The age of the e-professional came a step nearer today with the release of details surrounding a joint venture between The Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) and one of Europe’s leading internet providers.
World Online, has been appointed the principal service provider to Golfserve, the operating company implementing the PGA’s comprehensive Internet strategy. Under the deal with World Online, more than 6,000 PGA members will be offered a free link-up to the enormous commercial power of the world wide web, through screens in golf shops or though web pages and email.
Golfserve, the joint venture created by the two partners, will deliver the new service to PGA professionals, suppliers, and members of the public. The plan is to use the ‘blue chip’ standing of the PGA name to create golf’s premier web site for the benefit of professionals and players of the sport. At the same time as the pganetwork.net site is launched in July, the existing pga.org.uk site will be overhauled and redeveloped as an intranet site for PGA members.
Access to the sites will be through a ‘cloned’ version of the pganetwork.net portal, which will enable club professionals to promote their own products and customised services, as well as giving club details and competition results. In addition local hotels and maps of the vicinity can be included on individual sites.
Golf societies and other non-affiliated golfers will also be offered access to the new sites, said PGA commercial director Mike Gray, who estimates that there would be 1,000 portals in operation within 18 months of the launch. “We aim to provide a single portal through which people can link to any aspect of golf they choose – from teaching techniques to the manufacturers of clubs. We want to create a real golf community that people will want to keep coming back to”, he explained.
World Online has 1.4 million UK subscribers who can choose from a range of services from sport and music to travel and news. The firm’s international HQ is in the Netherlands, from where activities in 15 countries around the globe are supervised.