Greg Norman has never been one content with the status quo. Whether on the golf course or in the boardroom, Norman has always tried to push the boundaries of what was possible. In recent times, one of Norman’s main goals was to revolutionize the golf industry.
Almost one year ago, Norman teased the golf world with his plan to disrupt it, and this week he followed through with his announcement of the “Shark Experience.”
Rick Young of Score Golf got a first-hand look at what Norman presented this week at the Sports Marketing Symposium in New York City.
Eleven months after brazenly announcing an intention to rock golf’s paradigm with a disruptive new technology platform, Greg Norman and Verizon Communications have unveiled Shark Experience.
The bold, non-traditional concept combines connectivity, content and customization intended to produce an enhanced on-course experience.
The centerpiece for Shark Experience presented by Verizon is Club Car. The Ingersoll-Rand golf subsidiary, along with longtime business partner GPSi, one of the world’s leading global positioning system brands, has joined forces with the Greg Norman Company and Verizon to deliver a ‘Your Game, Your Way’ concept to golfers through a connected Club Car golf cart.
On its own the individual aspects don’t necessarily offer anything revolutionary but what’s newsworthy is the sum of the parts. It’s how all of it together has been leveraged through Verizon’s 4G LTE network technology and integrated into the power cart. The overhead unit features a high-definition screen and built-in speakers with Bluetooth connectivity. Neither of those elements are ground-breaking until the system is turned on.
When engaged it brings elements of Topgolf — music, live sports, news and other curated entertainment content — onto the golf course, combines it with standard dynamic yardage and hole flyover capability, and augments it with a seamless, one-swipe platform for a cashless on-course experience.
Golfers who choose to connect their preferred payment method prior to their Shark Experience round never need to reach for their wallet or purse as they play.
“This was four years in the making,” Norman explained. “How it happened is I was looking at the screen on one of the Club Car power carts one day at the clubhouse and I got thinking, ‘OK, how do we use this screen for more than just the yardage they get from the GPS?’ So we got talking about this internally in the office and four to five months later we formulated a business plan to do something with this screen that nobody has ever done before.”
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