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BRS Golf delivers first class service for Wallsend Golf Club

When Wallsend Golf Club in Newcastle-upon-Tyne made the decision to implement online tee time bookings there were understandably concerns from staff about venturing into this unknown territory. Club Secretary, David Souter, and his team had some experience of introducing new systems at the club in other areas, and it had not always been a positive undertaking. Fortunately, BRS Golf by GolfNow made the transition as smooth as possible, supporting the club through the entire process with on-site demonstrations and training for everyone involved.

David says: “Our fears were completely unfounded, the on-site training service from BRS Golf was very successful and we were ‘live’ with the new system in a matter of days. BRS Golf were there, not only explaining what we needed to do, but next to us setting it up on site. This was a very refreshing and highly successful method.”

BRS Golf Account Manager, Barry Johnston, picks up the story: “David asked if we would be able to come and demonstrate the system to the management of Wallsend’s parent company, Centurion Park. This is very much our normal practice and we are always happy to visit the site of any prospective customer, to not only demonstrate the system, but also get a better understanding of how that club operates and make recommendations on how best to configure and implement. We spent a very enjoyable afternoon with Centurion Park and Wallsend Golf Club and they both agreed to proceed with the project and share the costs.”

 

How did this perfect partnership come about?

David first encountered BRS Golf when he visited a local club who had implemented the system. “My counterpart at the local club showed me what the system was capable of and how their members had embraced online booking, and I could see the potential for introducing the system at Wallsend,” David explains.

After initial discussions with Barry back in 2012, David was convinced the system was right for the club and would easily justify the costs quoted. David discussed the idea with his colleagues and they agreed.

“We made the decision to proceed with BRS Golf, but we could see there was a good opportunity for the owners of the course, Centurion Park, to get benefits from BRS Golf if they adopted the system too,” David adds.

 

Six years on, has this been a good investment?

“The members love the system and booking online improved our utilisation of valuable competition tee slots immensely,” says David. “The administration time on tee sheets and the club diary etc. has been reduced and Centurion Park are generating extra visitor revenue from online booking too. The BRS Golf support services are first class too, and most of our problems are resolved on the first call.

“This has, without doubt, been one of the most successful initiatives we have undertaken in the 25 years that I have been here. I would have no hesitation in recommending BRS Golf to any club, and I know that many local clubs have taken my advice and are now also very satisfied BRS Golf customers.”

High praise indeed!

About Wallsend Golf Club

Wallsend Golf Club was founded in 1905, and despite changes to the actual playing sites – and the disruption of the council acquiring the land for agricultural purposes through both World Wars – the club continues to thrive and has always been an integral part of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s east end community. Just four miles from the city centre, this well-established parkland course has added impressive new facilities following major investment, including a modern, 24 bay driving range, refurbished golf shop and the addition of the playfully-named Happy Gilmore’s Bar – open all day to members and visitors.

How can BRS Golf technology help your club? Make an enquiry today.

How Liberton Golf Club boosted revenue with BRS Golf

Just four miles south of Edinburgh City centre you’ll find Liberton Golf Club, a little gem whose parkland course offers an interesting challenge to golfers of all standards. A trailblazer in equal rights, it was one of the first clubs in the UK to put male and female members on an equal footing when it opened in 1920 (postponed from 1914 due to the outbreak of World War I).

Though it will soon celebrate its centenary year, Liberton has an eye on the future as well and last year began to offer online bookings through BRS Golf by GolfNow. Increasing visitor revenue, improving membership retention rates and cutting down on administration were key objectives. After initial presentations of BRS Golf to Club Secretary David Doig and Head Professional Iain Seath, they recommended a full presentation be given to the committee.

David explains: “The committee at Liberton are responsible for all aspects of the club, and it was important that they were all active in evaluating such an important initiative. It would be fair to say that, prior to the meeting, many committee members had concerns about online booking and how effective it could be for Liberton.

“After the presentation, we got the full and unanimous backing of the committee to proceed with stage two of the plan – to hold a members’ information evening, where we could explain what we were trying to do, the benefits to the club and, of course, to let them see how the system worked and provide opportunities to ask questions etc.”

Barry Johnston, BRS Golf Regional Account Manager in 2016, attended the meeting on behalf of the company.

“I frequently get requests to help with members’ evenings, and as the introduction of online booking would certainly impact all members, I can readily appreciate the committee has a duty to share information and consult with the membership,” he says. “I always enjoy such evenings and the night at Liberton was very positive. In my experience no two clubs are the same, and it was great for me to hear how tee times are booked, etc., and allowed me to explain how BRS Golf would operate at the club.”

David continues: “The feedback from the members evening was 100 per cent positive, and after a brief discussion among the committee, we placed the order with BRS Golf in November 2016. The system was installed and all ready to be used by the end of December, but we had decided to commence live booking in February 2017. So we were well ahead of schedule.”

And after using the system for a full year, how successful has the project been?

“Without a doubt, this has been a very successful initiative,” comments David. “We had only a handful of issues with members but these were easily handled with a bit of hand-holding, and the transition from our old booking arrangements to BRS Golf was very smooth.

“We are particularly delighted with the open competition section of visitor online booking, and when we set one of our opens ‘live’ at 9.00am, the event was fully booked by 9.25am and £1,700 had gone directly into our bank account from the online payments each visitor had made.

“All of the entries were processed automatically, and the event only took five minutes to set up. This is a massive saving of administrative effort and a far more secure and accurate way of handling payments!”

Head Professional at the club, Iain Seath, runs a busy shop and managed the paper tee sheet which has now been replaced completely by BRS Golf. Has this been a smooth transition?

“I was keen to get online booking into the club and very supportive of the decision to get BRS Golf, but I did expect teething problems and difficulties when we came to implement the system,” he observes. “But I was delighted that everything went so smoothly and it has made a real difference to our operation.

“In the past I could easily spend an hour on the phone handling booking requests on busy days and that simply does not happen anymore. I can now spend more time with members and visitors who are in the shop, and we are delighted to improve our service level in this way.

“The members are using the system really well and without doubt we are also seeing an increase in green fee revenue from visitor online booking through our own website and the GolfNow distribution channels.  I would be pleased to share our positive experience with BRS Golf with any other club considering implementing the system.”

Would anybody at the club prefer to go back to the previous arrangements?

“No way! BRS Golf is a vital part of Liberton Golf Club now,” David answers. “If we took away the booking system we would absolutely hear the member’s wrath, and I certainly don’t want to be on the end of that. I think the members enjoy having the system and see the benefit it has for them, in booking both their casual and competition games of golf.”

David also highlights that, from an administrative point of view, the system provides added value by assisting the office in booking out rooms and halls, which allows the club to fully link their golf visitors, members and room hires to the catering system, providing smoother and improved customer service within the clubhouse.

How can BRS Golf technology help your club? Make an enquiry today.

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