What’s the most important thing in your pocket when you’re playing a round of golf? A tee peg? A pitch-mark repairer? A scorecard? Or maybe it’s your lucky coin? They all pale into insignificance compared to something else you should keep handy when you play golf, your smart phone. It’s hard to believe that smart phones like the iPhone are just ten years old and in such a short space of time us golfers have really embraced them as a valuable tool.
Whatever about the equipment revolution in golf there is no doubting that digital technology has totally transformed how we play and interact with the game.
Couple this revolution with today’s fast paced lifestyles and the need for golf to “Speed up its act” and VoxGolf comes into its own. In essence, VoxGolf is an app that brings modern forms of competition to your phone. Once downloaded, you can enter a variety of competitive games, record your score digitally, view live leaderboards and broaden the formats of competition you play anytime you’re on course. All making the game more fun and accessible to the modern golfer.
The concept was devised by Daniel Lewis and former Irish international and Challenge Tour winner Stephen Browne and the aim is simple, to create a better experience for golfers.
Browne was at a crossroads in his career in 2008, should he go to Tour School and keep pursuing his professional golf career or not? “I was looking for a new challenge away from tour life to be honest and a friend and fellow member in my home club at the Hermitage, Frank Murray, owned a software company for the financial services sector and convinced me to give it a go. I loved it from day one and quickly realised how much software and apps can make a huge difference to people. If somebody develops a great piece of software it can actually change lives.”
After a successful 5 years in the role a new challenge was needed. In 2013 Browne teamed up with Lewis as they looked at mixing their passion for golf and digital platforms to make a better experience for golfers.
“When you look at other sports like darts, cricket or snooker for example, they have all moved to faster competitive formats and all have grown rapidly because of this evolution.”
Browne explains “Golf is moving to new formats at a slower pace but with new initiatives from the European Tour and PGA of America for shorter format events and the development of more 9 hole courses worldwide the game seems to be moving in the right direction”
So how can VoxGolf benefit the club golfer? Simply put it gives you more choices and the opportunity to have some fun. The way golf is going now people have less time to play, everybody is being squeezed no matter what age they are so the idea of shorter, more fun, formats with options of a competitive side is where golf needs to go.
If you think about the average golfer in a monthly medal, probably half the field are out of the competition after the first 6 or 9 holes. VoxGolf gives the club the ability to introduce shorter formats of competition within the main competition to keep people interested and playing more competitively. With VoxGolf you can get to the 13th tee of your round all warmed up and enter a competition for the last six holes. It can turn the casual mentality of a 6 or 9 hole game into a competitive event against a field. You can run open events any day of the week on any course in the country as a group, society, member or visitor and all compete in one event. The options are endless.
How to get registered
For professionals, golf clubs and corporate groups or society organisers, a Vox Game can be set up in seconds on the web platform (www.voxgolf.com). Set the course, competition format and entry fee, and invite your golfers to play. Multiple courses can be easily created which may include a Front 9 and Back 9 course, a shortened 12-hole loop for the winter, or a Par 3 Shootout. It’s all added fun!
Setting up competitions is extremely simple and you can enter the format, course and number of holes, as well as the start and end time. Stay in touch with your golfing group or members with the VoxGolf built-in messaging capability. Announce winners, upcoming events or proshop discount days instantly with the VoxGolf platform.
The VoxGolf app allows players to sign in to games on their mobile phone, with cashless entry fees, a digital score card and a live leaderboard showing progress in real time. Simply find and enter Vox Games directly from your phone. The app offers a cash or cashless option via credit card, as well as a location feature which shows open games available near you. Once you’re signed into a game, you can enter your score after each hole on the app. Number of holes, handicap allowance and indices on the digital scorecard are all automatically tailored to the competition format of the day.
During and after play, each competitor can see a live leaderboard shown in real time on the app. Players can track their progress in the standings, as well as viewing fellow participant’s score cards.
VoxGolf is ideal for enhancing the competitive experience beyond the usual “1st, 2nd,3rd” winners’ circle. The platform is fully customisable to offer options such as “Front 6, Middle 6, Last 6” competitions, a Par 3 or a Par 5 Shootout. You just build a game that suits where and when you want to play.
Results are announced on the app immediately after the last score has been returned through push notifications, and winners can redeem their prize or avail of vouchers offered through the Vox Store. Your club, professional or society / competition organiser may offer physical prizes for winners, or opt for the Vox Credits system. Gather Vox Credits each time you win and spend them in the Vox Store to redeem vouchers for your favourite retail outlets or your club Proshop.
From a golf club point of view VoxGolf is just as useful. It allows the club administrator send push notifications to members, collect all data from users in that club, including useful game analytics on playing habits.
The “Major 9” Open event
The VoxGolf app has been tested over the last year through a network of clubs in Ireland and is now available to download absolutely free in both Android and iTunes stores. To celebrate the launch of the app, the team at VoxGolf have set up the Major 9 open singles event. The Major 9 competition is open to every golfer in Ireland who downloads the app. Wherever you’re playing between now and March 17th, simply enter the game on offer at that venue and record your 9 hole score all via the VoxGolf app. These scores will be used to qualify you to a final event.
The overall winner of the grand final will receive trip of a lifetime to attend their choice of any one of golf’s four Major Championships this season. (Prize is for flights & weekend tickets for two)
Visit www.voxgolf.com for more information or simply download the VoxGolf app through the Google Play or iTunes store links below and register for the Major 9 competition to take part.