The Smart Golfer Podcast

Increasing Conversions & Connections to Create Win-Wins for Golfers AND Golf Entities with Rodrigo Gomez

November 08, 2022 Greta Anderson Season 1 Episode 7
The Smart Golfer Podcast
Increasing Conversions & Connections to Create Win-Wins for Golfers AND Golf Entities with Rodrigo Gomez
Show Notes Transcript

Many of us already have an understanding of how fun and powerful golf is as a relationship-building tool. However, it's not always easy for the right people to find one another.

In recent years, social media platforms and other connection tools have created easy ways for us to connect with others...from Facebook to LinkedIn to Evite.  Each of these platforms was originally designed to help us create and deepen connections with like-minded individuals.
 
But what if you had access to a free app that made it super easy to meet and connect with golfers of similar playing level, geographic location, club membership and more? How much more valuable would that make your club membership?

ClubSync is a game changing piece of technology for the golf community that does just that, and ClubSync co-founder Rodrigo Gomez is breaking it down during this episode!In this episode, we're going to learn about the technology that makes it easier for golfers as well as golf clubs, leagues, state associations, and other entities to create and facilitate connections to create winning opportunities for all parties.

Dr. Greta:

Welcome to the Smart Golfer podcast, where we help aspiring golfers improve their skills, strategy, and know how for better performance, fun, and play. I'm your host, Dr. Greta Anderson, and I am beyond excited to help you move from just hitting balls to playing your best golf. So let's get to it. Hi there. I'm Dr. Greta. So excited to be here today with you. We are going to have an amazing conversation with the co owner of and co founder, I should say of Club Sync, the first and only digital platform that's dedicated to enhancing your experiences within the global golf community. I am just going to get started in the conversation. How are you doing, my friend?

Ro Gomez:

I'm doing fantastically well. Thank you for having me. I've been looking forward to it.

Dr. Greta:

Likewise. Thank you. Thank you. I'm not going to be jealous of that beautiful weather down there in those cabos, but enjoy that. So let's just jump into it.

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely.

Dr. Greta:

You are the founder cofounder, right?

Ro Gomez:

I'm the cofounder of clubsyncsync.

Dr. Greta:

And so instead of me just trying to botch it up and describe it, how about we get the expert description of your amazing service?

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely. For the past, the inception of Club Singing started in 2019. And when we started talking to clubs a ton, they told us that most of the industries are in the pandemic. Kind of went through this digital transformation. But unfortunately, the golf market still unfortunately lagging. And unfortunately it's not that kind of good lag that we like.

Dr. Greta:

Right. Not the lag we like. Yeah.

Ro Gomez:

And so then it got really amplified when during the heart of the pandemic, they ask us to be social distant. The clubs are realizing, on, my goodness, my members are not able to come before or after they're around to mingle. And we need to find a way for them to connect and engage because they're still needing to. And obviously that even increased even more. They had a ton of new members coming in. Right?

Dr. Greta:

Yes.

Ro Gomez:

And so some clubs kind of adopted technology during that term for like, booking your tee times online, making dinner reservations, paying your things online, which what they tell me, those are called operational tasks. They realized that they needed to find a way for their members to truly connect and get the best out of their golf membership when it was like this.

Dr. Greta:

Right, right. Continue to add value even though we were in the complexities of the pandemic.

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely. And so all the things that we were talking about, it's nothing new to the club or anything. It's just that it got amplified more when we had the pandemic.

Dr. Greta:

Right.

Ro Gomez:

And so think about when, you know, we have been in this conversation before that, you know, when you're a new member at a club, it's extremely intimidating. Yeah, extremely. It's kind of like when you're a new kid in school. You walk into the school, you're so scared because you're like, where do I fit in? Am I a jocker? Am I a chess club? Am I or whatever?

Dr. Greta:

Right?

Ro Gomez:

You add on to that being the new member at a club and the ego part of it, why am I going to be initiating this conversation? Truly, greta, do you see this happening? I walk up to you, the practice range, like, Hi, Greta, my name is Ro, I'm a 30 handicap. Would you like to play? No. I was going to say yes, but.

Dr. Greta:

I know what you mean. Yes, it's correct. It can be a very intimidating experience. Right. The prospect of it is daunting for many people. I mean, we know that even just in golf in general, let alone in a club environment.

