So what did we learn?
Time to review our first global golf event, how it went, what we will do the same or different next time. And we will definitely do it next year – 8th March 2019. It is fantastic to be able to raise money for many different charities, in many different countries. And to give golfers a chance to compete, have fun and socialise. The power of the internet!
The Golfcrowd.online team sat down together to talk and start planning for the next event in July. Our Captain, Hilary, social media guru, Henry, and Josh, designer and ideas man, joined Diana for a nothing ruled out, brain storming session.
Diana – I definitely invented a box and climbed into it. My original idea was everyone playing on one day. The immediate reaction – “Can’t book tee times on Thursdays”, and “Our course will still be closed in March!” So I invented a few more boxes. Play any Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Enter before the 8th March and play before the 5th April. There seemed a good reason to choose only 3 days of the week, but what they were now escapes me!
We can’t change the weather and we can’t change the date so how can we make sure that everyone who would like to play, can?
Hilary – How successful were the changes? What is our real aim?
Diana – Good question! This time around, I felt it was important to get as many people as possible to play across the world to spread the word. Next time I am happier to accept the givens. Yes, in some places courses will be closed. But there will be an opportunity to take part in one of our other events. I have to accept that is how it is, that the right focus is to concentrate on celebrating International Women’s Day on the day.
Different clubs have their ladies’ day on a different day of the week. By restricting the event to just three days of the week, this was an obstacle for many Clubs taking part. Next year, let’s run the event starting on IWD the 8th March (a Friday in 2019) ending 7 days later on Thursday. More concentrated and more impact – a much clearer message too.
Looking forward to the July event, this will be right bang in the middle of a busy time for golfers. It must be crystal clear that any round with normal scoring (with pick up after double par) is eligible – this can be a social round or a round in another competition. The aim is to add a bit extra to rounds that are already in the calendar and part of golfers’ normal schedules, not to add more rounds.
Henry – Competitors definitely enjoyed the format. Next year we should put more emphasis on that in our tweets and posts.
Diana – I agree – I got lots of comments “We had fun”. We weren’t so successful at getting people to share their experiences, so you will have to work harder on that next time!
We did get global coverage with entries from UK, United States, Canada, South Africa, and Sweden – I know a number of my friends took part in Australia but could not play on the designated days so didn’t submit scores. It was easy to see from the pattern of entries which locations you were targeting when.
Just about everyone seemed to be affected by the weather in one way or another – it really brought home to me what a mega impact weather has just about everywhere – maybe it is not only in the UK that we are obsessed with the weather. It was disappointing that no one managed to play in Canada or Sweden, despite extending the event to 5 weeks.
We only sent out emails to national organisations – for the next event, we will put much more effort into contacting more Clubs. I know it is still too English-language centric and this is likely to continue, at least in the short term. Down the track we have to find ways and contacts to get wider coverage, particularly in Asian countries.
Henry – And we must have a clear privacy statement, so we can use quotes and photos. How easy was it to handle the scores and work out the results?
Diana – The Purple Ball Team Competition is here to stay. Using the Peoria system, we selected the random six holes on each course by stroke index. I can’t see any better way across different courses and playing conditions until the World Handicap System starts in 2020. Using other systems produced different numbers, but not different results. We did ask people to set a target for their score. The winners tended to be players who were close to their targets.
Henry – Can we make the system for registering, signing in and submitting scores even simpler. It has to be as instant and easy as possible.
Diana – Yes – we can improve. Eventbrite worked well but next time it will be possible to enter either as an individual or as a group. Lots of organisers did that any way – smart. Also, we will embed the entry form in the website as well as using Eventbrite. The next format will be more interactive and, for individuals, let’s combine registration and signing in to make the process as simple as possible.
And, Hilary, we need a much easier way to enter scores. Can you put your IT hat on and crack this.
Hilary – It would still be good to find some way to include people who are not golfers or cannot get to a golf course..
Diana – I keep thinking about this as I know you feel quite strongly. I just can’t think of a way. Golf range managers might have some good ideas – could this be a way to include the “course closed” locations. When I am in Scandinavia later in the year, maybe my golfing friends will have some ideas.
Josh – Do you know how much we raised?
Diana – I wish that was the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question! Because we don’t touch any money and golfers donate their fees to a charity of their personal choice, we can only guess. And I want it to stay that way. People were very generous, donating far more than the normal fee to enter a golf competition. Many who couldn’t play still gave money. I estimate that we raised at least US$ 5,000, maybe more. Many donations went to Captains’ charities,which means real local impact. This is something to build on going forward – we can give Club Captains a good fun way of raising money.
Our nominated charity, Lendwithcare, publicised the Event in their March Newsletter. The Golf Crowd Lending Team is up and running and repayments mean we are able to make at least 2 new loans every month. I am thinking about the International Men’s Day Event in November – it is never too early to bring a charity on board – there never is too much time!
Josh, that brings us to the special editions of the iGo.golf products. What is your best guess for when we will have products in the warehouse ready for despatch? No pressure.
Josh – After our meeting with the toolmakers, the final samples should be with us by mid-May. As long as they are good to go, let’s say 4 weeks until we trigger production. Any more fine tuning, then….
Diana – On that basis, are we OK to go ahead and announce the next event, The Golf Crowd Open in mid July? I have an idea for a fun format – a sort of virtual Pro Am with a difference. Strap line – a spoonful of fantasy… a pinch of luck… and lots of skill. And again there will be an individual and a team competition but this time entry in 2’s – men, women, or mixed.