Morgan Kimmins joins Mike Hendrix on The Tech Caddie podcast
Episode 6

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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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. He also mentions their interest in exploring new technologies and their openness to demos and pitches from other companies.


  • Lightspeed's punch pass feature is a valuable tool for managing prepayments and improving the customer experience.
  • The communication features of Lightspeed, such as the messaging system and app, are highly beneficial for keeping customers informed about frost delays and other updates.
  • The support and training provided by Lightspeed are crucial for ensuring smooth operations and maximizing the benefits of the technology.
  • While Lightspeed is their current technology provider, they are open to exploring new technologies and staying informed about industry advancements.

As Promised:

Experience the Springfield Golf Resort tee time booking engine, by Lightspeed, by visiting this link:

Magic Clips:

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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ezLocator founder Jon Schultz conversation on The Tech Caddie podcast

Jon Schultz, founder of ezLocator, discusses how their solution helps superintendents find the daily optimum hole location and enhances communication within a golf facility. ezLocator now include AI to improve the customer experience.

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Jon Schultz

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

Aaron Gleason discusses the issue of reselling tee times at LA City Golf courses and how Golf Geek's FairPlay Guardian technology can help detect and prevent fraudulent activity. He also spoke about the importance of knowing the conversion rate of a booking engine and how marketing automation can help increase revenue.

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Aaron Gleason

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

Don Rea joined Mike Hendrix on The Tech Caddie podcast for a conversation about the technology Don uses to run the golf course he owns in Mesa, AZ - Augusta Ranch Golf Club. Don is the VP of the PGA of America and he speaks about operating technology from that perspective and from his knowledge gained as a podcast host with Jay Karen, the Executive Director of the NGCOA.

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Don Rea Jr.

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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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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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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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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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Dathan Wong Noteefy

Noteefy is a waitlist software that aims to help golfers play more golf and golf courses make more money. The product allows golfers to set their preferences for tee times and receive alerts when those tee times become available.

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Dathan Wong

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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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Welcome to the Tech Caddie podcast. Today we have Morgan Kimmins from Springfield Golf Resort in Chandler, Arizona. So welcome to the show, Morgan. Thanks Mike, thanks for having me. So Morgan and I have known each other for probably six or seven years. We both worked at GolfNow We'll get into that in a minute. But I know right now, one, it's early where you are. So I appreciate you doing this as early as it is.

And second, it's cold, is it not? I was checking the temperatures. Of course, this is the waste management week out there. And it looks like it's pretty cold right now. Yeah, we have frost this morning. Nothing too serious. Had a bunch of rain the last two or the last three days. So I think it's made it a little bit worse than normal. But I mean, there's I think waste management week always has frost. And how big is waste management week? Just typically speaking, like.

is this a seven day stretch that you really kind of rely on or does it not impact your business as much as maybe others? I mean, definitely. I mean, it's the Valley is insane. I mean, I've watched it grow. I've been in the Valley since 2006 in golf operations. And I, the last, since COVID, I've never seen numbers at courses like I've seen them recently. Like it's astronomical and bananas.

So it doesn't affect us as much, I think, as some courses. We are, you know, I have a very member-driven group. So it doesn't mean when our teams are pretty much booked out during the week with leagues and members and stuff like that, but it still does affect, especially on weekends. Well, hopefully you guys have a great week. And I think it's been a good time to be in golf for operators, for owner operators. I mean, let's be clear.

You and Rich Strozewski own the golf course. I think that that's really cool. We're gonna get into that. But you mentioned that you've been in the Valley in the golf business for some time. If I'm not mistaken, you were a general manager of a club. So you really have operator bones in you and you understand what it takes to run a successful golf operation. Yeah, I mean, I've been here since 06. I've been a general manager at

four properties in the valley and then higher up in the chain and a couple others. Rich has been here since 1996 and been an operator since 2001. I think Rich maybe was with Raspberry too out in Virginia for a short stint. Yeah, he ran Legacy here in the valley which Raspberry bought and he was part of the takeover there. I worked under him.

Gotcha. So you did do about two years at GolfNow. And the reason I mentioned that in you in you were in sales. And the reason I mentioned that is because I think you sit in a unique position where you've got a pretty good perspective on operating technology, you certainly would have become very familiar with GolfNow point of sale and tee sheet.