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely. And obviously, now that I've been talking to the clubs, right now, obviously when you have a conversation with them, they're all super happy. Everybody's a champion because you don't even need to talk to them about lead generation, none of that stuff, because for the most part, they're all capped out.

Dr. Greta:

Yeah. Numbers are skyrocketing. Membership.

Ro Gomez:

Yeah, it's amazing. It's all amazing. Right? But what they do, they start thinking about it. A good friend of mine, general manager at Spur Wing, up there in Idaho, he goes, look, now we've done the hardest part, which was capped our membership. Now we need to shift our marketing strategy in member engagement. How do we continue to bring added value?

Dr. Greta:

Absolutely right. Because just as they came, they will.

Ro Gomez:

Go and look the research. Do you know David Lawrence for National Golf Foundation?

Dr. Greta:

I do not know him personally, but I'm a research nerd, so I know his work very well.

Ro Gomez:

I love his work. He recently posted in November an article rethinking the retention question.

Dr. Greta:

Yes.

Ro Gomez:

And he talks about it's not about retaining, it's actually converting your member into an advocate member.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly right.

Ro Gomez:

We all been to a church, and every time you go to a church, they're so welcoming. They're like, Come on, come on. Right? Because they want to convert you. And in the golf industry or in the golf club, it's tough.

Dr. Greta:

Well, year before that, wasn't that the roles were totally reversed. Totally.

Ro Gomez:

So I think the best analogy, and I think we already kind of talked a little bit into what it is I think the best analogy we're not trying to reinvent the wheel here. Facebook did that same thing with our friends. Then LinkedIn said, wait a minute, we got to do one for work and we already know what LinkedIn is.

Dr. Greta:

Right?

Ro Gomez:

And then the next door said, Wait a second, we got to do one for neighborhoods.

Dr. Greta:

Right.

Ro Gomez:

So what is Cubs in doing? We're doing the same thing for the clubs and the members.

Dr. Greta:

Awesome.

Ro Gomez:

All right. Yeah. It's been a very well received concept. Right now, we're talking to the clubs up north because we know they have the time to talk to us. I won't be talking to any of the clubs here in Cabo because they're so busy right now with the high season.

Dr. Greta:

Busy, busy, busy, busy. That's amazing. So congratulations on your success thus far. We know just great things to come. So a couple of questions. So for the golfer who may be watching us here on Making the Turn, how can he or she inquire encourage their club to inquire? Because I'm sure a lot of people are thinking like, well, yeah, this makes sense. Number one, that's question number two. Number one. Number two, you don't have to get too far in the weeds. But as a user, can you tell us a little bit about the user experience?

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely. I will talk first of all, excuse me, about number one. They can just go directly to clubsing.com and I think you posted it there. They can just send us an email and saying, look, we would like to incorporate this into our club. And we always just say, look, just put us in touch with your director of membership or general manager, whoever the position is. And we usually just look, we always tell them, we just tell you what we're doing. If it makes sense for you, great. If it doesn't, then it's alright. And so that's the easiest way to do. We're obviously on LinkedIn and Instagram, all that other stuff. So it's very easy.

Dr. Greta:

Okay, great.

Ro Gomez:

So when it comes down to the experience as a user, let's talk about the user experience of an actual member of a club. Yes, right. The very first thing, once they go and download the app, we ask them to register with their gym because that kind of synchronizes their handicap, their club affiliation, all that other cool stuff. Right. So the very first thing is that once you land, you have your own exclusive club fee. So now the club is able to use the platform as a communication tool to post everything that may be happening in the club. This may be the superintendent put out a post saying, hey, we're working on bunker number nine. Be careful for the people that just started playing in the morning, maybe the GM is passing by. He sees this delicious hamburger that the chefs rolling out. He takes a picture. One of the things that I realized a ton when I was working at Diamante, that we had such a big membership is every single member of every club, they want to know everything. Doesn't matter how small it is, they want to be constantly give me information. I want to know what's happening in my club because I'm so vested into it.

Dr. Greta:

It's my house. Yes. FOMO is real as a golf club member. Correct.

Ro Gomez:

One of my dear friends that when we worked at Timante, that he was in charge doing the newsletter. He said it best. He goes, look, you think about it. The newsletter that we've been doing for years usually covers things in the past.

Dr. Greta:

That is true. Well said.

Ro Gomez:

So why are you even it's irrelevant. It already passed. The member wants to do things.

