Playing Perfect Rounds
How foreUP’s full-service operating model keeps Sleepy Ridge Golf Course running smoothly
For many golfers, the sport is more than just a weekend hobby. It’s part of their identity. Teeing up with friends, sharing a meal, searching for golf balls among the woods, maybe even fitting in a bit of exercise along the way. Their commitment to the sport is second to none, except maybe to those who operate the golf clubs themselves. They’re the ones charged with ensuring their customers’ experience – from the moment they reserve a tee time to the minute they drive off the course – is the equivalent of a hole-in-one.
Just ask Ryan Walker of Sleepy Ridge Golf Course in Orem, Utah. With its luxury clubhouse designed to resemble a mansion in the Scottish Highlands and a drop-dead-gorgeous backdrop of the snow-topped Wasatch Mountains, it’s a magical place, a second home to many of its regulars.
Elevating the customer experience
It’s Ryan’s job to ensure it stays magical, and that can be a challenge. Sleepy Ridge is a bit unusual, after all. Not a private course, exactly, but not a public one either. A sort of hybrid operating model, privately owned but on land it leases from the city, with a lean, tightly knit crew that manages the course. Its unusual operating model and small team means that its choice of golf course management software is crucial to its ability to serve its customers and its bottom line.
That’s why Sleepy Ridge partners with foreUP, Ryan says. “It allows everything to be automated,” from player management to invoicing to full tee sheet integration, email and text marketing and employee management. “It’s the heartbeat of the golf course.”
In fact, he says, “foreUP is on my computer all day long.”
ForeUP’s software helps the course make the most of its operating model. It also allows the course to charge different rates for different members and tee times depending on the day of the week and time of day, manage pro shop inventory – what’s selling, what’s not and how to ensure the shelves are stocked with the latter and not the former – and collect a wide variety of data to personalize its customers’ experience, such as preferences to tee-time reminders by text messages. “We’d be lost without it,” Ryan says.
A partner to support the vision
That’s exactly what foreUP founder and CEO Joel Ragar wants to hear – why he founded the company. “We’re not only here to build up excitement for golf,” he notes. “We’re here to help the golf business grow.” In fact, he says, though he started foreUP with tee sheets as its initial offering, he quickly saw he needed to add point of sale (POS) to really make a difference for course operators. “Worldpay was the only one that would support us and give us the processing solution to be a real POS system.” That sort of service, he adds, is what allows foreUP to “constantly develop cool new features customers didn’t know they needed until they see the solutions we can provide.”
ForeUP may be a B2B business, Joel says, but it’s really about “providing our customers the ability to offer a wonderful experience to their golfers.”
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