The Social Golfer is changing the way we play golf – what's to know and why should you care
After all, working in the media agency industry for some years, surely he had golfers coming out of his ears but on the contrary, despite knowing plenty of people who played golf - as someone who was not a member of a golf club and had no real desire to join one – he was constantly being let down at the last minute.
It was then on a flight returning from Dubai and in light of how online dating was beginning to take off (it was 2005!) Ian set above developing online golf directory and list of email contacts, however it wasn't until 2010 that his vision came to fruition.
Having left agency-land to pursue a freelance career, in the early days, Ian probably spent more time on dating sites than his girlfriend at the time would have liked, just trying to understand what did and didn't work.
As well as thinking about how an Online Golf Club website would, could or should look and feel and how would it allow golfer to interact with each other.
Ian is quick to point out that The SocialGolfer.com (TSG) is NOT a dating site (although it could be if you wanted it to be).
However, it wasn't until 2009 that Ian had begun working with some Kent based developers who had ironically had a similar vision/idea and with a name already created (by the same said developers) Ian quickly made noises about taking ownership of the code and the fledgling site, and then set about building a truly interactive and functional website layout.
With no background in coding (but plenty of experience in Creative and Design) he began by recruiting a reasonably priced developer (who could help him in his spare time) and then started promoting the platform and posting events and tee times on the site, for other new members to start joining.
One posted the database then send out geo-targeted email invite to those that live within the catchment of the club where the tee time was posted (Green fee booked by TSG member direct with club).
Of course, with hindsight, he now knows he was probably a good few years ahead of the rest of the golf market and in some ways had to wait form the playing public to catch up. As such, it reality it took Ian another two years to start to see the website really take off. However, at early stage Ian had introduced an annual membership fee (£20) agreed in advance with the active members, meaning he could now start developing a business beyond a few golfing nomads.
By 2014 the membership registrations on the site had grown to 5K and at the time of going to press in early 2018 this had reached 10K+. Ian has created both a vibrant and active website and mobile platform whereby over 1000 golf events were organized through the site in 2017 alone.
So what next for Ian and his team?
"It has taken such a great deal of time and effort to reach this point I our journey and we wanted to wait until we had a very active site before shouting about it. But the next 12 month is about growth and quickly."
"We now have over 20k courses listed on our golf course directory. We have over 5K+ golf course and club reviews. There has been over 20K scorecard entries on the Handicap calculator and his team are now working on highly targeted and SEO campaign."
Ian's ambition (and we think he could do it) is to be the biggest golf club in the UK by 2020. He also wants to give up the day job and go full-time on The Social Golfer.
Good luck Ian, we think you've got a real chance of changing the way we all play golf….and in the very near future!
About the Company: The Social Golfer is the biggest online community of golf enthusiasts in the UK. The Social Golfer online golf community (TSG) is a place where you will be able to find new golf partners & societies, can join local golf games and events in your area or county, run golf societies and golf groups, track your scores, establish a handicap certificate and join in with the latest chat and forum discussions.
Contact The Social Golfer
Office: 01277 - 200207
The Social Golfer