TOP 10 tee times booking solutions for Spain and Portugal

By: May 23, 2018

The golf tourism in the Algarve generated 500 million euros in 2017 and generated 16,800 jobs (source: Algarve Tourism Association). This is why I thought to figure out what are the TOP 10 tee times booking solutions for Spain & Portugal.

How many times happened to you that you realized you were missing out on a good deal for a golf vacation? Or simply want to buy some extra rounds in the neighboring golf resorts and club?

Criteo found that up to 80% of last-minute bookings are made on mobile devices. I go even further, in the EU, mobile account for 45% of bookings for OTAs and in the US it is 72%.

I believe most of the tee times bookings in the near future will happen on mobile devices. I can also imagine that more people will stay on mobile to book tee times instead of switching to other devices (e.g. PC, tablet).

In 2018, I predict that just like in other segments of the tourism industry, golf travelers will prefer package golf holidays booking option for foreign golf holidays.

Two popular explanations/excuses are:

  • best value option for the price,
  • peace of mind that booking with a golf tour operator offers. This excuse can be challenged by the golf resorts and clubs by investing in their digital services (e.g. tee times booking solutions).

When I composed my  TOP 10 tee times booking solutions for Spain & Portugal, I could not neglect three very important trends:

  1. Whether the tee times booking solution is facilitating conversations on their website or not. Interactive conversations will enable marketers to drive new levels of personalization, trust and, ultimately, more fulfilling experiences. —> the usage of live chat service. This way the tee times booking solution provider can facilitate conversations and move away from ‘broadcasting’-style communication (=1-way communication).
  2. The level of service personalization. Treating customers as a persona is generally seen as a best-in-class approach for digital experiences. However, when customers engage, just like in the ‘offline world’, they want to be treated like a person, not a persona. Many consumers are overwhelmed by too many choices, causing them to make poor decisions a become less satisfied. By understanding and collecting the “why’s” of customer choices marketers can earn a lot not only in terms of sales but also in customer experience as well. Tee times booking solution providers should also do their best to provide relevant offers within the context of the digital experience.
  3. The usage of social proofs to strengthen trust. I recommend focusing on achieving such social proofs that can drive measurable behavior (e.g. conversions, revenue, loyalty, advocacy, etc.).

Accenture has got a very useful framework called the 4R Personalization that worth using it:

  1. Recognize – identify both known and unknown customers;
  2. Remember – know your customers’ purchasing history;
  3. Relevance – provide relevant offers within the context of the digital experience
  4. Recommend – reach them with the right content, offer, service recommendation based on their actions, preferences, and interests.

tee times booking solutions brands-communication--2018

The TOP 10 tee times booking solutions for Spain & Portugal

Based on the above-mentioned trends I tried to find the TOP 10 tee times booking solutions for the Spanish and Portuguese golf markets.

  1. Tee Times Golf Agency (since 1993) – they not only provide you tee times and package offers (including hotels, transfers, tee times, club rentals + local knowledge) but golf tournaments in Spain & Portugal (at this moment 4 tournaments are available in the Algarve and 1 in the Canary Islands) and club rentals (e.g. Taylormade R series, Callaway Golf X series) as well. In February, I played with TaylorMade R series and before the game, they customized to my game at Victoria Golf Course in the Algarve. The golf balls you have to bring with yourself.
  2. (since 2013) – although they provide only package offers, at the same time they give a large number of options to personalize your golf holiday: destination, date, number of nights, number of rounds, number of golfers, tee times, car hire, budget, golf cars etc.
  3. – the domain name is a little bit confusing because here you can book tee times for Portuguese golf courses as well. This should not disturb you, because they offer HCP look-up, just hotel booking opportunity, and 5% discount for GolfSpain Club cardholders. It is sad that they don’t have live chat service…
  4. – in terms of web design and usability, this is one of the best. It offers only tee times and golf holiday packages in Spain and Portugal. They should also utilize live chat for the above-mentioned reasons.
  5. – as I understood, it is a joint project of the Portuguese Golf Course Owners Association and Turismo de Portugal to help local golf clubs. It offers a unique booking system for all of Portugal’s golf courses, allowing multiple bookings at one time within one payment.
  6. – Just like, Golfscape has also got a very impressive web design. They connect golfers and courses across 50 countries and 100+ destinations worldwide. They are focusing on tee times sales only, but they offer golf shoe and golf club rentals as well.
  8. – their web design is a little bit old-fashioned + they don’t provide live chat. Their focus is on tee times sales.
  9. Hole19 Golf – In general, I am very impressed by Hole 19 Golf as a mobile application. They were probably the first in the global golf industry to have an application for Apple Watch. Although they are a Portuguese company, in case of tee times booking they are more focused on the US market. You can book tee times in 41 Portuguese, 81 Spanish, and 753 US golf courses.
  10. – I added them because I saw that they offer tee times in Portugal and Spain, but their main market is the US.

Share your experience with the above-mentioned tee times booking service providers! If you know others who are worth mentioning then please don’t hesitate to share with us in the comment box below. Thank you.