• aboutGOLF

Manage Your Golf Sim Business Remotely with aG Clubhouse


With the booming success of indoor golf across the country, there has never been a greater need for an efficient way to run your simulator business from one central tool. That's where Clubhouse from aboutGOLF comes in. With Clubhouse, you can easily operate all of your golf simulators, get rounds set up, and set timers to maximize your revenue potential!


Trey Cassidy (Senior Marketing Manager, aboutGOLF):


Hi everybody and welcome to today's AG Clubhouse Webinar. We appreciate you taking the time to join us today. And we look forward to diving into some of the tools and functions that make Clubhouse such an excellent asset to any indoor golf center business. Feel free to type any Clubhouse related questions that you might have in the chat, and we will address them during today's Q and A section at the end of the session. Any questions regarding something other than Clubhouse, our excellent support team is always here to help you at support@taboutgolf.com. With me today, we have aboutGolf's CTO, Chris Johnson also known as CJ, and Mike Maven, engineering manager and head of the Clubhouse team. With that, I will kick it over to CJ and Mike to introduce themselves.


Chris Johnson (CTO, aboutGOLF):


Thanks, Trey. My name's Chris Johnson, chief technology officer here at aboutGolf, and I run our product and engineering teams.


Mike Maven (Software Engineering Manager, aboutGOLF):


Hey everybody, I'm Mike Maven. I am the software engineering manager for the web team here at aboutGolf.


Chris Johnson:


All right, should we get stuck into it? Let's talk a little bit about what Clubhouse is all about and why we built it. How about we do that? So first up, for those of you who are new to what Clubhouse is, Clubhouse is an application for our indoor golf centers to help better run your business with aboutGolf simulators. So for example, it lets you control your simulators from your front desk of your indoor golf center, start new rounds, check the timer on the simulators and so forth, get the scoreboards, all those kinds of activities without having to walk over to each of the simulators. So you'll see this in a little more depth in a moment when we go into the demo.


Chris Johnson:


But why did we build AG Clubhouse to start with? Well, it's primarily a business tool. We wanted everything you needed in one place to manage all of your simulators, even when you are out of your golf center. So for example, if you have multiple locations, in Clubhouse you can flip between locations and control your simulators in other locations, if you have multiple. Or even just from the reception desk of your golf center, when somebody walks in, making sure it's a really seamless, easy and quick process to get your customers set up on your simulators as quickly as possible, get them through the check-in process and get them into a simulator as quick as you can, so that you can better utilize the sims that you have. So it's really all about that speedy onboarding.


Chris Johnson:


And then once they're in the simulator, obviously adding more time and keeping track of where they're at in their game or their round or at the range. And also for things like if they need any assistance, they can press a button in the simulator to call for help, and that will pop up a message in Clubhouse and give you some insight into customers that might need assistance in your golf center more easily. It's full of helpful features as well. So things like if you have a problem on one particular simulator, being able to move a group from one to another. Like I mentioned, being able to maybe add more time if that customer has run out of time, or know when their timer is almost complete. So you can give them a warning that they have maybe five minutes left, or whatnot.


Chris Johnson:


But it also lets you do things like set up preconfigured rounds. So it makes it easy and seamless and quick to get people onto a sim when they walk in the door with a preset configuration. That could be for a particular range or round, for example, or a particular course, I should say, with various conditions and things like that already set up and ready to go. Finally, it's always up to date. So Clubhouse is delivered through a web browser, so it's easy to get to from wherever you happen to be. And it's always up to date. When we have new features coming out or bug fixes or improvements, we roll those out and you instantly get them. There's no update process that you have to go through in order to take advantage of those.


Chris Johnson:


So Clubhouse is really our one stop shop tool for our business customers to better manage their aboutGolf simulators. We've just got started with Clubhouse. The first release of it is out. We've had a number of improvements already put in place that you'll see in the demo. But this is the one place we are going to be adding more functionality, tools, and facilities to help you run your indoor golf centers as best as we can help you, with helpful features and things to get you and keep your customers as happy as they can be.