Set aside the marketplace for a minute the marketing stuff, you know the actual operating technology Which I believe is called Golf 365 today But you would have had a good understanding of that and yet I think when you all bought Springfield you Installed Lightspeed or maybe Lightspeed was already there. Why don't you share with us? You know as you acquired the golf course that some of the technology decisions that you guys made Yeah, actually the golf course that we bought was a client of mine

And they actually didn't, they had GolfNow Reservations. Which was about four reservations for some of the people that listened to this podcast that have been in the industry for a long time. We renamed four reservations into GolfNow Reservations. Yeah. They had that when we first took over, you know, there was actually towards the very end of, just as we were transferring over, I had a client that like we were trying to

trying to sign and they were going between us and Lightspeed and it was the first time that I'd ever seen at that time was called chrono golf and it was the first time I had ever seen it and so I kind of did like a deep dive into some of the courses that had it just so I could understand what we were competing against and honestly when we took over I kind of fell in love with it. And so tell us today you know I think just about every golf course in the world uses parts of the technology they pay for.

Very few golf courses use everything at a hundred percent adoption level. Tell us today the features that you use most in Lightspeed and of course, what you like most about Lightspeed. I think that would be helpful for people that might be considering making a change today. Sure. I mean, our course is somewhat different in some of the aspects. Like we do a ridiculous amount of business through punch passes.

It's just easier for a lot of the older folks to prepay before they come down. It's easier for them to just have those on account and not have to worry about checking in every day and things like that. And honestly, Lightspeed's punch pass is probably one of the nicest features, one of the best features that we use consistently all the time. It also helps adoption into their app. So we've had a ton of folks. I mean, we have a much older clientele. Some of my regulars and everyday players are in their upper 80s.

you know, over the last two or three years, like we've gotten quite a bit of adoption. We actually taught them how to use an app, how to download an app, how to sign up on wifi when they get into the building, like all that kind of fun stuff. So that's definitely been a process, but it's worked a lot better than we thought it was going to. And your app, Morgan, your app is branded Springfield in the app store? Yep. But really the build team or the engineers are Lightspeed. Is that what you're saying? Yep. Okay.

So if a Lightspeed customer wants an app, they don't necessarily need to go to Gallus or someone like that. Um, they get, they get it directly from Lightspeed. Yeah. Okay. Uh, it doesn't do a ton of things. Basically it just tracks their, you know, the reservations, they can book reservations, they can invite other people. Um, they, you know, they can, um, technically track their handicap, not officially obviously, but, but they have an ability to know what it is if they want to keep scores, um, and then.

you know, depending on their level, they can they can see the t sheet too. So and I would think also that's interesting. Let's let's talk about that for a second. Different membership classes at you let them see who else is on the t sheet or you just mean they can book t times members like so general public that has the app that can still book t times like that can't necessarily see the t sheet, they can just book open t times

members can actually see other members tee time so that they, you know, if they want to join them, if they want to, like, if there's an open spot with another set of members, they can, they can say, Hey, you know, like, I can't play with you that kind of thing. So. And so it's really creating a sense of community. Yeah. That's, that's great. And so then Lightspeed for point of sale and Lightspeed for tee sheet. Correct? Yup.

Honestly, the Tee Sheet, as far as other apps and features that we use all the time, I think their communication system is fantastic. They have a little messages icon on the top of the thing. I can send a text message or an email to individual players, to Tee Times, to sections of Tee Times of the entire day. So for us, for Frostelay's, it's absolutely huge. I play a lot of golf, too, because me and Rich both work here. We're practically two people in one position. So I play two or three, maybe four times a week. And I'm a little bit of a player.

The amount of times that like I won't know about a frost delay is baffling. Like it's brutal. Like you can't like get no other golf course. So yeah, I have to call another guy to be like, do you have a frost delay when you know the guy in the shop is slam busy with phone calls? Like, I don't want to be the guy to bug him. So I have to guess, but, uh, you know, the city of Phoenix, especially this year, kind of stopped doing them. So like now I've got to guess whether or not they're going to or not that day. And so for us, it's a fantastic, we can send out a message at 6am. This is Hey.

you know, we're going to be on a frost delay probably till 8 30. We'll update you as we go. Please follow our social media for more. You know, we get more traction with social media that way. So, right. I've actually, I saw, I like to do a little bit of research for these episodes and saw on Facebook where you really are very dialed in on frost delays and okay, we're caught up for the day now. And it seems like you use Facebook a lot

for the.

I mean, we want to communicate, right? I said like the one thing I feel like most golf courses don't do very well. And like some of it is, you know, staff at other places don't have, uh, whether they have permission or they have ability, whatever it is, there's just not a lot of communication. So we try to be as open and as communicative as possible to our members and our players so that they can, you know, they don't have to get upset when they get here and then all of a sudden it's 30 minutes delayed or anything like that. It just, it makes the whole process better. Right. And so you mentioned city of Phoenix, who are, do you know who they use for technology?

