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January 2019

Making Technology Work for You

Making-Technology-Work-for-You.jpg

By Steve Eubanks

Josh Anderson
Director of Golf
Country Club of Winter Haven
Winter Haven, Florida

Rick Anderson
Director of Golf
Atlanta Athletic Club
Atlanta, Georgia


How have advancements in technology helped you improve service at your operation?

Josh Anderson: For us, being a new golf course, opening up after a complete redesign five years ago, the biggest technological advantage is in marketing. In today’s environment, you have to have a social media presence. And you have to stay up to speed with technology to get the word out. That’s been the biggest change and the biggest challenge in the last 10 years.

Social media has replaced so many traditional marketing vehicles. Everybody is glued to their phones. If you aren’t in that world, you’re going to be missed. 

Rick Anderson: We have moved all the sign-ups for our events, all the pairings and all the scoring to an online system. That makes it much easier and convenient for our members to sign up for tournaments and playdays. And all scoring is digital now. That allows us to have live scoring in many areas throughout the club, including the locker room, our 1897 room and others.

It’s a great convenience for members. Their ability to follow and get updates on any of their devices is a big benefit.

What drawbacks do you see or envision from those advancements in technology?

Josh: The flip side to social media and everyone being connected to the rest of the world is that everyone is a critic.

It’s easy to have harsh opinions. If people are unhappy about course conditions or pricing or anything like that, it’s easy for them to post those comments to the world in the worst possible way. Those comments can be skewed or misinterpreted. But they’re out in the market forever. So, that’s a challenge. 

Rick: The downside is that we have eliminated the old handwritten scoreboard, which used to be a gathering point after an event round. Members would gather around the board and socialize while they watched scores being posted.
 
And we have a lot of members who are traditionalists. They liked seeing the beautiful calligraphy and the names and numbers on the board. You also used to have everything displayed in one place. So, moving that service to digital moved one social outlet.

Also, technology can go down on you. If you have a power outage or some other issue with no analogue backup, that can be a real problem. And if you’re working in the cloud, you’re beholden to your internet connection. If that goes down, you’re out of luck.

We’ve been very fortunate. We’ve developed contingencies for those situations but so far we haven’t had any problems.

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January 2019 Issue
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