2014 Score Golf Article…
golfscoring.net just might be the elixir for some of the golf industry’s current ailments. On its own, the real-time scoring software is not capable of re-populating waiting lists or driving daily tee times to capacity levels. What founder Pat Alpaugh’s golfscoring.net is, however, is a rather ingenious technology with a real-time input component that can add significantly to course operations one or two days/nights a week using golf leagues as a platform.
“Golf leagues haven’t always been viewed that positively – at least with my generation,” says Alpaugh, a longtime member of the Brantford G & C C. “the cool kids didn’t always play in leagues.”
Well, they are now. What Alpaugh fashioned with some help from a few tech-savvy friends is an engaging, real-time scoring system for any sized golf league that is not only exciting to be involved in but allows participants to see what’s going on with their team, their friends or the league right up to the minute. golfscoring.net results are posted through a computer and, because of its Internet-based application, can be seen immediately on televisions in the grill room/clubhouse, on any computer or handheld device. Equally as well considered is the program’s ability to keep separate league handicaps from multiple tees and/or course ratings. Who says golf’s social aspects and competitive spirit have been lost?
“People get a kick out of seeing their names and their friend’s names on the TV and on the website. It’s almost been one of those ‘if you build it they will come’ platforms. “What’s happened is that people want to play more. They don’t want to miss a night. Of course that has led to a trickle down effect for F & B (food & beverage). Wednesday’s at Brantford used to be dead. Now you can’t move in the Men’s Lounge on a league night. Last year, 64 per cent of our F & B sales for the season occurred between 5 and 9 p.m. on our league night.”
Alpaugh, who lives in Hamilton, Ontario fell into golfscoring.net almost by accident. Shortly after joining Brantford he was asked to start a Men’s League. He tried the usual stuff – better ball, blind draws, scrambles – but there no vibe, no excitement and no sense of community. That got him thinking that there had to be a better way.
“I made a point of speaking to as many GM’s, Pro’s and Golf Captains as I could and asked them what they needed to run a perfect league night. I took all of those thoughts and started doing a simple version of what I’m doing now with golfscoring.net. It took off almost immediately. Other courses in the area heard about our success and started calling me. (Author’s note: my home course, Craigowan in Woodstock, Ont., was one of the first clubs to contact Alpaugh). One course led to another and it became quite successful. We now have leagues from coast to coast (it’s available in French and English), although, frankly, I’d love to get a little more going in western Canada.”
Currently the system is being used by over 275 leagues. Even the leasing arrangement is unique. He charges 55 cents per score through a user-fee system which seems to work perfectly; the club makes no commitment and if it fails they are free to stop at any time. That occurrence, thankfully, has been extremely rare. golfscoring.net currently boasts a retention rate of approximately 98%!
It certainly seems to be working.
2013 Article from Pro Shop Magazine
League Management Software is a Success!
Pat Alpaugh found that out when he was asked to establish a Men’s League at his home course, the Brantford Golf & Country Club. The problem was there had never been a Men’s Night at the club and he had no idea how to start one. He started a typical league but he soon realized that a typical league wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted his league day to be a must-play event where players were actually excited about participating. His first step was to speak with as many Pro’s, GM’s and League Conveners as he could in order to get an idea of what they felt was important. He took all that information, applied it to his own league and gradually established golfscoring.net
“golfscoring is a complete blueprint for what I believe is the most effective way to establish, promote and run a successful golf league,” said Alpaugh, a Hamilton resident. A big part of that is the online scoring. “We now have over 190 leagues using the program.”
Alpaugh acknowledges there are other electronic scoring systems on the market, and while his software can, and in fact is, used by several clubs for tournament and corporate events, the golfscoring.net system was developed primarily for golf leagues.
