Wanamaker Corporation is a privately held company in the software as a service (SaaS) industry. The company created the iWanamaker Digital Golf Platform in 2011 and has been focused on delivering an affordable and much needed event management and live scoring solution to the golf industry. Wanamaker’s primary focus has been on high school state associations and junior golf programs. It is the premier golf event management, live scoring, ranking, and statistics platform applicable to any organization; especially those that have a large number of managers who are not full time event coordinators but rather coaches who are dedicated to teaching the game to student athletes and junior golfers. The platform is used by over 12,234 coaches to create more than 25,000 events annually. Events are scored live by 60,000+ golfers. Wanamaker Corporation has multi-year contracts with 17 state high school associations. To help grow the game, and offer scholarships the company has donated more than $175,000 to state associations and high school golf programs in the US.
Wanamaker corporation is the preferred golf scoring and ranking partner of the NFHS. The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leader and advocate for high school athletics as well as fine and performing arts programs. Within their 51 member state associations (including Washington, D.C.), they serve 19,500 high schools and more than 12 million young people.
It was Doyle Heisler's passion for creating tools that enable golf tournament managers the option to automate the process of creating, managing and scoring golf tournaments that resulted in the creation of iWanamaker. Doyle's journey to streamlining the golf tournament management process and create a USGA compliant live scoring mobile app started in1999 and continues today. Not only did Doyle want to simplify the tournament management process but he also wanted to make his family tournaments more competitive. He quickly realized that golf was a very complicated sport and he would need to leverage his engineering, information systems management and software development background to accomplish his goals. Doyle grew up in North Dakota and fell in love with competitive sports at an early age, with his favorite sports being basketball, baseball, and football. Doyle didn't realize it at the time but later realized what made these sports more fun was the fact that they all had scoreboards displaying real-time scores and knowing who was winning and what it would take to win made the sport more fun.
Doyle started playing golf in 1986 when his brother Darrell encouraged him to give golf a try. Doyle was still played college basketball and baseball in the early 1980s when Darrell was coaching golf at Bishop Ryan high school in Minot, ND. Darrell experienced early success as a coach earning the distinct honor of the 1986-1987 North Dakota High School Golf Coach of the year. After learning the fundamentals of golf, Doyle progressed to competing against his family and friends. The tournaments were naturally large because Doyle has 8 siblings and many like to play golf. Doyle quickly realized that not knowing how he was doing against the entire field seemed odd and he was not warming up to the idea that in golf you play against the course. Playing against his family and cousins seemed like it would be a lot more fun and competitive so Doyle created the Heisler Golf Association (HGA) in 2000 and in the first event the golfers would use walkie talkies to communicate the scores to each other. After that experience, Doyle was on a mission to bring live scoring to all HGA events.
Over the next 10 years, the HGA would use whatever technology was available to make it easier to know the scores of all the players. Everything changed in 2010 when Doyle started to learn more about smartphone technology and how quickly it was changing the way people would communicate and most important, stay connected. In preparation for the 2011 HGA Phoenix Open, Doyle created a Google sheet that had 4 tabs, three of the tabs were used to enter scores for each of the 3 rounds and the fourth was the leaderboard. The Google sheets scoring and leaderboard live document made the event so much more fun and more importantly, it gave Doyle the feedback he needed to devote his time to developing a live scoring mobile app.
In early 2011, Doyle contacted Lance Anderson, his college basketball teammate and shared that he was creating a live scoring app for golf. Because of Lance's competitive nature, he suggested we use the the app to live score the Pumpkin Ridge Member Guest tournament in August of 2011. For the next 4 months Doyle contracted with Jason King, owner of Accella.net, a software development company, to design and build the app. To add another level of complication, the member guest event was a 2 man net best ball format with stableford scoring. The end result was a huge success so Doyle began to seek investors to fund the development of a full solution that includes both event management with a live scoring mobile app. In January of 2012, Doyle and a host of investors launched the iWanamaker platform at the PGA Merchandise show in Orlando, Florida.
