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/Client Story

Institute of Golf

Empowering golf players and coaches around the world.

A bespoke digital platform to support the growth of an elite golf brand

  1. 01Designed and developed
  2. 02Revamped and relaunched
  3. 03Helped create a relevant business and pricing model
  4. 04Conducted extensive user testing

The Challenge

Since its inception, the Institute of Golf has been helping amateur golfers improve their game and strive for the same level of excellence found in professional golfers.

Like any sport, golf has evolved over the years. Although the core of the game has remained constant, technology has enabled new ways for players to upskill and become more competitive. The Institute of Golf set out to offer one of these new competitive advantages to its members by revamping its existing website, and creating a new digital platform dedicated to helping them improve their performance.

The Solution

We were engaged to help the Institute of Golf design and develop a new digital platform, known as Circles, where amateur golf players can develop their skills with the same tools used by professional athletes. Additionally, the Institute of Golf had an existing website with limited functionality, and we were tasked to re-envision it and build a new version from the ground up.

We worked with the client to review their existing website, to determine areas of improvement and establish a list of desired features for the new version. We then conducted in-depth user research with golf players and coaches to understand their needs, to help guide the direction of the new website as well as the Circles platform.

This included granular concerns, like the differences between professional and amateur golf, and specific tournament rules such as the ones regulating the use of mobile devices on the course. We designed, prototyped, tested and roadmapped an MVP from an initial version through to version 3 of the software.

Our product design team was particularly focused on visualising noisy stats in a way that would be intelligible to players across the board. We achieved this through rolling averages, the use of various visualisations, text explanations and clear introductions. We built a design system and created bespoke components to be used within the platform, including charts and graphs.

Additionally, we helped the client create a business and pricing model, based on the competitive landscape and the core value they were providing to golfers.

The development of the platform was a joint effort with a third party that specialises in creating machine learning models. The backend is powered by our proprietary framework, known internally as Sauce. Our design team handled the landing page design and development, using Webflow.

Security was a priority for this platform, as it is in many of our engagements. We were able to draw on our extensive experience in and learnings from financial services and fintech products to bolster security. Protecting user information was a key area of focus, as was complying with GDPR.

The resulting platform is not only incredibly secure and user-friendly, but also highly scalable and well-equipped to support the Institute of Golf’s ambitious global growth plans.

The Result

Circles launched across New Zealand and China, with different payment gateways and localisation features, including translation and language support. The Institute of Golf’s new website soft-launched in December 2020. It quickly gained a number of premium users and furthered the Institute’s mission to serve as a global brand for elite golfers. The project was recognised for its outstanding design at the 2021 Best Design Awards, where it was named a finalist in the User Experience category.

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Les Mills Connect

Providing a one-stop digital experience for instructors and clubs globally.