Jason Pearsall about Building Club Caddie, Autism and the Future
Episode 15

Jason Pearsall about Building Club Caddie, Autism and the Future

Jason Pearsall, the founder of Club Caddie, shares his journey of building the company and the importance of understanding the day-to-day operations of a golf course. Jason has the unique perspective as a golf course owner as he purchased Warren Valley Golf Course in 2022. Club Caddie started as a food and beverage delivery system called Golfler, but quickly evolved into a full clubhouse management software. Pearsall's experience as a golf course owner and operator have allowed him to build a product that solves real problems for golf course operators. The company has experienced significant growth and success, winning deals with management companies and continuously improving their product.

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Jason Pearsall

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1hr 11min

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Description:

Jason Pearsall, the founder of Club Caddie, shares his journey of building the company and the importance of understanding the day-to-day operations of a golf course. Club Caddie started as a food and beverage delivery system called Golfler, but quickly evolved into a full clubhouse management software. Pearsall's experience as a golf course owner and operator allowed him to build a product that solves real problems for golf course operators. The company has experienced significant growth and success, winning deals with management companies and continuously improving their product. In this conversation, Mike Hendrix interviews Jason Pearsall, the owner of Warren Valley Golf Course, about his experience as a golf course operator and his use of technology. Pearsal discusses the technology stack he uses at his golf course, including Club Caddie, Clover, Golf Genius, Golf League Guru, Supreme Golf, and QuickBooks. He also talks about the addition of Noteefy to his tech stack. Pearsall shares his perspective on the recent flood at Warren Valley and how he offered free rounds of golf to those affected. He also opens up about being on the autism spectrum and how it has influenced his work as a golf course operator and president of a golf management software company. Pearsall discusses the future of Club Caddie and its growth as a company under the Jonas Software umbrella. He also addresses the challenges faced by municipal golf courses and the importance of offering a better product and service to compete with lower-priced courses. The conversation concludes with a discussion about the integration of Players 1st and the role of education in Club Caddie's releases.

Magic Clips:

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Colin Read

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48min

USGA's Scott Mingay talks GS3 golf ball and Deacon platform

Mike Hendrix interviews Scott Mingay from the USGA. They discuss the development of the GS3, a golf ball that measures green speed, smoothness, and firmness. The GS3 is used by golf course operators and superintendents to improve the playing experience and make data-driven decisions about maintenance practices. The conversation focused on the GS3 ball and the Deacon course management system. The Deacon platform is a cloud-based system that integrates data from various sources to help golf course superintendents make informed decisions.

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Scott Mingay

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58min

Golfspot - Your Single Point Of Truth

Menno Liebregts, founder of Golfspot, discusses the challenges of managing customer data in the golf industry and the need for an integrated solution. He shares insights on the company's journey, customer base, funding, and expansion plans. The conversation highlights the importance of open platforms and the impact of data on decision-making in the golf industry.

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Menno Liebregts

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37min

Jason Pearsall about Building Club Caddie, Autism and the Future

Jason Pearsall, the founder of Club Caddie, shares his journey of building the company and the importance of understanding the day-to-day operations of a golf course. Jason has the unique perspective as a golf course owner as he purchased Warren Valley Golf Course in 2022. Club Caddie started as a food and beverage delivery system called Golfler, but quickly evolved into a full clubhouse management software. Pearsall's experience as a golf course owner and operator have allowed him to build a product that solves real problems for golf course operators. The company has experienced significant growth and success, winning deals with management companies and continuously improving their product.

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Jason Pearsall

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1hr 11min

Overwhelming Support for LA City Golf New $10 Player Deposit Tee Times

Kevin Fitzgerald, Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Southern California Golf Association, provides an update on recent meetings regarding the implementation of a pilot program for golf tee time bookings in Los Angeles. The Golf Advisory Committee and the Recreation and Park Board of Commissioners both endorsed the staff recommendation for a $10 non-refundable deposit per player when booking a tee time.

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Kevin Fitzgerald

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34min

ezLocator founder Jon Schultz conversation on The Tech Caddie podcast

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Jon Schultz

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35min

Inside the LA City golf tee time controversy

In this episode of the Tech Caddie podcast, Mike Hendrix speaks with Kevin Fitzgerald, the Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Southern California Golf Association, about the intersection of golf and public policy. Included is the TikTok video from Dave Fink which helped expose the gray market on the KaKao app, used by hundreds of golfers to score the best tee times available at the LA City municipal golf courses. Aaron Gleason from Golf Geek Software, discussed their solution called FairPlay Guardian, which uses machine learning to detect fraudulent activity in tee time bookings. Matt Holder from Loop Golf emphasized the need for operators to understand the pricing pressure and revenue management opportunities in the golf industry.

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Kevin Fitzgerald, Aaron Gleason, Matt Holder

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54min

Aaron Gleason, Golf Geek Co-Founder, announces FairPlay Guardian

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Aaron Gleason

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29min

Kevin Fitzgerald from Southern California Golf Association

Mike Hendrix and Kevin Fitzgerald, the Assistant Director of Public Affairs for the Southern California Golf Association have a conversation about golf in Los Angeles. They discuss the role of the advisory board for Los Angeles City Golf Courses and the intersection of golf and public policy. They also peer into the issue of reservation systems and online brokers in the golf industry and specifically the City of Los Angeles.

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Kevin Fitzgerald

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43min

Matt Holder from Loop Golf clears the air on The Tech Caddie podcast

Matt Holder from Loop Golf joins the podcast to discuss Loop Golf. Matt talks about the early days for Loop and mistakes made along the way. Mike and Matt go into detail about tee time scraping and how Loop helps golf courses.

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Matt Holder

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29min

Don Rea, golf course owner and VP, PGA of America talks tech

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Don Rea Jr.

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48min

Del Ratcliffe, Founder Kodology - PITCHcrm, joins Mike on The Tech Caddie podcast

Del shares his background as an entrepreneur and his life in golf. He discusses the history of Seven Jars Distillery and the discovery of buried treasure on his family farm. Del talks about entering the golf business and the importance of technology in the industry. He shares his experiences with EZLinks and Fore Reservations, as well as the development of Kodology and Pitch CRM.

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Del Ratcliffe

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1hr 6min

Morgan Kimmins joins Mike Hendrix on The Tech Caddie podcast

Morgan Kimmins from Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona discusses their use of Lightspeed technology and the impact it has had on their business. He highlights the benefits of Lightspeed's punch pass feature and the ease of use of their booking engine. He also discusses the importance of communication and the use of technology for frost delays. Morgan emphasizes the value of support and training provided by Lightspeed and the positive experience they have had with their customer service.

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Mogan Kimmins

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42min

Dave Vanslette joins Mike Hendrix on The Tech Caddie podcast

Dave Vanslette, Founder and CEO from FAIRWAYiQ discusses the evolution of the company and its focus on data and automation in the golf industry. They have developed hardware sensors and software solutions to optimize golf course operations and enhance the player experience. They are focused on reducing friction and improving efficiency in the golf industry through AI and automation. The company has a strong customer support system and aims to provide value to golf courses of all types

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Dave Vanslette

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51min

Brendon Beebe formerly foreUP CTO

Brendon Beebe, former CTO of foreUP, discusses his experience in the golf industry and building a successful company. He emphasizes the value of bootstrapping, hyper-focusing on specific market segments, and building a flexible system to meet the needs of different golf courses. At the end of the episode, Brendon asks Mike about how he would compete with GolfNow if he was to build a tee time aggregator and how he would use GolfNow if he was a golf course owner.

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Brendon Beebe

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51min

Allison George Toad Valley Golf Course

Allison George, a golf course owner and operator, discusses her experiences with various technology platforms in the golf industry. She shares personal updates, including her involvement in the golf industry and her use of technology in her golf courses.

