These were some of the 2019 benefits to Club Systems’ customers

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2019 17:47

HowDidiDo is available to any golfer who is a member of a club that uses Club Systems International software – and the online platform offers much more than just data.

Everybody likes ‘added value’ – particularly those who make a living crunching numbers – and clubs using Club Systems International (CSI) software benefit from more than most.

The ‘added value’ those clubs can offer their members comes in the shape of HowDidiDo, Europe’s largest online community and the consumer-facing arm of CSI. But while more than 570,000 UK and Irish club golfers are grateful for the system for updating their CONGU handicap on a regular basis, there is so much more to HowDidiDo than merely a simple weekly email.

For the last decade, HowDidiDo has powered the Titleist Order of Merit, believed to be the largest member golf competition in Europe – this year around 23,000 club golfers participated in the competition. The free-to-enter competition sees each competitor’s medal rounds, between April and August, monitored by the HowDidiDo system, which then selects the five best from each player, in each handicap division, throughout the qualifying period.

The best 16 headed to a grand final at Trump Turnberry, ranked number one in Golf World’s top 100 courses in the UK&I listing, with this year’s overall champion golfer, Dean McCusker, from Troon St Meddans Golf Club, receiving a full set of custom-fitted Titleist TS irons as a prize.

HowDidiDo powers the Titleist Order of Merit, believed to be the largest member golf competition in Europe – this year featuring around 23,000 club golfers. The best 16 in the free-to-enter competition headed to the final at Trump Turnberry, with this year’s overall winner receiving a full set of custom-fitted Titleist TS irons as a prize

Among the interested spectators was Sky Sports presenter and former Ladies European Tour star Sophie Walker, who was there in her role as a HowDidiDo ambassador.

She said: “It is no surprise to me that the competition has enjoyed 10 years of success, as the overall experience of playing in the Order of Merit grand final is almost certainly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that all golfers should try to achieve.”

This year, HowDidiDo launched the PING Pairs, another free-to-enter nationwide competition – but this one had a twist. Golfers could team up with any other HowDidiDo user, using the new HowDidiDo ‘Friends’ function, so team-mates didn’t even have to play together, ensuring that piece of useless on-course advice or sighs of disappointment at a missed putt or a bad shot had no effect whatsoever. In fact, some people even teamed up with someone they’d never met before.

All the duos’ scores, in handicap qualifying competitions at their home courses, were recorded with the top three scores from each player combined to ascertain their position on the PING Pairs leaderboard.

In 2019, HowDidiDo launched the PING Pairs, another free-to-enter competition, in which golfers could team up with any other HowDidiDo user. More than 12,500 people signed up, and finalists enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of PING’s European headquarters; custom-fitting experiences for the latest putters and drivers; and a visit to the PING European Tour truck

More than 12,500 people signed up for the unique competition, which had its grand final at Thonock Park, near Gainsborough – PING’s home course – where the finalists lived like a Tour pro for two days. They enjoyed a VIP PING experience, including a behind-the-scenes tour of PING’s European headquarters; custom-fitting experiences for the brand’s latest putters and drivers; and a visit to the impressive PING European Tour truck.

The inaugural PING Pairs title was subsequently secured by Hornsea Golf Club’s Lee Guest, a six-handicapper, and Ashley Dexter, who plays off three.

The charitable donations of golfers and golf clubs are traditionally manifold, and the How Do We Beat It competition, run in association with Prostate Cancer UK, raised £30,000 for the leading men’s health charity in 2019. More than 4,000 golfers entered, while the title of champion was bestowed upon Ryan Reece, of Bramshot Hill GC.

Golfers pay just a minimum £5 donation to participate, and, as always, scores are logged by HowDidiDo. Their best ‘eclectic’ round, between April and October, is calculated automatically by the system and the 16 best eclectic cards qualify for a grand final at yet another prestigious venue – last year it was the stunning Castle Stuart Golf Links, near Inverness, and, this year, the action switched to the hugely impressive Trump International, near Aberdeen.

The How Do We Beat It competition, run in association with Prostate Cancer UK, raised £30,000 for the leading men’s health charity in 2019, as more than 4,000 club golfers took part

The new Staysure Senior Stableford, sponsored by the eponymous insurance company, aims to keep golfers over the age of 50 interested throughout the winter months. Once again, it costs nothing to enter and a player’s score is automatically collated by HowDidiDo from every Stableford competition played at their home course between September and July.

