Widespread acceptance of the G1 Platform
Early adopters of GolfNow One, better known as G1, have given the course management platform high marks. To hear them tell it, G1 has solved problems, streamlined customer purchases across the board and made it easier to manage golf facilities effectively. That positive feedback has circulated through the market and produced a long list of new signups requesting the technology. More than 300 golf courses have switched to G1, including the entire portfolio managed by industry leader Billy Casper Golf.
With enthusiasm for this innovative cloud-based solution heating up, installations of G1 will be occurring at a rapid rate as 2018 winds down and the new year commences. The relative quiet of the off season at northern facilities allows decision-makers some distraction-free time to evaluate their tech situation and see about making a system change. Ideally, that could be done soon enough in order to train staff prior to opening day next spring.
G1 checks a lot of boxes, even before you factor in its cloud-based advantages. The software combines all software and operating systems into one technology platform, including tee sheet, point-of-sale, social media, employee schedules, inventory, payroll, vendor relations, and more. The cloud part means that all these functions can be controlled via G1 by a golf course operator from an internet-connected smartphone or tablet, any time and from any location.
G1 user Tom Beeler was in Florida last winter playing golf when some freak warmth sent Pittsburgh golfers to his electronic tee sheet, hoping to tee it up. Beeler, who is PGA director of golf and general manager of Grand View Golf Club in the Steel City suburb of North Braddock, Pa., booked a couple dozen players from his location 1,000 miles away.
“I had an employee pull out some carts and tuck the keys out of sight,” says Beeler, “then I instructed the golfers to text me so I could tell them where to look.” He has taken inquiries from banquet groups while out of town during the off-season and leveraged G1 to get those events on the calendar. “I’ve booked some big parties from down South as easily as if I was home,” he says.
Beeler stays in conversation with his GolfNow Plus specialist to keep apprised of updates and additions to the G1 features and functionality. At the current time he has not yet chosen to have a credit-card swipe added to the tablets used by his first-tee staff, though in 2019 that option will probably be exercised. “If I added that, it would mean on slower days I could move all payments out to my starter on the tee, and not have to open the golf shop. My starter could swipe the payment and I’d could trim payroll to fit my revenue level,” says Beeler.
Even as he keeps a lookout for upgrades, Beeler remains highly satisfied with the way the G1 system’s design makes it an easy learning curve for front-line workers, even if they’ve worked for decades using pre-digital tools. “G1 is set up so that the basics can be done easily, even by people who haven’t been using computers all their lives,” Beeler says. Grand View has full liquor license for the entire facility and can sell six-packs of beer straight out of the shop with purchase of a green fee, not to mention breakfast or lunch snacks, and sodas or coffee. “These are quick add-ons to their payment for golf and our people have a streamlined digital means of quickly getting it processed,” he says.
Asked about problem-solving by G1 at Grand View, Beeler goes straight to the pain point of green-fee receipts that are somehow lost between the shop and No. 1 tee. “Everybody loses that slip,” he says, “all the honest people who actually paid, as well as the people who are trying to beat the system by saying they lost it when, in fact, they hadn’t paid. Now we have most players’ credit card numbers on file and they just pop their heads in and say they’ve arrived—the starter can see the payment recorded on his tablet.” And any pilfering at Grand View is steadily going away as a result. “It is very hard to beat us at this point,” Beeler said, “we have every possible excuse covered with G1.”
Per the request of his GolfNow rep, Beeler speaks up readily when he hits upon a potential improvement to the software. “I’ve mentioned to our guy at GolfNow that there are some functions they could probably improve by eliminating keystrokes and mouse clicks—making it more streamlined,” says Beeler. “They always thank me and tell if or when the fix could go in. Other systems I’ve had aren’t so amenable to that—the rep starts defending his product. You never get that with GolfNow.”
Different facilities have different upgrades and efficiencies they hope to achieve—a superior tech package that’s built to serve all needs will readily provide exactly what’s needed or something very close. Word on the street is that G1 is delivering solutions across the board.