32 Golf Inc. Summer 2014
And those prices can be had only through
the course website.
Additionally, golfers get discounts if they
buy in advance. If a golfer buys a round
between eight and 14 days from the playing date, he or she gets up to 40 percent off.
Prices go up — not down — as tee times
That encourages golfers to buy earlier,
so tee sheets fill up. And that means there’s
less of a scurry to sell at the last minute.
Look for such innovations to continue,
“I think as technology continues to
improve, more courses will adopt more
aggressive online strategies,” he said. “I
also suspect that we will see a much wider
adoption of dynamic pricing, and that will
accelerate as we get more options for pro-
Quantival, a 3-year-old company, focuses
exclusively on providing golf courses
with dynamic pricing. Executive Director
Richard Bennett said the idea is very new,
but the industry is moving in this direction.
“We don’t think the whole industry will
move to this, but when courses shifted to
different rates for the weekend, they started
moving towards it. All we are doing is help-
ing them do it right and take it further.”
Jeffrey Smith, principal and CEO of
Walters Golf Management, a St. Louis-
based firm that owns or operates 20
courses, is bullish on dynamic pricing. His
courses don’t offer flat rates. The prices are
He’s constantly encouraging golfers to
go online to book tee times because it’s the
best way for them to get times of their liking
and pricing. He hands out cards reminding
them to do so. The message is on golf carts
and even over urinals.
“Once they do it, they’ll do it every time,”
At one of his courses, he hit something of
a milestone. He sold more tee times online
than through any other method. Filling up
the course with players paying the maximized price for the time they are playing
is key, he said.
However, he also works with GolfNow to
help drive business to his courses. The company has a reach his company — regardless
of how innovative and aggressive it is —
can never match. The Golf Channel routinely airs commercials hyping GolfNow,
“I’m not a GolfNow advocate. I’m a profitability advocate,” he said. “I want to utilize
the company with the greatest distribution, which is GolfNow. You want constant
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