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Rory McIlroy, NBC launches GolfNow Compete app to track scores and host competitions


Joe Lemire

NBC Sports Next, the innovation arm of the media company, has launched its new GolfNow Compete app with the backing of former world No. 1 player Rory McIlroy. GolfNow Compete tracks scores and runs both small group competitions and larger virtual tournaments.

Although GolfNow is one of the leading online booking apps for tee times, Compete aims to enrich the ongoing experience. It tracks detailed shot data and golfers can use their smartphone’s GPS to get distances. It also compiles scores for a wide variety of games, including Stableford and Nassau, as well as offering the ability to place virtual bets.

“That’s the beauty of this game of golf,” McIlroy said during a virtual media session on Wednesday. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. No matter your skill level. Anyone can have a good competitive run with any other golfer, regardless of skill level.

The goal, he added, is to make the sport more fun and accessible through creative play. By automatically compiling leaderboards, GolfNow Compete seeks to enhance, not disrupt, the experience.

“One of the things I was pretty strong on early on was that we try to get people off their phones on the golf course,” McIlroy said. “So he’s trying to make this app a companion and not something that takes away from the golf game.”

NBC Sports Next previously merged GolfNow with TeeOff and acquired RevTechPlus to help clubs improve revenue generation. He began partnering with McIlroy in 2019 for the launch of GolfPass, a direct-to-consumer subscription offering, which later became part of Peacock.


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