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Allison George

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55min

Dathan Wong Noteefy

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Dathan Wong

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36min

Tyler Arnold Eagle Club Systems

Tyler Arnold, CEO of Eagle Club Systems, discusses the company's golf management software and its success in the industry. He highlights the flexibility and simplicity of their system, as well as their focus on customer support.

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Tyler Arnold

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35min

Transcript:

Welcome to the Tech Caddie podcast, Jason Pearsall. Jason and I have known each other for quite a while. And we're going to get into Jason's story and we're going to talk about his company Club Caddie. So welcome to the podcast, Jason. Thanks Mike. Glad to be here. Good. So today is a day after your most recent release. And I think you had said it's one of your larger releases this season.

Um, but you've been doing a lot of work and I thought it would be interesting to start with how Club Caddie responded to some of the rankings that we did related to booking engine. I was frankly. Impressed with the way you embrace some things that we talked about. Um, and, uh, you don't know this yet, but this morning you moved up to number five in the rankings based on some of the changes that you've made. So, uh, to be in the top five is nice from a marketing perspective, certainly.

Um, but talk to me a little bit about how you all talked about that internally and how you decided to, um, you know, make some changes to the, to the booking engine. Uh, I think that would be interesting for, for listeners to hear. Yeah. You know, like is we get into the story a little bit more. Um, like I don't consider, you know, Club Caddie, my company, I consider, you know, it, it, one of the companies, right? Warren Valley, our golf course that we own and operate is the other business. And that's really where we started. And so.

Club Caddie was the result of me being really frustrated operating our golf course and needing a better solution. So when we started building Club Caddie, we didn't build it from the lens of this is what a golfer wants. We built it from the lens of frustrated golf course operators who wanted better solutions to solve our problems. And we really, we started building it in 2015. We went to market in 2019. And...

For the last five, six, seven years, we've been playing a lot of catch up, right? I mean, systems like EZ Links and IBS, essentially we were building those in the cloud, but we wanted to build those with better workflows and better solutions. And as part of that catch up, we just haven't really focused as much on the golfer experience. We've really been focused on how do we improve the operator's experience and make their day -to -day a lot easier. And so when you had sent this questionnaire and you were doing your rankings, I was...

kind of caught with my pants down a little bit, just like, oh, this could not go well for us. We've really focused on building the best operator first solutions, but we haven't really looked at it through the lens of what's it like for a golfer to -first and book software. So we started to go through and we started to realize, we built a lot of really nice features. We're pretty competitive in this space just based on the way that we can drive revenue for operators, right? Because we've always been focused on operators. We have systems in place, like our class system.

you know, as opposed to a lot of our competitor systems, you have a different booking link for residents and a different booking link for, you know, pass holders and et cetera. You know, we recognize based on their email address, which of those they are, we apply the right rates. We don't have to give a bunch of different booking windows, just things like that. They weren't done really to make the golfers experience easier. They were really done to make the operator's life easier. They had a consequence then of making it easier for the golf course operator or for the, for the golfer themselves.

Anyway, as I was working on explaining all the features that we had for your ranking, I also recognized that, holy cow, our booking engine is slow. And I started to look at some of our competitor systems and just said, this is unacceptably slow. We actually paused a sprint and said, we're focusing all in. We've got to greatly improve and figure out why we're slow here and what we can do. And that was one of the things that we did is just dedicate some of our top devs to greatly improving speed. And I think that today,

We did some API comparisons. We think we're in the top three on speed, just as far as loading and having minimal clicks and so on. Our development methodology has always been build all of the features, then make them fast, and then you can make them look good. So I'm happy that we've built the features. We saw some depth that we're building. We're to that stage of making things fast, and pretty soon things are going to start to look pretty good too.

Well, that's great. You know, I think if you were in golf management software 10 years ago, and listen, and we'll get into this, you've been around golf operations virtually your entire life, right? As a child and then growing up in that industry. So you've been around it for a long, long time. But 10 years ago, there weren't as many tee times being booked online. The online experience provided by the golf course,

forget about third party marketplaces, the online experience provided by the golf course just was not a priority. And so I think what's happened is as consumers have evolved in the way they manage their personal reservations, this has become a bigger topic. But a lot of people that were in leadership of companies like Club Caddie would not have been a hip to that, if you will, right? Because you wouldn't have seen that change. You continued to focus on.

the decision maker on who was going to buy your product. And so I think that's how we got there. But I think it's great that you acknowledge it and that I would assume Club Caddie and others, one of your biggest goals should be to provide your client the best booking experience that they can provide their golfer. Yeah, definitely. And one of the realities is just the bar is so low.

You know, we go back and you talk about that system from 10 years ago. I mean, I don't think that system's changed. The GolfNow EZ Links system is still pretty similar experience. And the funny thing is if you look at every other booking engine, it's just basically some lipstick on a pig of a new version of that, right? And they're not, they're very, very similar, same UI, same filters, et cetera. And so we talk about what is it like to build the optimal booking experience.

I think we partially need to go back to the drawing board and that's what we're doing altogether. Let's reinvent this thing altogether. And actually really, I give a lot of credit to Lightspeed. I think that their booking engine, they recently released a new JS widget. Although I know your rankings didn't find it the easiest booking experience, I think that it has a lot of potential to continue to improve and they were building it for that future.

And so we're kind of behind the scenes working on our next generation booking engine too. It's quite a bit different and it may be a while. We're not gonna release it until we think it is genuinely a better experience, but we're trying to reinvent the wheel a little bit. That's great. The why on that I think is important. And I don't think a lot of people really fully understand the why, but the why for the operator on why you should want your booking engine to be the best,

customer experience possible is because if it is not, humans will find themselves in more marketplaces. And no operator should want their customer, you know, should want the majority of their customers to come through that to them through a marketplace. It should always be a goal of a golf course owner of a hotel owner, etc. to have as many direct bookings as humanly possible, right? I mean, that that's the way you would you grow your business through and then you

deploy loyalty strategies, et cetera, et cetera. And so that's the why. I just don't know if a lot of people really actually understand the why. Yeah, I think you're right. The marketplace, the problem with the marketplace is not that it's inherently bad. It's that they have to make money too, which means that necessarily money that they're coming out of your golfers are out of your pocket. And if you can figure out a way to prevent golfers or keep all that money in your pocket or else in theirs, they're likely to spend more money at your course. I also, you know,

wanted to give you some kudos. I think that what you're really talking about is abandonment rates. People who go to your website, I think the experience is so bad when they just leave and go to a marketplace. And one of the gaps, and when we talk about the bar being low, is that a lot of these booking engines aren't doing conversion tracking, not to include how many people are actually clicking and then not booking a reservation and leaving. And so that's one of the things that we're focused on and dialed in, is we're going to do a little better job of conversion tracking. But you're right on. We've got to do a better job of the industry of tracking.

Yeah, that's, I appreciate you saying that in our, in our podcast with Don Rea I was saying to him, Don, you really need to know your conversion rate. And the reason I want Don to embrace that is because he is such a, you know, a pied piper for operators He talks to so many operators. It's important for leaders.

to talk about metrics that are really important. And one of the most undervalued, and that's essentially what we just said, but one of the most undervalued metrics in golf operations is booking engine conversion rate. And we are seeing people start to come on. I think, you know, I know the guys at Golf Geek and they've built an engine that is very friendly to understanding conversion rate. And I think you're seeing the same thing from GolfBack back. So I think people are starting to get there, but it's gonna take some time. So.

Yeah. Well, listen, we talked about, uh, we've already kind of inferred that, you know, that you've been around golf for a long, long time. I think the story of Club Caddie is so interesting. It's gone through different names and different ownership variations and et cetera, et cetera. And maybe you don't think that way. Maybe you think, well, there was an end date for this and the start date for the next, but talk to us a little bit about this journey to get Club Caddie where it is today and where it is today. Although.

when we look at some data in terms of booking engines installed, although it doesn't look like Club Caddie he might be really, really highly penetrated. We know that there's a lot of deals that are done that installs haven't happened yet. So really Club Caddie he might be the fastest growing platform in golf right now. I think time will tell, but talk to us a little bit about the evolution of the brand and the company and all the different iterations that you guys went through.