The original version of the current system was much simpler but the theme remained the same; he wanted players of every level to be enthused by the format and he wanted to reward both performance and participation. The results were astonishing. In just three years, his Men’s League at Brantford went from literally nothing to averaging almost 200 players per week. The remarkable popularity of the league led to a couple of wonderful “problems”; everybody wanted to play in it and, after they played, a lot of them were sticking around for a beer and a bite to eat to watch the scores on the TV. The grille room overflowed on Wednesdays. Soon other clubs were asking about the system and getting similar results.
“Galt grew very, very quickly as did Whistle Bear and Stratford. St. George’s went from zero to getting 150 players every week. Sunningdale, Dundas, Glendale, Oakville, Paris; they all went from essentially nothing to averaging well over a hundred players every week. I wish I could say it was all because of the system but that’s not the case. Clubs that follow the formula typically do very well but they often have one or two enthusiastic staff and/or golf members who get behind it.”
On the day of league play, scores are entered into the system and the program immediately updates the individual and team results. The results are available 24/7 on the league website and – this part if very cool – his program displays the scores in real-time on the TV’s in the clubhouse. “The Live Scoring on the TV is a big deal for the leagues,” Alpaugh explains. “The results change every time a new score is entered so the presentation on the TV is very compelling. As you can imagine, the Live Scoring is a lot of fun and it virtually guarantees a much busier and more enthusiastic grille room which is good for the entire club.”
Special features in the software allow the league organizers to have a little fun. For example, a team has 12 players and the low six scores count towards the team score, the players who finished outside of the top six are often referred to as, “Useless (expletive deleted) or some other derogatory term. It adds a little spice to the proceedings,” Says Alpaugh although he’s quick to add that leagues have the ability to name their Headers – Low Gross, Low Net, Beat the Pro, Money List, High Net, just to name a few – based on the tastes or sensitivity of their particular group.
Alpaugh doesn’t sell his system; he leases it, charging 50 cents per score. He feels the unique “User Fee” pricing model has helped him get into clubs that otherewise might have balked if he presented them with an up-front fee of thousands of dollars. According to him, “this way, we’re in it together. If it doesn’t work, the investment is almost nothing and if it does take off everbody wins.” The fees, by the way, are only for the league system. Clubs can use the Tournament Module for events like Club Championship, Invitationals, etc., whenever they wish and at no charge. It’s his way of saying “thanks” to the clubs that support him.
2008 Article From Fairways Magazine
All Pat Alpaugh wanted was to make Men’s Night a little more fun for his fellow members at the scenic Brantford Golf and Country Club. Not just a night out for the boys, but rather an event. Thanks in part to an innovative online scoring program that features actual “live scoring” in the lounge for their Men’s Night suffice to say it is mission accomplished.
About a half a decade ago, Alpaugh was looking for a way to enhance the Men’s Night at the Brantford track and began toying with the idea of developing a more streamlined and entertaining method of running the event. There was really no incentive for the person who just didn’t feel like playing to make that extra effort,says Alpaugh. Also, nobody knew the results for a day or two, so to deal with both of these issues, we came up with a concept based on teams rather than individual play and a scoring system that allowed us to track and display the scores as the players came in.”
After speaking to a designer friend of his, Alpaugh eventually introduced golfscroring.net and developed a unique scoring system for the club. As the saying goes, the rest is history.
“Like any idea we’ve massaged it from year-to-year, he adds. Right now, it looks and works very well. It has the look of a PGA Tour leaderboard except it’s our names that are on the website and the TV.”
And the numbers – as in those turning out for Men’s Night – don’t lie. Four years ago, Alpaugh figures they were lucky if they attracted fifty players on Men’s Night. These days, the club is averaging 190 each Wednesday prompting the club to block off tee times after 1:00 P.M. because of the demand. In addition to the cool scoring, Alpaugh introduced the concept of teams which he feels is and extremely important part of their success. “Because the scoring is based on both performance and participation, people feel compelled to play. They don’t want to let their team down by not showing up. “Alpaugh claims. Who can argue with those numbers?
