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Our tools and services are developed to help golf instructors grow as teachers, bring in new students and take their businesses to the next level.

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Get noticed by passionate golfers looking to take their game to the next level

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WHY GOLF BUSINESS SOLUTIONS?

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golf course partners worldwide.

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registered GOLFNOW users.

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golfer reviews of 14,750 courses worldwide.

WHAT OUR PARTNERS ARE SAYING

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The Latest from The Index

golf course software

Golf software ‘walk-thru’ help

Oct 03, 2019

The value of technology in the workplace depends on the ability of staff members to use it.

The GOLF Business Solutions tool for tee-time inventory and revenue management, GOLFNOW Central (GNC) has been developed with ease-of-use as a high priority. That’s evident to anyone who watches a course operator log into GNC and smoothly navigate its array of business functions. As for operators still learning how GNC works, you could listen to the Partner Support team at GOLF headquarters field their myriad tech questions and readily sense the value of that support.

But for the busy operator who prefers a more hands-on learning approach, GOLFNOW wanted to take support a step further in order to help users of the platform leverage it more efficiently and confidently. That’s why the “WalkMe” project was undertaken. Launching in phases through summer and fall, WalkMe is a built-in program of step-by-step instructions on how to accomplish all tasks within GOLFNOW Central's function tabs.

Log in to GOLFNOW Central currently and you’ll find a WalkMe upgrade in five function modules:

  • How to: Check Holiday Inventory
  • How to: Update Live Inventory
  • How to: Load Live Tee Times
  • How to: Set up Dashboard Reporting
  • How to: Access Performance Reports

More will be added on a rolling basis during the fourth quarter, and similar modules will be implemented for GOLF Business Solutions’ G1 management platform.

Overseeing the project is Chris Alvarez, Manager of Business Services Support for GOLF Business Solutions. Alvarez touts the visual design of the WalkMe tool, which features a “Need Help?” tab in the lower-right corner of every page, plus embedded modules that are active depending on which tab you are utilizing in GNC. During the walk-through, boxes framed in red – easy to identify but compact enough to avoid blocking other content – help indicate where an action is needed. He expects WalkMe to give operators an extra level of assurance that they can quickly perform the tasks and adjustments that lead to improved bookings and margins.

“With how-to information of any kind, a lot of the value lies in when you need or want to access it,” says Alvarez. “This is relevant with WalkMe for GNC in a couple of ways. Just as you hit a key point in the performance of a task, the instructions pertinent to that task become available to click open and read. The other timing factor is about work you might want to do in the evenings, when other forms of support may not be available. WalkMe is a big help in that regard.”

To encourage use of the technology, the GNC welcome page has a bouncing click-box installed on its lower right corner. Operators can get started there and receive an orientation showing where the how-to information is embedded and what it looks like as you access it.

“Walk Me interacts with the user intelligently, providing a variety of examples on how to execute each step of a task,” explains Alvarez. He recommends starting with the Update Live Inventory function and next, because of the time of year, the Check Holiday Inventory task, where WalkMe assistance is particularly intuitive—using WalkMe to fill in knowledge gaps on such a core part of the GNC suite will accelerate the process of making it second-nature to use the platform generally.

Naturally, a golf course staff using the GNC platform will have people with different learning styles. That’s another reason why the WalkMe tool adds value. In the process of training 20-plus colleagues internally at GOLF Business Solutions in the use of GNC, Alvarez has noticed that comprehensive front-end tutoring has its limitations. “We’ve tried all methods here,” he says, “and the greatest success seems to come when the new user can jump in and learn by doing. They get a certain number of reps and then the light bulb comes on. WalkMe caters to that approach.”

Going forward, WalkMe will be able to provide shout-outs to new features as they’re released. Look for best practices of inventory management to be featured in ensuing WalkMe upgrades, along with recommendations about effective strategies that emerge directly from GNC users.

Advancing to a high skill level in the use of GOLFNOW Central is a proven competitive edge. “We’ve noticed over time,” says Alvarez, "that operators who engage with GNC the most tend to see the greatest ROI benefit from their GOLF Business Solutions partnership.” It’s another example of the fact that business technology is valuable, but mastery of it is valuable in the extreme.


Dynamic Pricing

Dynamic pricing during seasonal transitions

Sep 18, 2019

The time has passed for letting the calendar dictate pricing. The times they are a changin’ … on the calendar, that is, as summer turns to fall. This is a common refrain this time of year and for many golf courses, it means checking the calendar to see when they are supposed to change. But is this really the best strategy?

“One of the main discussions we have with our golf course partners is smoothing their transitions coming into and out of seasons,” said Brian Skena, manager, Plus by GOLF Business Solutions. “It doesn’t make sense to abruptly change rates just because the calendar says so. Rather, we would advise to change rates because demand says so.”

It’s a discussion often met with an incredulous look as operators say, “We have always changed our rates at certain points on the calendar. It’s the way we’ve always done it. Our customers expect it. Gosh, it’s published right here on our rate card we have posted in the pro shop.”

