The PGA site, www.PGAnet.net, which was launched at GolfExpo, the UK’s largest golf exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham, is the brainchild of the PGA and will be jointly run by Cable & Wireless and Golfserve, the operating company implementing the PGA’s strategy.
As part of the deal, estimated to be worth close to £1 million per annum, Golfserve, in partnership with Cable & Wireless, will provide each of the 2,700 golf pro shops in the UK with Internet connectivity and hardware, thus enabling them to act as Virtual Internet Service Providers (VISPs) to their members.
Members will have instant access on their PGAnet home page to real-time information from their local clubs on fixtures, tournament results and club news. They will also have access to the latest news and weather together with advice on health and money related issues.
Cable & Wireless is also providing an e-commerce platform which will effectively e-enable 2,700 retail outlets in the UK. Not only will users be able to purchase golf-related items such as golfing holidays and memorabilia; but they can also book hotel rooms, hire cars, buy cinema and theatre tickets; purchase gifts, books and music – all at substantial savings.
Users will also exclusively be able to purchase golf equipment, clothing and footwear directly online from their local pro shop. Golf club professionals will receive a retail commission from goods purchased by their club members, as well as the general public, via a sophisticated postcode allocation system to support local pros.
Mike Gray, commercial director of the PGA said, “Whilst the site is extremely complex, it is simple and easy to use and has been developed to appeal to the complete cross section of the golfing public.”
Gordon Ince, sales and marketing director of Golfserve, commented, “The new PGA Internet service will allow professional golfers to access far more information far more effectively than ever before. It will bring them closer to the Association, the manufacturers and the playing public. By utilising the features of this system, Golfserve Ltd will also be able to offer the professional far more profitable trading routes and relationships with the industry’s manufacturers and suppliers.”
John Challen, account manager at Cable & Wireless Alliance and Partner Channel, stated: “The end to end data and IP solution that Cable & Wireless are supplying to Golfserve and the PGA demonstrates the publicised ‘right -angled turn’ strategy within the organisation. Cable & Wireless are delighted to be able to provide the backbone for this e-commerce project to these two key business partners.”
The full service is due to be rolled out in January 2001 and the deal may be extended to 28 other European countries where the PGA has a presence.