Doyle learned that the event management space was crowded but they were one of a few companies that were primarily focused on live scoring. Throughout the first half of 2012 it was obvious that the company would need to invest more money developing the product than originally forecasted so with the help of his investors he created Wanamaker Corporation and spun up a development team. By mid 2012 iWanamaker was performing well but the company was disappointed to learn the charity golf space was not as open to live scoring as the company initially thought so Doyle began to explore other segments. In the fall of 2012, Jon Shores, head coach of the Brophy Prep high school golf team, asked if iWanamaker could be used to live score the Brophy Invitational tournament in Arizona and it was at this tournament where Doyle learned that parents showed a great deal of interest in live scoring. The team was also exploring the products acceptance in the junior golf space by convincing Lee Hall, manager of Pikes Peak Junior Golf and its 200 golfers to use it in the summer of 2013 and both Lee and the PPJG parents warmed up quickly to live scoring. In the fall of 2013, the company convinced the late Tom Robinson, director of golf for the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA) and Dean Visser, director of golf for the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) to use the product to live score their postseason tournaments. Fans, golfers, coaches and the association showed that they were ready for live scoring by generating ten's of thousands of hits on iWanamaker.com. Based on this and because throughout 2013, the event managers of charity and amateur tournaments were showing very little interested in live scoring, the company decided to focus on the high school and junior golf space.
At the beginning of 2014, the company decided to focus on high school and junior golf in Arizona and Colorado. The development team had many challenges ahead of them and one of the biggest was to create a ranking system for the AIA because they did not use a traditional playoff series to determine the team and golfer state qualifiers so the company work closely with the AIA and their coaches committee to deliver a custom rankings system based on the difficulty of the tee boxes played for all regular season events. In addition, the system would need to support the option to create, manage and score thousands of events by coaches who were not used to running high school golf events using a software tool. It is important to understand that high school golf was approximately 100 years old and for the first 100 years, it was scored on paper and not all coaches were easily convinced that live scoring on an electronic device was such a good idea. Both the AIA and CHSAA had to remove bylaws that banned to use of cell phones during state championship competition. Facing these and other challenges did not deter Doyle and his team from achieving their goal of changing the sport from not knowing the score while the tournament was played to having a live team and individual leaderboard throughout the tournament.
Steady progress was made from 2014 to 2018 in both the iWanamaker platform and acceptance of live scoring in AZ and CO with the biggest being the publishing iOS and Android apps in 2017. From 2014 to 2016 all scoring was done on the iWanamaker browser based app formatted for mobile devices and most of the live scoring was done by spectators assigned to be markers. Based on feedback from coaches, Doyle knew he would need to create a native app if golfers were to embrace the app and score live hole by hole because student athletes deemed apps from the App Stores to be cool and browser based apps not cool. Realizing this, Doyle designed a new, native mobile version to replace the browser based version and decided to take it a step further and build 3 native apps, an iWanamaker app for non high school events as well as an AZPREPS365 and CHSAA Golf apps powered by iWanamaker for high school events in AZ and CO respectively. Doyle felt that athletic directors, coaches, golfers and spectators in AZ and CO would be more likely to embrace an app with the state association brand instead of the iWanamaker brand. The decision proved to be a good one because beginning 2018 high school golfers in AZ and CO were not only scoring live hole by hole but the AIA and CHSAA both made their apps the official scorecard.
The next big breakthrough came in the summer of 2018 when Dean Visser showed the AZPREPS365 golf app to Cody Inglis and Ed Thompson at the NFHS Summer meetings. Cody, director of golf for the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and Ed, director of golf for the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) were very impressed with the app so they reached out to Doyle to inquire about having an app built for the MHSAA and FHSAA. Doyle was invited to present the iWanamaker platform to the golf committees in MI and FL. The FHSAA made the decision to move forward with a FHSAA Golf app powered by iWanamaker and the MHSAA decided to pilot a MHSAA Golf app powered by iWanamaker for the upcoming boys and girls seasons. The MHSAA was most interested in learning if the app could be leveraged to prevent another cheating scandal. To learn more, visit Michigan high school golf wants to stop cheating. Here's the plan. The rollout of the FHSAA golf app was a huge success in FL and the pilots in MI were proving the iWanamaker platform to be a viable solution. In addition, Doyle convinced the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) to pilot the product for their 2019 spring postseason championships. The pilot was a huge success and the MSHSL agreed to a 3 year deal with Wanamaker Corporation.
