It was at the first Regional Pitchfest in Wagga Wagga last year that we first came across the Albury-based sports technology startup 36Tee.com.
At the time, founding team members Andy Shuttleworth and Will Hood told Silicon Paddock that the opportunity to build a global business while still being based in regional Australia is open to anyone as long as they were willing to ‘have a crack’.
Over the past 12 months the company has focused in on its core offering and the technology that drives it, which has resulted in the platform Tee 2 Green Visuals.
The platform allows golfers to virtually experience (with great accuracy) club golf courses prior to playing or even visiting the location. The startup uses UAV vision, computer generated imagery, and NFC wireless technology to deliver the most in-depth and detailed virtual experience to the end user.
The startup, which is just over two years old, has actually built a world-first solution that addresses three core areas of the sport – The Golf Club, The Golfer, and Sponsors.
For clubs, the application essentially works as a marketing tool allowing them to reach avid golfers globally and talk directly to them – perhaps even convince them to choose them as their next golfing holiday destination of choice.
Tee 2 Green’s advantages for the golfer are pretty straight forward and clear – it allows them to be more strategic in the way they play their holes. In using the data and insights provided by features of the platform, like the ’30 second CGI hole flyover’, users are given an understanding of the landscape and can aim to avoid potential hazards and plan upcoming shot selections.
Of course, adding in sponsor messaging to the platform is then a no-brainer. With a captive audience sponsors get to spend time being intimate with their target market – quite literally in the palm of their hand. The clever company will see quite quickly that leveraging the golfer’s ‘real-time’ journey in their messaging and storytelling will have a much greater (and more tangible) return on investment than a billboard or blimp during a club tournament.
Recently the growing company exhibited its new platform and capabilities at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, the Mecca event of the golfing business world. When the team arrived at the event they had ten golf courses signed up to the platform and using the product.
What became apparent quite quickly once the Tee 2 Green team began to demo their new innovation to the decision makers of the golfing world is that what they had built was addressing many of the key issues faced by the sport – and that resulted in securing a contract with the United States arm of the PGA.
This new contract will likely see the Albury startup set up a presence in the States as the team now prepares to roll out its solution for north of one thousand golf clubs across the country over the next three or four years.