What does “mobile first” approach mean at the Els Club Malaysia?

By: September 18, 2018

Back in 2010, on the Mobile World Congress in 2010, Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google said that designers should follow the “mobile first” rule/approach in product development.

The “mobile first” means that our products & services (E.g. mobile application) should be designed to be easy & enjoyable to use on smartphones and tablets.

As you can see below (a slide from Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends 2018 presentation) in the US people are using more their mobile than their desktops/laptops.

The “Something for everyone,” Ipsos MORI mobile app research report, U.S., July 2017 found: Smartphone users access apps for a variety of activities, but between them, news, games, entertainment and sports apps reach two thirds (68%) of all smartphone users each month.

Here are some interesting findings of the above-mentioned study:

  • 91% of smartphone owners use mobile applications.
  • 2X to 3X a day is how often some users come back to their favorite games, sports, entertainment, and news apps.
  • People spend 1 hour a day, on average, on the news, sports, gaming, and entertainment apps collectively.

Just in Southeast Asia, mobile penetration grew by 141% in 2017 (Source: Hootsuite & We Are Social Digital in 2018 in Southeast Asia study). This was the 3rd biggest rate of growth in 2017.

Just in Malaysia, we can see:

  • over 2 million active mobile social users (e.g. WhatsApp, WeChat),
  • over 376,000 unique mobile users,
  • over 3 million internet users.

Mobile usage in the US 2018

The implication of the high penetration of smartphones and mobile application usage is that our customers and guests will demand even quicker answers, solutions and most of all services in our golf resorts and golf clubs.

I see more and more people grab their smartphone to search for information to be more prepared, productive and have pleasant moments.

People are expecting help in decision-making moments like tee-time booking, food and drink orders, golf holiday booking or even when they compare various offers.

The Els Club Malaysia mobile first approach and the Rainforest Course 7th hole

The Els Club Malaysia & the mobile-first approach

For the above-mentioned reasons, I am happy that The Els Club Malaysia (managed by Troon) will use Troon International mobile application to facilitate easier and quicker tee-times booking.

All three of The Els Club Malaysia’s golf courses are featured in this mobile application.

Mark Chapleski, President of Troon International, said:

“This app will allow golfers all around the world to book tee times at their favorite Troon International destinations any time of day. Currently, it is in place in the UAE, Bahrain, and Oman, and now Malaysia but will be expanding to other regions shortly.”

I think this is a great leap forward, although the Troon International mobile application is less sophisticated than the “original” Troon mobile application that enables us to:

  • Book tee-times,
  • Use Troon Rewards,
  • Find special offers,
  • Use Troon Cards,
  • Find member programs,
  • Have a facility directory on our mobile and be able to discover easily and quickly a golf club or a golf resort.

Troon was probably the first golf club management company to launch its mobile application in 2012. Marriott Golf’s mobile application is the closest in functionality to Troon’s “original” mobile application.

The Els Club Malaysia mobile first approach and the Valley Course