The year 2020 (COVID-19) was both a setback and a blessing for Wanamaker. A setback because the spring season was cancelled by the MSHSL, CHSAA and the AIA. A blessing because in the fall of 2020 partnership agreements were singed with MI, IL, NM, and WY. The rollout of the product was a huge success in all 4 states and more importantly, state associations realized the app as a scorecard was a huge time saver and for MI, a way to prevent cheating. Currently, the Wanamaker team has partnership agreements in place with associations in 17 states and is hoping to convince the other 33 state associations the iWanamaker platform would be good for golf in their state as well.
The Team is composed of talented employees with extensive experience in web & mobile app design and development, user interface/experience design, testing, analysis & planning, deployment, and customer support. Because the iWanamaker platform is served on Amazon Web Services (AWS) and has been since 2012, the Wanamaker team has extensive experience in managing many of the services offered by AWS.
Wanamaker Corporation has a combined professional IT experience of over 50 years in the area of software development and support, hardware support, network administration and database management. Because this type of service is seasonal, Wanamaker has demonstrated the ability to bring on additional staff to fulfill its obligations to its customers. One such example would be in 2013, the company brought on 7 additional team members to help manage and support the Colorado regional and state championship tournaments. The Wanamaker staff assisted with both hardware and software support. In addition to offering these services, the company also trained volunteers on site to support the success of the tournament. Wanamaker continues to bring on team members to reach out to states when the situation demands it. The company has the systems in place to meet the client service needs of this contract for both onsite and remote support.
Doyle Heisler, Founder and CEO
Doyle currently lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota and enjoys cross country skiing, hiking, golfing and spending time with his wife Deana and their dog Marley. He received his BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology in the early 1990s. Doyle has an Innovative personality with extensive leadership experience and exceptional people skills. Effectively motivates people from different cultures or backgrounds. He is an AWS Cloud Solutions Architect with 6 years of cloud architecture experience. Proven mobility innovator with experience in creating mobile apps that reach 100,000+ people per year. Doyle builds constructive relationships with business partners and positively involves people in decision-making. He helps ensure the highest standards for ethical behavior are practiced throughout the organization and strives to stay within budget by successfully eliminating waste and unneeded costs. Doyle inspires people to achieve high levels of customer satisfaction by delivering exceptional support and ensuring people receive the training they need to succeed.
Brian Swartz, Senior Developer
Brian grew up and lives in Lubbock Texas with his wonderful wife Amy. He attended Texas Tech University and received his BS in Computer Science. Brian has been a professional developer for over 20 years and has a wide range of experience in the field including web development, mobile development, and database design. In his spare time, Brian enjoys watching college football and basketball, and also playing outside with his two dogs.
Leana Wilson, Customer Relations Specialist
Leana currently lives in the beautiful northern Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband Dennis and enjoys spending time outdoors trail running, hiking, golfing and ebiking. She grew up in North Dakota and attended North Dakota State University where she received her BS in Computer Science. Leana has a vast amount of experience working with customers and companies providing technology solutions. Her experience includes state level IT Director, Project Manager in the high tech industry, Test Manager, Software Support, and Customer Service. Leana also brings a passion for the game of golf to the Wanamaker team.
Bryce Frydenlund, Junior Developer
Bryce grew up in Minnesota competing in high school golf, baseball, basketball and football. He lives in Colorado and is a loyal Minnesota Vikings fan. Bryce and his wife Lindsey have 2 kids and love spending time together in the wonderful outdoors in Colorado. Bryce loves to golf with his family and friends in his spare time. He started hid professional career working IT Support for iWanamaker back in 2014. Currently, he is working as Quality Assessor Sr and transitioning into a Jr Developer role. He has really enjoyed learning more about software development and look forward to what the future has in store.