IG183 January 21

January 2021 www.insidegolf.com.au www.facebook.com/InsideGolfIndustry IG business 20 A ‘Virtual’ Pro shop? Vendi brings ‘self- service’ technology to the golf course C ovid-19 has accelerated technology like in no other period of our lifetime and it is the “great leap forward consequence” of 2020. Whilst club and ball technologies continue to test the bounds of limitation, the larger metropolitan clubs and Pro Shop- manned country golf clubs are now fully engaged with best practice golf experience technology programmes. Meanwhile, it seems the smaller, regional clubs of Australia have been left behind. Until now. Vendi… Golf Your Way, is the brainchild of Shawne McKenna, Founder and Director of the business. Bemoaning the availability in regional areas to be able to access golf accessories, drinks and snacks in clubs that do not trade full time, he came up with the idea of vending in a safe, secure and cashless environment of all things golf – balls, tees, gloves, caps, sunscreen, mozzie spray – all the things golfers leave at home or run out of at some stage and have to travel large distances to fulfil. And every sale supports the club! With access to a solid supply chain and technology infrastructure, Vendi Golf works whilst the club is closed; collecting green fees, selling drinks and snacks and the latest trends such as new model balls, bargain- priced gloves and the like – all of which are filled by each club’s appointed “Vendi Captain.” A Vendi Captain is basically a committee person appointed to be Vendi Golf’s first point of contact and carry out maintenance and reporting tasks regularly and in less than an hour a week. So, considering what a club’s committee does currently in maintaining and managing “It has meant that that we are now collecting green fees by tap and go! Nobody has an excuse not to pay. More revenue for our club, and secure collection of monies. Plus, our members and visitors have had instant access to drinks, snacks and golf gear. We love it! “The new Vendi Carts have provided a huge revenue boost for the club, too. As well as an initial cheque from sponsors to have their logo on a cart, we receive commissions every month from Vendi, with no outgoings or booking management.” The carts Neville speaks of are another brainchild of Vendi Golf. “Maffra approached me in July if we did cart hire. They were leasing carts and losing money with all the problems associated with access, attendance, manual processes and cash handling. “So, we came up with self-attending cart hire using our technology, whereby now you can turn up, pick a cart, pay for it in the Vendi, receive a pincode to access, it takes 3 minutes… sales have quadrupled in the first three months of operation, and the clubs have no lease costs,” says Shawne. Eight months on and Vendi Golf is operating in five venues across Victoria returning thousands of dollars in revenue to the clubs – revenue they would not be earning otherwise. Vendi Golf is rolling out in 2021 nationally and as their motto attests: “Vendi Golf – Your Virtual Pro Shop, NEVER CLOSE AGAIN!” For more information, contact Shawne McKenna at sales@vendigolf.com.au , or visit www.vendigolf.com.au/ cash honesty boxes, travelling to the bank, filling cashbooks and transferring information to treasurers, etc – Vendi Golf is helping regional golf clubs of Australia step into the 21st Century of technology, all day every day – and without any capital outlay! Maffra Golf Club in Gippsland was the first Vendi Golf venue to come on board in May 2020…right in the peak of Covid. The club’s President, Neville Gutteridge, and the committee were keen, but there is always a first adopter caution. “Despite some initial apprehension from our members, the introduction of the Vendi machine to Maffra Golf Club has been a resounding success,” Gutteridge explains. South Pines Golf Club Club membership booms, report reveals A ustralian golf’s 2020 boom continues at pace, with a surge in interest from young men its driving force. In its latest report“NewMember Demand in Australian Golf Clubs, The Impact of Covid-19”, Golf Australia confirms that more than 42,000 people have joined golf clubs in the 10 months to the end of October. That represents a surge in new membership demand of 126 per cent nationally – despite the lengthy Covid-19 shutdown in metropolitan Melbourne – and on track for a five per cent overall annual rise, which would represent the best such number since 1989. The strongest growth has been among males aged 20-49 with almost 75 per cent of male membership growth from that cohort. Male membership growth has represented 88 per cent of the total surge and it is women aged 50+ who have been responsible for more than 56 per cent of the female growth. Rounds growth has also continued. The report reveals that year-to-date October data (excluding Victoria) shows rounds eight per cent up on 2019 – and 22 per cent in the months May to October. For this latter period, male and female rounds demand is up by 22 and 20 per cent, respectively. To read the report, visit: www.golfbas.com/reports