Portsmouth Golf Centre
Meet Terry Healy, who last year celebrated the 40th-anniversary of Portsmouth Golf Center, which he started back in 1980. Despite being a veteran in the business, Terry was one of our early adopters in the UK. When Bob (Founder of ProAgenda) gave a presentation at the Euroselect Group, Terry was impressed by our platform’s modern and enhanced features. In recent years his business has become more and more reliant on the platform as it has helped him to manage his business efficiently through busy and quieter times.
From the beginning until the present day, his business has consisted of five elements: the course, driving range, shop, custom fitting and lessons. The five elements are still in place, but Terry has seen much change in demand between them.
Back in the day, the golf course at Portsmouth, like others, was packed, overplayed even, caused by the shortage of courses. The Pro Shop was hugely popular , as online retail was not yet available. People just played golf and the demand for golf lessons was lower than we see today. Custom fitting was still in its infancy, . with length and lie determind by ‘eye’ on the golf range using lie-boards and tape. The developments in technology has dramatically increased interest in coaching, custom fitting and on the golf range, benefitting the growth we now see in the game.
Today the Toptracer driving range, lessons and custom fitting are busier than ever with demand for the golf course levelling off as more courses were built. Terry mentions two major influences for this shift: technology and the athleticism of professional golfers. Both aspects are attracting the interest of young players which has driven the average age of golfers down.
Technologies like Trackman and Toptracer have transformed the interest in the driving range and introduced a real fitting experience. Terry does not underestimate the effort and impact of his golf professionals and recognizes that golf lessons and custom fitting are investments. However, current technology makes it much more satisfying for both professional and amateur golfers to see how to improve their game.
Alongside these developments, the PGA and European Tours are leading the way for younger players. The leading brands are tapping into this, and using the Tours and Star Players better than ever to drive sales and interest. “Players like McIlroy, DeChambeau, Koepka are athletes, they’ve become role models to aspiring players.. It was unusual back in the 80’s and 90’s to see golfers using the gyms, now it’s virtually compulsory!”
ProAgenda is really saving Terry and his team time on scheduling and communication now that the lessons and custom fitting are busier than ever. “All our coaches use the ProAgenda and we also have a separate agenda for our custom fittings. We rely on it heavily; it is an integral part of our academy. People find it very friendly to book online.”
More than half of their bookings come online. One of his golf professionals Simon Andrews says: “It is great that a golfer can finish a bad round of golf, open the ProAgenda, book a lesson and they’re up and running.” Terry adds: “The application is the doorway to the public, it simplifies the customer journey from thinking about a lesson to actually booking one, and the online payments create a commitment, so you don’t get the no shows.”
Simon also used the mailing function to stay engaged with his clients during the Covid lockdown(s), while Terry is getting a lot of information out of the reporting functions. He finishes: “I’m really happy to be working with ProAgenda and the developments it has made. It has been a happy relationship. I would therefore definitely recommend it for everyone”.