THE NEW DRIVING RANGE TARGETS – FROM PRACTICE TO GREATER PROFIT
Several years ago, Topgolf took RFID ball tracking technology and proved that golf driving ranges can be turned into modern ‘bowling alleys’ of golf complete with scoring and even lighted ‘bowling pins’ in the form of giant targets that range from 15- 60ft in diameter.
Now putting giant, live responsive targets such as SmartTargets on the range – that respond with light and sounds when the golf ball hits it is key to a fully immersive gaming experience – moving from practice to greater profit. This means attracting the non-golfing as well as golfing customer – a new generation of evening customers. And entertaining them so they will stay longer and spend more.
WHY IS GOLF ENTERTAINMENT SO PROFITABLE?
1 Demographics. Evening entertainment accesses the biggest audiences and the most profitable customers.
2. Feedback. With live targets, the more visceral feedback you can give a player the more they will surrender to the experience. Just as bowling pins fall down and crash, every shot in a target golf or golf entertainment facility is designed to be fun, visual, and most importantly, rewarding. With empty fields and only scoring, you still only get an increase in practice golfers and enthusiasts. But with the visual target field feedback as well as video feedback, the entertainment and gaming element for golfers and non-golfers is complete.
3. Core Marketing. The best marketing you have is what your customer is willing to photograph – the bolder your field, the bigger your Instagram and social media exposure, the better your reputation. SmartTargets provide a visual impact where the first thing many customers do when they arrive is take a photo and post it on social media or send it to their friends. Simply put, if you’re not on peoples’ camera phones, you don’t exist and no one photographs a computer screen or scoring kiosk. They photograph large-range targets that have been designed to give this impressive impact
4. More revenue streams. When selling evening play versus daytime practice, golf entertainment attracts the new non-golfing customers and opens up to corporate parties, buyouts and non-bay revenues that multiply your ROI so much that it’s another article (coming soon).
In conclusion, your boss is customer satisfaction and the technology is now available to deliver full immersion and have people talking about it for years because it was authentically fantastic. A full tee box to target range can earn 5 times what a tee line scoring only range earns. Contact us at SmartTargets if you’d like to learn more.
SmartTargets come in several designs optimized for the terrain and conditions of the range field and location. Permanent targets with a low-profile membrane structure are designed to withstand winter, rain, and wind. Then there are topographical range targets that are either structured frames, sealed air or forced air, depending on the location and needs. Some driving ranges are uphill or downhill and might not fit a flat target design. Sometimes you want to put a tower in the backfield to give players a real meaty target to go for and a super visual goal to hit.
Targets are designed to complete a driving range and create a gaming experience players cannot resist. Topgolf proved they could have 4-hour waits for a hitting bay. Today, with modern scoring and range targeting, venues can put in a complete turn-key system for vastly less than the previous RFID technology. This is key because the technology had to be designed such that a 10-30 bay facility can easily pay for the improvement without years of payback.
Opening up the night is the key strength SmartTarget interactive driving range targets provide. A glowing field of targets provides the visual impact that attracts evening non-golfers like a bug zapper. And if you do not recognize that the evening is when most people are free to play feel free to give us a call to find out the true math for how golf entertainment at night can change your business.
All targets are not created equal and interactivity both day and night are what is proving to be the successful model. Simply putting dormant placeholders is just going to make things look pretty. But just like the bowling alley, the positive feedback of falling bowling pins or flashing and responsive targets will keep your customers engaged and coming back.