Golphin, the award-winning junior golfing specialist, needed to digitally transform its MyPathway2Golf programme.
With the main aim to educate and encourage more kids from all backgrounds to take up golf, the question was would a mobile app be the answer? And would it offer young golfers and their coaches the complete package of resources needed? The design would need to attract kids in way that would engage, educate, and above all, be fun.
Golphin’s mission is to inspire golf’s next generation, through a combination of innovative golf clubs designed especially for children, training, education, and age-appropriate competition. The company began by developing clubs which are easier for children to use, but soon wanted to become a leader in coaching and facilitated learning too.
The digital challenge
Golphin’s MyPathway2Golf programme began as a portal on the Golphin website, offering a range of resources such as training videos and challenges. However, few people – whether golf coaches or young golfers themselves – were using these resources. There was little engagement with the platform and the website, which was previously designed for the desktop, as a result it was inconvenient to access immediately after playing golf for young golfers, parents, and their coaches.
Golphin didn’t know whether a website redesign or an all-new mobile app was the right way forward, and turned to Vidatec to help.
MyPathway2Golf needed to:
- Engage, encourage, and educate children about golf, helping them to improve their skills and prepare for competitions.
- Offer golf coaches a structured platform for tracking students’ progress, uploading their own content, and getting their students more excited about the game.
- Be convenient for coaches and children alike to access either during or immediately after lessons.
The first step involved running a Visioning Workshop to explore the different personas/users, to establish user needs, map user journeys and a high-level solution. The Vidatec team quickly established that an app would be more dynamic and convenient for children and golf teachers alike.
Essentially two types of coaching styles needed to be supported: a more proactive approach where the coach could provide continuous feedback to their students; as well as the ability to track progress during the golf lesson to be discussed in the following lesson.
The app design and development needed to satisfy a range of reading abilities from children aged six to 12 years, as well as taking into account that some children would have their own devices, but others would be using their parents’. Key features and functionality needed to be developed:
- High quality instructional videos, both pre-installed using Golphin resources, as well as the ability for coaches to upload their own videos.
- A range of skill challenges for children to complete, achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold scores for each, and tracking their progress over time.
- Class scheduling and management for golf coaches, including the ability for coaches to input details about customised courses.
- Direct messaging from coach to student, allowing instant updated and remote coaching guidance.
- Personalised profiles for coaches and students.
The app also needed to offer coaches the ability to brand their coaching profile with their golf club logo. Added functionality provides young golfers the ability to create their own profiles and connect with other kids in their group, similar to a social media network. A “gamification” approach to challenges helps to incentivise kids to earn awards as well as providing a simple framework for friendly and constructive feedback to be shared without discouraging overall enjoyment, and helping to improve personal performance.
MyPathway2Golf is now available for any pro golf instructor or coach to purchase for a fixed annual charge. They can then invite as many students as they like to use the platform.
For coaches, the app is complemented with a learning resource ebook which includes fun games and challenges, safety instructions, and advice on practicing on the course and at home. It enables them to plan their junior coaching sessions through a structured format, with a variety of games to keep children engaged, both indoors and outdoors. They gain individual oversight of each student’s progress, and can communicate with them directly through the app too.
For children, MyPathway2Golf enables them to track their progress through these challenges, selecting a level for practicing a particular skill, and seeking to achieve the highest possible score. Games, quizzes, and challenges inspire them to practice anywhere, all through the lens of a growth mindset.
What the client said…
Calum McPherson, Founder & Managing Director at Golphin said, “Our mission is to encourage as many children as possible to take up the sport of golf and hopefully develop a rewarding interest for life. Right from the start, Vidatec understood the importance of creating an engaging and fun experience for young users of the MyPathway2Golf app, whilst also providing a structured experience for coaches and instructors.
“The results are fantastic; a really convenient, easy-to-use package of resources with just the right levels of gamification for young people and clear management for coaches. The app also encourages parents and guardians to interact with their children’s experiences and progress – which leads to increased junior membership and hopefully a few more adults joining golf clubs too!
“Without MyPathway2Golf, Golphin would have had to stop operations entirely during the COVID-19 pandemic. As it is, we have been able to reach more golfers of the future, and keep children entertained, active and learning during this unprecedented lockdown.”
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, in-person golfing lessons for children were temporarily halted, and the need for skills training and fun activities to be delivered remotely became more important than ever before. Golphin were able to rapidly respond to the change by adapting the existing content and programme so that children could connect with two virtual coaches, and continue learning and playing at home. Games, competitions, and even the ability for children to design their own golf course and putter were all added to make MyPathway2Golf even more engaging.
Golphin has been able to successfully reach children directly, enhancing brand awareness and encouraging more signups. Without the mobile app, this would not have been possible.