Bringing the golf community together

Kelowna entrepreneur creates partnership link between golfers and golf courses at www.getintheloop.ca.

Matt Crowell came up with the idea of getintheloop.ca

Many Okanagan residents like to golf and the numerous local courses want their business.

So a former Kelowna pro hockey player has come up with a partnership initiative to bring those two elements together.

Called Getintheloop.ca, the website was started up in the spring of last year by Matt Crowell to create an avenue for local courses to contact local golfers and make them aware of potential discounts and other tee time information on a daily basis.

The website started out as a text messaging service for club members, who joined for a $29.99 fee, which included a two for one package at The Harvest Golf Club and a deal every day of the week at one of the getintheloop.ca partner courses.

“We also hosted our first ever Golf Loop Night at The Harvest with prizes for everyone. All of our prizes were donated by local companies and it was a huge success,” Crowell said.

“We sold out. For a first year company and a totally new concept, we felt it was a successful season.”

Entering the 2012 golf season, the website membership is expected to double this year, and members are now contacted on golf deals daily by either email, text message or checking getintheloop.ca daily.

Part of the membership package this year includes a membership card, again a two for one deal at The Harvest, golf booklet savings valued at $89 and other service discounts.

“Our big focus now as a small company is helping local golfers and our partner courses,” Crowell said.

When Crowell returned home to Kelowna after playing pro hockey for a season with a team in Holland, he had his sites set on finding a job.

“I just came across the idea for a concept of bringing golfers and local golf courses together and I think what getintheloop.ca offers is a unique idea for that,” said Crowell.

The marketing side of his website business came naturally to Crowell, who graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology with a marketing degree, earning a scholarship after playing in the BCHL.

“My plan was to start a business at some point but not right away,” Crowell said. “But this idea came to me and I thought it was worth a shot.”

Crowell has some long-term idea for expanding the services available through the website to beyond the links, but for now the focus is on golf and expanding the membership base.

“I was a little overwhelmed last year with the many different options that can be done with a program like this. I just wanted to start small and get the service up and working for our golf partners and members, and then see where we can take it from there.”

For now, Crowell has a job as an account manager for commercial business at the Business Development Bank, and he works on his website during his off-hours.

While he has now moved on from his hockey playing days, Crowell said the sport has offered tremendous opportunities in life for him, calling his one-year stint in pro hockey in Europe as “the time of my life.”

“I still have friends over there who will be lifelong friends, teammates and people I got to know, some who will be coming to visit me this summer. I played in Holland but I actually lived in Belgium, and I visited nine different countries during my time there.”