Wrag Barn’s app: how mobile technology transforms the club experience
A native rather than a mere web app, the latest technology from Open Solutions is easily the most capable on the market, and that means much more powerful benefits for the members and the club.
While Open Solutions’ members’ app does everything that other golf club software providers’ apps do, it goes much further: members can top up their accounts online, check live competition leaderboards, enter and pay for competitions, and check bar balances down to the receipts.
From the club’s perspective, the Open Solutions’ app enables faster bar service in the bar, and saves hours of time in the office not having to answer members’ every request for information. And as Wrag Barn’s GM will show, the app also provides the ideal way to engage and reassure your new members with everything they want to know about their new golf club and membership.
The Captain’s perspective: ‘…an instant success.’
Shaun Carney was Captain in 2018 and like any new Captain, he wanted to make a legacy change to the Club during his year, as he explains: “I’ve grown up using technology and have seen in my day to day lifestyle how we all live on our smartphones or iPads. Developing the Wrag Barn members’ app and implementing in my year was one of my main points of focus.”
“The Development team at Open Solutions were excellent, and so responsive and open to change. A small Wrag Barn working team helped Open Solutions to customise the base site content into a Wrag Barn branded members’ app. We went live in May 2018 and the app was an instant success.”
Shaun Carney, Captain in 2018
“Broadly speaking around 80% of our members now use the app and it is truly difficult to describe the best benefit. In my view some of the best ones are:
• Rather than logging into the club’s website, you can enter competitions in three clicks via the app on your phone. It may not be the only reason, but since the app’s been available we’ve seen a growth in all our completions after years of decline.
• The live leaderboard function shows competition results in real time on your phone, as well as feeding directly into the TV screen behind the bar. You can use the friends’ link to share your score with your golfing friends (not something I always want to do...).
• The app shows you everything you spent at the bar in the club in line by line level detail. Not one I show my wife, but I can now see what my three children are charging to my card…
• It is also so much easier to top up your own card with money with the app than ask the bar staff, saving them time that’s better spent serving other people their drinks.
Shaun adds: The App has really improved the experience of being a member at Wrag Barn and I would fully recommend it to any golf club.”
The GM’s point of view, and using the app for FAQs about the club
Tracey Lee has been the GM at Wrag Barn for over 14 years, and has seen the tremendous impact and benefits on the club operations via their introduction of the club members’ app.
Tracey focuses on a particular feature that has been built in to the Wrag Barn members’ app, one which she rates very highly when it comes to the ways in which golf clubs can engage with new members. It’s like most brilliant ideas: simple, and exactly what new members need.
As she says: “We have now set up the app to send a welcome letter to all new members based on the FAQs in our website – but as it’s now on their phones, they all have it to hand and read it whenever they have a couple of minutes.”
“The FAQs feature acts as a constant point of reference for new members, and the feedback since we launched the app tells me it’s exactly what they want in that critical period after joining.”
Tracy Lee, General Manager
“The FAQs feature starts with the Welcome to Wrag Barn Golf Club, designed to guide each new member through their first few months of membership to ensure they receive all the information and assistance they need to get the most from their membership.”
She continues: “The other sections of information include:
• A who's who at Wrag Barn, from the owners to the club’s officers, committee members etc.
• How do I obtain a handicap (with a simple outline of the role of the CDH)
• Who can I ask to mark my cards if I don't know anyone?
• Members discount card for the bar, competitions entry and payment, credited winnings.
• Booking Tee Times with all members’ privileges eg. up to two week to book, pro shop contact details and opening times, reservations for Seniors and Ladies, etc.
• The App and everything they can do with it: enter competitions, top up their bar card (the second most popular feature in the app), check their handicap, book tee times (apart from weekend mornings) and most recently, check the live leader board. And how the office will get them started.
• Competitions and all they need to know. (This is reckoned to be the most popular feature on the app in terms of members’ usage)
• Teams & Matches
• Captain’s Roll Up, which also serves as the recommended way to meet other members
• Rules of Golf
• Dress Code: definitely progressive ‘…we have a fairly relaxed dress code within the spike bar with smart jeans and trainers now accepted.’
• Social Events: with encouragement to ‘bring wives/husbands/boyfriends/girlfriends and family members to everything and anything you like.’
All of which ends with this message: ‘Our main priority is for all new members to become swiftly integrated in the friendly ways of Wrag Barn. The Office and Pro Shop are open daily and there will always be someone to answer your questions and help in any way possible.’
A terrific tool for the members, and image changing for the club
Tracey comments: “Our Open Solutions app has been very well received by all age groups and sections of the club. It’s become the membership’s ‘go to’ way to receive all club communications, and for them to both engage and interact with their club in ways that were impossible before.”
She adds: “Compared to other golf clubs, it’s made Wrag Barn look progressive, modern, technically capable – the opposite of the image many people have of golf clubs.”
And this is the point: Wrag Barn has tailored the very powerful capabilities of the Open Solutions members’ app and its mobile technology to help the club achieve all sorts of benefits that only the Open Solutions native app can accomplish, right down to helping a club’s new members build those vital relationships as early as possible.
As Tracey summarises:
“I can’t recommend the Open Solutions app highly enough. The app’s enabling our membership to get the fullest value from their subscriptions, and enjoy being a part of the Wrag Barn community. That’s enabling us to retain members, reward their loyalty, increase our numbers and strengthen our bottom line.”