf. In July, 1.8 million golf balls were used.