Bringing Data Analytics to the Golf Course

‘The golf industry needs to embrace data to survive!’

… a pretty bold statement, but one that’s being echoed by golf operators around the world.  If you visited the forums at the PGA Merchandise show, or at GIS earlier this year, you’d have heard speakers and guests all discussing the importance of finding efficiencies through data analytics.

It’s not really surprising… data has successfully revolutionized so many other industries and businesses. Take Disney’s iconic Theme Parks for example – three years ago Disney launched the ‘Magic Band’.  It’s a technology device that’s worn by park visitors (parents & kids) and marketed, as a way to make the whole Disney experience, even more ‘Magical’.   And… in many ways it does.  The band is connected to your digital profile, enabling you to buy products & food, go on rides, and enter rooms. All by simply tapping your band.

But that’s not the real Magic!

Through data captured from the band, park operators now know the exact utilization of every ride and every product, at any given time. Oh… and they know exactly where everyone is as well!  This means that by tracking every single interaction a guest has with the park, they can make informed decisions on things like pricing, infrastructure and design changes.  They can even predict impacts on utilization due to weather and vacation schedules.  The data they capture and the decisions they make, have not only helped improve guests enjoyment, but have also improved the parks profits… and the company’s stock price.

So, what does this have to do with the golf industry?  Well, the same principles apply to your golf course. At the GIS 2016  keynote, the discussion was focused on golf becoming more hospitality and experience led. So, if you were able to capture data on how & when players interact with your course, you can start to more efficiently maintain the facility, and improve the players experience.

That’s exactly what we did at FAIRWAYiQ.  We created a golf course management solution that connects & measures everything that moves on the course. Our Smart-Tag unobtrusively lives on bags, carts (cart GPS), push trollies, caddies, staff, maintenance equipment, and much more.

Data is collected from the Smart-Tags and run through our proprietary algorithms, which then surfaces efficiency driving insights to the course operators.  All this is done in real-time, and presented as analytics through our application, that’s based on an air-traffic-control view of the course. When there’s an issue that needs to be dealt with, operations staff are automatically alerted, and given recommended actions to solve the problem.   One example here is pace of play management.

 

Our FAIRWAYiQ platform surfaces historical, live and predictive insights, from individual player behaviors, to course utilization data. This industry-changing information enables operators to better understand their course, and benchmark against regional & national standards.  Having access to individual hole data, will reveal insights like traffic patterns and pace of play management issues, which helps operators make data driven decisions on everything from flagstick locations, to design changes.

Disney believed that by truly knowing every detail about their parks, and by removing friction out of the process, they could drive efficiencies and improve customer experience.  That’s why they spent 5 years and $1billion creating the ‘Magic Band’.

At FAIRWAYiQ we recognize that same value for our customers, and that’s led us to create an even more advanced technology, specifically designed to bring data analytics to the course, and unobtrusively live in golf’s traditional environment.  If this is something you’re interested in, and you want to find out more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.