Twelve lucky winners then played in a team with one of the legends of the Staysure Tour – formerly the European Senior Tour – at the 2019 Staysure PGA Seniors Championship. The prize includes a commemorative photo with further prizes awarded to the top three teams on the day.

And, if they’ve got the ‘bottle’ for a challenge, adult HowDidiDo users can enter the Loch Lomond Whiskies National Strokeplay, where they may win a bottle of The Open Special Edition Loch Lomond Whisky. One was available every week and the competition ran for 10 weeks.

Additionally, all entrants had the chance to win tickets to the 148th Open Championship, at Royal Portrush, and the 149th Open Championship, at Royal St George’s, in one of several prize-draws carried out during the series.

Registered golfers must record a score in a qualifying competition in the relevant week to be eligible for that week’s prize. Entrants may play more than one round in the qualifying period, but only the participant’s best score will count toward a prize.

And, if that wasn’t enough added value, HowDidiDo members also started receiving iGolf in 2019, an exclusive, digital, independent golf travel magazine designed to highlight some of the many desirable golfing destinations across the globe.

Plus, HowDidiDo’s app – designed to make it easier to access a member account – has now been downloaded more than 250,000 times. The app also had a new look for 2019, with even more features: the refreshed timeline features larger images, more videos and higher interactivity – and works perfectly on either smartphone or tablet.

This is in addition to its established features such as news, competition booking and results, handicap changes, statistics, friends and chat functionality.

With CSI as Europe’s market-leading golf club IT specialist and HowDidiDo providing a raft of extra benefits for CSI customers’ members, golf clubs and their members have – in the words of the late prime minister Harold Macmillan – never had it so good.

Some of the competitors at this year’s Titleist Order of Merit

ClubV1 now has a site for more eyes

Market-leading Club Systems International has enhanced its cloud-based ClubV1 management software to include a new website offering.

According to a website that deals in such statistics, there are – at the time of writing – more than 1.7 billion websites on the world wide web today.

Even in golf, an industry perceived, occasionally, as glacial in its progress, club websites are now ubiquitous. And, while some of the bigger names have super dynamic, visually stunning and highly responsive websites, some older sites remain static and difficult to navigate.

And this is where Club Systems International (CSI), Europe’s leading golf club IT specialist, can once again provide an outstanding resource for its clients. The company’s next generation of websites – currently in beta mode – is fully managed from within the cloud-based ClubV1 software, launches in January, and will be a step change in terms of online presence for many of its users.

The websites are fully responsive with customisable ‘blocks’ of content and an intuitive content management system (CMS), which ensures ease of use for even complete novices. It offers unlimited custom pages, an improved image uploader and ‘cropper’, and a secure member-only section via the ClubV1 member hub.

Darren Wood, CSI’s relationship manager, explained: “One of our primary goals with the next generation of websites was to make it simple to use: simple to lay out and simple to populate once it’s up and running. We believe we have achieved that and some.

“What’s more the visitor navigation has also been simplified because we understand golf and what golfers want. These are not off-the-shelf templates, per se, these have been designed for use by golf clubs, from the ground up, giving clubs control of the content, and with customisable features via the CMS.”

Meanwhile, the free-to-download ClubV1 members’ app – which, like the latest generation of websites, is included with ClubV1 Premium – has been downloaded on more than 100,000 occasions across Android and iOS platforms.

Linking with the members’ hub, it provides access to course status, booking, results, club news, online top-ups of bar accounts and payment of raised bills, knock-out management and team matches.

There is even the option of a ‘branded app’, which includes all the features of the ClubV1 members’ app but in specific club colours and available for download as the club’s own app.

The new websites are also able to incorporate a tee-booking system, with visitor payments accepted via Worldpay, Sage Pay and First Data (fiserve.). Third-party tee-sheet integration is also planned to be included, with the likes of Play More Golf, Greenfee365 and more.

The ClubV1 Premium package includes back office tee-sheet management and all booking options – casual member, competition and open competition – except ‘visitor’ which is available with the Ultimate package.

Wood explained further: “Many of our customers are now looking at moving to our full range of tee-booking options allowing a ‘one-stop shop’ integrated solution through our core product, ClubV1. All our booking modules are constantly being developed with new features released every month.

“Marrying these with our soon to be released, next generation websites means 2020 looks to be a very busy year for Club Systems International.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir December 31, 2019 17:47
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