How to maximize golf tee times?

By: July 21, 2013

For offline media planners dynamic bidding for GRP (Gross Rating Point: is a term used in advertising to measure the size of an audience reached by a specific media or schedule) is not a new thing.

In the last 4 years in the online display advertising space, real time bidding (RTB: is a new method of selling and buying online display advertising in real time one ad impression at a time) and  demand-side platforms (DSPs) are gaining momentum. Large digital marketers are learning quickly how to leverage these data sets to target specific and relevant audiences.

eMarketer estimates US advertisers will spend more than $3.36 billion on real-time bidding this year, up from just under $2 billion in 2012 and less than $1 billion in 2011.

RTB Digital Display Ad spending 2011 2017


Online media companies don't like it too much this method (as a result of bidding the ad space list price can go really deep), although it enables them to sell unused ad space inventory. Marketers like this because of operational efficiency and better targeting. Due to targeting capabilities marketers have better control over prices paid and better return on investment (ROI).

Something similar I found at Myrtle Beach Golf Courses,  Payne Stewart Golf Club and The Missouri Bluffs Golf Club (they are using Golf Channel's Dynamic Pricing Engine) etc. Myrtle Beach Golf Courses are using dynamic bidding since 2010 (or may be earlier). If you have not heard about this pricing model I would not be surprised, because telephone reservation system is still the dominant form of booking tee times.

Dynamic bidding in my interpretation should be like real time bidding, namely golfers should bid for their tee time or golf package. This can be really interesting in low seasons when the golf courses are rarely crowded, but you have to find way to convince golfers to play. But you can use it to take advantage of high demand in high seasons as well. In other words, if a golfer want to play in a very specific tee time than he has to bid for it, just like in Google for keywords. 🙂 This way the golf course owner can earn even more…

To lower the tee time prices in the hope that it will motivate or entice golfers to play more is pretty risky. To set prices as per the weather condition is also not a smart solution.

The two leaders of the golf tee time booking business Ezlinks and GolfNow came out with their own dynamic bidding system. These solutions puts operators in complete control of their tee time sheets and pricing.

My next guest writer Linda Quinde, Executive Vice President of Operations at will write and talk about what do they think about the dynamic pricing model and what are their plans with their dynamic tee time bidding system.