This month Rangeservant.com met up with the golf & services Manager from Silvermere Golf & Leisure, Nigel Potter. We wanted to find out what makes Silvermere one of the world’s most prestigious golf facilities and how they firmly established themselves as one of the leading and most innovative game improvement facilities with their 2-tiered driving range with 52 bays.
Silvermere Golf & Leisure is surrounded by competitors being one of 107 golf courses in Surrey, south east of London, England. They run an incredibly successful forward thinking facility. Most successful golf facilities try to maintain exclusivity, but Silvermere does the opposite and welcomes everybody. It puts its efforts into being recognized as experts hence the shoe studio, left handed golf shop, 4 custom fitting bays accredited with all the major brands using all the latest fitting technology, men’s and ladies clothing and a repair centre offering a ‘while you wait service’
PGA Master Professional Doug McClelland founded the golf store which at over 6,000 square feet is recognized as the busiest on course shop in Europe and fellow director Terry Sims has driven many of the recent innovations that keep Silvermere well ahead of its competitors.
However, there is actually more to Silvermere than just golf. The Inn on the Lake at Silvermere is the perfect place to relax with family and friends at this idyllic lakeside venue enjoying great food and drink; or plan a wedding, birthday, corporate event or special occasions. Silvermere has it all covered!
The new Driving Range was officially opened on 26th May 2014 and Silvermere decided to install a complete Ball Management System from RangeServant with new Golf Ball Dispensers, Golf Ball Washers, Elevators, Protracer Range and everything else that could make the 2-tiered Driving Riving fully functional. When we asked Nigel about why they choose Range Servant products he said:
“It’s easy to use and it’s reliable – You buy a Range Servant system once, because it runs and runs and runs. We are so used to the fact that Range Servant products just work”.
He adds that the relationship and support from Range Servant is of high standard, and that the official English distributor Amtech Range also provides great support – even if “it’s rarely needed”. According to Nigel, it is the comfort in feeling that they can always get hold of someone and get instant support that is highly important for a good long-term relationship.
The expansion of Protracer Range to 32 bays with the new software has widened the customer base as it now attracts more groups of golfers and also families. Still, Silvermere remained a serious venue where serious players could improve their game and at the same time where regular people could enjoy themselves and have fun with different game modules.
The loyalty card system with Select Lite system, together with the new version of Protracer Range, helped to increased sales and revenue – “Since we installed the new version, our ball sales have increased every week – with tens of thousands more balls being hit”.
Nigel thinks that user friendly technology is the future – it can help a player to develop by using the science of golf. “It’s about making practice interesting”. He says that it is easy to fall into the trap of hitting a lot of balls, but when you have something that gives you feedback and information about how you are performing it can keep the player more focused and in that way better their practice.
“When you can gain more knowledge about your play from the driving range practice you can be more confident in your regular golf play. I’ve seen a lot of people using the point scoring game when practicing because it gives that little competitive edge to score your progress the practice which helps you practice better.”
“We don’t charge our customers for using the Protracer, but it has allowed us to increase our ball pricing. It is part of the experience and people will travel a greater distance with the addition of this technology – it’s the right way for people to practice.”.
When we asked Nigel what made customers want to practice at Silvermere he said:
“You can hit golf balls anywhere, but what do you get out of that practice? A good and successful driving range knows that they need to provide their customers the tools and the experience to actually get better and enjoy golf more. We always strive to provide our customers the best range balls, the best golf mats and latest technology for our customers.”