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Tee Times Magazine | Minneapolis/St. Paul

Breezy Point

Local Golf
August 22, 2017

By R.J. Smiley

The Psychic says, "Player demand will dictate a specific type of golf course option."

The Psychic carefully adjusts his turban as the mist, clouding the interior of his crystal ball, begins to dissipate. The Psychic, who is computer literate and owns an iPhone, places his digital devices in sleep mode as he falls under the trance that allows him to see the future. The Psychic sees a smiling modern day Dick Tracy wearing an iWatch connected to his computer synced to his family's iPhones calendar. With the calendar synced on each family member's personal devices, alerts and warnings for scheduled events are beeped and buzzed making robotic slaves of people who own these "time saving" tools. The Psychic sees these modern family members running on a gerbil wheel. With stress on their faces and sweat dripping off their nose, they race from home to job, from business lunches to soccer games then to piano lessons and finally to parent/teacher meetings. Many of these families own a little used lake cabin and a boat. Some families even belong to a golf club. But, for these busy family members, a casual round of golf occurs only in dreams.

The Psychic Sees Stressed Golfers Who Want To Relax And Play More Golf
Suddenly, the Psychic sees a giant clock racing toward him from deep in the crystal ball. The hour hand on the gigantic clock is making a full 360º circle - every minute.

Golf for millennials, the Psychic realizes, must be played in shorter time periods and/or on a spur-of-the-minute basis.

Next, a computer is revealed from the mist. As the picture clears, the Psychic sees the computer in the back room of a pro shop displaying a tee time reservation page. On this very sophisticated system, a tee time that remains unfilled eight hours prior to the affected time or a tee time that has been cancelled is flagged for instant marketing. Hidden in the bowels of the computer is a database of golf course customers, who have indicated that they "might be" available to play 9-holes on very short notice in selected time periods. The Psychic flinches as he feels the sudden electrical impulse of an instant message, announcing the now available tee times, being blasted to these selected customers.

In an instant, the Psychic understands how the space age tee time system has reversed the tee time reservation process. Instead of waiting for customers to call or book tee times on line, the system is now "pushing" tee times to customers who might be available to play.

A smile of approval spreads across the Psychic's face. These time saving digital tools, that make our life more complicated, have found a new use that links tee times with selected players. Not the reverse.

With a new understanding and an approving mind, the Psychic is bombarded with spin offs of this "PUSH" method of tee time sales. When a customer's schedule is suddenly changed and a hole magically appears on the daily calendar, golf could instantly become a substitute activity. Filling the tee times with golfers who are willing to accept the "blind date" tee time concept and play golf with complete strangers who share the same available time slot. The Psychic smiles as he thinks of computer dating services and the many marriages that have resulted!

The Psychic sees some golf courses charging a per-hole-played rate others charging an hourly rate for customers who have a limited time hole in the digital schedule.

The psychic worries, what will happen to those golfers who are not willing to accept being "Hooked-Up" on the blind date golf concept?

The Psychic is confused when the next screen on the computer comes into focus? "What is www.GroupLooper.com?" Is GroupLooper a cowboy on horseback who can lasso an entire herd of cattle with one well-thrown rope? Is GroupLooper a bus full of "groupies" who follow a rock star as he loops his way across the highways and back roads of America? As the Psychic studies GroupLooper.com he understands that "looper" is a synonym for caddie or a golfer who carries his clubs. GroupLooper.com is a group or groups of golfers connected by a computer website. More useful digital technology!

The Psychic covers his crystal ball and removes his turban returning to the real world. He massages the temples of his aching head, throbbing from concentration on the future of golf. The Psychic wakes up his computer and clicks GroupLooper.com. In a few short minutes, the Psychic understands the concept and joins two different network groups. The networks that the Psychic joins have golfers with a handicap similar to his who enjoy playing two or three of his favorite golf courses.

He goes to the refrigerator and pours a tall glass of lemonade and relaxes in his easy chair. Before he consumes half a glass of the delicious liquid, the iPhone alerts him to a new email. Subconsciously the Psychic, on a break, opens the email. There before his eyes is an invitation from one of his networks inviting him and 13 other fellow members to fill a foursome at 2:16 PM at Brush Woods Golf Course, the local muni. Three spots available - the first to sign up get the tee spots.

The Psychic hits the respond button and is even more surprised when he receives confirmation that he has secured one of the tee spots. The Psychic has time to finish his lemonade and have a light lunch before his cranium, normally covered by his turban, is covered by his favorite golf cap. He is off to Brush Woods to meet his new playing companions.

The Psychic is witnessing a glorious sunrise. Those digital devices, that cause such misery for many, are being utilized to link golfers, present and future, to courses of their choice as their schedules allows.

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