The golfers among us can now stand up and cheer. Who hasn’t enjoyed the convenience of enjoying a snack or beverage on the course courtesy of someone selling them from a roaming golf cart? Now everyone put your hand down. Now, of those golfers, who found themselves hungry or thirsty and waiting for that same cart to find them on the course? A good percentage, I would venture.
Adam Emerson founded SmartCart Service Systems in Dallas in December of 2010 to streamline this effort. A friend of his who worked at a golf course commented to him that, while she majored in Hospitality and Marketing, she was continually being asked to drive the golf cart. She obviously thought her talents could be utilized in a better manner. But they both recognized an opportunity when they saw it. So Adam set out to build a mobile app that lets you place an order directly from your phone. The club kitchen receives your order and then sends it out via the golf cart. How does the cart know where you are? Location-aware technology send out your signal, so the cart always knows which hole you’re playing.
When I first heard of SmartCart, I couldn’t help but think of the Twitter beer guy, a budding entrepreneur who works in the Philadelphia Phillies baseball stadium as a beer vendor. He takes orders via twitter, which may be the next logical step for the SmartCart team.
Bonus features allow you to track your scores, eliminating those silly pencils. Hole distance and par information is available to aid you in club selection. The app is free for user download and is $200 for each course to use. Nine courses in Texas now use Smart Cart, with over 600 courses expressing sincere interest. The team just returned from the PGA Golf Expo in Las Vegas and received a lot of exposure. Emerson commented that “every club that stopped by and took the time to see what we offered really loved the product and saw that it was a way for them to increase revenue without having to spend a ton of money”.
SmartCart is fully-funded, primarily through CEO Mike Wylie, a man with a background in oil and gas. And as the demand for their product grows, they are contemplating hiring some paid interns through local universities to help young kids get some start-up experience. They will also be hiring a secretary, data entry help, accounting, marketing, and social media professionals
The iPhone app was just approved by Apple last week. Next week, an Android version will be submitted for approval.
Here is a snapshot of the team at the recent PGA Golf Expo in Las Vegas.