Yeah, so just to go back a little bit and start way back, like you mentioned, I've been in golf operations since I was a child. My father was a Country Club general manager. In this industry, for golf operators out there, you know that you don't see a lot of your kids in this industry in peak golf season. And so in those summers, the only way I'd see my dad is going to the golf course. And my first job was filling up a popcorn machine because I recognized that made people drink, right? And then it was, you know,

filling up water, raking range balls and working on every job there was. I mean, I did it all as a kid, mostly unpaid, until I was a teenager and eventually could start paying me. I went on to college and law school to practice law for a few years. And when you do that, you just don't play much golf. And I was miserable practicing law. And I got out and finally played on a Saturday. And I really could have used a beer after.

some terrible swings and they couldn't get a bev cart. And so like a lot of other technology companies, I started off, you know, building a food and beverage delivery system that we called Golfler. And as we rolled out Golfler, we got around 120 courses using it. And, you know, the feedback was pretty consistent. Like, this is a cool product. It's not built into our point of sale and, you know, our tee sheet. Those are the things that we're constantly watching. So they missed orders because they weren't really watching.

Around that same time, I had an opportunity with four other buddies to invest in a golf course. And you'd be surprised up in Flint, Michigan, what you could buy a beautiful golf course for. So we got a great deal and it wasn't a huge investment at the time, although it kept becoming one. And we also bought what was formerly a private country Club called Flushing Valley Country Club. And it returned it to a semi-private facility. Let me jump in for a second there. Today's price is based on...

the growth we've seen in the game last three or four years. Could that acquisition have even happened? We couldn't have afforded it today, right? So this is back in 2013, 2014 dollars. You know, we bought the course for a million dollars. I had a 20,000 square foot clubhouse that was built in the nineties, you know, 18 hole facility or 18 hole course, driving range, tennis courts, pool. I mean, everything, right? I mean, you can't even build a house for that in most parts of the United States, let alone buying 120 acres with a beautiful.

clubhouse and golf course. A million dollars, a million dollars and what kind of annual recurring revenue for a million bucks? We took it over. It was only around $700,000. We did get it up. We doubled it though. Over five years, we got it up to 1.4. And I, I, I divested in 2020 after I sold Club Caddie to Jonas from Flushing Valley. And I think that they've gone up, you know, that was right, right around, right after the COVID year. And,

you know, it's continued to go up since there. So my guess is they're you know, somewhere around one six to one eight today. Nice. Okay, so you, so you identify this problem, you build Golfler right, again, kind of related to the the Bev cart. You also find yourself as a part owner of a golf course. But then that I'm sure set, you know, exposes you to

oh Golfler could be a lot bigger, there's a lot more need. Explain how we get from golfler to the next step. Yeah, so really, you know, initially when we bought in there, I thought, you know, we're getting a great deal on a golf course, we get to do it with a bunch of my buddies. It's a great proving and testing grounds for golfler. But as soon as we got on site, we faced a ton of technology challenges, in particular, trying to take formally a private country club and turn it into a semi -private club.

was very difficult because we had members, we had minimums, we had all kinds of features that we needed that were private based. Then we were also opening up to the public and we were using GolfNow and of course, it had never been open before. So we were trying to get people to hear that it was now a public course or open for play. And so we needed distribution and we needed a tee sheet Back then there had started to become some cloud solutions that...

that still exists today that were point of sale and tee sheet based. And those are great for mom and pop golf courses, but they couldn't handle the need of a more complex club like ours. I mean, we did more revenue in weddings and in our bar than we did in golf, right? And so a point of sale and tee sheet that was built for, you know, municipal golf courses, wasn't going to service our needs. So we had a combination of a whole bunch of different systems. And as...

struggling new golf course owners, operators, having a combination of systems is really challenging because you just don't know where you're at from a revenue standpoint. At the end of the day, you've got to reconcile like six or seven systems to figure out how much money you made and what your variances are. And, you know, we just didn't really realize how much we were in the hole until we got to the end of the summer of our first year and realized we didn't have much money coming in for the whole winter. And we've got a lot of bills to pay throughout the winter.

And we've got to get a lot better grasp on our financial control of this golf course if we're going to survive. And that was really more the genesis of where we started building Club Caddie is we recognized there was a much bigger opportunity to build club management software than there was to build a fluid beverage delivery system. And it solved a real need for us as operators versus me just being a golfer wanting a beer and trying to solve that problem, but not understanding the operational challenges that creates for the golf course. Right. So.

A bigger, more important problem to solve led to us kind of transforming from a food and beverage delivery system that included a point of sale and tee sheet to full clubhouse management software and that being a very small portion of what we do. Then in 2017, Golfler had the opportunity for an acquisition. Supreme Golf was looking to get into the tee sheet business and made us a great offer. And you know, there are good people over there. We sold.

Golfler to Supreme Golf. Let me ask let me ask you a question. So that was in 2017. Correct. When did the tee sheet become functional? Because because obviously in the beginning of golf or there would not have been a tee sheet. I don't think when did the tee sheet actually become functional? 2016 2016. Okay. Start billing golf or in 2014. Release it to market that summer. The next year we built in point of sale in 2015 and then 2016 became tee sheet.

Okay. So, and so at some point either in 2016 or 2017, the team at Supreme sees the tee sheet and they decide, well, we need a tee sheet. And so they acquire a golfler, the brand golfler that comes with this point of sale and tee sheet now. Yeah, that's right. And, you know, like I said, the tee sheet had been built for a year. There was just a lack of mature product. And I think that at that point, Supreme Golf

was starting to learn a little bit more about golf operations. They had been a very consumer facing brand to that point and not necessarily in the B2B space and selling golf software to golf courses. So they were learning quite a bit about golf operations and they're on right over there. And let me just start with the people that are maybe new to golf or golf tech, et cetera. The original Supreme Golf was essentially the kayak of hotel reservations.

Supreme was going to aggregate aggregators is the way that I would say that. But obviously, like you say, then at some point they decided, you know, much like we did at GolfNow, when we knew if we acquired Fore reservations, that was going to fundamentally change our company and put us in a much stronger position. Obviously, Supreme got to a similar place where they felt like a tee sheet was really going to be necessary to get their company where they wanted to get it to.

Uh, so sorry to interrupt, but go on. So they've made the acquisition. You stay with the product, Jason. Did you, are you part of that acquisition as well? I was, yes. And within a month, um, I went through a, uh, a month after the acquisition, I went through like a, a very scary, but very encouraging, um, kind of meeting with the Supreme golf team. And so Supreme golf, uh, had a very, very close relationship with American Century golf and.

We didn't know so much at the time of acquisition, but shortly thereafter, the plan and the big reason that they were acquiring Golfler was because they were pulling it out into American Century. So we met with the American Century golf team and we went through, gave a demo of our system and they were like, okay, well, here's everything we need. And we had like three more days of meetings of...

you know, just feature after feature after feature, realizing how far it was that we had to go before we were ready to service them as a client. And, you know, we went back after that meeting, met with our dev team, dev team said like, yes, you know, three years worth of work, it's how long it's going to take to build everything. And the Supreme golf team had a little bit more aggressive timelines, like we don't have three years, we kind of, you know, are in a rough situation here. And they decided that, you know, they're going to acquire foreUP thinking that foreUP had everything that they were going to need.

