Pretty much ever since the Scots settled on 18 holes as the standard golf round, the time it takes to play those holes has gotten longer and longer even though modern equipment hits the ball farther and farther. Today the quandary seems just as deep with distractions and other time sucks demanding the modern golfer’s time (Facebook, anyone?). So in steps a European company with a great idea: Finding a way to make per-hole golf work for both customer and course owner. E-Gull has found that path.
eGull Pay is the “Uber of golf,” tracking the holes golfers played via GPS and charging their credit card when they are done. Course operators can now more easily fill unused inventory without having to discount it while attracting busy executives, millennials, women and new players. Free to course operators and free to the golfer, the eGull Pay App is a simple add-on to any tee-sheet. The course is in control to set the hours open for play and the course sets the price per hole. Golfers check in at the pro-shop and the app does the rest.
“This is a per-hole payment system designed mostly for public courses,” says Pascal Stolz, e-Gull’s CEO. “We put control in the hands of the course. You have to come to the pro shop to check in. You can’t just come to the course and start on whatever hole you want to. They direct what hole to go to. Courses need to be comfortable with the process.”
Since the PGA Show, Stolz announced new software improvements giving course operators the ability to configure multiple “per hole” rates such as standard, preferred, member, senior, kid and added options such as cart rentals per hole, rental clubs per hole and more. Also, in addition to single golfers, a twosome, threesome or foursome rate can be configured and a family of four can use one single phone to track the entire family’s round.
Now based in Carlsbad, California, the company started in France. E-Gull is launched on 60 courses in Europe already including Le Nationale outside of Paris, site of the 2018 Ryder Cup. In fact, the company is running a social media promotion: get golfers contacting courses they’d like to see the e-Gull system on, copy them on an e-mail, and they could win tickets for two to Ryder Cup.
“We have tested the app on the course, people walking or riding, Apple vs. Android. It’s a great app, super simple. Golfers we’ve talked to love the concept and are on board. Our goal is to see more people on the course and fill more holes. We are creating flexibility and ingenuity to adapt golf to fit into modern lifestyles, helps grow rounds and revenues and drive participation in the game.”