Is Groupon a threat to golf clubs?

By: August 6, 2012

The manager of Chalgrave Manor Golf Club in Befordshire has warned early this year that the group-buying discount website Groupon is a threat to British golf clubs. Probably you remember how Groupon helped to boost golf deals by 100% last year in the UK. To tell the truth I do not understand his worries.

Yes, you have to give at least 50% discount in your offer that is really quite high percentage. I would ask this very same manager and others as well who share this opinion that how do you want to attract and convert golf players to play in your golf course and not there were they are use to play?? Do you like the current situation where you can count on one hand the heavy users of your golf club? Why do you stick to the old, orthodox promotion techniques??

Somehow we have to entice these people to check out our golf course. In a different industry (retail) they use "loss leader" pricing strategy to tempt you to come in.

Our challenge is how we can provide such an outstanding experience to those golf players who are coming via Groupon that their visit will be recurrent and lasting. This is the real challenge! Do you really know who are your golf club members? Do you think you can attract people from my age group (I am 37 years old.) with orthodox solutions and services. Mobile and social media solutions are integral part of our daily life. No one can ignore this fact who want to get along in the current economic climate. We also have to accept the fact we cannot control people and media as in the past and companies like Groupon or Google will set conditions.

That is why I was happy to discover 3 American (US) Groupon-like portals: 

  1. Group Golfer. Here you can find coupons/offers from 21 states (in USA). 
  2. Similar to Group GolferThe Early Birdie is offering also coupons to golf players, but only in 3 states (NY, NJ, CT).
  3. iDealGolfer