And I presented a really unique opportunity. I was on the board and I knew we were going to acquire foreUP. So I kind of went back to our investor group and said, I think there's a real opportunity here to re -acquire Golfler back at, you know, a discount on what we sold it for. And I got the team on board and we re -bought it and then kind of behind the scenes, we ran out of our golf course. And we continued that roadmap of what American and Century were looking for. And we knew that if we did that, we really have some unique opportunities because nobody else really knew what management companies really needed. I.

you know, at that point I had been in the course owner for four years and worked in operations my whole life. I learned more in that meeting than I probably learned in a year of operations at this point, right? Just seeing, seeing the way that MCOs operate and the way that they run business, the way they focus on revenue, how they think about their employees and so on, just was, it was very enlightening. So with that knowledge. How long from the acquisition, from the acquisition of Golfler to the acquisition of foreUP what's that? How many, what's that time span?

About nine months. So pretty quick. Okay, go on pretty quick. Yep. Yep. So yeah, we just continued behind the scenes and built out that that tech stack right of what American Century is looking for and about We so we sold it in 2017 bought it back in 2018 and then launched it in 2019 right so two years after after that kind of initial American-Century meeting

With a new name, correct? Launched it as Club Caddie? Yes. Yeah, we did. So it's the same technology, but we relaunched it as Club Caddie. That's right. Yeah. Okay. And so that's in 2019. You start to acquire customers. I think you did a couple maybe big interfaces. Go on. Go ahead. So yeah, after the first customer that we signed up was now Great Life, right? Brown Golf.

And so we're a brand new company, just launched Club Caddie out of our golf course. And our first client now is Great Life. And simultaneously at the same point, we also signed up Sierra Golf Management. So our first two clients were MCOs, which is not the normal way that you go about this. Now at one point,

The prior system Golfler or like, you know, had a hundred courses using it, but when we bought back the technology, we didn't buy any of the clients. We just bought back the technology. So we started fresh with no clients. And some of those clients have come back and we're, you know, happy to work with them now. But, um, when we relaunched it, went to market as Club Caddie, you know, it was John Brown, leap of faith in us and also, you know, him very unhappy with GolfNow And so he was willing to take that risk and they helped us, but I think they also saw like, wow, they built a relative bottom.

really good features that we were looking for for MCOs that nobody else has. Sierra Golf saw the same thing. And so then when we signed them up, we had a little bit of a problem. How do you go from zero to 80 golf courses in two months with two person team? Or I think we had a four person team back then. We just weren't scaled for it. So, you know, Jonas acquisition team, like they just have a big M&A team. They always have conversations with everybody in the industry. And,

I kind of told them about our problem and asked if they had any ways that we could help solve it together. And three months later, 90 days later, we got the acquisition done. That's amazing. And because that acquisition essentially did come with about 80 or so customers, I'm not going to ask you how much, but I mean, safe to assume that acquisition was larger, much larger than what your investor group had purchased Club, well, Golfler back from Supreme, I'm guessing. So really you did two.

transactions, tell me if I'm wrong, but two transactions where you came out on the on the positive end both times. Yeah, the the that is the case. The way that we sold Club Caddie to Jonas is by way of what's called an earn out. And so it keeps us incentivized to continue to work for the company for a long time. But we we continue to make money based on the company's EBITDA for you know, for quite a while. Excellent. Excellent.

And, and so, okay, so now I believe that one of the things that has helped Club Caddie to be so successful, because I, you know, my understanding is, uh, you are in a really successful, uh, run right now. You guys going back about a year, maybe it's, maybe it's even more than a year, but up until today, I mean, you guys are hot. You're, you're winning a lot of deals. You're winning large deals. You're winning management companies.

You guys are doing really, really well for yourself. So I'm sure there's a bunch of people like me that are happy for you. I believe one of the things that's helped you get there is your experience at golf courses. The fact that you still own a golf course today that you own Warren Valley outside of, is it, is it right to say outside of Detroit? Is it instead of Flint, can I say Detroit? Yeah. Like I can look across the street and see Detroit. So it's nine miles from the Metro Detroit airport, 10 miles from downtown where we're Detroit. Right.

And so it's interesting. There are more and more people that have a technology product in golf that also are really operators. You've mentioned John Brown a couple of times. He's got a technology company. I mentioned it a minute ago, GolfBack. He's an operator, right? You got Del Ratcliffe. He has some technology that he sells to golf courses. He's an operator. You got Aaron Gleason, like I said, at Golf Geek.

They have golf courses in St. Louis and he's got a technology product. You're seeing this more and more where there's this group of people that really understand operations. And essentially, I think it's fair to say could not find someone to help them solve their problem. And so they built something to solve it and then realized, Hey, I could probably actually make this into a business. I think that's a superpower of yours.

How important do you think it is that you really understand the day to day that you understand the line that happens in the golf shop on Saturday mornings? Talk about that a little bit. Yeah. Um, look, I mean, that's our value proposition. We, we lead with, we're built by golf course owners, operators. We think we support from a sense of empathy of, you know, every single person on the Club Caddie team is a PGA is a golf manager, worked at a country club. Um, you know,

we expect that if we're communicating with customers, we know what they're going through, right? And so if you have somebody who hasn't worked at a golf course and they say their credit card reader's down, like, okay, I'll do it again, right? If you've worked at a golf course, you know what the impact is when you have somebody looking across the register from you staring, you know, the desk stare at you because they want to get out and play golf and your damn machine isn't working, right? And so, you know, the sense of urgency that you respond with.

being informed by knowing what they're going through, you know, is a big part of our team and not just our product. You raise a really good point. There's other operators who are also getting into building technology. I think what we're seeing is honestly the commodification of technology development. You know, if you want to buy a golf course, you don't think, I can't buy this golf course because, you know, I don't know how to do the legal work you gota hire a lawyer.

Right. And very similarly, if you have a technology problem or challenge, you don't need to write the code to solve that problem. You just need to hire a team and manage the project. And that's all that software development really is project management and clear communication. And so what better of course, operators that and managing, you know, putting out fires and communicating clearly with their team. So I think that.

That is precisely the story that Del Ratcliffe told us on the, on the podcast. He literally had a problem that he wanted to solve his golf course. There was a member that was a developer that he has a funny story because the developers said, I'll have that done in three months or whatever. And he said three years later that he was still building it. But, but it is that story, right? It is that story. Well, Del knew what he needed. He wasn't going to write the code himself. He just finds somebody to write it. And look with places like.

Upwork and other places. It's a lot easier to find a coder today than it was even when Del found his. So I think you're I think you're right. The the environment, the frankly, the technology marketplaces, the environment has evolved to a place where if you've got an idea and you think it solves your problem and probably other people have that same problem, you can probably build something and get it to market. Yeah, the only limitation is your resolve to get it done.

And maybe the sticktoitiveness as well, right? Because there's going to be hard times. It doesn't mean that your product is bad, but there's, there will be hard times. It will feel like you are running into a wall day after day after day until finally there's an aha moment. And then the aha moment frankly just means there's another wall you're going to run into for a while until you get to the next aha moment. So sticktoitiveness I think is important. Some people call it grit.

I'm a big Angela Duckworth fan. She talked about grit, um, whether it's grit or sticktoitiveness or whatever you want to call it. I think that that's an important component to it. I agree with you. I think it's the most important skill as an entrepreneur. Uh, what I often tell entrepreneurs or ask for advice is do all of your planning, you know, figure out your forecast, figure out how long it's going to take to build your product and times it by 10.

And if you can handle that, if you can stomach, it's going to cost 10 times more than you initially think it's going to take 10 times longer. Um, you know, and you're ready to deal with that and jump in otherwise, you know, stick, stick, stick with your day job. Right, right, right. Now you, it's interesting. You talked about the credit card machine going down and the stress that that causes and whatnot. Uh, and I certainly, uh, have been there. I mean, that makes me just almost break out into a sweat remembering different weekends of.

GolfNow going down and then, hey, it's not even our problem. It's not our fault rather. It's one of our vendors that has failed. But the phone, you know, but we're taking all these phone calls and it just, it reminds me of those days. We're working on an article right now. We have analyzed public status pages of point of sale tee sheet companies going all the way back to May of 2023. We've analyzed them every single day.

