There are a handful of key players in the discount tee-time website space. I got in touch with Ryan Lear at one of my favorites - Golf18 Network - to learn about who they are and what they can do as a marketing arm for golf resorts.
Gregg: Let’s start with a little bit of background on the Golf 18 Network. On the site it says you’ve booked over 2,000,000 rounds. Maybe talk a little bit about your model and growth and how went from zero to such an impressive number.
Ryan: We have over 2M unique consumers but have booked well in excess of 2M rounds.
Our model is significantly different then the competitors since we are performance based. We don’t have a specific trade time that we market and price, the course is always in control of those factors. This has been a very attractive model for the courses and been key in our overall growth.
Gregg: So a resort is interested is signing up, how much work will be it to integrate with their tee-sheet and start to see listings (and hopefully sales) through your platform? Walk me through that process a little bit.
Ryan: We integrate with a majority of the electronic tee sheets in the market. The effort from the course side is very minimal and each tee sheet vendor has a different timeline for completing the setup. Most of the tee sheet vendors can have the system up and running within 3-4 business days.
Gregg: They’re all setup. How much work is it then for a resort/course to maintain their discounts and deals?
Ryan: If a course can devote 5-10 minutes per day, the self-admin tools we provide will allow them to manage any discounts and real-time pricing updates with very little effort. In addition, each course has an in-house pricing manger who can assist with pricing updates and provide industry guidance when needed.
Gregg: Just from my experience on the site, it seems the best way to gain visibility is to have biggest percentage discount based on the default sorting order of listings. Are there any other tactics a marketer can apply to help maximize their presence?
Ryan: Outside of the normal exports on the website, we also provide a full line of email marketing tools. Our email tools make it simple for the course operator to blast out any special priced tee times to their entire database.
Gregg: Resorts differ from a local course in a few important ways. What specific advice do you have for golf resorts looking to get the most out of Golf 18 Network’s platform?
Ryan: Posting consistent inventory is always the key no matter what style of course you are operating.
A few ways for resort courses to stand out from the crowd are layering in value offers, like including F&B or range and also using price decay models. This will allow more local based players the opportunity to grab expiring tee times that would otherwise go unused.
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