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October 2018

Billy Casper Golf Waddles Through Its Data


By Scott Kauffman

If actor Dustin Hoffman was in a modern-day remake of his classic 1960s movie, “The Graduate,” one of the everlasting lines to remember might be “data” is the future. Indeed, much like “plastics” was the surefire career tip for the recent college graduate played by Hoffman in that classic film, data seems to be the destiny for so many young graduates today.

At Billy Casper Golf, this ubiquitous cloud-based data is the nucleus of a fundamental change in how it markets to potential daily-fee golf customers these days, namely through a new proprietary event management technology platform called Waddle. The business intelligence tool rolled in the last year is being used to better attract, retain and grow Billy Casper golf revenue, and was developed in concert with fellow Reston, Virginia-based Perfect Sense Digital.

Basically, Billy Casper adopted a “major philosophical shift away from golf offers towards invitation-based marketing,” according to Billy Casper Vice President of Sales and Marketing Emily Clark, whose company owns or operates approximately 150 courses nationwide.

“We’re really looking at inviting people to events,” says Clark, who’s in her eighth year with the company, second year in her new dual role of sales and marketing. “The foundation for any kind of invitation-based marketing is an increased focus on creating events and experiences. Creating more fun and more reasons to come to a golf course that might expand beyond a tee time.”

“Billy Casper Golf is all about innovation and (Waddle) gives us an opportunity to have a much more personalized approach to our golfers and that helps our courses significantly grow customer acquisition, frequency of visits and lifetime value.”

The Waddle platform provides a number of useful functions for Billy Casper clients and courses from managing the day-of-activation rosters for various outings to the creation of a landing page/website that outing coordinators and/or consumers can use for registration or renting clubs. And most importantly, a cloud-based platform for collecting data.

For instance, Clark says one valuable thing learned is the type of events these golf course guests prefer to attend so they can be invited back to the property for a similar event.

“A visit to a golf course is probably a better metric than a round of golf to understand the long-term and life-term value of that guest,” Clark adds. “(Waddle) is a really powerful tool. … (And events) just gives us more attributes per guest. We understand more than their transactional data. It’s about their behavior and what they like to do.”

For a golf course operator that runs some 10,000 annual events and hosts 750,000 people per year  – 500,000 for golf events alone – Waddle is wading through and disseminating a tremendous amount of data. At Billy Casper Golf, this valuable behavioral data is not only the future, but the present.

Scott Kauffman is a golf business writer and the managing director of Aloha Media Group.







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October 2018 Issue

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