The Shark Experience vs Pace of Play. Can you decide?

By: December 22, 2017

I am that golfer who goes to play golf with his friends to relax and talk with them during his stay in the golf club. What I experienced so far that we golfers need silence, tranquility, and silence during our game. Between two holes we mostly care when we are driving our golf cart is how to get quickly to the next tee.

This is why I like Club Car’s Visage GPS navigation solution. Those golf clubs who are providing such golf cart service they demonstrate their understanding what their customers love and need.

When I first heard of Greg Norman’s ‘Shark Experience‘ service, Al Czervik (from Caddyshack) came to my mind who turned on his radio that was built in his golf bag. The Shark Experience is a joint product development of Greg Norman, Club Car, GPSi, and Verizon.

Shark Experience in the golf cart

As I understand this solution/platform:

  • Verizon provides the content (E.g. music, live sports, news, entertainment, golf tips by Greg Norman),
  • GPSi provides the mapping and
  • Club Car the golf cart.

They say that even if you want to listen to music it will not be audible about 20-25 feet (= 6-7 meters) away from the golf cart. You can even connect your mobile via Bluetooth with the system a listen to music that way as well. The Shark Experience will continue to evolve in 2018 and add features, such as hole-in-one technology, food and beverage ordering, Shot Tracer and more.

At the end of the day what we have here is not a product. What we have here is a forever evolving platform.” says Greg Norman.

The Shark Experience will be previewing at the PGA Show in January 2018. The Westin Kierland Golf Club (managed by Troon) will be among the first golf clubs to provide this service to its guests and members. The Shark Experience was already tested in the Tiburón Golf Club (Naples, FL) in the 2017 QBE Shootout. At this moment, it is not clear to me how much will the golf club charge for the usage of Shark Experience. $5/round or $10/round or it will be included in the green fee or totally free?

Will they align the organization (=golf club) to be able to deliver tangible results? If yes, then how?

What could be the contribution of the Shark Experience to customer experience in a golf club?

I would really like to see that study, research that proves the need/customer preference for such service and relevancy to golfers’ life. Our mobiles are already with us and can provide the above-mentioned services (e.g. Troon’s mobile application), not to forget smartphone and smartwatch apps like Hole19 with similar services.

Club Car’s Visage mobile golf information system can already handle F&B, pro-shop related and other requests from golfers. Have you heard of the BevNow mobile application that combines on-demand ordering with complete POS functionality to golf courses?

We have to create relevant, exceptional human experiences for our guests and members to be able to retain them and attract new club members and guests.

What I don’t see at the moment when will golfers have time during their game to enjoy such services of the platform like watching movies, listening to music, live sports. These are not relevant when we are playing!!!

In my previous post, I have already shared with you the results of a USGA survey, but I will share it again here: 74% of golfers believe appropriate speed is critical to the enjoyment of their rounds. 

Greg Norman and his partners don’t say a word about if their solution will have an effect on the pace of play or not! If the golfer will not use the services of Verizon then I am more confident that there will be no issue with the pace of play. Nevertheless, without the service of Verizon, the whole platform is less interesting and compelling.

2018 will be the year when forward-thinking companies will invest heavily in personalization. Greg Norman in his interview with Forbes, Fortune, and Robb Report does not mention personalization. The savvy, connected customers want to get individualized experience. Therefore, we have to integrate into the customer journey/customer experience.

This kind of service could be more relevant in cars or when you have more time for such entertainment. At this moment, I think it was a great opportunity for Verizon to sell its over-the-top media service. The essence of this service is that it allows the streaming content provider to sell audio, video, and other media services directly to the consumer over the internet via streaming media.

Furthermore, Verizon will be able to sell more ad spaces for its clients.

Just for the sake of interest, the study of Level 3 Communication predicts that within 5 years video will surpass those of traditional broadcast TV:

  • Hulu neared almost 12 million paid subscribers in 2016,
  • Netflix had over 75 million subscribers in almost 200 countries worldwide, and
  • Amazon approached 50 million Prime members.
  • Global OTT trends peg the annual growth rate at 30% o 50%.

The bottom line is that I am not convinced that the golfer will really benefit that much from this innovation.

Your Turn

Who is the big winner of this product development?