We've run the data through different models to understand how much downtime there's been collectively, et cetera, et cetera. One of my takeaways is one downtime is not a problem in mass because these guys run it like 99 and a half percent or something like that. Although to your point, yeah, but that half percent Mike, that's really hard on the operator, especially when it happens on a Saturday morning, right? So I fully empathize with that. I...

I have come away from this process of writing this article where I really admire these companies that put it out there, right? Nothing to hide boys. It is what it is. Yes, there will be problems. Just like, you know, I live in a developed area of Columbus, Ohio. You know what? The power still goes out once in a while. Like it doesn't make sense to me, but we do lose all electricity in this house once in a while. And I don't think I'm, I'm.

odd and that I think all Americans experience that. Club Caddie does not have a public status page. And I wanted to talk to you about that because you guys seem to always be, Oh yeah, we're so pro customer and we, and we want to be transparent. We want to do the right things. I've been struck when I'm looking at all these different companies, I'm looking at a draft of the article over here on the screen. I've been struck that Club Caddie is not in this group. Talk to me about that. Is it strategic?

Did you think about this two years ago and make a decision? Talk to me about why you don't have a public status page. Yeah, it's, it's not intentional and we will eventually. Um, it's more so just a matter of where that fits in. All right. So we, we are very driven by customer requests. Uh, our dev pipeline every month is based on it. We go through this ranking criteria. How many clients does it affect? What's the total impact? How big of a lift is it to do, et cetera?

And the truth is we've got years and years of features and products and requests and things that we can build. We've been really lucky that Jonas has an excellent DevOps team. And I could honestly count on my fingers and toes the amount of minutes we've been down in the last four years altogether, right? Like less than 20 minutes. And so the reality is, is we just don't have customers that are asking, like, can we get this status page update? Now our own support team, they want it, right? So we have like this bucket of

requests that come in from our clients. And so I think the one that they're looking at is called status page by Atlassian Yeah, they purchased status page. That's almost who everyone uses is the Atlassian product. Yeah. And I have seen that it's working its way up our backlog. And so I do expect that, you know, you'll see that, you know, in the near future. Well, like from a strategy perspective, let's talk about this for a second, because it's because listen,

You're winning. You can't deny the fact that you guys are winning, right? So I don't really have the right to say like, oh, this is the wrong decision or something like that. I don't want to position it that way. I will say this. You've won a good amount of management company deals lately. You advertise it on your website. You have a banner that scrolls across and you show these management company logos. It surprises me a little bit that they haven't asked for, Hey, I'd like to understand.

What's your uptime been over the last 12 months? Like I actually want to measure that Jason, right? So I'm a little surprised that management companies haven't put that out there. Here's, here's another side of the coin. The reality from in particular management companies, but even MCOs if your system isn't working, you're not going to a status page to see if something's down and you're on support and you're calling like you got a problem and you need to solve that right away.

And so, you know, we don't get many of those colleges because we haven't had many outages. But if we have an outage, like, you know, I'm getting a call from those management companies. They're calling myself and personally be like, Jason, what's going on? And this course is affected by it. And, you know, so I hear you on that. The other thing is, is we do provide reports on those status, but what we do is we just track downtime, right? So, you know, you if we can track knowing downtime, that we provide data on knowing downtime versus what what uptime is. And that's how we get to that. You know, I can count figures and tells that knowing down.

Right. Well, let me just, let me just clarify. What I mean is I was saying, I'm surprised management companies haven't before they sign with you. I I'm surprised they haven't said, I want to see historically how you've performed. And that's just one benefit of a status page, right? As you can say, Oh, well, geez, we make that publicly available and it's out there. I wanted to give kudos because there's another piece of status page that I think people don't think about. It's not just about downtime. I give a lot of credit to Teesnap

And now listen, this is driven, I believe by their, their current CTO, Jim Wood, but Teesnap every single scheduled maintenance event they have, they post it publicly right now. I think that part would partly what they're trying to do is they're trying to earn trust back that, Hey, our platform is stable now, maybe before Jim was here, it wasn't stable, but our platform is now stable. And so they're super transparent about putting that out there. But when I compare,

Teesnap scheduled maintenance to like the scheduled maintenance. You know, you mentioned Lightspeed or the scheduled maintenance of GolfNow. Teesnap is far and away ahead of those guys. And so sometimes you can strategically use StatusPage to let people know, man, we're working on this thing. We're always working on it. We've got a plan. We deliver on that plan. And so, you know, I think when people get into StatusPage a little bit deeper,

Sometimes you realize it can really be an advantage for a company. And of course, that's what Alassian is going to say as they sell it, right? That everybody should be doing this, but that's just my soap box on status page. Look, I agree with you. It's not strategic that we don't have it up. We will have it up eventually. It's just a matter of when it gets in. Yes, understood. Understood. Okay. So as an operator, I'm curious to know, you all are in Southeast Michigan, like we said, just outside of Detroit.

As an operator, tell us what you, outside of Club Caddie, maybe it is more on the agronomy side or something, but we always like to ask operators what technology are they using? So tell us what technology you do use at Warren Valley that's not Club Caddie. Yeah, I'm gonna go what we used last year and we're adding quite this year too. So I'll also give you what we're adding.

So we use Club Caddie, we use Clover for payment processing, we use Golf Genius for leagues and outings. We also use Golf League Guru for some of our leagues and outings, or for some of our leagues in particular. Some leagues don't like the GHIN handicap system to score their leagues, and so Golf League Guru provides a little more flexibility there. We use Supreme Golf for distribution, and we use QuickBooks for accounting. So that's our 2023 tech stack. In 2024, we have added Noteefy

We're adding GolfBack. We've added GolfNow and we've added iPar Wow. And so adding GolfBack, let's start there. So what does that mean? Does that mean that Warren Valley will not use a Club Caddie e -booking engine? It will, it will, just not for dynamic pricing. So we'll have like a public face, you know, book of your public.

residents, members, you know, all those types of players will still use the Club Caddie booking engine. It's just pure public players will use the GolfBack. Gotcha. Okay. And, and you mentioned Noteefy I think they pronounce it notify and just they spell it differently, but I think they pronounce it notify. And so you mentioned that. And so of course that's waitlist. I see that that's live on the Warren Valley site.

That's interesting. That would be interesting to hear from you from a user perspective, not a golfer perspective, but a facility operator. How is it for you? Are you, is it, are you getting bookings because of it? Like talk to us a little bit about how it performs for you. You know, we've only had it for two weeks and of those two weeks, one of the weeks has been flooded and up here at, you know, up here in Michigan, we got a ton of rain over the last, last week and four inches. So the course was a little underwashed.

So it's really it's just too early to tell but I'd be happy to follow up on that when we know a little more. Okay, I'm gonna touch back I've seen people sign up for it, right? Like, you know, I've seen people I haven't seen a conversion yet from it But I have seen people signing up to use it which is encouraging given it's it's very early on in the season. Yes We'll get back to the flood in just a second, but talk to me a little bit about QuickBooks. Oh

Because I think my understanding was they were going to deprecate some different versions. And I think at the end of 23 or maybe the beginning of 24, has there been any disruption to your service with QuickBooks? They deprecated timesheets. I actually think they called it t-sheets, coincidentally, which was their timesheet.

We didn't use that. We did use Club Caddie for that, but our grounds crew at one point did use that. And so we had to force them to start using the Club Caddie clock-in clock-out system. Payroll runs through QuickBooks at our golf course, so either way it all flowed into QuickBooks. QuickBooks desktop, my understanding is, is, you know, like it still exists, it's still out there, but they're not building a new version of it. And QuickBooks online, you know, is the version that we use, although it doesn't have nearly the functionality of QuickBooks desktop. So.

I really am confused by what their future is and what their product direction is as well. I couldn't tell you Yes. I think there were a lot of operators that were not a hip to the fact that this desktop thing was going to not be supported any longer. And it's been, it'll be interesting to see how that, you know, what everybody looks like at the end of 24. Maybe it's another time to check back in on that. Okay. This flood, this got my attention.

