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Market Sentiment Study for Online Tee-Time Distribution Released

April 23, 2018

Charleston, South Carolina, United States: The Golf USA Tee Time Coalition has released a first-of-its-kind market sentiment study for online tee-time distribution.

This survey was conducted in response to the interest of golf course operators to more fully understand and document the relationships between golf management software companies, online tee-time agencies and their golf course clients.

The complete Market Sentiment Study can be downloaded at: teetimecoalition.org/marketsentimentstudy

“This study was the first scientific effort to evaluate and report on the dynamics between golf course owner/operators and third-parties which help manage tee-time inventory and/or distribute tee-times online,” said Jared Williams, Managing Director of the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition.

“The study reveals that satisfaction and advocacy scores are much better for management software systems than for online tee-time distribution marketing services. The market appears ripe for disruption from companies who put the golf course first.”

Overall, the research suggests that online tee-time agents are ‘accepted’ rather than ‘loved’ by golf course owners, operators and PGA professionals.

“Tee time agents have a negative reputation among golf course owners and operators,” Williams added. “The data suggests that improving the issues of price integrity is critical to further improving the relationship between online tee-time agents and course owners and operators.”

This study was developed and conducted by market research company B2B International, with significant input from the Coalition (including the NGCOA and the PGA), and many of the leading online tee-time agents and software providers.

“We invited online tee-time agents and software providers to review and comment on the style and line of questioning,” said Williams. “This allowed us to eliminate negative bias or leading questions.”

The results, ratings and commentary reflected in the final data summarise experiences from each course’s relationship with their current provider.

Top challenges faced by golf courses when working with online tee-time distribution marketers relate to pricing issues, poor customer service, difficulty in using the software, and challenges with trading tee times, double booking and player cancellations.

Jared Williams

Additionally, regardless of golf course profile, nearly half of those using online tee-time distribution marketers feel that they are in direct competition with their marketer. Perhaps most telling is that half of the market indicated that third parties had little to no impact on revenue and the number of rounds played.

Despite low Net Promoter Scores overall, very few golf courses have ended their relationships with their Online Tee-Time Agents and Golf Management Systems within the past two years.

Owners and operators appreciate the number of marketing tools available to them as well as the increased exposure they enjoy when working with Tee-Time Distributors.

Golf Management Systems earn the loyalty of owners and operators by offering sophisticated, easy-to-use systems that allow golf courses to be extremely efficient in collecting and tracking customer data.