Chris Johnson:


All right. So how do you get started with Clubhouse? As you'll see in a moment, we're going to do the demo. If you like what you see, then you might want to start playing around with Clubhouse and see if it's right for your situation. The first thing to mention is that Clubhouse is free with your aboutGolf subscription. This is not an additional product that you have to buy, it's included in your subscription, and you can get set up in a few minutes very easily. The process is quite simple. So you reach out to your AG support team at support@aboutgolf.com, and they can either show you a more in depth demo or talk to you about the ins and outs of what's involved in the setup process. And they can set up a time to get the components needed installed on your sim to connect to Clubhouse, and you'll be up and running in a matter of minutes. It's really quite straightforward and simple.


Chris Johnson:


All you need is a browser on a computer or a tablet in order to use Clubhouse, and you're up and running. So it should be relatively simple and straightforward to get all set up. And once you're there, then you can interact with Clubhouse through a browser or a tablet, or even your phone, if you will, if you want, while you're out of your golf center. All right, with that, how about we dive in to see what Clubhouse is all about? Mike, would you like to take us away on a-


Mike Maven:


Absolutely. So going to just share my screen here, where I have Clubhouse loaded up, and I also have my colleagues, Tim and Jeff, they're on the call with us today. So Tim and Jeff, if you guys want to, can you start playing around on your simulators? I wanted them to join us today because, just so you know, I'm in Providence, Rhode Island, Tim is near Atlanta, Georgia, and Jeff's in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and yet we have all of our simulators on our PCs running at home. And we're going to be able to see that they're playing on their sims. I can actually control their sims from here in Providence. The Clubhouse app in general is meant to basically control your simulators from literally anywhere. But of course, most of you probably would use it on site. But we'll try it here.


Mike Maven:


So one of the main features of Clubhouse, again, is sort of this main control board here. Gives you information about the simulators. So you would have the timers that are running, rounds that are taking place. We can see actually that Jeff here is currently playing a round. He took a shot. If I wanted to actually add time to his timer, I could either add a number of minutes or even set an end time that his session would end. So let's say we wanted to end it at 2:20, I could set that any time, and we'll see actually his timer start to update here and start counting down.


Mike Maven:


On my machine here that I have, so I have him running in the background here, and we can hop into here and I can start up a round. I might even have some saved settings for rounds in advance. Don't have anyone on here, but could add myself to a round. And we'll say that we're going to go play at the range, let's go to the mountain venue, and let's add 15 minutes to my timer. And when I send that to the simulator, that should go ahead and send it, and it will reset the timer and start things as we get to the game. And then we can see, here we go, it's going to the range in the sim right now. There we are. So obviously I'm on the same machine right now, but we could do the same thing for Jeff and Tim, basically any machine that we have connected to Clubhouse, anywhere that it is. So of course you're likely to be on site, but if you have a manager running your site and you want to observe what's happening on your sims while you're sipping a Mai Tai in Hawaii, then you can do that as well. That's the best thing about this setup.


Mike Maven:


We also have a number of features that we're going to be adding. So at the moment, you would actually have a Locker user log in through a code. But soon, actually, probably within the next couple of weeks, we're launching a feature where you'll be able to actually search for any Locker user to add them to a round. Just like this round form that I brought up for players here, you would be able to search for any Locker user and add them to a round. We're also going to be building in the ability to schedule rounds in advance. This is something that a lot of indoor golf customers have asked for. Because in general, it seems that you guys tend to know who your customers are and when they're coming in, so we'd like to give you the ability to schedule those rounds in advance.


Mike Maven:


So you'd be able to just come onto the dashboard here, see a couple of upcoming rounds, perhaps this day, somewhere here on the right hand side, click on it and launch the round right away as soon as the customer walks in. Our whole idea here would be that we could actually reduce the friction, reduce the time when people come in, when they walk in the door, so that we can get them to the simulator faster, and hopefully get you guys selling more time on your sims. And of course, you can kind of use this any way that you like. If you wanted to have customers check in with you at the front desk and send them to a round in the way that I just showed, the way I just described here, you could do that.


