With a growth rate of 28% for 2010 to date (compared to the same period in 2009), online tee time bookings are becoming the 21st century way to arrange green fee golf, according to BRS Golf.
Market leader BRS Golf is constantly analyzing their club customers’ data, and with well over 420 clubs now using their system, the sample represents nearly 13% of all the clubs in the UK and Ireland. The picture emerging from all their research into online golf, BRS Golf’s Dr. Brian Smith believes is not only instructive but one that clubs ignore at their peril.
Smith explains: “Online tee bookings continue to grow at an unprecedented rate, especially when you compare this income stream to any other that clubs depend on. Online tee booking is fast becoming the way golfers prefer to buy their green fees, indeed we could even say that green fee sales are going online, and we see this trend simply continuing year on year.”
The picture of the online golfer is becoming clearer
Smith believes the picture of typical casual golf consumers is now becoming much clearer: “Other points to bear in mind from our previous research findings is that
a) nearly 90% of online tee bookings are made directly through clubs’ websites, while 10% or so are made via the 3rd party marketing channels;
b) bookings are made primarily by pay and play golfers who represent the majority – 75% – of the market for golf, and
c) they tend to have a portfolio of clubs that they prefer to play, and that
d) 72% of bookings are made outside of clubs’ normal office hours, ie. they like the convenience of arranging their golf in the evenings at home.”
The online golfer is here to stay
The picture emerging is of pay and play golfers going online at home in the evening to check out the websites of the clubs at which they want to play. They have a portfolio of clubs in mind within reasonable driving distances, and these will tend to include budget venues when they want some cheap golf, as well as higher priced venues when they want a higher quality round and experience. They prefer to book online from home in the evenings, because they have the time to look at and compare the peak and off-peak rates and tee times that their preferred choice of clubs are offering.
“What is certain from some other research we’re currently looking at, is that clubs can both exploit the growing market for online tee time bookings, and retain much more control over the green fee prices they prefer to sell at, and achieve these two objectives much more effectively when they have the BRS Golf system installed on their websites.
“Once clubs get the BRS Golf management tool, we know from customer feedback that they soon realise there’s much more they can achieve with it: shared booking administration, identification and yield management of your available tee times, creation of member and visitor databases, e-communications, marketing, and membership building.
“So to any club concerned about its bottom line, we suggest you talk to one of BRS Golf’s 420 satisfied club customers and then try it for yourself.”
BRS Golf www.brsgolf.com
Caption to graph: The market for online green fee bookings continues to grow at an unparalleled rate