One of my learning at the latest PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando was that the big data phenomenon and measurement fetish have arrived to the golf industry. Today different kind of mobile apps, wearables and other gadgets are helping us to improve our game (e.g. swing analysis), understand better golf courses (GPS rangefinders), manage our scores and community etc.
Recently, the free live-scoring mobile application Golf GameBook has been shortlisted in two categories for the 2015 Sports Technology Awards (Best use of technology by a sponsor: Mastercard's 'Priceless Surprises' campaign / Open Golf championship: more than 18,000 rounds of golf were played on Golf GameBook during the campaign delivering 6.2 million social media impressions. + Best sport app).
Golf GameBook is now the fastest growing golf community in the world with more than 850,000 downloads (most of them were downloaded from Apple Store). Golf GameBook has been selected to manage the live scoring for a number of Pro Am tournaments taking place prior to high profile European Tour events, including the recent 2015 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
At the very same time, we should recognize that all these mobile applications and gadgets are generating enormous amount of data in at unprecedented speed. Since these data are coming from multiple sources we (=golf club managers, tourism authority, golf course architects, golfers, golf equipment manufacturers etc.) will have to learn how to manage, structure and analyze them. Without this we won't be able to maximize these data.
This brings various challenges to the related golf companies and golf clubs:
- How do you utilize these data to be able to run real time marketing campaigns?
- How to turn data to insight to improve customer experience in your golf club?
- Find the 'moment of truth' when people are more open to brand messages!
- How can you find the right golf tourist or local golfer for your golf club?
- How can you use these data for marketing automation and personalization?
To be able to fully harness the power of big data you will need a new kind of colleague in your company or golf club: the data scientist.