On Line Tee Time Distribution

Dear UK
and all golf course operators,

I hope you’ve all enjoyed a great restart to your business following the lifting of some of the Coronavirus
restrictions and are looking forward to what could be, if we manage our place in the market carefully, a great trading summer on the golf course.

In many clubs, 
there has been a return to demand levels not seen for several 
years and along with the relative absence of discounting has meant tee times 
being sold at far more sustainable levels. Yes capacity has
been lower 
this will increase through the summer, but importantly the absence of aggressive third party distributors with their
race to the bottom approach to pricing has been key. If we are to maintain the recent success, it is vital that these discounters are not fuelled with free bartered inventory or discounted tee times 
so that they undermine our businesses. 

We are led to believe that
Golf Now, have been writing to club operators using their
BRS tee management system demanding unfettered access to up to four barter tee times per day
(16 golfers)
of Golf’s Now choosing, as a condition for continued use of the BRS system. They will
no doubt support the sale of this 
inventory using heavy discounting and through their access to Sky Sports advertising platforms (also part of the same group).
The golf clubs will not 
receive a single penny for barter tee times sold and their entire pricing 
model is likely to be undermined in the process.


If you are a BRS operator, consider carefully:

The true cost of using this system. A tiny increase in your average green 
fee, would more than fund a typical tee sheet and membership management system (£2
5k per annum), that you control, provides you with your own distribution system and allows you to set your own pricing.

What money are GOLF NOW generating off the 5,824
(16 golfers x 364 
barter tee times you give them every year for your “free” BRS 

How can you control your inventory right now? Can you block off times 
for your use, releasing them to direct bookers only.


If you are not using BRS, you will be in a stronger position, so consider carefully

Why are you providing inventory to third party distribution channels?
How many of your green fee customers are
regular players at your course?
Were they coming to your course anyway, but are simply using a 
third party website because you’re offering cheaper green fees there?
Are you simply fuelling the third parties by increasing the choice available 

Review your own site and make sure it’s simple and easy to book and always exclusively offers your best price. Before choosing to discount, remember golf is a great value activity, so maybe invest the money you were going to give in discounts in online promotion to increase awareness of your club. How frustrating will it be to see the person who was prepared to pay £40 last month for his round

now paying £25 for the same experience, especially if you then end up paying 25% commission or all the money goes to the barter operator.

This is about making sure that golf remains sustainable for the people who provide the facilities - YOU.

Please take action now. Challenge your peers and colleagues to do the same, so that golf comes out of this crisis in good health and has the opportunity to reinvigorate itself in a sustainable way for all.

The UK Golf Federation