July Tip for Owners and Managers: Do we need dynamic golf pricing?

Most golf courses offer great tee times with smooth rounds for only about an hour a day…the first hour, that is! From there, the rounds gradually begin to get slower and rougher, as backups appear on hole after hole. Owners and managers have grappled with this seemingly unsolvable feature by offering earlier and earlier twilight rates to boost revenue.

 

A new twist on the desire to bring in some revenue rather than no revenue is dynamic golf pricing. Golf Club Atlas recently had a lively dialogue on the topic. If you’re not familiar, dynamic golf pricing involves the analysis of specific metrics on the course to enable course rates to change in real time, based for example on tee time availability, the demand at different times of day, weather and other factors, so that players can shop in real time for the best rates. With dynamic golf pricing, players can expect the less attractive tee times to be even more affordable. Of course the caveat to this is that the best tee times may be a bit pricier.

 

I enjoyed the Golf Club Atlas debate, and here’s what I have to say. Dynamic golf pricing is designed to help courses sell their inventory, but its job is not to create a better playing experience (a course's primary product!).

 

Some things never change, and one is players’ desire to have a quality playing experience – a faster and smoother flowing round of golf.  If a course can guarantee this, then a full tee sheet at full price is a realistic goal, without resorting to an array of discounting models that erode the bottom line.

 

So let’s focus on how to provide the quality experience, all day every day, so that every tee time is as valuable as every other tee time. I suggest you explore my website, read some of my articles on the resource pages, and if you’re interested, give me a call. I’ve helped hundreds of public and private courses around the world manage play in a way that every tee time is high quality. They don’t need to invest in a dynamic golf pricing system because they can sell every tee time at full price, all on their own. 

 

Tip by Bill Yates, Pace Manager Systems

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