Recreational golf can be lonely without a community; this app built by Olathe brings players together on the green

HWe set out to create a global, technology-driven golf platform that would make his favorite sport more fun, accessible, convenient and transparent – ​​but Somanath Chilukuri already knew the dangers of the crowded course that awaited him.

“Today there’s so much application overload on people,” said Chilukuri, an Olathe IT professional and the founder of the eClub Golf application. “I want to have a portal where people can do a lot of things together on the portal like a one stop shop for golf.”

His hope with an improved version of the app that launched this summer is to connect players to Kansas City’s largest community of golf enthusiasts, he said.

The free downloadable app allows golfers to join virtual leagues, compete in weekly and seasonal leaderboards, network with other golfers and keep up to date with events in the area, according to Chilukuri.

Click on here to explore the eClub Golf app.

“(I want) to make players’ golf more rewarding than it is today,” he added. “People come, play the trick, throw the score and leave. I want a dashboard to mean something.

His passion is recreational golf, he said, so the app aims to expand connections for non-club golfers.

“The opportunities for recreational golf right now, in my view, are pretty limited,” Chilukuri continued. “Competitive golfers have events. There is already a community in place.

eClub Golf offers another outlet for recreational golfers besides tournaments, which Chilukuri says are primarily aimed at beginner and expensive golfers; jamming, which is non-competitive and is primarily for charitable purposes; and leagues, which limit where and with whom players compete.

“There is no connection to the wider community,” he added, of playing in the leagues.

The app – which has about 400 users, although not all are active – provides competition and community for golfers of all skill levels and ages, he said.

“Golf is the only sport where skill level doesn’t really matter because there’s something called a handicap,” he explained. “It can be very engaging at all skill levels.”

Although the app is free to download, league fees are charged if users choose to join or create their own league. A portion of league fees goes to the prize fund; another part goes to portal fees.

Each season ends with a tournament. This year the The KC Amateur Open – Net Championship is scheduled for September 12-13 at Fire Keeper Golf Course in Topeka in partnership with Central Links Golf. Players can qualify by participating in eClub Golf leagues or other recognized leagues and circuits.

For the love of golf

For most of his 23-year career in the IT industry, Chilukuri has moved back and forth between the United States and India. In 2013 he moved to the United States permanently, and in 2015 he landed in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

His interest in golf actually started in India, he said, where golf courses are usually run by the military because they have access to land, water and labor. work. At first, he mainly went to classes for the good breakfast they served, Chilukuri said.

“I never thought golf was a sport I would consider,” he added.

But after five years of breakfast and nine holes of golf, he said he realized the multifaceted appeal of the game.

“I think his meditation, relaxation, activity and networking all rolled into one,” he explained.

To share his passion with others, Chilukuri first founded eClub Golf in 2018, starting as a small group with a spreadsheet. This evolved into a website in 2019 and then the first version of the app in 2021.

The app has been self-funded so far, but he said he hopes to find funding as he works to launch a groundbreaking third version.

eClub Golf’s platform is not limited to Kansas City, Chilukuri said, noting his hopes to launch and market the app in other cities in the future.

This story is possible thanks to the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundationa private, nonpartisan foundation that works with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create unusual solutions and empower people to shape their future and succeed.

For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and log on to www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn

About Shirley A. Tamayo

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