Inrange at Greenwich Peninsular Golf Range
There are many things to admire about the driving range overlooking the O2 Arena in London’s Greenwich. The site, Greenwich Peninsula Driving Range, is an impressive 60-bay, 2-tier structure with all the bells and whistles. These include a 3,000 square foot American Golf store, N1Golf Academy and the complete radar ball tracking and range gamification suite from Inrange.
In terms of location, it is hard to beat the Greenwich site. A mere five-minute walk from North Greenwich Tube Station on the Jubilee Line, Greenwich Peninsula Driving Range is perfectly located for quick access by Londoners. Its close proximity to the famous O2 arena, Canary Wharf, the Blackwall Tunnel and a large bus terminal means easy access for all. There has rarely been a golf range better served by various differing transport systems – London City Airport is just a few miles away too.
The range’s central location is unusual - certainly for a venue of its size - making it an imposing sight, and an ideal destination for inner-city Londoners looking to get a practice session in or to simply wind down with friends over a few drinks at the end of a long workday. And it’s this very appeal that has, until now, been the site’s biggest draw. With its spectacular view and spacious layout, Greenwich Peninsula appeals to a wide audience - from experienced golfers to complete novices - and never more so than since the installation of the new range technology from Inrange.
As Inrange puts it, driving range technology is the ‘future of the range’. For sites that want to remain competitive by appealing to a new generation of golfers, that means embracing technological advances to create what Inrange calls an ‘experience-driven’ range.
Driving range technology certainly has been growing at quite a pace over the last couple of years and Greenwich is the perfect example of this, with the installation of Inrange resulting in all 60 bays being constantly monitored by an array of radar sensors (almost invisibly) lining the spectacular 230 yard, 20,000m2 range overlooking London’s Canary Wharf.
The remarkably clever thing is that the Inrange system is able to easily identify which of the 60 bays each ball originates from. It does this by constantly tracking the flight of each ball in real-time as it passes through an array of overlapping radar fields. Doppler radar was originally used for testing and tracking live ammunition for the military and now has broadened its applications within various other sectors.
So the technology is brilliant, but it’s the way that it interfaces with the customer that is really quite charming. Golfers can explore their own ability - and play or practise in their preferred way - with the various different programmes available for play within Inrange.
In fact, the product is broken down into three distinct offerings, all built upon the foundation of the single, range-wide radar tracking capabilities.
The three products are:
The core Inrange practice product is aimed at progression-focused golfers looking to practice with intention. Every ball is tracked in real-time by the Inrange radars and shots are displayed on high-resolution in-bay touchscreen devices.
Inrange offers in-depth club and shot statistics, skill-based challenges and enables players to log in to their Inrange account to store their play statistics for post-play analysis in the Inrange app.
With the same precision tracking functionality as the in-bay system, the Inrange app gives players the additional flexibility of having session statistics and the patented Inrange Handicap™ at their fingertips.
The iOS and Android apps offer practising golfers the precision tracking functionality, in-depth statistics and progression-oriented challenges available in the Inrange system directly on the player’s iOS or Android device making it the ideal mobile practice and analysis companion.
The recently-released Inrange+ entertainment suite enables golfers (and, crucially, non-golfers) of all abilities to compete against each other in a series of immersive golf games.
The multiplayer golf games use the same pinpoint-accurate radar tracking technology as Inrange and the Inrange app meaning that it can be installed, as it has been at Greenwich Peninsula, without any additional infrastructure being needed above and beyond the core Inrange tracking.
The Inrange app, in particular, is an aspect of the system that is most impressive. Looking at Inrange from a player’s perspective, everything is linked together seamlessly in the app, on both iOS and Android, phone and tablet/iPad. The app is free to download and enables every player to always have an advanced, full-featured practice aid and post-session analysis tool at hand.
For those players who love to slice and dice their data, the app is an absolute dream come true. It provides comprehensive statistics for all shots hit and also for a golfer’s particular skill with each individual club.