Uh, they just switched over to GolfNow, um, from, from foreUP Okay. Uh, and so let's, so let's go back to, because one thing I hear one, this would be, you know, one of the not most positive things I hear about Lightspeed is that Lightspeed retail and Lightspeed tee sheet maybe don't exist, uh, in a really, really seamless way with each other.

But talk about that. Maybe it doesn't matter to you. I think it's important to hear from the operator. Yeah, I would definitely say that that's probably a bone of contention with a lot of people. Like if we were legacy or if we were someplace that was 95% public, yeah, I could see where that would be a bigger problem. There's some little quirks here and there where reporting might not be the best, where things might not transfer perfectly and seamlessly.

For us, it doesn't really matter. Me and Rich watch the tee sheet and watch almost all the interactions at some point throughout the day, whether it's from our phone, whether it's from home. So, we keep a good eye on that. But yeah, there are little bugs here and there that could probably be smoother. Right. And okay, so you love the punch card. It sounds like you like the, there's notifications in there, whether it's direct text messaging or what, but you'd sound like you like that. Yeah, and we actually use it for other things.

I mean, you can, I mean, it's

it's as ingrained enough that like, I can, if there's a group that's, you know, uh, like a hole behind, we can, I can literally send them a text message that gets there within a minute that says, Hey, you know, you guys are, you know, a hole in a half behind my range is kind of something else right now. Like, so that part of it works out quite a bit too. That's great. That's great. What, one of our more recent episodes, uh, we had Dave Vanslette on from FAIRWAYiQ Uh, and I don't know, are you using anything like that? Like what's your golf car technology? Do you use, uh,

an additive tech with it like a fairway IQ or you know tech as far as golf cars go? No, we just have a just straight easy go fleet. In all honesty like we you know we have an extra shop guy that can do some ranger but you know we're an executive golf course. It's fairly well situated where I mean I can drive to the end of the drive range maybe two minutes away and see the entire front nine and I can drive a minute and a half to 17 tee box and see the entire back night. So right I mean as long as you peek around corners and stuff and so you can see

If somebody's behind, you can see where gaps are. If you need to address them, you can go out and do that. We've looked at not Fairway, but the other one that like Pioneers, Caddies and everything use. I think it might be Tag Marshall. Yeah, we looked at them quite a bit. It's kind of a neat thing. We've definitely considered it just in the long run, price versus usability just wasn't there. Right, so let's dive into this piece of it. In your role, there's a lot of salespeople that call you.

And I, and I, my impression is right now we're in sales season as, as it relates to golf technology, uh, everybody's trying to hit their number in the first quarter and, uh, get all their leads going. And they've just come back from the PGA show. A lot of places are closed. Right. How, like, how many calls are you taking? What's the latest greatest pitch? I'm interested to know how these people are approaching you guys. Yeah. Shockingly enough, uh, this year at least I haven't had that.

I think for whatever reason, I think the industry has definitely learned that Arizona is incredibly busy this time of year and that most of our calls are going to happen like mid-April once they've gotten all those northern courses on board and they've done as much selling up there as they can. They know that we're slowing down and if we're going to make a change, we're going to make a change in the summer. So I think we get most of our calls, you know, the end of March, beginning of April, for the end of April, May, like for as far as demos and stuff go.

But yeah, I mean, I get, I get emails from foreUP probably once a week, telling me how like they're so much better than everybody else and how they, uh, you know, how they can solve the no show problem by taking credit card or booking, which seems kind of ridiculous. But, um, what do you mean by that? Seem ridiculous. You don't like taking credit card or booking or what do you mean by that? Who doesn't do that at this point in time? If you don't do that, like, I'm sorry, but like you're, you know, 20 years behind the time. So, right, right. You know, it's, it's interesting.

I feel like one of the hotter pieces or ideas right now in golf is this waitlist technology that so many people are out pushing. But I've said on this podcast, you know, the threat to waitlist technology is just ask everybody to prepay, right? Or get their credit card, you know? I mean, and so I hope all the waitlist guys do great, but there is a kind of a direct route to not have a need for that.

Yeah, we've talked to Noteefy And I mean, yeah, I think that is a, I mean, I think for a lot of places, it's probably a very good thing. Um, you know, we tried to do it on our own and manage it through, through notes and through a private tee sheet section that we have on the front end. Um, so that works for the most part, but we started doing a prepay.