Mike Maven:


But also, if you simply wanted to use it to manage your timers, like for instance, right now on Tim's sim, I could say, I want to clear the timer, I actually want to clear his session and open it up for him. So the timer would shut off, and he would be able to just have it be open on the machine. So you can see his timer just shut off here and he's free to continue playing as long as he would like. We could also, as CJ just mentioned, move around to another sim. We can manage different things about it. And in fact, we could send a message if I wanted to send a message to Tim's machine right now, we could. So if you wanted to display a message on the screen and say, "We're closing in 10 minutes." And in fact, you could do this for multiple sims as well. We can select all here. And if I wanted to, I could go here and send that message, "Closing soon," and send the message off to all the simulators. In fact, we might be able to go to my machine and see it pop up here in a second. There it is, closing soon.


Mike Maven:


So as you can see, a lot of controls for your simulators on site. As we move this portal forward, we also wanted to bring to you guys the ability to set up events ad hoc yourselves, like a self-service portal for setting up events. And like I mentioned, the scheduling, I think that will be a really important feature. But mostly to give you guys more control over your simulators and how they associate with your business. As we mentioned, we'd love to see any questions in the chat. I think you might have noticed at one point that a service request popped up here from Jeff. So Jeff sent a service request. If I was at the front desk, that gave me a little ding, a little notification, and I was able to see that maybe Jeff needs help at his simulator, which we can just clear like that. That's pretty much the demo of its features for the moment. Again, would love to hear questions you may have in the chat. And Trey, I'll let you take back over if there's nothing else.


Trey Cassidy:


Thanks, Mike. So we'll go ahead on into the Q and A section of today's event. Again, anybody with any questions, feel free to pop them in the chat on the right of hand side of your screen. I do see that we have some people asking about the future of Clubhouse. So if you guys wouldn't mind touching on a little bit of where we think we're going. I'll let you guys go ahead and answer that.


Chris Johnson:


Sure. I'll start, and then I'll hand over to Mike. So I guess at the beginning of the webinar, I mentioned that Clubhouse is the one stop shop, or is intended to be our one stop shop place for all of the great features and tools and things we're going to be adding for our IGC and business customers to help them run their businesses. And so going forward, we have a fairly full roadmap of things we'd like to add to Clubhouse over the course of the coming year. Some of the things Mike touched on that we're looking at already, things like presetting up rounds so that they're ready to go before customers walk in the door. We want to make progress on that, for example, so that it shrinks the amount of time from when somebody first walks through the door to when they're in the sim, to as short a time as possible, really, that you don't have to spend multiple minutes, or 10 or 15 minutes getting them set up and all that kind of thing. We're trying to reduce that time so they can spend more time in your simulators and spend more money with you. So that's one area we are definitely looking at.


Chris Johnson:


Another area we are looking at is around making sure that when they leave your premises, that they can use our Locker application to get their data about the shots they've taken, the round they've played, and things like that, once they've left your premises. And so they can do that today, but getting them logged in using their Locker account into Clubhouse is going to be even simpler in the future. We've just added QR code support in our sims for logging in. So people can snap a picture and get logged in. And like Mike mentioned, we're going to make advances in Clubhouse to make it super simple for that same Locker user to walk in the front door of an indoor golf center and get logged into Clubhouse as quickly as possible. So that's nice and seamless, and we don't have to spend time upfront messing around and getting all logged in. So those are two areas we are going to spend quite a bit of time in.


Chris Johnson:


But we have a whole bunch of other ideas, and we'd also love to hear your feedback on what those are. And so if you get set up in Clubhouse and you want to provide your feedback, please do. Send our support team your ideas and things that you'd like to see added to Clubhouse, and we'll be in touch and talk through those with you and get your thoughts and ideas of what would make it an even more valuable asset and tool for your business. Mike, is there anything you'd like to add to that?


Mike Maven:


Yeah. A couple things that I did want to add. One thing I had forgotten to mention in the demo, I actually think I'll share my screen again just to show this, but in terms of, CJ just touched on the idea that we want this application to help people get into sims faster and also give you observability. So something that just occurred to me as I was looking at the demo screen is my demo account has a couple of facilities set up. So for those of you who have multiple facilities in different locations, we have this idea of the location or the facility built into the application, so you can switch between which one you're looking at. You'll see here, this is another demo facility we have set up for our team, for our simulators at home, but you could easily switch between them.


