12 Golf Inc. May/June 2017
to forget that Chambers Bay is, after all, a muni.
The result was a comprehensive set of grow-the-game initiatives that Allen is spearheading at
the KemperSports-managed club.
The centerpiece of Allen’s efforts at Chambers
Bay is #1moregolfer, designed to draw more
new players to golf. The program encourages
each regular golfer to bring one new golfer into
“Lots of us got into the game because of a
friend or relative who shepherded us through
the obstacles involved in learning how to play,”
Allen said. “Imagine what would happen if all
the millions of golfers out there would commit
to introducing and supporting one new golfer.”
Another effort is aimed at making golf more
accessible to seniors and others who may be
intimidated by the fact that the course is walk-ing-only. A nine-hole loop on the flattest part
of the course is designed to attract golfers who
want to play but cannot walk the full 18 holes.
Allen estimates that these efforts have
brought in between $30,000 to $50,000 in extra
At the age of 25, Zach Peed manages Kula
Golf, a family golf investment company that
owns ArborLinks in Nebraska City, Neb., and
Ballyhack Golf Club in Roanoke, Va.
As a member of the generation that grew up
with computers, smartphones and tablets, Peed
wants to use technology to attract other young
adults to the game.
To that end, he has launched a startup software company aimed at using 21st century
marketing tools to lure players. Peed’s company
created an app called GolfStatus, designed to
make the game more appealing to younger golfers.
“The program applies the same model to
golfers along the lines of what Fitbit does for
people interested in improving fitness,” he said.
Peed said courses can use the app to drive
rounds and revenue. A club using GolfStatus
can give players rewards for accomplishments
such as a hole-in-one. It also can provide incentives for playing a specified number of rounds
or staying at a resort for a certain number of
“We want courses to be able to communicate
more easily with golfers,” Peed said.
He said most operators today don’t pay much
attention to players, beyond sending a marshal
around the course to say hello and check on the
pace of play.
His software division is developing a tournament management program and a gaming
feature for GolfStatus. And, an app for course
superintendents is in the works.
“We want to put together an all-inclusive
software package for the golf industry,” Peed
Synergy Golf Solutions
After 35 years as a golf management professional, Dave Cowan founded a golf marketing
company, Synergy Golf Solutions, which uses
out-of-the box thinking to deliver results for
courses and other golf clients.
Based in Port Elgin, Ontario, the former
Canadian PGA Tour player has a long history
in the industry. In the 1980s, he helped operate
a network of 15 Nevada Bob’s golf retail stores.
He also turned around four struggling golf
facilities in the Ontario area. Most notable was
the Mill Run Golf Club in Uxbridge, Ontario,
Canada. It had gone 20 years without turning a
profit, but during the first year of Cowan’s management, rounds increased by more than 20,000
In 2005, he started Synergy Golf. Cowan
strives to help clients differentiate themselves
from other businesses, create value and inspire
loyalty through website design, search engine
optimization, data collection, email marketing
and social media marketing.
One of Synergy Golf’s ideas was a membership drive that enlisted club members and non-members to introduce new players to the club.
The participants didn’t actually have to join the
club, they just had to make someone aware that
the club was interested in
having them join. All members who introduced someone had their names put on
golf balls that were deposited
into a sack.
At the end of the membership drive, Cowan staged
a party where a helicopter
dropped the sack of golf balls
in the middle of the driving range. Balls went
everywhere, and the one that came closest to a
special marker was good for a free year of membership.
Cowan’s stunt sold a slew of new memberships and prompted a number of local businesses to use the clubhouse for meetings and
As managing director of Club Systems
International, a company that provides software
for 1.3 million club members in the United
Kingdom, Richard Peabody is promoting a way
to digitally connect clubs with golfers who are
The Europe-wide online system allows golfers who play as visitors
to analyze their games
and compare them
with each other. It’s a
digital way to record
their golf scores, look
at their play and maintain what is called a
Golfingindex. The new
system was developed
by HowDidiDo, a