Once upon a time, Tynemouth Golf Club used the old ‘ball in chute’ system for members looking to get out on the course. Now? They use BRS Golf by GolfNow’s sophisticated online tee sheet to manage both member and visitor bookings. Follow their journey from offline to online and find out how BRS Golf has helped their business grow, our Senior Technical Specialist Barry Johnston writes.
Tynemouth Golf Club is one of the most attractive and satisfying parkland golf courses in the North East of England. The original course was designed by Willie Park Jr, and over the years has been extended and modified into a par-70 course of some repute.
In 2011 Tynemouth were interested in learning more about online booking after speaking to other clubs in the area about their experiences. At that time, members of Tynemouth operated a ‘ball in chute’ system, which was far from perfect!
Managing secretary at the time, Tim Scott, picks up the story: “We approached BRS Golf, who visited the club and demonstrated what their system was capable of. I was very impressed with, not only the online booking capability, but also the tee time administration functions and management reporting. I had seen enough to recommend that BRS Golf return and do a more formal demonstration to the committee. This took place a few weeks later, and, although there were plenty of questions, BRS Golf were very good at explaining the answers in detail and could direct us to other customers who had similar situations.”
And what was the outcome of the committee meeting?
Tim continues: “Most of the committee agreed that online booking was potentially an improvement on our current arrangements, and, although a bit concerned about how members would react to the initiative, we agreed to move forward with online booking as a project. However, although BRS Golf had provided a good quotation for their system, we also had another offer! Basically, the company who had recently provided us with a good website, indicated they were shortly about to release a new online booking system and that we would be able to get this system for free! So we decided to commit to the other company and thanked BRS Golf for their help!”
And all went well? Not quite…
Tim explains: “After many months of chasing the company to show us the new system, they failed to deliver anything to us, and we had no confidence that they ever would. So we decided to discuss online booking with BRS Golf again! In addition to the original proposal BRS Golf also put forward a comprehensive training and implementation plan which addressed a lot our concerns about getting the system up and running. We placed the order with BRS Golf in June, 2012, and by the end of July we were completely live!
“Not only is BRS Golf a very comprehensive system but it is also intuitive. But without doubt embarking on the recommended implementation plan set out by BRS Golf and Barry Johnston working on-site building the system with us, gave us knowledge and confidence to hold a few members’ evenings shortly afterwards. These were highly successful and because we had such a detailed knowledge of the BRS Golf system from our own training, we could handle all of the questions raised by members and make them feel comfortable that the new system would be easy for them to use and help the club.”
That was back in 2012 – is the system still in use?
Tim says: “Despite all our initial fears, the system quickly proved to be very popular with our members, and very helpful as an administration tool in the office. I retired a few years ago but still use the system regularly to book my golf as a member, as do all my friends!”
The current golf administrator, David Stenhouse, agrees: “The BRS Golf system is still very popular with our members and, over the years, has become an invaluable part of Tynemouth Golf Club’s operation. We could probably do more with the system, but it fits in nicely with how we like to manage our business here at Tynemouth and the staff that we currently have. There is no way that we could ever go back to our old booking arrangements!”
Paul Whittaker is general manager at Tynemouth. He adds: “I do not have too much to do with the system as, thankfully, we have David as our expert here in the office! But I know how popular the system is with members. We are a very busy members’ club and the system copes very well with the volume of tee time bookings in a way that is fair to all. The addition of the new BRS Golf Members’ Booking App for iPhone and Android devices has also been a significant development which makes things even easier for members”.
How can BRS Golf technology help your club? Make an enquiry today.