Dr. Greta:

The member guest held January 15 was awesome. Well, it's January, not 15th anymore, right? Correct.

Ro Gomez:

Right. Even though, obviously there are clubs that do certain upcoming style, don't get me wrong, but absolutely. The members want to know what's happening right now, one of the posts that the clubs are using a ton is the lost and foul range finders. All day long and wedges and putters are left.

Dr. Greta:

Yes. Right.

Ro Gomez:

And so now the club loves this because they're able to actually post and they cover their end saying, hey, we let you know it's here, you can contact this person, blah, blah, blah, blah. So that club feed and the way that we build our club feed right. Is the only type of stuff that you get is from the clubs you belong, the groups that you have joined okay. And the connections you have made.

Dr. Greta:

Okay.

Ro Gomez:

Say that again.

Dr. Greta:

You're not getting spam excessive.

Ro Gomez:

Exactly. So one of the biggest things that we noticed during the Pandemic, again, I learned, obviously it's horrible, right. What's happening with Ependemic. Well, I think I'm a very optimistic person, and I try to every encounter that I have in life, try to see what's the good in it so I can continue to be a better version of myself.

Dr. Greta:

Right.

Ro Gomez:

And the Pandemic just showed a lot of the potholes that we had everywhere.

Dr. Greta:

It did.

Ro Gomez:

Everywhere. Everywhere. With that itself inside the club, now they're able to really show all this information that is out there that is happening. And one of the things that I noticed is that during the Pandemic and Facebook, we were getting a ton of content. A ton. But all of it was noise. Just noise. As a member of a club, anything that is happening inside my club, to me, it's music.

Dr. Greta:

Right.

Ro Gomez:

Because I care about that.

Dr. Greta:

It's your club. You have chosen club. That's right.

Ro Gomez:

So that's why we build it that way. We don't want to have promotions. Two for one tacos, you know, to come to this. No, it's all about your stuff.

Dr. Greta:

Excellent.

Ro Gomez:

So that's really the main. As soon as you log in, that's your first user experience.

Dr. Greta:

Okay.

Ro Gomez:

Right away, you get your club feed information from your club. Then second icon is the my club section. So you're able to see all the clubs that you may be affiliated. And the reason we build it like that is because there's a lot of people that belong to multiple clubs.

Dr. Greta:

Sure.

Ro Gomez:

My business partner. He's from Rome, Georgia. Very close to where you are.

Dr. Greta:

Yes.

Ro Gomez:

And he's a member at Gulf of Georgia, but he's also a member at Diamante. Yes. So he has two different memberships that he would like to connect and engage with. And then also, once you get in, you get the details. So in a sense, what we've done is that when someone joins, they're not by themselves in the jungle, it's always nice. And that is well, that's the reason Facebook was able to take down Princeton back in the day, if you recall watching their movie Facebook the Social Network, their big success was they started at Harvard, and only if you had a Harvard email get you joined and then you automatically saw, oh, there's that person that goes to psychology class with, yeah, right, we do the same thing. Right, we do the same thing.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly.

Ro Gomez:

And so for the user that is not part of a member, that's why we're talking to the golf state associations, which my name Jake Miller up in Utah golf association has been helping us a ton, and they're huge advocates and ambassadors with us.

Dr. Greta:

Shout out to Jake. Woohoo.

Ro Gomez:

Shout out to Jake. He's a great guy, you never met him. He's doing phenomenal things up there in Utah. Even though they're one of the smaller state associations, they are doing phenomenal things.

Dr. Greta:

Small and mighty.

Ro Gomez:

Small and mighty. And if you think about it, golf state associations have the exact same challenge.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly. Which is you're reading my mind. I know you talk about this is your business, so you're talking about it often. But that's exactly where I was going to head with my next question, if you hadn't gone there. Exactly, yeah. The state golf association.

Ro Gomez:

Utah has, I think, 32,000 golfers. So think about this. I go to my state association and each state association has managed differently. Like the Southern California, they use e clubs, they use e clubs. And then Utah, they go choose the green grass facility that is closest to your zip code, okay? So you join, you want to get a handicap, you go online with my zip code and they say Bonneville is the closest one to you. You select that one and you're thrown into the pool of 900 people, right?

Dr. Greta:

And you're like, who are these people?

Ro Gomez:

I mean, how do I even get to know them, right? With Facebook, at least you have the opportunity to go in and see the list of your members, the groups. So imagine this, right? Remember the analogy we talked about, new kid in school?