During COVID actually was the first time where we were like, hey, like this prepay function is fantastic. We actually offered a discount at that point in time. Originally it was like 10%, now it's 5% where if you prepay and save kind of thing and we do it for pretty much all of our tee times now, and at least in the busy seasons, just makes checking a lot easier. It takes a lot of stress off the shop staff so they don't have to sit there and check every single person and go through the credit card machines and everything like that.

I would encourage you to watch our episode with Notify. So we had the chief technology officer on, his name is Dathan Wong, and I think you could learn some things about them. That would be a good watch for you. But what that leads me to is the booking engine experience. So in this case, you're asking people to prepay and maybe that shocks them, maybe it doesn't, I don't know. But overall, one of the big things that we're working on here right now is


is a national ranking of the best booking engines in golf. And so we'll push that out in the, a little bit after the middle of February, where, I mean, we'll literally say XYZ company has the best booking engine in golf. And then here's number two and here's number three. I'm curious to hear from you. How good is the Lightspeed booking engine? Does it not do things you wish it did? Do you love it? Is it great in mobile? It's great in desktop. Just talk some about the booking engine and give us some feedback on it.

Yeah, actually, it's funny that one of the when I when I was still working with GolfNow, I went on a trip in New Mexico and went to New Mexico State University's golf course and that they were one of the few that had Chrono at the time. And actually, like one of my favorite things about Chrono was their booking engine, like how it just sat in the corner, how it was pretty how it came up. It actually asked questions in a much different way than most of them do. Most of them like are all by the book as far as like, you know, it's time players, blah, all the way through. And Lightspeed is just

look different at the time. And to me, it seemed better. Looking back on it now, like, I'm not sure. I think it's a learning curve for a lot of folks, because it is a different, just mentally, you go through the same checklist when you're booking tee times, right? And you go through Troon or whatever else is using, you know, whether it's foreUP whether it's GolfNow, and, and Lightspeed is just different. Right. I was using yours yesterday. And I thought it was really cool.

that I could pick couples golf or I could pick golf and grub, I think is what you all call it, right? And I thought, oh, this is, this is great. Two, two of the players are going to be golf and grub and two are going to be public. But then the next step was for me to pick the time that I wanted to play. And of course, golf and grub wasn't available for the day I had already picked. And so there was this moment of like, Ooh, I think this is going to be awesome.

And then immediately I went back to, Oh, this isn't very good. Well, you know, if I had already said, I want to play on Saturday, why am I even seeing Friday's couple golf, right? I already told you I want to play on Saturday. So it is a big boner contention with us. And we've talked to some of the developers there. I mean, they were one of the other things I really liked about, uh, Lightspeed in general was like when we signed on, we were one of the first, I want to say like 15 courses in the U S all right. And, um, and a local guy that Richard known really well. Um,

that had just signed on from EasyLinks to work with them, talked to us quite a bit. And so we were talking to the logistic owners at the time and talking to head designers and developers and engineers on the app side and a whole bunch of other stuff. So we had a ton of access to them that I don't think people get normally with a technology company or with a booking company. And so we got a lot of input early. And I think as they've grown and gotten a lot bigger or since they merged with Lightspeed, I think some of that's definitely gone away. Yep.

But it's one of the things that we've consistently talked about is, yeah, there's definitely steps in that booking that need to be better. It looked to me like you're paying in trade, but I could be wrong with Lightspeed. No, no trade whatsoever. We just do a flat bill. OK, I say that because there was like I thought there was one special every day. And but that's yours. Yeah, it's an in-house special. Yeah, we do that just as a, you know, just to make people kind of like the same way. I don't want to say like trick, but.

No, I get it. It's good. Yeah, it's good. Um, um, so let's talk about equipment as it relates to point of sale and tee sheet. Um, do you own the equipment? Are you leasing the equipment? Uh, w like, how does that work? I mean, would it be easy to leave Lightspeed because you already own all the equipment? How does that work? Yeah, we own all of it. In fact, we actually switched this year. Um, you know,

good couple of years. So we decided to get new Apple computers for everybody. Just to kind of just for the running speed and everything else, and the amount of memory and just overall, there's some things that just work better on that operating system than like a regular system. So the big Apple Mac in the golf shop, I think has always looked good, right? It just it just looks good when you walk in. I mean, probably would we to be honest, we don't use the monitor ones, we use the new like mini minis.

