As demand rises among golfers and course operators alike, innovative connected technology is changing the game of golf. Built-in vehicle entertainment and interactive tools are enhancing the entire golf experience by offering video, streaming music and news; and revenue-generating course and fleet management information – all of which are driving growth, enjoyment and efficiencies of the game.
“Technology has changed the paradigm of the golf experience from how it’s played to how a course is managed,” said Mark Wagner, president of Club Car, the global leader in golf, consumer and utility vehicles. “Connectivity has transcended the day-to-day expectations of the average consumer for immediate information availability and has become a growing demand in the golf world. Our Club Car portfolio of products are helping courses refine their operations, and providing real-time course information and entertainment for a connected, comfortable golfer experience.”
In line with this trend is the National Golf Foundation’s data citing that today’s 24 million golfers are rapidly adopting technology. 91% of serious golfers have utilized course-provided distance devices. 64 percent of golfers are consuming instruction online, 77 percent are checking leaderboards, and 52 percent are streaming golf coverage.
As a result, golf clubs, courses and resorts around the globe are installing more course management technology like Visage Fleet Management software and in-car entertainment such as Shark Experience presented by Verizon. Created through a partnership with The Greg Norman Company and Verizon, it leverages Verizon’s 4G LTE network and media assets to deliver a premier in-car course entertainment system for Club Car.
All part of Club Car Connect, these offerings dramatically improve pace of play, maintain fleet performance, and maximize staff efficiency while generating new revenue streams and reducing operational expenses. Coupled with other technologies like next-generation lithium-ion batteries available in Club Car’s Tempo LI-ION golf car, the industry benefits with flexibility, control, reliability, and a connected experience – all aligned to meet the exciting evolution of the game.
Just ask Northriver Yacht Club, a private facility located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that found Visage and Shark Experience added the value of a modernized in-car experience that improved the overall experience for members and course managers alike.
“This is an extension of things we use in our daily lives, so it naturally extends into golf. You can use your phone; connect it to use your music or radio, or anything you want to do,” said Andrew Tomes, Northriver’s director of Golf. “Just being more comfortable with technology and being more interactive with everything we do is important. It comes fairly naturally to those who are already embracing tech, and for those who aren’t, it’s easy to pick it up, use it, and find the true value in it.”
Northriver’s experience is not unique. Augusta-based Club Car has seen a continuous increase in customers selecting connected technology throughout the past decade and has realized double-digit growth in the past three years alone as a result.
“For years there was concern that technology and connectivity offerings would threaten the traditional golf experience. But in reality, it’s driving a new user experience by providing today’s golfers with their favorite digital content at their fingertips,” said Wagner. “We will continue to blend tradition and technology in our vehicles while offering a full suite of smart products, course management tools and in-car entertainment that not only improve the customer experience, but also generates revenue for courses.”