Mike Maven:


Also, all the controls of the application are actually scoped to the facility that you're currently viewing. So for instance, if I were viewing the other facility right now, I wouldn't be getting all of those service notifications and other things from the other facility. I would only see what was related to this. Same with if I came into the settings menu here, these would be default round settings and stuff like that that would be used for this facility specifically. If I were to switch to a different facility, it would be the settings for that one.


Mike Maven:


We also have the ability to create these quick round setups. These may come in handy when we do add the scheduling feature. We know that, for instance, I just saw that Kent asked about league groups being set up in advance. So if you have a specific setting for that league, you want everybody to play the same course, the same holes, and you want to have quick access to that while setting up the rounds, we could provide a name for a saved round configuration here and set those settings here in advance, and we would have quick access to that. So let's say if I did a test here to set this up and I saved this round setting. Oh, I'm going to select the course too. There we go. I'll select front nine. Save it. All right. And let's see, if I go back, I should be able to recall that [inaudible 00:18:03]. There it is, test. So that would actually load up those settings very quickly. And then when we add the scheduling feature, you would be able to then schedule these rounds in advance.


Mike Maven:


So if you have league players coming in that night and you know who's going to be playing in what group, you could actually add those players to that scheduled round, recall that round configuration very quickly as you're setting it up. And within a matter of minutes, basically set up every single sim at your facility to be ready to go. When those league players walk in and you're ready to play, you can just click. Our goal is hopefully we can get people in within two clicks for you. Players are set up in advance, you can just click, click, and it goes straight to the sim. So that was just one other thing I wanted to touch on with the app. There's some other questions here. CJ, do you want to discuss any of these questions? Do you want me to take them on?

Chris Johnson:


Yeah, let's take a look. So we have one here. If you have the timer set and the time runs out, does it stop the round so the customer cannot continue to play? Yeah. So that's right. So when your timer runs out, if you've set a timer, and now it's counting down the minutes, when it gets to zero, the simulator experience will be, "Hey your time has run out and you need to add more." That'll be visible in Clubhouse. So the operator at the front desk, or wherever you happen to have that, will see that the timer's run out. They can extend the time so that they can continue to play, but it will stop the customer from continuing at that time.


Mike Maven:


I know we do have some customers that they don't necessarily use Clubhouse to send people to rounds from the front desk, but they do want to be able to control those timers and control that session set and end time. And that is one of the features in the app. When you go to manage sim and it brings up that menu, when you set the timer, you can either give a number of minutes or you can simply set an end time. So if you knew you needed that customer to be out of the sim by three o'clock today, you could set that as the end time. And that timer will expire right at three o'clock, and let that person on the sim know either that they need to get more time, request more time, or you could clear it from the front desk. And again, if maybe somebody else is coming into that simulator, but you have another one that might be free that next hour, and they want to continue playing, you could simply move that round right from Clubhouse to whatever simulator you want to move them to.

Chris Johnson:


Right. We have another one here that I think you might be able to tackle, Mike. Can league groups be set up hours in advance? So I guess you've got a busy night coming, you've got a bunch of different people coming in in different groups. You're going to be swamped, trying to get people through the front door in a timely fashion and into the sims is an important thing. Can we set up those groups hours in advance so they're all ready to go?


Mike Maven:


Yeah. So that was what I was just kind of addressing, looking at the round settings, being able to set those quickly in advance. But once we do add the scheduling feature, you could, if you're running a league and you know you want them all to be on the course, the same holes, with the same wind settings. Which I know might be important for leagues, there's an equity there, so everybody's playing with those same settings. You could set that in advance, then also schedule out your rounds in advance so that everybody, players, the brackets would all be set up in advance.


Chris Johnson:


Makes sense. Great.


Trey Cassidy:


I've gotten an offline question here about pricing for Clubhouse. Just to remind everybody, this is a free utility. It is included with your AG subscription. Setup is super simple. Just shoot an email to support@aboutgolf.com, and our team will get you scheduled, and we'll get you taken care of.