Dr. Greta:

Yes.

Ro Gomez:

Now, with clubs, you walk into your club and at your comfort of your house, right? You're just chilling, you're touring yourself, and you see inside your club that there is a single digits group, there's a beginner's group, there's a 06:00, a.m. Group, there's a millennials group, there's a couple's group, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. Right? So now I'm like, well, I love to play at six in the morning, I would like to join. I'm a single digit player. I want to play with singledigit players.

Dr. Greta:

Right?

Ro Gomez:

So now, on the comfort of his own home and privacy, he's able to break the ice and actually make friends, crack jokes, and actually play more golf. Think about this, most of the platforms out there, social media platforms, their business is what?

Dr. Greta:

Yes. Right. Scrolling. Scrolling.

Ro Gomez:

What is my business? I want to connect likeminded individuals so that together we can have a better golf experience today than it was yesterday.

Dr. Greta:

And connect them efficiently. I love that. I love that because I could go on and on, but that's really been what I've studied for decades now. Really? My doctoral dissertation was about social integration, how integration is a two pronged activity in a learning environment that might be school, that might be golf. The skill of learning. Yes. You may become attached to golf because you like it. You're good at striking the ball, putting, whatever the case may be. But you may move away from golf because you haven't been successful in socially integrating. Right. So you might be it's a stretch. Right. You could theoretically very easily be a single digit handicapped golfer who just hasn't found her home, her community, and doesn't play nearly as much golfish.

Ro Gomez:

I'll put it even easier as a personal experience. Okay. I've been living here in Cabo for 15 years, and I invite everybody that might be coming down to Cabo. Hit me up. Everybody likes to have the guys know the guys somewhere. So I would love to host you and play golf down here and show you what a good tequila is. Okay? Love it. But when I've been living here in Cabo, my brother and I have been organizing Skins games all the time. All the time. And we'll talk about that other feature that we have inside the app, which is the Matches feature that the organizer love it because we automate the whole process, right? Yes.

Dr. Greta:

I can imagine.

Ro Gomez:

Herding the cattle. That's the thing that every organizer just despise. And stop organizing games because it's a hassle.

Dr. Greta:

You saw that. And I stopped myself because I remember we were on camera, my eyes broke into the back of my head to even the thought I was going like, oh, goodness sakes. Yes.

Ro Gomez:

And what does the organizer care about when he sends an invitation? All I want to know, are you in or are you out? I love you, brother. No, thank you. So think about that functionality, for example. The best analogy to it is evidence. You have heard of evidence? Yes, exactly. What evidence? It's in our matches. Feature all we do is we grab Ebike, we got Facebook, we got this, and we just made it golf centric.

Dr. Greta:

I love that. Right? That's it, right?

Ro Gomez:

At this point, the story about single digits happened to me when we launched the app in March 2021. My dear friend Sergio Castillo, which is the director of golf at Puerto Los Cabos, for the whole quote, I said to him, Look, I know the summer passes coming up, so they do a really good deal for the locals during the summer.

Dr. Greta:

Okay?

Ro Gomez:

And there's 250 members that buy that membership. Okay? And I said to Sarah, let me test out Club Sync with this club. It's a club. It's like a neat club. So I can organize the games, I'll take care of the tournaments that we're going to do to add value to the membership, etc. Out of the 250 members. And I've been organizing games with my brother for a long time. Guess how many of those people I knew?

Dr. Greta:

250 people?

Ro Gomez:

No.

Dr. Greta:

250 total.

Ro Gomez:

Yes.

Dr. Greta:

You knew 20% of them.

Ro Gomez:

A little bit less than that. Okay, but even if it was 20, so let's say 50 people, right? There were so many people on the list. I was like, that guy plays golf in his single digit.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly. Who was like, who knew?

Ro Gomez:

Who knew? Because how are you going to know, right? And so what happened to me is like, oh, my goodness. Just inside this 250 eclub, right, we have 75 people that are single digits.

Dr. Greta:

Look at that.

Ro Gomez:

And you know what I did with my matches feature? I said, Hundred dollar Skins game on Saturday, and I sent it to the single digits. And in less than three, four days, max, full. Why? Because the single digits, that's what they want to play.

Dr. Greta:

They want to play. They found their tribe.

Ro Gomez:

They found their tribe. We're human beings. They want to find their tribes. That's why you join a club, right? That's why you join a club.

