Discount tee time providers - Good or bad for golf clubs?

23/05/2016

I found it very interesting to read some of the reviews that golfers have submitted at Teeuplo in recent weeks which clearly highlight a disparity between booking in advance direct with the club as oppose to using online discount tee time providers.

 

It is fair to say that the concept of a late booking will result in a discounted rate, this has applied to holidays, hotels etc for many years but it is alarming to see the amount of discount being offered by these companies and must leave golf clubs in a compromising position when trying to explain such discrepancies.

 

In a recent case, a society makes a booking 6 months prior to the intended visit, this booking allows the club to plan in advance, prepare the course suitably, allocate the relevant staff numbers for the day, pre plan food orders etc. On the very same day, the Society are informed that the same tee time is available at 50% less than what they have paid via an online discount tee time provider? Surely this cannot be a positive move by the club? I think it is fair to assume that the society might leave the club with negativity and unlikely to return.

  

The broader question is what positive impact does the discount tee time provider have on golf clubs? It is fairly common knowledge that the club pays a commission in the region of 20% for each tee time sold by the online provider, with the tee time already heavily reduced as in the case mentioned and then a further deduction in the form of recompense to the company the end result is a grossly under valued tee time. It really does baffle me as to why the golf club would wish to ‘sell’ the tee time at such a low value, surely if a perspective golfer is looking to play golf on a given day and the only option available to them was to book direct with the golf club, they would, and at the fixed and controlled rate? Thus, maintaining a value to the tee time. I am not suggesting that golf clubs should not make the tee time available at certain times at a reduced rate, we see this through ‘twilight’ offers and ‘fourball’ packages etc. but this is a constant reduction in green fee. Is there any logic in a golf club advertising a green fee rate anymore?

 

 

Golf clubs are in a very tough climate right now and exploring additional revenue streams is a vital part of survival, but in the longer term I really do question the positive impact that these companies have on the golf club by essentially devaluing the golf clubs core product and offering golf very little in return. 

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