How to have a private caddie with the wisdom of crowds?

By: December 15, 2014

In 2012 I wrote that the golf industry needs crowdsourcing and crowdfunding to attract new players and reactivate "armchair golfers", but also to involve people in product/service development. According to National Golf Foundation, in 2013, 400,000 golfers (650,000 men left, but 260,000 women took up golf) left the sport. Engagement and positive experience with the game is indispensable more than ever in the history of golf.

Here I don't want to discuss the adjustability and pricing of golf clubs (neither GPS rangefinders nor social live-scoring), but rather an untouched area of the golf experience: caddie service

Unfortunately not everyone of us can afford to have a caddie. Therefore former application engineer at HP, Sam Damico came up with a new solution to overcome this problem. His mobile application Caddio is utilizing crowdsourcing. The users will have access to tips and description from other golfers who have already played on that specific golf course. This is little bit tricky, because not many of us are actively creating content in social media.



The platform delivers geographically specific advice for individual holes on a course. So far Caddio is loaded with more than 30,000 golf courses worldwide.

Caddio relies on a button-press to deliver contextually relevant data based on a golfer's location, minimizing the time spent using a device. It would be even better if the application could work also with voice recognition system (as like in Android smartphones) so the golf will not have to spend too much time with the app. I think this app will be appealing for golfers under age 45 who are more familiar with mobile application downloading + using in their everyday life. 

I can already see 3 major challenges for the developer team:

  1. keep golf course information up-to-date;
  2. to motivate people to share their tips and ideas (it is as easy as sharing tips in Foursquare/Swarm) without them the service will be useless. Will they send to golfers notification if new tips were added to that golf course where the golfer is playing frequently?
  3. Monetization. Currently the app is free. How will they cooperate with golf courses? Will they utilize in-app purchases or in-app advertising or sponsored notifications/tips? At this moment they look really flexible as they don't even have an advertising rate card. I would recommend to test users' reactions about showing ads in the application.