Over the past 12 months most of the economic indicators for the golf industry have shown downward trends, but there’s one sector in golf, writes Charles de Haan, that is showing serious, even exponential, growth: online golf bookings through club websites with online booking systems, and 3rd party marketing channels.
BRS: the only booking system to be integrated with the 3rd party marketing channels
BRS Golf, the only company whose online tee time management system is integrated with all the leading UK 3rd party marketing channels in the golf industry (in particular Teeofftimes.co.uk, Teetimes.co.uk and more recently ReservaTee.co.uk) has seen a growth in booking from these 3rd parties of just over 500% in 2007 to 2008 and close to 600% in 2008 to 2009. These upwards figures and trends are backed up by the articles in Golf Business News about Teetimes.co.uk, and the recent year end results announcement about Golfbreaks and Teeofftimes.co.uk for 2008/2009.
Dr. Brian Smith, Director BRS Golf “We’ve seen massive growth in booking from these 3rd parties over the last two years in particular. They are sending weekly marketing emails to over 300,000 golfers throughout the UK, and pushing golfers to customer clubs. Because our systems are integrated in real-time, customers using the BRS System can sit back and watch the bookings come in with minimal effort. We expect this growth to continue in 2010 or even accelerate as more clubs and golfers adopt online booking.”
“Although using 3rd party marketing channels to sell tee times is not for every golf club, I would recommend that you at least speak to them and find out what they can do for you. If you do not wish to use such channels, the BRS System has a suite of tools that allow you to take bookings online and do your own marketing. Last year £1.5 million was taken online through the golf club websites using BRS Golf. Any club with the BRS system are automatically linked to these channels, and the link can be switched on by contacting the BRS Support team. Once this link is activated you can manage availability to these 3rd parties from one easy to use tool.”
Why are we seeing such rapid growth in online booking?
Dr Brian Smith thinks this is due to a combination of factors:
- These particular 3rd party companies now have very large databases of golfers to which they can market tee times, and because of their own marketing efforts these databases are continuing to grow.
- Over 500 clubs are now using these channels, offering the golfer huge choice of course, price and location.
- Golfers are beginning to realise it’s easy to search for a variety of courses, book online and get great value.
Reinforcing these trends and growth is the news that BRS Golf has now passed the 350 customers mark, and October will be the company’s best month yet for new sales and installations.
Backed up by experience: Blackpool North Shore GC
The growth being seen by BRS Golf is certainly backed up by the experiences of many clubs that have installed BRS, including Blackpool North Shore GC. The club has been using a number of 3rd party channels for a few years, but only installed their BRS system in December last year.
John Morris, the Club Secretary, can see for himself that business for 2009 is well up on 2008: “Although the club has used various booking initiatives and channels for some time, there’s certainly plenty of evidence that we’re getting significantly more bookings this year. It’s our opinion that the BRS system is working very well in this regard, especially with the 3rd party channels that are integrated to BRS.”
“We’re of the view that our online booking facility will in time overhaul the 2 for 1 channels we’ve been using, and it will enable the club to move away from those types of bookings to ones via 3rd parties. With BRS, we can control the tee times we make available, the rates we want to charge, and the initiatives we want to run.”
BRS: good for golf and golf clubs
Brian Smith is delighted with the way things are going for golf clubs and for BRS Golf: “We are really pleased to be helping golf clubs take full advantage of the massive growth in online golf booking through Club Websites and 3rd party marketing companies, especially at a time when the economy has been making life very challenging for so many clubs.”
Brian continues: “What many clubs are finding is that going online with BRS Golf opens up all sorts of new opportunities for the clubs themselves, from attracting new members to simply communicating with their members and their visitors via email, SMS and post.”
“With over 350 clubs now using the BRS system, it’s by far the most proven and well developed booking system in which a club can invest. That, when combined with a first class training and support team, means that clubs get the answers and the training they need to get the most of the BRS System. It is this combination that is putting these clubs in pole position in the online bookings market.”
BRS Golf www.brsgolf.com