Honestly, it saved us a bunch of counter space underneath, which was really nice. So we have a lot more storage now under there. Everything's a lot cleaner. I'm a big fan of minimalization. So I have like nothing anywhere. And so, but yeah, so we own all of that. They gave us the actual credit card processing units, but we, you know, knock on wood whether or not we should have or not, but we've never paid for them. So they were included in that. So. Yeah.

And that's great. And so of course, Lightspeed, I believe, and listen, I think this is happening throughout golf, but Lightspeed really is a payment processing company or is becoming a payment, that's I think where they're really making their money is they want to be your payment processor. I assume they are your payment processor. Yeah, we switched about a year and a half ago, not to get on a tangent, but this is one of the things that drives me insane in the world in general.

just the amount of, I mean, the first year we were here, you know, we were, we had just transitioned over, we were using a third party, we started with like global pay, then we went to Vantiff, and then we went to, because like every two months, somebody's like, oh, I can save you like X amount on your credit card bills. They're like, just send us what you got. And I'm like, I can send you anything, and you're gonna beat it by 10%. And so it just became a ridiculous thing that like, everybody.

was like, Oh, I can undercut that. It's fine. And a year from there, it goes up a little bit and then somebody else undercuts it and it's just it's a horrible, horrible game. But yes, and so is that how you would couch that though that just it hasn't improved. It's just a horrible game that that's what you Yeah, I mean, like, you know, like speed was like, hey, this is what we're gonna give you it'll stay flat. It was comparably it was lower than most of what we've been using probably maybe point 2% higher, but I didn't have to deal with that anymore. I got in have to worry about it. I have to listen to all the pitches and

over it. Right. And of course, a lot of the people that watch us know that this concept of surcharging is out there, right? Where the golfer essentially pays the fees that Lightspeed would charge you to process the credit card. Are you all using surcharging or is that not something you do? No. I mean, again, our clientele is fairly older and I think would lose their minds if we tried to do that. I mean, I do.

Like I understand it. I think that yes, for places that want to try that and that, you know, that want to do that to the customer. Sure. I mean, it's just not something I mean, for us, it's just part of operating a business. Like you, you pay credit card fees. So, um, you know, it is what it is. Yeah. You're the second operator we've had on and neither are doing surcharging. So, so I, so I hear you. Um, uh, let's just talk a little bit about marketing, marketing tech in terms of sending emails to golfers.

or text message, I guess website too, just the experience you're providing on your website. Is all of that also Lightspeed or do you use Constant Contact or MailChimp or something for email? So we actually, we still use GolfNow's database for emails as well as our own. Lightspeed does offer us one through ChronoPitch (PITCHcrm). They are a multi-course operator out of Myrtle Beach.

and he's designed some stuff on the side. They have a good relationship with Lightspeed and Chrono. So they do a bunch of like integrated work together. Chrono pitch. Yeah. Okay, okay. Go on. I can't, I can't for the life of me think it was an email, but I'm sure you would have heard of them. Is this Del Ratcliffe? Yeah, yeah, there we go. Okay, so Del Ratcliffe is really in Charlotte, but Lightspeed does have a ton of...

penetration and they're working on big things in Myrtle Beach. So I understand why you would say Myrtle, but Del I think is based in Charlotte. Yeah, he owns like eight or nine courses, I think in Myrtle though. And so I've actually talked to him about coming out there once before, but they have that and then they have a new booking engine that works with Chrono.

I have some issues with how they operate that, but overall it's a good booking engine. I would wish the two would merge at some point in time, but they haven't yet. But they do some really good stuff. So anyway, so we use his emailing. It's got some really good features. A lot of it is the same basic bones. I think I don't know enough about tech to understand it, but I believe that somewhere way down the engineering code line, it's the exact same thing that GolfNow uses as far as like all the little boxes are the same, all the little inputs are the same.

It's just how it gets distributed. It's a little bit different, but we use both email systems to send stuff out to people, mainly because you can book through the email with GolfNow's technology. You can't with ChronoPitch (PITCHcrm). So we just have to send them to our booking link from there. Right, even before Golf Channel purchased GolfNow, that email booking functionality was something operators loved.

It'll be it's hard for me to imagine that ever going away people love that tech And I mean, you know to kind of go back to the GolfNow thing like we don't get their information Right, so any golf for the books or GolfNow that comes there, of course, we don't get there We can't we can't market to them. We don't get any information So, I mean basically we have a separate database for the GolfNow people that play here so we can market to them through that database

And then we have our own database of folks that book through our websites. But you said you can't market to them. You can market to them. It's just that you don't know what their email address is. Correct? Yeah, we market them through GolfNow's. Right. And does GolfNow still call that GolfNow Central? Like where you log in and you can do these different things? Yeah, I think to be honest, like I always go back to like on the back end, I was back to manage and then it always transferred me to a new link and I don't really ever pay attention to the name of it. But yeah, I think it's technically got a little bit of a fancier name now. So.

