In this part of the blog series, we will look at one of the crown jewels of Finnish golf clubs, Linna Golf in Hämeenlinna. With the glorious event season in the stunning scenery of Vanajanlinna behind us, we interviewed Linna Golf’s Service Manager Carita Helminen, who shared her experiences with Golf GameBook’s Tournament Manager.
Daily event management with Tournament Manager
Linna Golf was the first golf club in Finland to adopt Tournament Manager and has been using it since February 2020. They organize around 120 tournaments a year and use Tournament Manager in all of them.
“In the past, we have used other scoring services (e.g., Golfbox and Nexgolf), but nowadays, Linna Golf no longer uses services other than Tournament Manager. In our opinion, it has been the best and safest choice,” Helminen says.
Linna Golf has aimed to move away from paper scorecards and towards using only the Golf GameBook in all competitions and events. The largest events held with Tournament Manager have been for around 100 people.
“In the very early stages, we even had iPads for each group so they could enter their scores. At that time, we also arranged a Golf GameBook briefing before the players headed to the course. However, nowadays, phones and mobile apps are so common that everyone is ready to enter scores with Golf GameBook. Paper scorecards are a hassle, and you can’t follow the leaderboard during the competition.”
“Wishes have been taken into account”
Helminen emphasizes that Tournament Manager is easy and intuitive to use.
“Even though we have seen some change in our caddie masters, they have learned to use the service easily and quickly. Creating a competition is very simple. On top of that, entering players and grouping them is very logical – and it’s easy to make changes. Tournament Manager has also improved a lot over the years.”
Tournament Manager has been developed a lot based on feedback from customers. Linna Golf has used the service for several years, so they have naturally provided feedback. Helminen has also learned that what you would think would be easy and quick to code is actually very complex.
“Over the years, Tournament Manager has seen a lot of good changes in the right direction — just the kind of changes that were asked for. For example, ‘Hey, this kind of functionality would speed up the process of collecting the results a lot. Would it be possible to develop such a feature in the service?’. If you ask me now what I would like to see as a service user, there is very little left to wish for. At one time, there were considerably more. Points for that!” Helminen thanks.
“Help, what should I do now?”
In the spring, the free version of Golf GameBook was limited, which initially raised many questions from players about the competitions held with the Tournament Manager. However, concerns about entering players’ scores were already considered when this change was made.
“Many players complained to us that they couldn’t enter scores in competitions because they didn’t have a paid Gold Membership. So it was a positive surprise to many that there are no restrictions for games played with Tournament Manager and that everyone can enter scores equally. We have been able to tell these players that they have the Gold features enabled for the day so they can enter everyone’s scores,” Helminen says.
Helminen finds that over the years, she has always received good help and answers to questions and problems with the Tournament Manager. This year, however, the service has worked flawlessly.
“I’ve always felt that there is a solution for everything when I have a question or an urgent situation. However, this year, I have not had to contact customer service once because the Tournament Manager has worked so smoothly. That’s pretty positive, isn’t it?” Helminen smiles.
Systematic and smart business events with the Tournament Manager
Tournament Manager has made Linna Golf’s B2B events easier. It allows the creation of consistent events that appear as high-quality events to the organizer’s customers.
“In quite a few corporate events, the groups of players are formed by an employee of the organizing company and their invited customers. Events created with the Tournament Manager work perfectly when the host of each group can act as the Golf GameBook host and take care of entering the scores,” says Helminen.
For events created with the Tournament Manager, registrations can be handled through a fully customizable tournament site.
“When the event registration is via the Tournament Manager, it’s fantastic to make the tournament site look just like them – down to the logo and color scheme. For example, for the BMW Invitational, the site was fully branded!”