Golf app offering live scoring and pace of play monitor teed up by Cork student

Golf-mad student set up software start-up to develop easy-to-use tech solutions for golf clubs and resorts

PowerThru’s solution tracking solution allows golf clubs to see where every player is on the course and to manage throughput more efficiently. This is crucial for big golf resorts.

PowerThru’s solution tracking solution allows golf clubs to see where every player is on the course and to manage throughput more efficiently. This is crucial for big golf resorts.

 

Aidan Power is a passionate golfer with a single-digit handicap and, in January this year, he brought his hobby and his IT background together to create PowerThru, a software start-up specialising in technology solutions for golf clubs.

Power began working on the idea for his business in 2018 while still a student at University College Cork studying business information systems.

“I needed a final-year project so the timing was perfect to build a prototype of my idea for this purpose,” he says. “Very early on, however, my mentor, David Sammon, encouraged me to look at the software I was working on as more than just a college project. He suggested I apply for the Ignite accelerator programme at UCC and that has brought me to where I am now which is with a software trial scheduled for the end of June and an initial product launch planned for September. The trial was to have been in early June but this was disrupted by coronavirus.”

PowerThru’s solution has two main features: electronic scoring and pace of play management. Electronic scoring, which sees players using their smartphones to record scores instead of hard copy scorecards, also facilitates live scoring and instant results calculation. The tracking solution allows golf clubs to see where every player is on the course and to manage throughput more efficiently. This is crucial for big golf resorts.

“I have played golf all over Ireland and two things really stuck out for me,” Power says.

“Firstly, there are plenty of scoring apps for personal use but very few for competitions which is where the club and the golfer can really benefit. Secondly, the ever-present problem in golf, slow play, is getting worse at both the amateur and professional level and I have yet to come across an application that allows golfers to input scores electronically and also tracks their location even though the two go hand in hand.”

Maintenance issues

Big facilities often provide golfers with GPS and electronic scoring devices that are clipped to golf bags and buggies, but Power says there are cost and maintenance issues associated with both while concerns around coronavirus transmission now makes it extremely unlikely that this practice will continue. “The sector needed our solutions anyway, but coronavirus has really ramped it up as it takes physical devices out of the equation,” Power says.

Aidan Power, creator of PowerThru, a software start-up specialising in technology solutions for golf clubs. Photograph: Tomas Tyner, UCC
Aidan Power, creator of PowerThru, a software start-up specialising in technology solutions for golf clubs. Photograph: Tomas Tyner, UCC

“Around 90 per cent of people in developed markets across the world own a smartphone and golf clubs need to take advantage of this. There is a sea of untapped potential among golf clubs that don’t have their members using their phone as a one-stop shop for everything.”

Investment

Power estimates that it will have taken about €40,000 to get PowerThru market ready and this has been funded by private investment and support from UCC and Enterprise Ireland under its innovation voucher scheme. New York-based angel investor Daniel Hallissey (who has a background in tech sales) is putting a five-figure sum into the business to accelerate its development and PowerThru is in the process of linking its platform to one of the leading providers of golf administration software in the UK and Ireland.

“This integration will allow golf clubs to seamlessly avail of our software which is important as they are often juggling lots of different software products,” Power says.

PowerThru will make its money by charging clubs an annual subscription to use the electronic scoring application while the pricing model for tracking part of the app has yet to be finalised as it won’t be launched until Q1 2021. Power says the electronic scoring app will be offered at a reduced rate to clubs initially to help them recover from the setback of the Covid-19 shutdown. 

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