Dr. Greta:

Yeah, exactly.

Ro Gomez:

But then inside the club, it's a bigger tribe. You want to get to the likeminded. And so same thing goes with the beginners, right? So the beginners and this is something that we do with the clubs and go look, once they agreed to use our technology in our onboarding process, we do a membership analysis for them that starts with their gender and playing level. So we go and look. You have 100 beginners that are females. I'll bet you that they don't know each other, right? The game is so intimidating that if they knew there were other people there that are as beginners as them, they will lose the intimidation part of it.

Dr. Greta:

And you would have a thriving women's beginner community who wouldn't be beginners for long, but it would create an amazing growth flow.

Ro Gomez:

And at the end of the day, we talked about it. It's not about retaining, it's about converting them.

Dr. Greta:

Converting. And then I would even say nurturing.

Ro Gomez:

Absolutely. We at Club Sing. We're very passionate. And I said to them, everything we do, we always got to think, how is this that we're going to do? Help the why?

Dr. Greta:

The why? Exactly.

Ro Gomez:

How are we going to connect likeminded individuals so that together we can have a better golf experience today than it was yesterday?

Dr. Greta:

That's amazing. Remember on why it's all about, however, whatever kind of your lane or angle of attack, if you will, is the central objective is to, as you said, bring more people to golf and make that day of golf better than the day before.

Ro Gomez:

And that piece of it, I learned it when I worked at the Amante, and I had to, I don't know, probably my five years that I was there. I hosted maybe like 250 people because they were coming. They're touring the property, so I get to play with them.

Dr. Greta:

Beautiful facility.

Ro Gomez:

And every single time, thankfully, only like five people out of there. I would never want to play ever again, golf with them ever again.

Dr. Greta:

Yeah.

Ro Gomez:

All the other ones, we created this bond relationship that I can call them to today. Like, hey, I'm going to Los Angeles. Can you host me at Bel Air? Absolutely, yeah.

Dr. Greta:

Relationships relationships matter.

Ro Gomez:

Here's what surprises me about the experience in golf. Doesn't matter if you are a 30 handicap or a single digit. I personally automatically already respect you because you're attempting to hit the ball. But I know how difficult it is, and you're trying you're 100% to do the best shot.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly. Which is as a coach, as a teacher, remind new and emerging golfers at that very point, there are so many people out there, more people than not out on the course who are going to wholeheartedly support you and encourage you. We were all there. Now, you may have been there years gone by, or maybe not so long ago, but we were all there. So we know what it feels like, and we do. I admire people when I see them out there and, you know, they are doing their darndest. I can do nothing but support them and cover them and encourage them.

Ro Gomez:

So, yeah, I always tell my friends that are starting up, like, I go, you know Tiger Woods, right? Yeah, of course. He was where you were. Just that he was there when he was one year old. He was a little guy.

Dr. Greta:

Exactly. But we've all been there. As I say on the lesson T, no one comes out of the womb. Single digit handicap. It doesn't work like that. Right. It just doesn't. So creating a great place and great experiences and allowing golfers of all levels all over the world to connect is just an amazing, amazing thing. This is exciting. I'm looking forward to seeing Club Sync everywhere. I'm looking forward to it coming to more and more clubs near me. And I hope that our viewers and viewers friends are going to do the same thing. As Roe said, go into that GM's office, director of sales, tell them, hey, you need to talk to the folks over@clubsinclubsink.com LinkedIn, Facebook, all the social things. You can find them there. Let's get the conversation going so you too can get with Club Sync. Anything else with us, for our viewers?

Ro Gomez:

My friend, nothing. I appreciate the platform to be able to share this important message that we're so passionate about. And I see that you and I can continue to have this conversation on and on about the connectivity and what the impact of the game is. So kudos to you. I love what you're doing. Keep going what you're doing. We're a big supporters, so thank you once again.

Dr. Greta:

Thank you again, folks. Our friend Roe Gomez of Club Sync. Thank you so much for joining us this week on the Smart Golfer podcast. Make sure you visit our website, Dr. Greta Golf.com, where you can subscribe to the show using your preferred podcast platform so you'll never miss a show. And while you're at it, if you found value in the show, we'd appreciate a rating on that platform. Or if you simply like to tell a friend about the show, that could help us out, too. And if you like this show, you might want to check out more of our learning programs at academy. Drgrettagolf.com. Com.