Online tee time booking revenue continued to grow in 2012, according to the latest results from BRS Golf, developer of the UK & Ireland’s market leading online booking system, writes Charles de Haan. Total online revenue for golf clubs using the BRS system during 2012 was £7.5 million, an increase of £1 million or 15% compared to 2011.
Managing Director of BRS Golf Dr Brian Smith commented: “It’s reassuring to see that in spite of the challenging economic climate and the wettest summer in 100 years, online booking revenue is continuing to grow for the seventh year in a row.”
“We’re confident this growth trend will continue for many years. Firstly, because more golf clubs are adopting online booking each year and selling tee times online. Secondly, it’s becoming easier for golfers to go online, find and compare prices, and book their round of golf at their convenience. Thirdly, golf clubs are starting to improve their use of yield management, marketing and working with 3rd parties to distribute their tee times. All of these factors are fuelling the growth of online booking.”
Average online revenue per club down
An anomaly that has emerged from this year’s statistics is the 13.5% drop in the average online revenue per club, decreasing from £16,600 in 2011 to £14,337 in 2012. Smith said “This should be no surprise. I would put this down mainly to the awful summer weather in 2012, and the fact that it is being compared to 2011 when the growth rate at 81% was unusually high. The continuing economic situation has also had an impact. Nonetheless, £14,337 still represents a significant amount for many clubs’ bottom lines.”
Average green fee price reducing slightly
Smith also reported that the average price of a casual online visitor green fee across all clubs using the BRS system has again gone down, albeit marginally: “The average green fee across all our customers in 2010 was £24, in 2011 £23 and in 2012 £22. This is symptomatic of more clubs going online, and the continuing development of a more open and increasingly competitive market place.”
Third parties playing their part
The impact of the 3rd party re-sellers is revealed to be growing at the same rate. “According to our research,” Smith explained, “the 3rd party distribution companies – including Teeofftimes.co.uk, GolfNow.com and Teetimes.co.uk – also experienced growth of 15% in 2012. Of the £7.5m booked through BRS Golf, £1.5m was booked through 3rd parties i.e. a 20% share of the overall revenue, underlining the contribution these 3rd party re-sellers are making to golf clubs.”
Getting to grips with yield management
In view of all these factors and trends revealed by the BRS Golf market research, Smith has some useful guidance: “Golf clubs looking to maximise the benefit of selling tee times online should focus on getting a system like BRS Golf in place. It has all the tools you need to sell tee times online, build a marketing database of visitors’ e-mail addresses and mobile ‘phone numbers, implement a marketing campaign, create reports, and make yield management work for your club.”
“One way to develop a better understanding of yield management is to work with the 3rd party re-sellers. They are experts in yield management and have a wealth of knowledge that you can tap into, on top of the potential additional revenue.”
BRS Golf www.brsgolf.com
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