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#2. Should I trade or sell my tee times through third party golf sites?
Bartering tee times has been debated at length in the golf industry over the last ten years. What makes it so polarizing? It sounds pretty straight- forward: golf courses trade a fraction of their total tee times in exchange for a range of products and services like marketing packages, software solutions, online booking engines, increased exposure to new customers, etc. It sounds advantageous, particularly in the short term—sell expiring slots that might otherwise go unused!

But… for operators committed to maintaining the integrity of their golf course’s offerings its a potential bait-and-switch. Here’s why:

Third party retailers have no motivation to maintain an individual golf course’s value over time.

They’ve optimized for a different goal — selling aggregated, tee times at severely discounted prices. Golfers
are smart. They’ll save money if they can and these third parties aggressively market to them. Consumers encouraged to seek out last-minute deals with a third party often end up shifting loyalty to the third party sites and away from the course.

A good gut check for any business relationship is to ask yourself the question, “If I went out of business tomorrow, which of my partners would care? Which of them is committed to the long-term sustainability of my course and my livelihood?” Discount sites sell discounts, not golf.
How do you assess the value of bartered tee times for your specific course? Here are a few steps:

  • Determine the percentage of locals compared to visitors that play golf at your course. Are you in a destination market, where competition for new, one-time golfers is high? Bartered tee times may actually be beneficial in this type of scenario.
  • List out the perceived values of the solutions that these third parties provide and assign a monetary value to each (use a comparable service in the marketplace).
  • Use our free rate calculator to estimate the true cost of your bartered tee times.
    [click here to try our free rate calculator]
  • Compare the cost to the net perceived value.

How big is the difference? If you are ready to find another way to increase revenue, we are here to help.