Okay. And so speaking of that, you would have access, I think, to some of the dynamic pricing tools that GolfNow offers. I think I should don't quote me on that. But I think you also would have access to dynamic pricing tools that Lightspeed offers. Are you engaged in dynamic pricing? Yeah, we do it. We don't do it as much. We do it this time of year, honestly, January through the end of middle of April, during our prime season


you know, when she times are at an absolute like, I mean, I can book a two time cancel it and book it in four minutes. So we definitely use it this time of year. And yes, we use both, you know, the golf and outside, you know, between like us and the listeners here today, probably a little bit higher, play a premium if you're going to use that service, a we don't get your information and B because most times like you're gonna be more of a pain in the butt customer. Well, well, listen, it's a it's a it's a I think

I think GolfNow is a great customer acquisition tool, right? It's a great way to bring people to your property. And then what you do with that, how you decide to convert them or whatever, and separate of being really good at golfer introductions, you can just look at GolfNow as a channel that can have its own unique pricing structure, right? Whether you want it to be higher or lower. Those are some of the things that I think are, you know, home runs, frankly.

Okay, so now I obviously called the golf course to get in touch with you. And I encountered this interesting experience that I immediately thought, oh, I wonder if Rich and Morgan are using GolfNow Answers. That's what I thought, Morgan. I thought that you guys were probably using the call center from GolfNow. But I think it's something different. Tell our people what you're doing on the phone.

Yeah, we actually we have two programs in place phone wise. One is we have an answers program through Lightspeed, again, through Del Ratcliffe's group. They white label it, but it is through them. It's called TEE TIME Central. I'm sure they do it through a couple of other courses and companies, too. So we do have an answering system. So if we can't get to the phone in time, somebody picks up over there. They can book reservations. They can transfer it back to the pro shop if it's something that has to happen on the golf course. And then secondly, yes, we use a

a very fancy, probably overpriced marketing group that does an answering system where they have a phone voice that can be English, Australian, cowboy, pretty much anything we want. And then it sells events and stuff like that while people are on hold. So between the transfer from the time they call, the time they get the pro shop, it'll be like, hey, we have night golf this Friday, super fun. They do it in the night golf theme. So if it's Star Wars, they might do like some Jedi stuff or maybe have a Wookie voice in the background.

They do a lot of fun, just interactive, neat recordings for us. One thing that's interesting to me about that is that there's still demand for phone reservation service in golf. When I talk to, I talk to a lot of startups, it seems like, in golf technology. And if the phone comes up, generally they think I have three heads or something. And I don't think

enough people that are building technology today in golf understand how important the telephone still is to rounds. Now, I know a lot of people know that I used to always say my biggest competitor is the phone and that's when I was, you know, and I, I still wish all rounds were booked online. I'm not, yeah, I'm not advocating for, to, that rounds should go over the phone. I'm just saying the reality is rounds are booked over the phone. And so operators need to think about, you know, how can I be best at that? And what can I do to

turn that into an advantage for me, et cetera. 100%. We actually, I mean, we do everything we can to teach as many of our folks to use the internet, to book online, to use the app. We do everything in our power. And I would still say probably 60% of our bookings come over the phone. Right. Interesting. I mean, you literally said, and you're using two call services. Really? Yeah, you're using two. You know, it's incredible. Yeah. We've got 75 calls this morning already. So, and then that's with-

That's with limiting, you know, telling them about the frost delay, telling them that we don't have a frost delay, everything else that we can possibly do through messaging. And still the phone rings off hook. Right, right. Okay. So I mentioned that we're big into this whole booking engine ranking thing. And, but that, that just is because I think that that's interesting. And I've gotten feedback from readers that they would like to see that.

I didn't ask you about that, right? And I didn't ask 500 other operators about that. I'm curious from your perspective, what technology matters most? And I don't wanna just hear point of sale. I mean, like, if you say point of sale, but it's this piece of the point of sale, but what's the technology that you feel like this is really important to me and we have to get this right? It could be your website, it could be your app, it could be your booking engine. What matters the most? I mean,

I mean, the tee sheet is the first and foremost, right? Like you want it to be as seamless and smooth as possible. You want it to be easy for, you know, like for the staff especially, you know, the less time I spend training the better, the quicker they can pick it up, the better. It's one of the things that I like most about Lightspeed. I think that there's definitely a, like an Apple mentality there where like, it's just, you know, how kids can pick up an iPad and know how to use it instantaneously when they're five years old. Like it was just.

