After recently connecting to iMastergolf and Teetime.cz, we are proud to say that we are now also connected to Albatros Golf Solutions (France, Germany, Belgium: 295 courses). As a result of this integration more than 200 golf courses in France can be booked online now, like the Evian Resort, UGOLF Courson, Golf du Champ de Bataille, Le Golf Parc Robert Hersant and many others.
Jeroen Korving, Managing Director of Leadingcourses: "Every integration has it’s own challenges, but together we managed to resolve them. I am very happy with this new integration and we hope golfers will feel the same! Booking a tee time in France, Belgium and Germany just got a whole lot easier!"
Christophe Caporal from Albatros Golf Solutions responds: "For us this is a great step to help our clients to attract more golfers. For golf clubs using our technology this is a nice and welcome additional feature."
Compared to the travel industry, where people can book almost anything online and real-time (hotels, restaurants, flights, rental cars) golf is lagging years behind. The golf market is still very traditional and not very open to new innovations. After years of growth, many golf courses are now struggling. Fixed expenditures are high, memberships are on the decline – due to the recession a few years ago – and although the economic situation is much better right now, golfers demand more flexibility, better value-for-money and better service. Opening up to green fee players can be a solution. Without green fee players, membership contribution might have to go up.
Opening up your tee sheet to green fee players is quite easy if you are using proper club management software. And it does not need to conflict with your members. A golf club is always in charge and will decide which slots are open to the general public. Especially if you have enough inventory (due to weather conditions, low season, etc.) you can just add these empty slots and portals like Leadingcourses.com will be able to fill them for you. By attracting new players, you might even attract new members while earning money in the process.
Golf clubs must also be aware that keeping track of the ‘occupancy rate’ and ‘yield’ of a golf course is crucial to survive in this competitive market. Neglecting this and ignoring golfers who want to book online will eventually lead to problems. Although many golfers are older than 40, they are all very savvy when it comes to booking online. This group will grow older, will get more time to spend on the golf course and they will choose an online bookable course above the other. This is especially the case in Europe when people want to book in another country. Employees working at the reception desk of a golf club in for example France, Italy or Germany might not be able to communicate in English. That’s why online booking is so great. Below some of the obvious advantages of online booking.
Golf club benefits:
Leadingcourses.com will receive a small commission per booking, but golf clubs have to understand that margins for portals like us are very thin. This small commission has to cover all development costs, marketing costs, third-party payments (credit card), often a fixed fee per booking for the tee sheet vendor and customer support or aftersales (if something goes wrong, if someone cannot play due to weather conditions, hollow tining, etc.).
As margins on tee-times are low, we have to automate as much as possible while providing the golfer with a great experience. Our aim for 2019 is to connect as many golf clubs as possible, thus helping golfers to book and play where they want while generating more income for golf courses.
Enabling online tee-time bookings is part of the long-term strategy of Leadingcourses.com. It’s a necessity for golfers and it helps us to generate more verified reviews, which further increases the credibility of our ratings. It also helps us to build a solid and long-lasting relationship with golf course owners and managers, as generating more income for them helps them to improve their course and will help them to survive in a tough market.
As the rest of the world is opening up – the rise of the so-called partnership economy – we see that in golf there is a trend to consolidate tee-time solution providers. Many companies – like BRS – have been bought by GolfNow and such companies do not allow third parties like Leadingcourses.com to connect to their systems. We also see golf federations promoting closed systems (like Golfbox in the Nordics). According to us this is a really bad idea. Closed systems force customers to become a client – which is never a good idea. They should be able to choose. And by not opening up to the world you are not leveraging the full potential. We love openness; the more platforms are able to connect to your tee-sheet, the less dependent you are and the more business you will generate.
If golf clubs are interested to connect their tee-sheet directly to the Leadingcourses.com community, then please contact Leadingcourses.com.
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