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Scottish Golf is offering clubs VMS club management software and an App delivering a range of features facilitating bookings, handicap and member management and payment processing.
Scottish Golf VMS Offers Clubs One-Stop Shop
Scottish Golf’s Venue Management System (VMS) will offer clubs in Scotland a holistic management system that will do everything from taking bookings and payments to providing in-play scoring.
First announced at Scottish Golf’s National Conference in 2018, over 100 clubs in Scotland are already configured for VMS with 120 more going through the set up.
VMS is available to clubs at no extra cost with an objective of simplifying and streamlining administration and helping them to make money through the promotion of events and tee bookings and getting the maximum revenue from independent golfers.
With the introduction of the World Handicap System WHS at the end of this year, handicaps will be calculated centrally by the governing bodies rather than at the clubs. Scottish Golf’s VMS and App will provide a fully integrated scoring and handicapping solution.
Golfers who download the Scottish Golf App will have a huge raft of features at their fingertips.
From a playing point of view, they can book times at their club or other Scottish courses, book lessons or any other facilities that the club decides to offer through the VMS.
They can enter competitions, and then use their device as an interactive scorecard.
Players confirm entry, then whose card they are marking.
They then key in the scores on each hole for both playing partner and themselves.
As long as the scores on each player’s devices correspond, the system will generate a virtual card that can be signed and stored digitally.
If scores don’t tally, the score in question will appear with a coloured circle around it.
Players can then easily identify the error and correct accordingly.
The App will generate a live leaderboard that provides in-play scoring and could be displayed in the clubhouse – Great fun for the Saturday medal.
In these challenging times, Gourock Golf Club, an early adopter of VMS, is running competitions 100% digitally.
This means users book online, check in through the App without having to go inside the club.
They can then submit their scores digitally, so there’s no need for paper scorecards at all.
The scores for marker and player have to be identical on both players’ Apps before they sign off.
This means that the scores have already been confirmed by both parties, so the club have said they don’t have to swap phones and can sign as both marker and player on the App to avoid anything passing between the players at all.
The App also features a virtual caddy system, providing GPS yardages and a messaging service to allow communication between members.
For clubs, VMS will provide a point of sale service that will allow members to buy food and drink in the clubhouse and even goods from pro shop using their club account without the need for a swipe card. Members will be able to view their club account balance and top it up on the App.
Under VMS each club will have a customisable website in which the members’ section will replicate the App.
To coincide with the rollout of the World Handicap System (WHS) from November of this year, Scottish Golf is also launching a virtual golf club that will allow independent golfers the chance to get a handicap.
Although many clubs have voiced concerns, Scottish Golf are confident that it will, in fact, increase revenue for clubs rather than harming membership numbers.
The idea is that by knowing who these independent golfers are, clubs will be able to attract them with open competitions, social events and special offers.
Clubs will be able to set different green fee rates for club members, virtual golf club members and those with no affiliation at all.
VMS will also allow all Scottish clubs to promote events whether they are using the software or not – Open events can be made visible to all who have registered with Scottish Golf online and social events can also be advertised.
Clubs who would like to register for the new Scottish Golf VMS can do so by following this link.
Golfers with a Scottish CDH ID can also download the App to view their handicap record regardless of whether their club is on the system.
Later this year they will also be able to preview what their new WHS Index will be prior to the changeover in November.
It’s an impressive piece of software and one that many clubs will find useful and financially sensible to adopt.
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Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly.
Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?
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