Apple spent billions of dollars trying to figure that out and make sure it's just as seamless in this thought for what it's supposed to be. And so I think that Lightspeed did a really good job with that. Like, you know, as far as like dragging and changing and finding player types and doing all that kind of thing, I think it's extremely easy. And they have a really good tracking tool in there, which is another part that I think is extremely important. Like there's a chat feature at the bottom. If they don't understand something, they type it in there and say, hey, this is what I need to do. Where is this? Where can I find it?

they'll send them a link to the training aid or somebody live will help them at the time. The nicest thing is I get a copy of that instantaneously to my email. So I know that they don't, A, don't know how to do that. And so that I can go back and train them later or we can walk through it together at some point in time. But I know that they've also gotten the answer and that they've figured out the solution. So I don't have to give them a call or go in there myself and do it. That is pretty slick. That's good. You know, we had a founder on of a tee sheet point of sale company, Eagle Club Systems.

And you know, it's interesting about his company. He's into affordability and simplicity and I love that. He wins on service, Morgan. That is how this guy is winning. He gets five star ratings all over the place. His retention rate, he says he's lost one customer and they've been in business for three years and he lost that customer because the GM changed, right? And the GM wanted to bring technology that knew.

And it's, it's all, it's interesting. You just kind of organically said, you love the support, right? You, this live support or whatever it is, that that's something that comes to mind for you, um, uh, and, and why I guess Lightspeed is so valuable to you. Yeah. I mean, and it's, you know, like I'm, look, I am, um,

Like I consider myself still young and like although I'm not, you can see it by the hair. But I mean like I, when you talk to these kids in Montreal or wherever they are through the chat, like I mean, it's stupid, but like you can use memes and like you can, like I don't ever type anything. Like I ask them a question and then next thing is like 15 memes in a row, like with office thank yous and that kind of thing and just joking around. And like it's just, it's just a fun, it's a fun way to get support. And it's just, it's much more like you're just texting like a buddy that knows what.

he's doing that you don't in this particular spot. And so it's just, it's just a nice little added feature that makes it more homey. Yeah, that's great. Good. You know, good, good on them, right? For on Lightspeed for doing that. I think that that's, I think that that's awesome. So tell me, and it doesn't sound like you want to change Lightspeed. It sounds like you're happy with Lightspeed, right? I'm not suggesting that you're not happy, but I always think it's, it's important for young.

developers, maybe you don't need to be young, but people that are building these new golf technology companies, what would it take for you to genuinely be interested in a demo or what would it take to get your attention of like, hey, maybe I would change? No, I mean, I would anything. I'm out, I listen to anything. Like I listen to most of the pitches, just if nothing else to see what they're doing that we might not have. So I mean, like I'll, I'd do a foreUP pitch.

once a year. I did a Teesnap pitch last year. I've talked to Eagle Systems two or three times. We did a demo with them two years ago when they were first kind of really starting to blow up. I actually really liked a lot of what Eagle did. Eagle Systems was a good system. It wasn't pretty, which is, I mean, it sounds weird, but I think Lightspeed is one of the prettiest ones, and I'm a big fan of that kind of thing. And I, you know, honestly, there's little parts of that pitch that were...

Very anti-GolfNow, it turns me off right away and just kind of just instantaneously shut me down. And so we stopped looking at that. But I'll watch anything demo-wise to see what it is that we could be doing that we're not. To see what kind of new, there's always new stuff coming out. My girlfriend's in tech. And so when she does a bunch of stuff with startups over the last couple of years. And so we joke all the time at home that I would love for.

a tee sheet company at the very beginning to come find four or five operators and be like, this is what you need to do. Because I mean, it seems to me like nobody's ever done that. Eagles, probably the closest that I've talked to as far as having somebody that like that has physically been behind a counter and been like, this is these are the things that we really want. Right. What would you say, Morgan, if somebody asked you that, not to put you on the spot too much, but like if somebody came to you and said, what do you want? Like, what would you say? Yeah, I mean,

I would probably pick and choose a lot of things from different ones, obviously. But, you know, it's seamless, quick. There's a lot, I mean, there's a lot of little stuff I would fix with Lightspeed, sure. And so it would start with those kinds of things. I mean, I think Lightspeed does the best so far. So I would use a lot of what they did and just kind of change a little minor of the fixes that I would like to see on a daily basis. Yeah, you know, going, we talked about four reservations earlier.