Warren Valley went through a flood and I know flooding isn't super rare at Warren Valley, but I mean it was pretty significant Jason. I mean the golf course closed for many days. Maybe it's still closed. Talk to us a little bit about the flood and talk to us about your decision to basically throw a hand out there to the community and say, well, if I could give you a free round of golf just to brighten your day a little bit, I'm happy to do it. Talk to talk, talk us through that a little bit.

Yeah, you know, a lot of golf courses are built in floodplains, right? It's land that can't be developed and, you know, the neighborhood around us, you know, this is very valuable real estate. And if this wasn't in a floodplain, it wouldn't be a golf course. So I have to remember that whenever I look at that floodplain and say, this is just part of this job, it's part of the benefit of having this golf course, you also got to deal with.

things that go along with it. There wouldn't be a golf course here if it didn't, if it wasn't a floodplain, right? So I try to approach, um, you know, managing this golf course with the expectation that it's going to flood a couple of times a year. Um, it's much harder on my grounds crew than it is on me, right? I mean, I've got to deal with the financial aspects of it. Those guys are out there pumping water, digging trenches, you know, I mean,

all muddy and cold weather and they do it with a positive attitude and it's a lot harder for them, right? So just keeping things in perspective, we're blessed to have the golf course and there are people on my team who make much more significant sacrifices than I do in dealing with it. I'm really appreciative about that. So we try to stay positive. In that light, trying to stay positive, I recognized, I know it doesn't impact me and it also impacts my grounds crew, but if our river is flooding, then people in our community's basements are also flooding because the water level, the water has no work.

So, you know, it's a small gesture, but we are a municipal golf course here in Dearborn Heights. And if we have the opportunity to offer a free round of golf to somebody who's impacted by the flooding, we tell them to stop by the pro shop or shoot us an email and you know, their next round's on us. So we've done that since we've taken over every flood and the only handful of people take advantage of it every time. But, you know, those small gestures go a long way and those people who have taken advantage of it are.

frequent golfers who come back and we know their names and see their smiles. And it's kind of a win -win for both of us. That's great. How does Club Caddie help you there? I mean, take us through, whether it's Club Caddie Voucher or Club, how do you use Club Caddie, the system, if you want to go deploy a campaign like that? Yeah, so Club Caddie has a lot of communication tools, right? That means we can do it through.

we can post in a single place. That single place can post to social, send out an email campaign, go to your website, go to your member portal, go to your mobile app and push button notifications to your customers that have the mobile app. And so that single place to push communication out makes it a lot easier. Operators just don't have time to go to eight different places to push the same content. And so that's an important thing.

An easy example, even just the next day when the tee sheet's flooded, we have the ability to select all tee times for a day or a block of tee times and send them an email and text message notification just letting them know of the updates. So we did that right away. As far as the voucher side of it, it's really easy just in a couple of clicks to send a customer a voucher to have course credit. So we'll email that out to them or they can come in the shop and we can give them.

a receipt or a physical gift card if they needed one too. But we do all that through Club Caddie I don't think that anything there is too revolutionary, but just the way that we can do it in a single point of I update it here and I press send and it goes everywhere is to me what I think makes it a little different than some of the other systems. Yeah. I would just remind you of 2017 and just think how far your platform has come. Right?

over time you had to build all those things. I think it's cool to be in a place where now you actually get to use them. And when you, you know, on Tuesday, you weren't planning on using this. Then there's an event that happens on Wednesday and on Thursday you say, yeah, it's pretty cool that my technology would allow me to go deploy something like this kind of last minute. Um, I think that that's one of those brief moments when you can kind of look back and say, I built something pretty good, you know, that, uh, that I can go and execute on this. Yeah. And.

You know, we, we have an incredible product team. We have 50 developers, we have do 10,000 development hours a month, um, you know, on Club Caddie. Um, so there's a lot of good managers, PGA is on that team that are managing different parts of the product. And then just really kick ass developers to write the code. But, um, you know, I'm pretty proud of the team that we have and what they do on the product each month. That's excellent. Uh, okay. So Superpower one.

golf course operator, it helps you to understand really the pain that these guys are going through and it helps you to figure out how to build things to solve their problems. Superpower number two is something that has come to light. You made a post on LinkedIn on April 2nd, April 2nd, I think is National Autism Day. And you shared with your community that you're somewhere on that spectrum. I was super impressed that you went publicly and that you did that.

And I didn't want to talk about that at the beginning of this conversation, because I didn't want people to see this conversation through that lens. But I want people that stuck with us to this point to understand how really great this conversation has been and how incredibly successful you are. And then they get to sprinkle in this other added piece of knowledge about you. Because I think that that's the way that people should understand it.

you consider it a superpower because it gives you the ability to be highly focused. If I'm not mistaken, is that the fair way to say it? Yeah, look, I wouldn't characterize it as a superpower. Autism has its own set of disadvantages too, and there are things that, you know, I would say that if that's my superpower, I don't know what the inverse of a superpower is, but I mean, I have advantages too, right? Fair enough.

But it's certainly a part of who I am and my ability to, I remember just to kind of give some context, when I first joined Jonas, Joe Oswald, who is my boss within Jonas Services he's the whole club division, was so worried about burnout. And I kept telling Joe, I'm not gonna get burnout, don't worry about it. Everywhere I've already been, people think I'm gonna get burnout. This is to me, my passion, I love to do it. I...

I wake up at 6 am, I work until 12, and all I do is work on my businesses. And to me, I don't have kids, so that makes it a little bit easier. But I've never been burnt out in my life, and I think that to me, autism just makes my businesses an obsession that I enjoy doing, and that has been a little bit like a superpower. However, I need to be really careful talking about autism. It's kind of like depression, where...

everyone experiences it differently. And so, you know, the impact that it has on my life is very different than what other people, you know, how it may impact them. And I can't speak to their experience. And also my diagnosis is relatively new. It's been less than three years. And so I'm still kind of coming to terms with it and realizing what it means to me as well. Well, that's what, that's what I wanted to talk about. So share with us why you decided to even go and test for this. Like what.

you know, because geez, three years ago or four years ago, you already were a really successful person. No indication that it was holding you back on the business side. What drove you to lean into this and to try to find out? I have siblings that are quite a bit younger than me. One of my siblings is 11 years younger and one is 15 years younger. One of them now is one of the top Clarinet players in the world.

She's on a Fulbright scholarship, her second master's in the Netherlands and is very well respected and just an amazing clarinet player. But she also is neurodivergent and, you know, I won't tell too much about what she goes through, but I noticed that, you know, she is very gifted in certain areas and she has her own struggles in other areas too. Then my other brother was a...

Diagnosis on the spectrum as well and he struggled academically and hasn't had the same success as my sister and I have and so when both of my siblings both had you know developmental or learning disabilities that were diagnosed started to make me think about things a little bit and honestly just had conversations with them talk to them notice some similar qualities and traits it started with you know,

looking, taking a self-assessment just online and starting to realize like, wow, I didn't expect that result. And then taking a bunch more different self-assessments and seeing like, these are all consistent. This is really weird and being kind of uncomfortable with it. And then I started kind of reflecting back and seeing like, I always had decent grades, but I would excel in certain subjects to the point that, you know, I certainly, my teachers would tell my parents that I was gifted and then I would really struggle in others. And,

it all kind of averages out to a B, it kind of seems to get in, right? It's just like, ah, you're an OK student. But there are a lot of other quirks and qualities that as I started to learn more about autism, I realized, yeah, these have been here all the time. I just never really realized it. So eventually, I met with a neuropsychologist and did a few more very similar assessments that I had already taken. And they confirmed what, at that point, I was pretty confident I already knew.

