Golf’s European Tour has joined forces with French internet company eGull in an effort to develop new short-game formats, as part of a wider initiative to encourage participation in and drive engagement with the sport.
The company’s eGull Play and Pay by the Hole app allows users to pay for the number of holes they play, rather than for the entire round.
Those that download the app select a course from the eGull database, check in at the club, input a unique code into their app, play as many holes as they like and once their round has ended, their account will automatically be charged according to their time on course.
The European Tour will work with eGull to add further courses from around the world to its current database, in a move it said will help golf clubs to generate additional revenue from tee times that are frequently vacant, such as midweek periods and late evenings when players cannot complete their round due to a lack of light.
Keith Pelley (pictured), chief executive of the European Tour, said: “There is a narrative for change currently in the game, a global appetite to try new ideas and a desire to make golf quicker and more exciting.
“It is the reason we have championed revolutionary concepts such as GolfSixes in addition to the Belgian Knockout and The Shot Clock Masters, both of which will make their debuts on our International Schedule this year.
“The 72-hole tournament will always be the pinnacle of our game but that does not mean it should be the whole of our game - there is, and should always be, scope for innovation, which makes the partnership with eGull SAS a perfect fit for us.”
Olivier Dhotel, co-founder and chief executive of eGull, added: “I believe our product is perfectly suited not only to seasoned golfers but also to beginners of all ages who ordinarily would not have many opportunities to play on golf courses.
“There are many thousands of active golfers who rarely make the transition from the driving range or mini golf facilities to actually playing on a golf course. Occasional golfers are often too nervous to commit to playing a full nine- or 18-hole round on a golf course or simply cannot afford the time.”
EGull is set to officially launch in the US at the 2018 PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando tomorrow (Tuesday).