Chris Johnson:


Yeah, it's a very straightforward process. Depending on the number of sims you have, it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to half an hour or so to get set up and up and running. And then you just log through the browser and you can get started and find your way around that and start controlling your simulators from your front desk.


Mike Maven:


And we can see here, obviously in this graphic we see the desktop and the laptop PC, but it should also be noted that Clubhouse is mobile friendly. So again, you could be out at dinner, and on your mobile phone you can visit Clubhouse and watch and control the simulators in your facility from wherever you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection.


Trey Cassidy:


Yep. And so we've just got another question from Ken, asking, is there anything in the works for collecting scores from sims, Mike and CJ?


Chris Johnson:


Yeah, that's a really good one. That is definitely something we're thinking. About at the moment, what happens is you can get the scorecards from the simulators when their round is complete. So you can get that in either a text format or in a visual image format. You could copy that image and email it to them if you want, or print it if you like as well. We're also thinking about adding historical collection of those scores as well, so you can go back in history and look up various scorecards that have happened in the past. For now, it's just the most recent one that's completed. But we're looking at adding that sort of historical look up to that as well.


Chris Johnson:


And then we're also looking at features and of discussing things like when a round is complete, will it be helpful for us to send those scores to the members that were logged in for that round? So we'd love your feedback on that. Also, Ken says a live leaderboard would be awesome. So yeah, no, you're a hundred percent right. And in fact, Mike, you can probably correct me on this, but I think the scorecard, each time you request the scorecard, it's updated as they go through the round, if I'm not mistaken, after each hole, I believe.


Mike Maven:


That's right. At the end of each hole, basically, the game actually sends us a new text or image version of the scorecard. Basically what we're hoping to do moving forward is to capture that data outside of that tech scorecard. And like Chris just mentioned, be able to actually capture that historical data for it, be able to send it out to everybody. And especially for leagues, to be able to have that historical data for rounds played in the leagues.


Chris Johnson:


I think some input that we'd really love actually is we've talked about the ability to have screens around your premises that show scores and leaderboards and things like that. And so we'd love your input on helping to drive the development of that, or help guide us on that if it's something that would be useful. We'd love to hear feedback about that. It's not something we've currently got scheduled for delivery, but we're definitely talking about those kinds of features. So if it would be super helpful, that would be great to hear about.


Mike Maven:


Yeah, our goal with this definitely is to try to develop features for it that we feel like would be the most helpful to everyone, and prioritize those. We know that not every indoor golf center necessarily runs leagues. So we do want to try to get these features in here that we know could be helpful and useful to leagues, but also helpful and useful for those who maybe don't. Kind of like I said, the idea, get people in spending more time in your sims, getting in there earlier, more quickly, more easily, so you are able to sell more time. That's the goal.


Chris Johnson:


Yeah. We have a comment here about handicapping. And handicapping through Clubhouse or Locker would be great as well. And we have good news on that. That is underway. We are working on rolling out the ability to set people's handicaps through Clubhouse, as well as having those handicaps applied through rounds and so forth and in competitions. And so that is in progress. I don't have a due date on when that will be completed for you just yet, but it's in progress. We're actively in development on that. And so that's a feature that's coming soon. And it's something we've heard a lot about from our indoor golf centers. And so that's super important to many of you, and it's something we're actively working on. So stay tuned for that one too. Right.Any others before we wrap up, Trey? Any other questions?


Trey Cassidy:


Yeah. I'll give it here a couple seconds. If anybody would like to post any final questions or thoughts, we'd be happy to address them. And if not... Doesn't look like we are getting any. So we appreciate everybody coming in today or joining us on the stream. It's been a great time here, and we appreciate all of your time. And we look forward to getting you set up with Clubhouse in the future. As always, any support questions, email support@aboutgolf.com or call the number listed on our website. And we'll be happy to help you out with those. So thanks, everybody. And we hope you have a great day.


Chris Johnson:


Thank you.


Mike Maven:


Thank you, everyone.



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