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  • Bo LeHew

Breaking up with GolfNow

BREAKING UP WITH GOLFNOW

Every significant relationship is defined by its partners’ duties to each other. Each party has something to give to the other to keep it balanced. GolfNow is in a relationship with over 9,000 golf courses in the world. I was one of those golf courses.


Being in a relationship with GolfNow is simple — you don’t pay them a dime, all they want in return is your golf course’s tee times. Starting off at one tee time going all the way up to four tee times, per day, in exchange for various services they offer. Between their third-party booking site, marketing and social media support, website hosting, point-of-sale software, and even an answering service, you would end up paying them nothing! Just a measly 16 rounds per day. Or 480 rounds per month. Or up to a staggering 5,840 rounds per year. For a golf course averaging 40,000 rounds a year, that’s 15% of your inventory. And with no up-front costs, many courses overlook this steep price because the perceived value of this relationship looks very fair… on paper.


Unveiling Hidden Costs


Behind GolfNow's promises of assistance and success, lies a hidden truth – they care only about their own bottom line. So, how have they managed to entrench themselves so firmly in the golf industry? They preach they are here to help golf course owners, but from my experience, they look at golf course operators and management companies as supremely naïve. GolfNow reps come bearing gifts as well as lunch for their quarterly visits to explain “how great they are performing for you”. What is left out is the massive revenue they are stripping from your golf course and the booking fees they are gouging your golfers for as well. On top of that, they have done an impressive job at making you believe you have no other option in the golf market.


Taking Control and Seeking Better Options


Well, that’s just not true and certainly not a relationship I wanted to be involved in. I wanted to separate myself from the competition. I wanted to break free from this toxic relationship. I didn’t want to wait for a quarterly statement from someone controlling my inventory to stop by with lunch and tell me how well I was doing. I wanted to look at how I was doing every month, week, or even every day by checking the analytics myself. I also wanted my golfers to benefit by getting amazing instant rewards, special promo codes to save money on future tee times, bad weather discounts, and most importantly, stop the booking fee gouging on my golfers. I wanted a better overall experience for my golfers.


So, I had enough. I started thinking outside the box and doing some research, there had to be better options out there. I decided I wanted to take back my golf. I wanted to control my dynamic pricing and keep 100% of my revenue for every tee time I sold online. Sound too good to be true? Sound too difficult to accomplish? … Well, It’s not.


Empowering Golfers and Enhancing the Experience


I made the decision to break up with GolfNow, and it turned out to be the smartest move of my career. When I left GolfNow, I witnessed a remarkable transformation. The number of online rounds increased by 35% in just one month, and revenue skyrocketed by an astonishing 120%. The average revenue per golfer (APR) jumped to $51 – an $18 increase. The results were record-breaking, with more e-blasts opened, higher click-through rates, and a surge in new E-Club subscribers.


So, how did I achieve all these incredible results? I formed a new partnership with GolfBack Solutions, a leader in the golf industry. With their cutting-edge technology and analytics, I now have the sharpest-looking website in my city and the most beneficial booking engine available. And my fears about losing the rounds booked through GolfNow vanished. Golfers are smart and savvy. If they want to play at my course, they'll find me through a simple search engine query.


Sharing Best Practices and Moving Forward


I share my story not to keep this information to myself, but because I believe in the power of community and supporting fellow golf course operators. GolfNow may tout itself as a helper in the industry, but it's really causing harm. It's time for Texas golfers to know there is a better path, a path that allows golf courses to take back control of their business and provide an exceptional experience for their golfers. If you want to know more about my journey and how I can help you through your own breakup, reach out to me directly at 210-885-1302. Together, let's take our golf back.

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