Virtual golf course or an added value service?

By: February 13, 2010

Thursday I had a great day. I got involved in an interesting initiative of Business Golf International. As companies and not just golf courses are highly motivated to come up with ideas, solutions that will motivate potential customers to spend more money (even if they have not planned) and give them reason for repurchase and brand loyalty. The Georgia-based Business Golf International and the world largest airline, Delta Airlines developed a new loyalty program schema, International Links Golf Club for SkyMiles members. This will be launched 1 March, 2010.

They promise to give access to 300 US golf courses and many others around the world. Here some of the big names: Doral in Miami, The K Club in Ireland, Trump National in Los Angeles, Son Anten Golf Resort, Valencia, Spain etc. Hopefully the Hungarian golf course Old Lake Golf Club will also join. 🙂

Well, they have not reinvented the wheel, because we can find many similar initiative with similar interests. As we know 2009 was not an ideal year for the golf tourism industry.

Singapore Airlines and American Express are offering access to Platinum Golf Card holders to 30 golf courses in Singapore and around the world. Last year golf tourism in Asia is bucked the global recession and gave the region a much needed boost.

What is more interesting, as it is more complex: Air France-KLM's FlyingBlueGolf program (with 850 destinations). They thought about golf players' life and their needs, such as car rental, community, tee time arrangement plus their website serves as social networking portal:

Emirates' loyalty program Skywards Golf Fee Card is even more impressive. They offer to members up to 50% reduction on green fees at more than 2,300 golf courses in 112 countries.

My concern is, how many of us are joining such loyalty programs and do we maximize our credit points that we earned with flying with certain airline?  Those people who are traveling with their golf clubs, they must be ardent golf players. What is the ratio of ardent golf players among golf players? Last year the round of play declined even more which makes such offer less attractive and motivating.

In general airlines have the following rule regarding golf club equipments: you can take one item of golfing equipment is accepted as part of a customer's free baggage allowance. This means 14 golf clubs and 12 golf balls and 1 pair of golf shoes. Fore more information: