Ferndown Golf Club 2013

Ferndown Golf Club, UK, 2013

“intelligentgolf has worked out brilliantly – I am delighted.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

Ferndown is a beautiful heathland golf course, with pine trees and heather. You arrive at the golf course through a stunning archway, and immediately see a wonderful traditional golf course vista which makes you want to play. It is a natural, peaceful setting presented to the highest standard, with an immaculate golf course. As one of England’s top golf courses, and with the golfing Alliss family always connected to it, Ferndown insists upon high quality in all aspects of its business. It celebrates its Centenary in 2013.

Ian Walton joined Ferndown as General Manager in May 2012, having previously been at one of the south coast’s other golfing gems – Hayling GC – for six years.

At Hayling Ian operated a system that had been in place for some years. With a desire to achieve a fully-integrated system he moved to another supplier in September 2011. When he arrived at Ferndown, the club was running yet another different system – so in the space of nine months, Ian had worked on a day-to-day basis with most of the major IT suppliers.

“Some are more integrated than others. I was looking for something bang up-to-date, and as integrated as far as possibly could be.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

Not only did Ian Walton initiate a switch to intelligentgolf when he arrived at Ferndown, he also made it part of his presentation to the committee, at his interview, after visiting and speaking with other clubs – EG: Bramshaw, and a “couple of clubs in London” – who had already made the switch to intelligentgolf.

“Our website was tired and needed upgrading, and our membership software was out of date. It was difficult to present the club well to the outside world. In my interview presentation, I showed them intelligentgolf and said they needed a new, integrated solution at a competitive price, to replace their tired system.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

The intelligentgolf team quickly rebuilt the club’s website, giving it a new look and added functionality.

“The intelligentgolf website is easy to change from an admin point of view, and it has raised our marketing profile.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC


In 2012, after Ian Walton arrived to start his role as General Manager, Ferndown GC underwent a mid-season switch to intelligentgolf.

“The transition to intelligentgolf was a much easier process than the switch to which I had previously experienced at Hayling when I moved to a different supplier. It was handled very well by the team at intelligentgolf. The support, the way it is logged, your accessibility to their help desk, the way your questions are logged as job tickets – all of it is very good.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

Having experienced difficulties with previous systems when things went wrong, particularly with customer service calls not being logged properly and inconsistent post-call communications, Ian Walton found intelligentgolf’s problem-solving techniques to be much better.

“You can easily fit your dialogue with intelligentgolf into a busy day. For example, this morning I noticed a glitch with our Google Maps on the website. I logged the problem with intelligentgolf  via their web tool at 07:30. Their team responded, and by 09:20 the issue was corrected.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

Although it is in many ways a very traditional golf club, the staff at Ferndown were very receptive to change during a busy second half to the season, including an Open Qualifying event, and several other large external events such as the annual Salterns Alliss Merlo Pro-Celebrity tournament.

“The relative simplicity of the intelligentgolf system enabled us to take it on at a busy time and put it to work more or less immediately. Soon after installation we went through our annual subs renewal, with a lot of revenue at stake, and we immediately saw the benefits of how much easier it is to do the job.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC


“There is so much functionality in intelligentgolf, you can only absorb so much in a training scenario. You continue to learn the system through using it.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

Finding themselves learning a new system mid-season, the Ferndown team had no choice but to leap in and learn as they went along. For example, events and forward bookings had to be transferred to the online Planner / Diary, and many other relatively trivial but nevertheless important details needed perfecting.

“The intelligentgolf team are there when you need them. During the first couple of months, we tackled things as & when they arose. Getting our live event scores onto the TV in the Lounge is an example. We had a conference call with intelligentgolf, they took us through it, and we effectively clicked our fingers:  – and there were our live event scores on the TV screen for the first time! That was a really good moment.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC


When Ian Walton arrived at the club, Ferndown was previously using fairly old till hardware and software. intelligentgolf helped the club to install a new integrated till system for regular transactions such as green fees, buggy hire and range ball hire. This integrates with Members’ bar cards, and with other tills in the club linked to the F&B operation. The club can now easily see management information across these day-to-day drivers of the business.

“I’m very pleased with the till system – they helped us with the layouts, and came to help us install everything and set it up. It is very user-friendly and the after-sales support, which includes remote access, is excellent.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC


“intelligentgolf is an excellent product which delivers what it promises. It is a vast improvement over what we had previously. There is a professional team in support, it has been well-received by our Members, and we are very pleased that we made the switch to intelligentgolf.”

Ian Walton, General Manager, Ferndown GC

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