Charles de Haan reports on how a golf club general manager in Gloucestershire is taking maximum advantage of a great new communications tool.
“I want the club to be at the forefront of technology, and an early adopter when it comes to exploiting the potential of apps for our members. By having the Eagle app we’ve gained both a great communications tool and an edge on our competitors.”
That’s the opinion of Gavin Anderson, the general manager of South Cerney GC in Gloucestershire. “We use it a lot for news feeds to the members,” he says, “and they’re finding it much easier than the website to keep up to speed with what’s happening at the club. Two taps and they’re reading our latest news.”
News is what members want
Anderson knows the Eagle app is working well by checking the analytics on his app’s dashboard. “The News page on the app is the most popular.” he says and continues, “We regularly update all sorts of news items, from competition results, forthcoming social events and even greenkeeping maintenance when it is going to affect playing times. In fact, our Head Greenkeeper will soon start using the app’s dashboard himself to put news about major maintenance work on the app’s News page.”
Anderson reels off the stats with a growing confidence. “Within two weeks of going live we had around 10% of the membership checking the app out. That’s now doubled, and since then we’ve had 333 visits in the month to date.
“They look at 4.5 pages per visit, which is around twice to three times the average page visits for the website, so I’d say our members are finding the app – courtesy of the club’s management team – is giving them precisely the kind of information they really want.”
Great feedback from the members
Anderson explains, “Our members love it. They’ve been very complimentary about the app, and like the idea that their club is at the forefront of golf club trends. They also seem to enjoy telling their mates who are members at other clubs about the app, as many still don’t have such an exciting membership service.”
Anderson also rates the Fixtures feature. “The Fixtures item is really good, as it allows the members to check what’s on at the club before they get in the car. They know it’s bang up to date – unlike the printed club diary! – and they can rely on it to see if there’s a society, a match, or if we’re running a function, etc.”
“Another feature they like is the weather. Round here the weather can be very localised, and when some travel quite a few miles to get here, it’s another useful button to tap and check. All they need to know is literally at their fingertips on the app.”
“The Contacts feature is very popular, and I’ve heard people organising their matches via this button because with two taps they can be speaking to the person they playing with or against. It’s just so much easier. We’ve also encouraged the use of the Contacts feature by advertising it at the bottom of the competitions entry list with a QR code so that our smartphone users just read the QR code, download the app and can find their playing partner’s number.”
Even the Distance Measure tool is being used, as more and more of South Cerney’s members realise how easy it is to find out exactly how far they’ve hit that tee shot, or iron, whatever.
The manager’s point of view: easy to use and update
From Anderson’s perspective as a club manager, he finds the Eagle app’s dashboard very easy to use, and in turn this user-friendliness is allowing him to help the members get a lot out of the app. “It does exactly what I wanted it to do. More and more of our members are getting used to the app on their smartphone, and given the impact it’s having so far, I’m really looking forward to more cutting edge features that I know Eagle is developing for the next update.”
Anderson summarises, “It’s a great communications tool for our members, especially the younger ones – the ones under 60, generally speaking – who carry their smartphones with them all the time. Eagle’s app is giving South Cerney GC a real edge over the competition, because it shows we understand what our members want, and how the club fits in to their busy lives.”
For more information about the Eagle app, go to www.eaglepromotions.co.uk/COURSE%20GUIDES/phoneindex.html
South Cerney GC www.southcerneygolfcourse.co.uk