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October 2019

New App Making Big Marketing Push

By Steve Eubanks 

Golf apps are nothing new. In fact tee-time booking apps have all but reached critical mass in terms of number. TeeOff, GolfNow, GolfBook, SupremeGolf, Golf18Network. There are more. But a new one that launched in June just might have carved out a workable, differentiating niche.

Wide Open Tee, which is still in the beta stages of development, allows you to book a time, just like the others. But this app isn’t about discounting. It’s about accessibility. Wide Open Tee shows subscribers how busy or how open nearby golf courses are in real time and color-codes those courses based on how quickly you could conceivably play. 

More than 7,000 public courses are within Wide Open Tee’s system offering and CEO Tyler New has plans to add some private club offerings once the app has a track record.

“Having protected the product and its concept entirely, the future is exclusively wide open for expansion into private clubs,” New said. “We have had numerous members at various clubs ask if the product is available at their private course.”

The mechanics of how that would work remain unclear, but New and his partners are betting heavy that an app focusing on speed instead of price will be a hit. The owners have invested more than $500,000 of their own money and they went wide with an investor call, placing an ad for seed money on ESPN’s finale of the World Series of Poker on July 16.

“Bold sells,” New said. “And sometimes paying the price of admission to attract the right investor is worth it. High net-worth individuals watching poker are our ideal partners.”

The commercial featured the founders playing poker on the first tee of Denton Country Club in Argyle, Texas, when a fifth person walks up to New, shows him his phone and says, “Let’s go, the course is wide open.” To which New replies, “Wide open! I’m all in.” 
Then, New says, “As a start-up, we’re looking for an angel investor to join us on the course.”

The patent for the app is pending, but New is confident that with the right partner Wide Open Golf will be winner. 

Steve Eubanks is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and New York Times bestselling author.

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