Online golf service BRS to create 28 jobs in Belfast
A golf software firm established by two brothers from Belfast – and later bought by one of the world's biggest businesses – is creating 28 new jobs.
BRS Golf, named after the initials of founders Brian and Rory Smith, is now part of GolfNow, a division of the Golf Channel, itself owned by US cable giant Comcast – which also owns US TV network NBC. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster yesterday announced 28 new jobs at the business, which specialises in tee-time booking systems for golf courses.
During a visit to its new offices at Centrepoint in the city centre, the minister said: "BRS Golf's decision to expand its workforce and invest in new premises here in Belfast is testament to Northern Ireland's standing as an excellent location in which to do business.
"Invest NI has worked with GolfNow and its US parent NBCUniversal for more than a year to encourage BRS Golf to locate its expansion here.
"This investment will help the company to expand its international footprint through its commitment to aiding golf clubs around the world to operate their businesses more effectively."
She said the new jobs, which will be filled over the next three years, would contribute £800,000 in salaries to the economy every year – suggesting an average annual salary of £28,000. The jobs are in IT, customer support, sales, training and finance.
Invest NI has contributed £154,000 towards the expansion.
Brian Smith revealed the company's sale to Comcast in an exclusive interview with the Belfast Telegraph in July last year.
He explained that he and older brother Rory were fanatical golfers and computer whizzes who married their passions through their tee-time booking system, BRS Golf.
It was one of the earliest web-based applications for business use – and last year its clients included 200 out of 400 golf courses around Ireland. The amount of the deal was not disclosed – but Brian said the successful sale was "a dream come true".
Brian explained that he started by developing a website for Ardglass Golf Club's website after leaving former employer Nortel.
Then a manager of Belvoir Golf Club, he said that they needed a good tee-time management system to let members and visitors book online.
"We saw an opportunity, started working on it and have never looked back."
The brothers are still working for the business.
Mike McCarley, president of Golf Channel, said BRS Golf in Belfast would help GolfNow – which is based in Orlando – to continue developing technology for golf clubs.
He commended the region's "competitive infrastructure and pro-business environment".
He said: "Invest NI's support has played a valuable role in the growth of BRS Golf and GolfNow to date."