In the, when you actually got with a, with a professional, did they share with you percentages of Americans? You know, like, well, look, we believe that this is how many Americans would, would, uh, you know, find a similar situation as you do. Do you have a sense for, for how widespread it is?

You know, it's tough. There's something called 2E, which means that you may have a learning disability and you may have other gifts or talents. And so there's a possibility that they thought that I may be 2E and they talked about that a little bit. And that's a little bit more rare. And so that's why it's really hard to speak about autism because everybody has that different experience and may not have that other side of...

of autism. And so I don't know, I don't know the statistics. I know that autism is much more prevalent than people believe it is. And that was one of the reasons for sharing my post. And I've been really surprised. I do not think it would have the impact that it would. But some people very close to me and some people not close to me just reached out and thanked me for sharing their post, said that they chose to take the self -assessment and they're going to look further into it because they were surprised by their findings too. And so.

You know, there's unknown statistics, but like anything, there's also just the unknown and the undiagnosed. And, you know, if I can help spread awareness a little bit and get a few more people to understand themselves a little bit better. For me, it has provided so much clarity, just, you know, understanding why I see the world a little bit differently maybe than other people or why certain things to me come really easy that are difficult for other people and why certain things that are very easy for other people are very difficult for me. Right. And just, uh,

once you understand that you have these, that you're different, it's comforting, I guess. It's just hard to explain, but it's glad you're feeling it. Well, a little bit of my perspective on that, I think every single human being is different than every other human being. You know what I mean? And so I feel like, and I'm a big, listen.

I was a huge fan of the Olympic hockey team when we beat Russia in Lake Placid. And I grew up with Ronald Reagan and Oliver North. And that's just for perspective of, you know, kind of, so I'm very pro America. And it hurts me how much we were not collectively pro America as much as we used to be. And, you know, people may think I'm right or I'm left. I'm actually,

not at all hardcore right, but I do worry that we don't have tolerance for being different. And I have this perspective that we're all different. And so I think anytime a leader like you can share that, yeah, I'm different, you know, here's what I'm dealing with. And then somebody else says, yeah, and I'm dealing with this over here. I think...

it's important for successful leaders to share that. So I give you a lot of kudos and thank you for doing it. I also think it's important for every other person to realize like, yeah, that's Jason's thing. And you know what? This other person that hasn't shared anything, they probably got something too. And so maybe if we can just be a little more understanding and a little more open to different, maybe that's a good thing for all of us collectively. Thanks for saying all that, Mike. I feel the same way. I really appreciate it.

I feel the same way. I really appreciate it. Yeah. So listen, what's the future of Club Caddie? I don't, I don't, I'm not looking for proprietary stuff, right? But everybody's got a roadmap. You know, I noticed that you, I think you're growing as a company when it comes to employee count, right? What's the future look like for Club Caddie? What do you think? What do you think the company looks like a year from now and three years from now? What, what, what's your perspective on that?

Yeah, you know, you've spoken a little bit about the growth and just to kind of, you know, put some numbers behind it. When we sold to Jonas in 2020, we had 50 clients, we doubled and went to 100. Then we doubled again the next year and went to 200. Now we've doubled again and we're at 360 now, but we're going to be up to 400 here before, you know, the end of hopefully by May 1st. So in the next couple of weeks, we'll get up to that 400 number, which we're pretty excited about. So we're growing very quickly. I don't know that it's realistic to double that growth again, go to 400 to 800.

But we think that this current kind of pace is growing in about 200 courses a year. It's pretty sustainable for us for the foreseeable future. And we're going to keep on working hard to make sure that clients want to buy the software by improving it and providing good service so that we can hopefully stay at those targets. But we've noticed that a lot of our competitors grow very quickly. And then it's been very difficult for them to sustain that growth.

right? And so we're trying to have a little bit more sustained growth. One of the reasons that we sold to Jonas is Jonas has a buy and hold forever strategy, which means that, you know, and like a lot of you, can you back up a little bit there and share? Because actually Constellation strategy, can you kind of explain who Constellation is? And then who Jonas is? Yeah, Constellation is Canada's largest software company, seven billion in annual revenue, 50,000 global employees.

And all Constellation does is buy software companies like Club Caddie. So altogether, there's around 2,000 labels that are owned by Constellation. And Constellation's broke up into different operating groups. So Jonas Software is one of those operating groups. On a particular Jonas Services, the club and hospitality division, Club Caddie falls within that club division of Jonas. But yeah, we're under the Constellation umbrella. And so Constellation.

private equity and venture capital firms make investments. They're buying, they're making an investment so that in seven years or five years they can get an ROI on that investment. So that encourages huge investments in sales and marketing early on. And then eventually you need to cut out building product later on because you're much more focused on revenue. So these companies grow very quickly. There's a bunch of money that goes into sales and marketing and then they stop building their products. Then they stop growing.

Right. And you know, you know, all of the brands have gone through that exact same story. And that was the one thing that to me really mattered is I cared not about maximizing how much money I would make immediately, but I want to see that. I mean, this product to me is like a baby, right? I want to see this, this product thrive. I want to see it grow up and it's got a fourty year lifespan at Jonas, right? We're five years into another 35 years of this thing being built and developed and grown into the best golf course management software that was ever built. And so.

some of our competitors are cutting their devs and our dev team has gotten five times larger over the last five years than it was, right? And it'll continue to grow as our revenue grows up, or it continues to increase. And so I'm excited because we're gonna be continuing to accelerate and build more and invest more and grow our team for the long -term future versus just trying to sprint to a two -year finish line and having our investment group get out.

Right. Right. And so you said before I rudely interrupted you, the culture is to buy and hold, right? Constellation or Jonas, they buy companies, but they hold them. I mean, really, like if you get to 1500 clients, you're not, you're not for sale. You're going to continue. And I actually think, I don't know if you guys use this in your sales and marketing for long time golf operators that have had their vendors acquired.

multiple times. There's something reassuring to that story, right? You know, if I'm an operator and I've got three golf courses or something, there's something reassuring to saying, well, I'm with Club Caddie now. Like one thing I know is I'm not going to get an email at 6am on a Tuesday that says I have this news to announce like so many, so many have. So hopefully you guys are using that to your advantage. Yeah, definitely. And also, you know,

unlike big name venture capital firm or something that doesn't have a name and a reputation in the space. Like Jonas has been in this space for 30 years as a market leader with 2200 clubs across the country using their private club solution. And so not only does that buy and hold forever strategy help but immediately we had brand validity as we were part of that Jonas brand, the reputation for doing right by our clients, for sticking around, being there through thick and thin, and that's really helped us as well. Yes, yes, that's great.

You know, one of the kind of the stories of the day, so to speak, certainly in March and April has been all the tee time stuff that's happening in the city of Los Angeles golf courses and these brokers and whatnot.

I spoke several times with Kevin Fitzgerald, who he works, he's in public affairs for the Southern California Golf Association. But because of that position, he chairs what's called the LA Golf Advisory Board, which is just a voluntary board. And it's great that the city of Los Angeles has an advisory board of golfers to help them with. He's had this idea of random release of canceled tee times so that brokers couldn't buy a tee time, sell it to John Q. Public.

cancel their version of it and rebook it immediately. And we saw foreUP chime in on LinkedIn and said, we have that technology. We can randomly release canceled tee times. And that's great. I'm curious though, as you have watched this from afar, have any, cause they have a problem at the end of the day, they don't have enough golf holes. And then they've got these brokers that are interrupting their relationships with their golfers. Have any solutions come to your mind as to how technology could be used?

Help solve some of this.

