Leadingcourses.com is on a quest. We want to help golfers throughout Europe to book their tee-time online. Golfers must be able to check tee-time availability online and then to be able to secure their preferred tee-time. After connecting to more than 100 golf clubs in Spain a few months ago, we have now opened up the Czech golf market via Leadingcourses.com.
Leadingcourses.com recently signed an agreement with Teetime.cz, the market leader in the Czech Republic when it comes to tee-time software and tee-time reservations. After quite some technological and administrative challenges, we are now happy to announce that we managed to make a live connection to golf clubs in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Austria. Golfers can see real-time tee-time availability and they can book a tee-time online without the need to contact the club. Due to this new connection, golfers can now book and pay their tee-time online in:
- the Czech Republic (76 golf clubs can be booked online)
- Slovakia (20 golf clubs can be booked online)
- Austria (1 golf club can be booked online)
As all the rates are in Czech Krona (Kč), we also provide an estimation of that amount in euro (based on the Kč/€ exchange rate for that day).
The margin on a tee-time is quite low, so Leadingcourses.com does not expect that providing online tee-times to the golfing community is going to be an important revenue stream. However, golfers more and more expect that – when they have informed themselves on Leadingcourses.com by reading the reviews from other golfers, checking the location of a golf club and the prevailing green fee rates – they can also book the tee-time online via Leadingcourses.com. And we couldn’t agree more. We want to connect as much golf clubs as possible, thus helping golfers to book and play where they want while generating more income for golf courses.
Enabling online tee-time bookings is part of the long-term strategy of Leadingcourses.com. It’s a necessity for golfers and it helps us to generate more verified reviews, which further increases the credibility of our ratings. It also helps us to build a solid and long-lasting relationship with golf course owners and managers, as generating more income for them helps them to improve their course and will help them to survive in a tough market. We also see a trend that golfers want to be more in control where they play and spend their valuable time and we want to be a part of that.
Golf industry is lagging behind
Compared to the travel industry, where people can book almost anything online and real-time (hotels, restaurants, flights, rental cars) golf is lagging years behind. The golf market is still very traditional and not very open to new innovations. After years of growth, currently many golf courses are now struggling. Fixed expenditures are high, memberships are on the decline – due to the recession a few years ago – and although the economic situation is much better right now, golfers demand more flexibility, better value-for-money and better service. Opening up to green fee players can be a solution, but that can also cause more members to leave. Golf clubs just have to make a choice.
Closed systems a big threat
As the rest of the world is opening up – the rise of the so-called partnership economy – we see that in golf there is a trend to consolidate tee-time solution providers. Many companies – like BRS – have been bought by GolfNow and such companies do not allow third parties like Leadingcourses.com to connect to their systems. We also see golf federations promoting closed systems (like Golfbox in the Nordics). According to us this is a really bad idea. Closed systems force customers to become a client – which is never a good idea. They should be able to choose. And by not opening up to the world you are not leveraging the full potential. We love openness; if more platforms are able to connect to your tee-sheet, the less dependent you are and the more business you will generate.
Leadingcourses.com is currently working on opening up the French market. An agreement has been signed with one of the leading tee-time providers in France and we expect to be able to provide tee-times online in France anywhere in the next months.
If clubs in other territories are interested to connect to the Leadingcourses.com community, then they can contact Leadingcourses.com.