“Why have a physical rate card that shows your rate is “x” from this date to that date?” Skena said. “Golfers don’t need to know the price months from now. Let dynamic pricing come into play.” As evidence, he points to the hotel and airline industries, which have made massive profits with dynamic pricing while conditioning consumers to expect prices to reflect demand. “You don’t see airlines and hotels advertising that their rates rise and fall on certain dates. Demand determines what price you see.”

Chris de Laat, Owner of Mayfield Golf Club in Caledon, Ontario, Canada, no longer uses a traditional seasonal calendar to make pricing decisions. “The catalyst for pricing changes is performance,” says de Laat. “Softer days need aggressive pricing and promotions, while busy days warrant higher prices.” de Laat operates by a pricing matrix with a list of criteria that influence his decision-making, including: historical APR; seasonal temperatures; daylight hours; course conditions; competitor pricing, and more. “A motto that resonates for me states that ‘Time is a perishable item – unsold times equate to lost opportunities."

More operators around the country agree. They look at rates during seasonal transitions, but don’t completely rely on the calendar. The consensus is there are a host of other contributing factors unique to individual markets that should influence changing rate on demand, such as weather, course conditions, tourism, etc.

Many of these operators partner with GOLF Business Solutions and its Plus service for rate guidance. Having this support mechanism, and historical and market data it can offer, instills confidence in their decision-making and the timing of their pricing decisions.

Skena said with Plus’ full-service staff, they can be incredibly responsive with clients that are communicating regularly with them. “We can price really well off historical data,” he said. “And when courses are more proactive and willing to communicate with us, we can definitely extend their high seasons.”

To learn more about dynamic pricing and Plus services, CLICK HERE.


Eaglesticks Country Club

GOLF Business Solutions' Advanced Marketing Program extends reach, fuels new categories

Sep 18, 2019

Among the thousands of partner courses that have benefited from GOLF Business Solutions’ decade-long focus on technology, marketing and their position within the world’s largest tee-time marketplace – GOLFNOW – there are many that seek to explore additional business opportunities beyond the tee time.

While still catering to their core golfers, these facilities also hope to attract more casual players, particularly those who might value a club affiliation for social events and networking. These courses are entrepreneurial-minded and are seeking to increase event revenue from events, such as weddings, retirement parties, bar mitzvahs, corporate receptions, and the like.

Enter the new Advanced Marketing Program (AMP) from GOLF Business Solutions. AMP is designed to leverage GOLF’s technology and outbound marketing expertise to reach an audience beyond devoted golfers, and to sell products and services that complement a course partner’s existing daily fee business.

Parker Ross, Brand Specialist for GOLF Business Solutions, has been leading the effort to introduce AMP to the marketplace and uncover the full potential of this new program to further drive business success for its course partners.

“There are best practices within golf course marketing that you follow to optimize a client course’s inventory and build market share among golfers who book rounds online,” says Ross. “That’s not necessarily the path you go down if your goal is conducting a new membership drive – you’re trying to reach a different kind of golfer. Nor is it the optimal way to show your clubhouse and event amenities to non-golfing brides-to-be if you’re looking to drive wedding business. There are people in your geographic market who are very much worth targeting but who really don’t get touched in the normal course of doing business.”

Successful work in these areas requires expertise in landing-page design, paid search and social media marketing, as well as in-depth understanding of both golf course website and ad platform analytics to improve campaign performance and optimize spend across channels.

Ross and colleague, Chanté Osborne, have overseen an AMP beta test run on behalf of EagleSticks Golf Club, an upscale daily fee facility outside Columbus, Ohio. EagleSticks features a Michael Hurdzan-designed 18-hole course and a large, impressive clubhouse featuring event spaces capable of accommodating groups up to 400 guests.

Eaglesticks recently launched a “Club 30” membership drive (celebrating 30 years in business) with the goal of selling 1,000 golf memberships at the promotional rate of $89 per year (note: Club 30 members pay a cart fee with each booking).

A similar campaign was also launched to help generate wedding leads for EagleSticks’ sales & events director, with targeted search and social media ads driving traffic to a custom-made landing page. The campaign generated nearly a dozen leads within its first month, an “exponential increase” over years’ past, according to EagleSticks General Manager Kelly Morrow.

“My comment to the GOLF Business Solutions team was, ‘You know more about technology and market reach than we do, so let’s work together,’” says Morrow. “As for memberships, our first sale came in late July, not long after the launch, and within six weeks our total was close to 100 sales. These are new people to us, more of a casual player—we definitely have the sense that they’ll be good spenders.”

“Without the marketing power of GOLF Business Solutions it would have been very difficult to get the word out about these two programs,” says Morrow. He’s unquestionably proud of the product that EagleSticks represents and sees the immense value in attracting a newer and larger audience to see it for themselves.

To learn more about our AMP service, CLICK HERE.