Book your home course, anytime, anywhere!
BRS Golf enabled golfers to book their rounds of golf online beginning in 2004. Since that time, the ways that people access our systems, and the experience they expect, has changed dramatically.
The member’s area of BRS Golf allows club members to book tee times using any web browser. Over recent years, analysis of the BRS Golf site usage showed that approximately 60% of traffic was coming from mobile users – golfers utilising smartphones or tablets to book their tee times. The experience was less than ideal on these devices, partially because the early focus of the site was on traditional desktop/laptop users.
When using mobile devices, members would have to zoom in and out of areas of the screen to select or view details in order to complete their booking. Although it was usable, it did not provide golfers with the best or most optimised experience. With so many members turning to their mobile devices, though, we decided to create a new product that provides golfers with the same access as the existing website but with a clean, mobile-optimised and intuitively designed interface.
At the end of 2015, we reached out to our clubs and held feedback sessions with members in order to find out what features they loved and to understand their expectations. Based on feedback from this process it became clear that both younger and older golfers expected different features. But both groups agreed that being able to book their rounds of golf online at any time of day was critical, and they expected an app that was built to provide these functions.
We prioritised the feature set for the app and approached a design agency called Little Thunder to produce prototypes and designs for our new app. Working closely with our product team, they refined the design over several months, eventually producing the BRS Golf members app that you see today.
The next phase was to start building the app. Looking at the website statistics again, it became clear that about 60% of our mobile traffic was coming from iOS devices. This led us to focus on that platform first. Using a product called Xamarin, we developed a native app for iOS that was available on both iPhones and iPads.
Ardglass Golf Club volunteered to be our first test club and, in January 2017, ten members volunteered to book casual and competition rounds of golf through this new app. After a few weeks of testing and further development, we rolled the iOS app out to all members of the club, then added 10 more clubs, and in May 2017 we rolled it out to a few hundred clubs. Over the summer the operations team have been upgrading clubs in batches so that they integrate with the member’s app.
The uptake so far has been amazing! We have more than 400 clubs integrated with the application, and 9,000+ members have downloaded and installed the iOS app to regularly book tee times. So far nearly 20,000 rounds have been managed using just the app!
We’ve received a great deal of positive comments from members using the in-app feedback form, and BRS Golf has gotten positive feedback from the clubs themselves as well. Almost every day another club signs up to use the app, with 33 clubs signing on in one day alone.
Since the launch we have been working hard on creating an Android version of the app. Due to be released in the next month or two, the Android version will provide exactly the same functionality and intuitive experience as the iOS version, expanding the availability of the BRS Golf members app to millions more users.
We’ve also been listening to the feedback from members and have tried to prioritise the next set of features once the Android version is completed. These include a waiting list, competition purse and calendar integration. We genuinely appreciate feedback and suggestions from members, so keep them coming!
As well as introducing existing features from BRS Golf, we are adding new features in the next few months such as social media integration, GPS course tracking and scorecards.
The potential for the BRS Golf members app is exciting, with new improvements for golfers and golf clubs alike coming soon.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for the app then send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you ASAP.