The participants, it seems, don’t want to go home after putting out. With a dazzling 58″ TV in the lounge, business is booming post-round. Alpaugh says the Men’s Lounge punches up four times the sales on Men’s Night than the next busiest night of the week.
“With this system, you literally know the scores in real-time. After your round, you can sit, have a beer and a bite to eat and the scores are updating right before your eyes. Guys don’t want to leave. I still have players who sit and watch and can’t believe what they are seeing.”
As an added touch, a draw is held among the Brantford members at season’s end. The winner gets to take that 58″ television home with them. And it seems the live scoring and a focus on participation has caught on with other clubs too. Alpaugh indicates over 30 other clubs have introduced the golfscoring.net system, including several Women’s and Mixed leagues, and the feedback he’s been getting indicates they are experiencing a similar level of success, on and off the course, as Brantford.
“When we first started this thing, we thought if we got 100 players out that would be a staggering success. Now we regularly have double that number on a Wednesday. Sure we give out the usual individual prizes like closest-to-the-pins and such but supporting your team has become the entire focus of our program. We get guys who play 9-holes first thing in the morning before heading straight to the airport or players who are literally finishing their round in the dark because they are so committed to trying to help their team. It would have to be a catastrophe before some of these guys would dare miss a night,” he says with a laugh.
At the end of the day, Brantford Golf and Country Club has benefited most from Alpaugh’s vision for the weekly get together through a significant increase in food and beverage sales, and, of course, improved camaraderie among the members. But it’s more than just supporting the club. Members have embraced the team-first mentality.
“In my opinion, people want to feel like they are a part of something. There is a big difference between participating in a league and belonging to one. I think we’ve addressed that.” The members at Brantford certainly know the difference.
2008 Article From The Hamilton Spectator
Men’s and Women’s golf leagues are becoming increasingly popular. Golf courses everywhere are starting them as a way to fill tee times and increase food and beverage income.
Most of the leagues are nine holes, based on individual play and pretty much pencil and paper but, according to Pat Alpaugh, the forward-thinking ones are taking it online and making it all about the team. The problem, until recently, was that whoever was running the league probably did the scoring in the evening and it was difficult to find out how you or year team did until the next day at the earliest.
Pat Alpaugh knew there had to be a better way. So he and a couple of associates created golfscoring.net.
“We came up with the concept of a computer program that was simple when it came to entering the scores but entertaining and timely when it came to posting the results,” he said. “A friend of mine suggested we take this one step further and run it through the TV in the bar at the golf club so we could broadcast the scores. The whole thing took off when we did that.
“Players finish their 9 or 18-hole game and turn their score cards in to the Pro Shop. By the time they’ve changed their shoes and sat down in the bar for a drink all of the league scoring information is being displayed on the club TV in the lounge. The program is quite remarkable; it tracks and displays the entire scoring history of every player (gross and net), separates notable individual performances (good and bad), who beat the Pro, scoring averages, how the team Captains fared and, in my opinion, best of all, it calculates a separate league handicap based solely on your league scores. Great stuff.
At the Brantford G & C C, where Alpaugh is a member and the Men’s League uses the program, they’ve even added some colourful terminology. Players who didn’t have a good day and didn’t help their team are referred to on the screen as ‘Useless (expletive deleted)’. The designation proved to be very popular with the boys in the bar.
“The wonderful thing about the program is that it’s great for our golf course. It adds to the camaraderie and you can log on to the Internet at any time to see your scores, your friends scores and the scores from all of the teams.”
“And the club is the ultimate benefactor. Our sales on Wednesday’s in the lounge are approximately four times what they are on the best day and we put about $35,000 through the Pro Shop in prizes.
“The golfscoring.net system is now available to other clubs through a unique ‘only pay for what you use’ program and, so far, about 40 clubs throughout southern Ontario and as far away as Ottawa and Thunder Bay are using it.