Hole19 launches the ‘TripAdvisor for Golf
Story published at 9:19, Friday, March 18th, 2016
In a first for the golf industry, Hole19, the fastest growing digital brand in golf, has launched Course Profiles, allowing its 800,000 golfers to discover new courses to play on and providing them with useful information by interfacing them directly with almost 40,000 golf courses worldwide.
The Course Profiles feature within the popular app, connects courses to golfers and vice-versa, even when golfers are off the course. This means golfers will be able to discover a new venue to play on and interact with the course of their choice, for example checking the weather forecast, directly calling the course, or writing verified reviews and ratings after playing a round, all from within the app.
Capitalising on the growth in mobile usage of today’s millennial generation of golfers, all of the courses featured now have a platform to directly engage with a captive and ever-growing number of golfers, particularly in the millennial age group (18-34). This will provide golf courses with useful business insights, generally hard to come by when an increasing number of golfers are casual players and not members.
The Course Profiles feature comes after Hole19 launched its in-app social platform in September 2015 to allow golfers to connect with each other, compare performance and engage with their golf buddies through interactive text, picture or video posts.
Commenting on the Course Profiles launch, Anthony Douglas, founder of Hole19, said: “This is a game changer for golf. Historically, it has been difficult for course owners to be able to interact with current or potential players. Now, we are enabling courses to engage with more golfers from across the world, and more importantly, find out what their customers are saying about their golfing experience on the course while also being able to act on upon that feedback.”
Every one of the nearly 40,000 courses on Hole19, which represent more than 95% of the world’s golf courses, will feature for free. This entry-level ‘Starter Plan’ offers each course a brief description, community photos, contact information, leaderboards, directions and local weather.
In early trials, the most popular plan that has been adopted by courses, is the ‘Business Plan’, which offers the same as the Starter Plan, but allows courses to upload photos of their choice, featured logos and a monthly data report of the profile views for an annual fee of €499 (which equates to just €1.37 per day). Finally, there is the ‘Pro Plan’. This includes all of the previously mentioned features but with access to a personalised business intelligence dashboard. It also permits the course to reply to golfers’ reviews as well as offering deals and promotions with dedicated support from the Hole19 team, however, this will be launched around May/June 2016.
Douglas continued, “We are opening a new and direct communication channel between golf courses and its customers on a worldwide scale. With the advent of mobile and wearables, we only see this going one way. Every generation of golfers from now will be digital natives. They will simply expect to be able to communicate with courses in real time with a rapid and tailored response. Our Course Profiles enable them, and indeed all our users, to do that.”
Hole19, which assists players on the golf course with GPS distances, hole map imagery, stat tracking, and more, has now amassed over 800,000 users around the world. It has users & courses in over 154 countries spanning 14 languages with the largest number of users coming from USA, UK, Germany, Canada and Sweden.
Hole19 is a free to download app and is available on iOS, Android, Apple Watch and Android Wear.