Why Doesn’t The Oaks participate in the GofNow Program any more?
The GolfNow Program is an advantage for GolfNow ONLY. They offer these ridiculously low prices for their “Hot Deal” in exchange for “helping us fill our time sheet”. Think about it. GolfNow charges you as low as 30% of the costs of a full round at the course you’re going to play. Great for you, but even better for them. It didn’t cost them a plug-nickel to earn your business. Sure, they have promotional materials, websites, commercials that they have to pay for, but the cost of those marketing techniques PALE in comparison to the fees they’re collecting from you. The problem is, the VAST majority of golfers that purchase rounds through GolfNow will go anywhere they can get the cheapest Golf Rates. There’s no loyalty to the courses they’re playing, only loyalty to GolfNow.
Any idea how much Golf Courses get when a GolfNow customer purchases a “Hot Deal”? Zilch. Nada. Cinco-de-Nothing. Not one red cent. Now, if those golfers eventually came back to the course because they liked the course, and the Hot Deal just wasn’t available when they wanted to play, that would be great. That’s NEVER the case. Golfers who are Hot Deal players, only play Hot Deals. GolfNow will sell their program to a course on the premise that “golfers will return to the course if the Hot Deal isn’t available when they want to play.” NEVER, EVER, EVER happens. Golfers return to the course if and when the Hot Deal is available again.
We tried. We saw it wasn’t going as promised after the first year, so we reached out to GolfNow to get their assitance in making it a more equitable relationship. GolfNow suggested we move the times to slots that were “less desirable” like 7:30 AM. You know what happened when we did that? The Hot Deal Golfers chased the times. So we complained again. This time, GolfNow came to the course – CAME TO THE COURSE – to help us. They offered us more “perks”. “We’ll build and maintain your website.” and “We’ll give you a mobile app that will let your golfers book on line, or fly the course virtually.” and “We’ll give you advanced reports to help you maximize your available times.” and (here’s the kicker) “All we ask is that you give us …. (wait for it) … an additional time slot where we offer another Hot Deal time for “our customers”. We agreed, they got thier additional time, and now here we are, 2 YEARS LATER in the same boat. Enough is enough.
Think about this for a minute. If every player that used a “Hot Deal” would have instead come straight to the course to purchase thier round (in a little over 3 years that’s about 500 players) at $20/round that would have been $10,000 that the course could have used to buy chemicals, hire workers, repair carts, fix sprinkler heads, repair Tee Boxes, or any 1 of about 100 other things. None of that happened.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is our opinion that GolfNow is one of the reasons that Golf Courses all across the nation are struggling. Now, we don’t begrudge anyone getting a good deal, we really don’t, but cheap golf isn’t good for anyone in the golf business. However, it’s great for GolfNow. That’s why The Oaks Golf Course will no longer participate in the GolfNow Program. While we realize that we may “lose business”, the truth is that we never made any money FROM that “business” so it’s a loss we’re willing to accept.