Booking tee times is the UK’s fastest-growing online golf activity, according to new figures released today by Online Teetimes Ltd (OTL).
The worldwide traffic ranking for the company’s internet booking engine – which powers several of the leading green fee websites in the UK - has increased by 58% in the last three months.
The success is partly due to a 106% rise in the number of golfers making online tee time bookings in the same period. OTL also reports that the number of rounds booked online in the third quarter of this year has increased by 140% compared to May-June 2008.
Paul Heeney, MD of Online Teetimes Ltd, said, “The rapid growth in bookers and bookings demonstrates that golfers are enjoying the ease with which they can now buy a green fee online.
“This growth is itself creating a clear demand for us to deliver a greater choice of clubs and tee times. This is why we have a target of bringing 100 new clubs online this winter to sit alongside the 260 clubs we currently work with.
“Online tee time booking is on a very steep upwards curve and there has never been a better time for clubs to benefit from this. We have always maintained that the two compelling reasons for a golfer to go online will be to buy equipment and book a game.”
OTL’s booking engine powers its own consumer website – TeeTimes.co.uk – and also partner sites such as Direct-teetimes.co.uk, golfbidderteetimes.co.uk and the tee times service on www.golfmagic.com.
Increasing numbers of clubs now see the online tee time market as a more effective marketing option than 2for1 style voucher schemes, and are attracted by the simplicity of the administration and the pricing flexibility it allows.
To assess golfers’ online activity, OTL used Alexa.com traffic rankings to compare 14 of the UK’s leading golf websites.
OTL’s traffic rankings went up by 58% in the last three months. Traffic rankings in the online golf retail market continue to grow, but at a much slower rate of 11% and 21% for two of the UK’s best-known online golf retailers. The websites for the UK’s most popular golf magazines were also up, but only by 12% and 33%.
A key strategy for OTL is to help golf clubs capitalise on this rapid rise by putting more of their tee times in front of an ever-growing customer-base and the company is set to open up another four new distribution channels this winter.