One of the things that company did back in the day was every year they had a user conference in Illinois. They actually would use the campus, the McDonald's campus. And operators could go there and really, face to face, explain to developers what they were looking for. And so half of the conference was, here's all the things we heard from you last year and here's what we've built. And of course this is before cloud computing is.

very popular, so this wasn't in the cloud. And so it took time to develop. But they would show what they had built and then they would listen. And they would lean in and really hear what operators wanted. I don't know of too many people that are doing that today, but I always thought that was a really smart thing that Harry Ipema at Four Reservations did. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. Like I said, Lightspeed did that in the first year with us quite a bit. And...

Chrono Golf did that with us until they got acquired and obviously they've now gotten big and now it's kind of that thing that they don't look that way anymore. Actually, funny side note to that, I went to the NGCOA for the first time, like our second summer, third summer here. And so, first time I've ever done that, like I've never been a golf course owner before and so I'm meeting with a ton of folks and meeting people from all over the country and it was shocking to me that like...

80% of the people I talked to still had systems that weren't cloud-based. And like, I'm like, they couldn't, they couldn't just check in with their tee sheets. Like I was sitting at dinner, like on my phone, like looking at the tee sheet and changing reservations, like, and like all these folks, like had to call somebody back there and like have them go into the pro shop. And it was scary. Yeah. It's interesting. You mentioned NGCOA away. Are you a member of the NGCOA away today? Uh, at this moment in time? No. Okay.

And I did notice on your website that you have a couple of instructors that both seem to be PGA. Do you employ PGA members at the golf course? We currently have one that's in the training system. He's a PGA apprentice. He just passed his PAT and he's like halfway through his book work right now. He just kind of started. We've known him for a long time. He's worked with a couple other properties and this is the first time he's really like found a love for teaching.

And so we've given him that opportunity to teach here under the tutelage of the other two. And he's done a great job so far. We don't actively look forward. I mean, again, we're a smaller retirement community based golf course. So a lot of the PGA guys probably look down their nose at that for the most part. So it's gonna be banging down our door to work here. But I always think it's interesting to hear from operators.

about these associations or whatever. And it's not a knock on them, but I think the question is how successful can you be with them or without them, right? And it seems like you all have found a way to be successful. You immediately went to the cloud in terms of your technology. You run a lot of events there that are fun for your members. You're doing fun things on the phone. You're keeping people updated on frost delays, et cetera.

you know, you can do that on your own and you don't need a lot of outside help to make that happen. I mean, yeah, we try. I mean, I would honestly, I grew up in upstate New York, my first working golf course stuff was it was in New York. And it's just different. Arizona is, you know, much probably like Florida and being the only place that I haven't been that would be the same like that. It's just a, it's much more of a business and much more just fast paced. You know, it's, it's like being in the New York Stock Exchange versus

trading in the middle of Iowa or doing something like that. There's just so much difference in this state and how fast everything happens and how on point you have to be. Like in upstate New York, I mean, we might have, we might be busy like April through the end of August or September, but not anything like here. Right. Soaring Eagles, Mark Twain, all those good upstate New York golf courses. Okay. Well, listen, I do appreciate, I mean, you guys are in a very busy week.

It's Waste Management Week. Interesting that that's not an elevated event this year, but it is what it is. But hopefully you guys crush it this week. I've really enjoyed watching how successful you guys have been with the golf course. Would you ever consider adding another golf course to your business? We're always on the lookout, definitely trying. Obviously right now, post COVID, it's been...

just like anything else, the just inflated prices are ridiculous. So probably not for the next like two or three years, but you know, you never know what's going to happen. So always there's a, there's a fun Facebook group, Morgan. I'll give this guy a plug and then I'll let you go. There's a Facebook group called Golf Course Closings/ For Sale/ Abandoned And there's about 8,000 people in this Facebook group.

that are always talking about this guy is about to be for sale or this guy's going to close. Somebody could pick it up cheap or whatever. And you guys should join that group and keep your ears open. I'll check that out. Yeah. Okay. Well, thanks for joining us on the Tech Caddie podcast. I'm really happy for you that you're in a good place with your technology. I think that that's awesome. And hopefully you feel like

a big part of your success comes from the fact that you're using technology and, and it makes the business stronger. Definitely. For sure. All right. Thanks Morgan. Take care. Thanks Mike.



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Tyler Arnold

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.



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.


Tyler Arnold

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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