The inbuilt Inrange Handicap™, which is based on a patented algorithm, gives players a totally customised practice experience based on performance in each session, making it the perfect practice aid and the ideal complement to the excellent coaching available at Greenwich.
An immediately noticeable aspect of the Inrange system, and its implementation at Greenwich Peninsula, is the quality of the graphics on the in-bay touchscreen devices, the gallery displays and on the Inrange app itself. Particularly for those less used to the formality of golf, the game-like graphics add a new dimension to the range experience.
It is obvious that a lot of time and attention to detail has been paid to ensuring that the graphics are high quality and, crucially, that they are an accurate representation of the range itself.
To ensure that the range outfield is as realistic as possible, when merged with the various on-screen targets a considerable amount of the installation time to the process of rendering each individual range with the help of their team of illustrators, graphic designers and developers. And it is obvious that this has been done at Greenwich, with the on-range targets and in-app representations matching perfectly, which only adds to a player’s trust in the accuracy of the data being fed back in the app.
Golf Features were intrigued to learn more about the concept and vision behind the company and spoke to Nick Longley, Inrange’s co-founder and the man behind bringing Inrange to the UK. Nick spoke to Golf Features:
“We’re absolutely delighted with the installation at Greenwich, not only in terms of the reception the core practice product has had from regulars and keen golfers but also, crucially, in how the Inrange+ entertainment golf system has attracted an entirely new demographic of players to Greenwich, and to the game.
“On any given evening you can now look out across Greenwich’s 60 bays and see an incredible mixture of people, ranging from groups of friends playing Inrange+ games over drinks and food through to large corporate groups and couples out on a date. We’re thrilled to be playing a part in expanding the appeal of the game through our technology.”
Declan Malone is the owner of N1Golf and has been involved since the very start of the Greenwich range. He is very pleased with the impact Inrange has made to the customer experience, as well as on the business. Declan elaborates:
“It’s vital for us to be able to provide our customers with the very best technology on the market to accompany the premium quality golf range that we’ve created for their enjoyment. We’re extremely happy with the way the Inrange team has worked with us to ensure that our customers - both old and new, experienced, and totally new to the game – really enjoy the range and the game of golf. It is an exciting technology offering and one that’s had an enormously positive impact for us and our business. For range owners actively looking for, or considering adding tracking technology to their range, I would recommend taking a good, hard look at Inrange.”
Obviously, from a golf range owner’s perspective, increased interest in coming to the range translates quickly into hard cash. It is not just a case of more players equalling more buckets sold. Instead, the Inrange installation has changed the way the business is run. Rather than just selling buckets of balls at a fixed price, the installation of the Inrange tech has enabled a shift to premium hourly pricing where players are paying for time in the bay with the Inrange tech, and with balls included in the price.
This shift has led not only to an increase in player volume but also to a sizeable increase in revenue. The Inrange+ multiplayer option, in particular, has led to a major increase in food and beverage spend due to its social nature and the fact that each bay is able to host groups of 4+ players instead of the traditional one-per-bay setup.
Inrange is clearly a great tool for generating interest and income. Golfers are far more interested in using the range and new players can get really excited by the fun they have, even with a relatively low skill set – they too wish to return. High quality technology enhances the whole experience and leads to longer dwell times, which greatly helps the overall business. Food and beverage income rises, as do rounds of adventure golf and other on-site experiences. A virtuous circle, aided by Inrange.
It is clear that ranges who upgrade their facilities with technology from Inrange can expect an increase not only in footfall and return visits, but also in the amount of money generated per bay and from their on-site bars and restaurants. Ultimately, more customers playing more often - and paying more for an enhanced experience - is a clear recipe for success.
With the technology proving to be both popular and effective and with more and more Inrange-powered ranges opening up around the globe, range owners who are seriously interested in finding out how Inrange can be implemented at their facility should contact Nick Longley at Inrange.