Golf GameBook Tournament Manager has been used over the past few years for a wide range of events across Finland and Sweden. We wanted to hear more from a few golf clubs about their experiences with Tournament Manager. This blog series will feature golf clubs from Finland and Sweden that have actively used Tournament Manager at their events. What kind of events do they use it for, and why? And how has it stood out?
In the first part of the blog series, we’ll take a look at Pickala Golf in Siuntio, Finland. We met Pickala Golf’s Service Manager, Sanna Haavisto, and discussed their events in 2023 and how Tournament Manager has benefited them. Haavisto highlighted how much Tournament Manager has made their everyday life easier and how satisfied their customers have been with their events.
Tournament Manager makes event organization more efficient
Pickala Golf has been using Tournament Manager since the spring of 2020 when it was launched. They use Tournament Manager to organize around 100 events per season. Corporate events are organized with Tournament Manager without exceptions.
“The greatest advantage of Tournament Manager for Pickala’s office and customers is in the corporate events. At Pickala, all decisions are made from the customer’s point of view, and we use Tournament Manager specifically to serve corporate event customers,” says Haavisto.
Events created with Tournament Manager make the office’s everyday life easier in many ways.
“There’s no need to print scorecards or collect and type the results on the computer after a round. It avoids all the hassle that would be involved with paper scorecards. In fact, paper scorecards require extra resources and are not the modern way of doing things.”
In events created with Tournament Manager, players enter their scores directly into the Golf GameBook app. Players can track results from their smartphones, but the office stays up to date on the results in real time.
“We have the results ready as soon as the last group has finished their round. With score tracking, the restaurant and office can monitor the pace of play, allowing us to prepare the food at the right time, and the office can estimate when the course can be opened up for other players,” Haavisto adds.
Benefits for organizers and customers
Tournament Manager benefits both the organizer and the customer. For the organizer, it saves a lot of time and effort, streamlines operations, and simplifies things. For the customer, the event looks professional. Haavisto highlighted a few things for the customer:
- The possibility to monitor results in real-time
- An elegant-looking tournament site that can be fully branded to match the customer’s identity. Haavisto stresses that this creates a sense of real competition and that the overall impression is always the company’s.
- The possibility to hide the results from the last few holes, keeping the excitement until the end. According to Haavisto, this creates extra excitement for the players when they don’t know the final result when the prizes are awarded.
“Tournament Manager also allows you to print out golf cart signs! Golf carts are used extensively at our corporate events, almost daily. Without Tournament Manager, we would have to manually generate the golf cart signs, which takes time,” Haavisto sums up.
Managing large events
The largest event organized with Tournament Manager put the system to a real test. Suomen Suurin Scramble was played simultaneously on all three of Pickala’s courses (Park, Forest, and Seaside). This year, the event had a total of 350 players.
“The event is an open competition, unique and rare as it is the only one of its kind in Finland on this scale. It is a consumer event (B2C), but there are sponsors, so I would rather say it is a club event with a corporate angle. Sponsors also get to display their logo on the tournament site, giving the event a personalized and stylish look. Tournament Manager has worked very well for Suomen Suurin Scramble event,” Haavisto says.
But the season highlight at Pickala is clear. The Ladies European Tour event, Ladies Open by Pickala Rock Resort, was played at Pickala’s Park course from 29 June to 1 July 2023, with no less than 250 volunteers involved.
“The event was amazing and unique, something we have never had in Pickala before,” Haavisto describes and continues.
“The conditions during the competition were challenging. The competition had to be stopped several times due to thunderstorms and heavy rain. Of course, we are prepared for evacuations and different horror scenarios, and we have a lot of experience with them, so we evacuated and transported the players smoothly. Up to 250 volunteers were on hand to make sure this happened.”
The Ladies European Tour Pro-Am was organized with Tournament Manager.
Haavisto says that nowadays, it is so common to use Golf GameBook that they no longer have to instruct players on how to use the app. She also says getting at least one player from each group to enter scores into the app is easy.
“Years ago, some players, especially older ones, still wanted to concentrate on playing and not looking at their mobile phones. Nowadays, everyone is used to using their phone on the golf course and likes to follow the game live. Mobile apps have become common in everyday life. Even if someone hasn’t played golf for years, they will still understand how Golf GameBook works. It’s so simple, clear, and intuitive to use.”
According to Haavisto, the system is so straightforward that anyone can use Golf GameBook as long as they are able to join a correct game. She says it can be a challenge if not enough detailed information about the player is available or if the player cannot be found in the system.
“At Pickala, we know the possible reasons, so those issues are also easy to solve. A player’s membership may be inactive, or they may have multiple accounts in Golf GameBook. When that player comes to register, the round will not show up on the front page of their Golf GameBook profile. It then takes a moment to figure out their email and realize that they may have a couple of different profiles on Golf GameBook.”
Haavisto also praises the communication with the Golf GameBook staff.
“Communication is smooth, problems are dealt with quickly, and the service is always personal and professional. We are very happy with the collaboration between Pickala and Golf GameBook.”