Yeah, I so the problem of LA golf is is fascinating, right? I've been following your I actually thought the write up you recently did was excellent. Told both sides of the story and very thorough. But I think it's unique to Los Angeles. I don't I don't think that throughout the country that there's the same problems and right. You see brokers in Los Angeles, but you're not seeing brokers throughout.

you know the rest of the country and it's because uh the tee times in los angeles are offered below market value not to maximize revenue for the golf courses but as a public service right and and i really give a lot of credit to the county for that you know for that wherewithal they could view it as a cash cow instead they're trying to make golf accessible to you know to the residents um so

I say all of that just to say that first, I think that there needs to be more talk about, you know, what is the focus? Cause I think everybody's looking at it through a lens of, you know, how does LA County maximize revenue versus looking at through the lens that they're trying to offer a service. And if we approach it in, in that lens, I think that we solve it with technology probably in a little bit different ways. And so I don't know, you know,

Like right now the goal is they're trying to say, how do we make golf or prevent these brokers that golf that we can protect price integrity and sell things that, you know, the original rack rate and they're not being up. So prepayments is a good idea, but it creates another barrier to entry because people don't like to book tee times if they have to pay a prepayment. I don't know that that's the right solution or not. There's two factor authentication. There's CAPTCHA, you can prevent bots We have an option within Club Caddie, which requires a user to log in before they can.

even view the tee time and that's helped in certain situations where we've seen scrapers. We do the LA County courses and we haven't had the same scraping problem. So I'm also, I'm not sure if they're just not targeting the LA County courses or if there's something different about our technology that they just aren't scraping it. But - Well, I will say this. I think that the LA city courses are an easy target because they are so, the price so low. I actually, I should know this, but I don't.

I don't know how exactly LA County courses are priced. I'm assuming they're priced higher than LA city courses, but I think that that's where, that's where part of it starts is there's such an opportunity for arbitrage with LA city golf courses because they are priced so low. So the broker is naturally drawn to those golf courses. Yeah. Yeah. I think you're right. But, but again, so, I mean, uh, if we were in that, we don't service the LA city courses. So I haven't really thought.

how would we solve this from a technology? What would be our solution? I think there are a lot of ways that you could solve it, but I think you gotta get back to you have to protect the reason that the city is offering prices that below market value is because they're trying to offer as a public service and anything you do that creates more friction there, I don't think is the right solution. And I think that currently that those are the solutions they're looking at. Right, I understand that. And so that brings up another kind of touchy subject that actually,

We used to hear a lot about this, let's say five or six years ago, essentially when people, individuals like yourself that own public golf courses, when you as a group, when you weren't making very much money, frankly, right? Because golf was down. Some, a lot of people kind of looked at municipal golf courses and said, it's not fair that I'm running this business over here.

and competing with the same type of business just down the road. And they don't have to pay taxes. The big gripe five or six years ago was that they didn't pay nearly the taxes that the private entrepreneur paid. I know that there's one public golf course in the city of Los Angeles that's not a city course. It's called Angeles National. And I know them because they were a wonderful client of mine for years. And...

I wonder about him some Jason, I don't know if you want to comment on this or not, but how is that poor guy supposed to be able to compete with the prices that the city of Los Angeles is charging for their golf when he is also selling golf? How's he supposed to compete with those prices when everyone acknowledges that the city of Los Angeles is priced under market probably at least three or four X. Yeah. I mean, look at the top.

courses in California, right? They have a beach, right? They're not, they're not competing based on price. They're competing based on product and they're competing based on service. And that's how you compete. You have to offer a better product and you have to offer a better service. But if you got a bad track of land and you've got a bad staff, you're in trouble, right? Especially when you've got a big tax bill in those news posts. So that's a, that's a, that's a great answer. That's a big boy answer. Essentially you're saying you got to make sure your product's better. It shouldn't be about price. It make your product better. And of course service and

conditions goes into product. I appreciate that answer. That's a good answer. Okay. You had mentioned, you know, so I have a long -term lease of a municipal golf course. We have a 20 year lease here of Warren Valley. And so I deal with all of the politics and all of the downside of municipal golf. And I would rather pay a tax bill, right? Than having to go to council meetings and deal with.

the council people's perspective and the community believing that they own the golf course and the taxpayers pay for things when reality, I guess they're playing golf, but you know, we're making a substantial investment to improve the operation ourselves too, right? So, but they don't want to recognize that they think it's all the city. And so it's one of those things that, you know, there are good things and there are bad things to be in municipal golf course operator, but I don't think that that.

I don't know if the tax bill is in California either, right? So I mean, my tax bill up in Michigan, $50,000 a year is a lot of money, cost of an employee potentially, right? But it's not necessarily gonna make or break that golf course. And, you know, a new mayor, a new city council, you just don't know what can change. And, you know, I would almost rather pay a tax bill and not have to deal with some of the politics that go wrong with the operating musical facility. How do you think you'd feel though?

If you owned your own golf, you know, you, you owned the land and the whole thing and the closest golf course to you, let's say it's Sylvan Glen or something. I'll just make, make up some municipal golf course, but the closest golf course to you charged, um, 30% of what you charge for 18 holes. How would that make you feel? Yeah. So really, this is a good example. And when I have actual real context with, so we owned Flushing Valley, uh, city courses up in Flint, super cheap.

Right? Now, part of being super cheap is courses in bad shape. And when I looked at the size of their grounds crew, pretty similar to the size of our grounds crew. And I start to wonder, you know, why is the course such bad shape? And actually, their grounds crew is a little bit smaller, but their budget was very similar to ours. And I started to realize, holy cow, they have to pay so much more to their employees because they're city employees and they have pensions and they have benefits. And not only that, then I looked at the quality of their

equipment and it's just like if I need a new I need a new fairway mower this year so we went out and bought one right but if you're a city golf course you're going through two to three years of you know RFPs and approval from council and all that other type of stuff and so um you know there's there may be some advantages that the that that city has um by offering rates a little bit cheaper but they're not they're not able to compete on product for a lot of the disadvantages that they have and so you know it's an opportunity not you know to me uh

a disadvantage that public health courses are at. Understood. Um, uh, what's, do you know your breakout of municipal versus, uh, you know, privately owned public in terms of your client count? Uh, I, so 350, if I was giving rough buckets, I would say 50 municipal, um, 150 semi -private or private, um, fully, and you know, the rest is pure public. Gotcha. Okay. Yeah. The, you know, the, uh,

Sometimes you win a municipal account and it's great because it means you won six golf courses or something like that. Sometimes you win one and it's a little different. So I can relate to some of that stuff. So, well, listen, I can't thank you enough for coming in. I did want to mention in this release that you all just put out yesterday, you did do an integration with Players 1st. We've talked with Players 1st some about coming on the podcast.

That means you value, you know, it means it actually lines up kind of with the booking engine thing where you all are starting to think more and more about how do we help our client to interface with their customer. And that's essentially what Players 1st will help with because they're a like a survey tool, if you will. So, so that's great. I think you guys do. Let's give a shout out to your director of education. The videos you guys put out with these releases, I got up.

early today and watched a lot of this stuff. I think you guys do an amazing job with that. And I don't know how long she's been with you, but I think she's really good at her job. Yeah. Nicole is simply fantastic. Thank you for giving her that shout out. She definitely deserves it. We were lucky. She was a former membership director, came up through American golf and has a green college golf or green grass background. But definitely a unicorn and she does a fantastic job. You're correct. Yeah. What a cool.

skillset, right? Or background that she actually understands the operator. I was not aware of that. So that is pretty cool. So, well, listen, I wish you all the success moving forward. I try to say this a lot on this podcast. I do want to root for everybody. I want everybody to be successful in this space. But I do wish you a ton of success. I've been so impressed with your growth. I know a couple of your employees pretty well.

And I definitely root for those guys because they helped me build some cool stuff too. So it's easy to root for you guys. And if we could just get you out of Michigan, your company would be perfect. Is it okay to end on go blue, Mike? Yeah, I knew it would come up eventually. So certainly. I appreciate the fact that at least your company colors are not maize and blue. That's so that's that's a positive.

Well, listen, thanks for coming on. I hope we stay in touch and I'm excited to see what you guys build going forward. So thank you very much. Thanks again for having me, Mike. Have a great Saturday. You too.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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