Consumer behavior has changed radically in response to the COVID-19 lockdown. They became more price-sensitive/conscious than ever before. As a result, direct bookings are clawing their way back up hotels’ distribution mix.
Golf clubs must rethink how and where they connect with golfers. I am expecting tee times will be booked mainly via our mobiles in the near future. In the case of general travel bookings, direct & mobile bookings are dominating now the hotel industry.
It would be wise if golf clubs would launch more direct tee time booking tools and overall user experience. In the following, I will show you the Swedish GolfStar‘s (the Nordic region’s largest golf group) direct tee time booking web application.
McKinsey says as a result of the reduction in tourist spend, domestic tourism is growing. I am expecting domestic tourism will rebound sooner than outbound tourism.
GolfStar – direct tee time booking web application
GolfStar has just launched its direct tee time booking web application to simplify the tee time booking on its 19 golf courses. Currently, online tee time booking is made via “Min Golf” provided by the Swedish Golf Federation/GIT.
This mobile application is the Swedish Golf Federation’s official mobile booking application. You could book membership times, green fee times, and dynamically priced times at all of Sweden’s golf courses.
The GolfStar web application
Stefan Brikell, Loyalty Manager at GolfStar says
The web app is built on GolfStar’s proprietary and developed digital platform TeeVolution together with the IT consulting company StronglyType.
With this Web app, GolfStar hopes that the members in a simple and easy way via a well-thought-out booking flow with fast response times will be able to search and book their tee times based on the booking conditions and rules that apply to each membership.
100% control that our members get the availability they are entitled to, neither more nor less. It will simply be fairer and more supportive when it comes to booking options.
The tee time booking flow
In the booking flow, reminders will be sent out to the players in advance of their tee time, in a similar way as you get when you have a dental appointment, or a plane ticket booked.
All to increase the level of service and make sure to counteract the problem with “No Show’s” and thus increase the availability on all of their 19 golf courses.
As I wrote in the first paragraph the local golf tourism is likely to surge due to the pandemic. GolfStar is launching its web application at the right moment.
I am not sure that a web application is the right format and not a mobile application. The smartphone penetration is 88,06% in Sweden (Source: Statista.com). The smartphone penetration rate is forecasted to reach 95.88% by 2025.
The average Swede spends on a daily basis 2h 45min on his/her smartphone.
Unlike mobile apps (Android, iOS), web apps are
- accessed via the internet browser and will adapt to whichever device you’re viewing them on;
- They don’t need to be downloaded or installed.
- Quicker and easy to develop and maintain;
- Will update themselves;
- Do not require app store approval, so can be launched quickly;
- Slower than mobile apps, and less advanced in terms of features;
- Quality and security is not always guaranteed.
At the same time, mobile apps may work offline. Mobile apps have the advantage of being faster and more efficient.
If I were GolfStar I would follow Troon‘s example. It is a multi-functional mobile application. Furthermore, I would focus on mobile & multi-channel experiences and solutions.
- How will GolfStar incentivize golfers to book directly on its web app?