The why

The definition of customer experience is changing.

As technology evolves, customer requirements pivot accordingly.

Clublinks are well known in the industry for our progressive and innovative approach to facilities management. We ensure customers (current and aspirational) are at the forefront of product and program development.

“We have identified that being able to reinvent the ways in which customers engage with our facilities was our way to future-proof our facilities, and maintaining engagement with younger, very tech-savvy generations coming through the doors.

Staying ahead of the game is paramount, particularly in our industry, and we are proud to say Augmented Reality at golf courses in Australia is seemingly unheard-of and we are one of the first”, Anthony Lawrence – CEO of Clublinks explained.

Augmented Reality is a technology that has been around for a number of years now – previously the exclusive use of gamers and those keen to collect virtual Pokémon in cities and suburbs. More recently, larger organisations such as IKEA and Amazon have integrated Augmented Reality into their customer journey, allowing for “virtual sampling” and gamification within its products and services.

In fact, in the past 18 months, there has been a 29% increase in AR tech use worldwide. This was largely driven by COVID-19 and its prevention of traditional visits by customers to bricks and mortar stores, resulting in virtual try-ons becoming necessary.

Presented with the challenge of wanting to stay innovative whilst exploring how our facilities could be utilised in new and interesting ways, Clublinks embarked on a pilot Augmented Reality program at Collier Park Golf in Perth and then Deakin University in Melbourne.

Collier Park hosted an Augmented Reality experience to showcase the new mini golf course recently built at the facility; with a target market of younger children as our first testers.

The ‘Cursed Course’ challenged players to solve riddles and break the curse that had been placed on the mini golf course during Halloween weekend. Activated by a simple scan of a QR code (an action many would be very used to in a contact tracing world), the game included spooky characters, fun sound effects and haunting music which immersed the user into the game as they navigated the real world.

The feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and it further supported the idea that AR could be used well in sparse spaces, including golf courses and large university campuses.

Seeing the engagement that occurred in our pilot, Deakin University expressed an interest in utilising AR for their student O-week celebrations, as a component of an “Amazing Race” initiation. Students were challenged to answer health and wellbeing quiz questions, collect healthy ingredients and race against the clock to complete all stages in an augmented reality setting. The experience was met with surprise and delight, with students amazed by the customised gamification developed for their O-week celebrations.

Where to from here?

In 2022, we will continue to roll out Augmented Reality experiences throughout our sites – reinventing the traditional pathway to how someone first engages with a golf course or fitness facility.

Experiences can be customised to a season (winter wonderland!), a holiday (augmented reality Easter Egg hunts!) or even corporatised (treasure hunts for team building exercises).

We look forward to maintaining our push for innovation across our sites and sharing those experiences with you in the coming months.

Check out the highlights of some of the experiences we have run to date.