How did Hills Golf & Sports Club achieve massive revenue growth with Sweetspot?

By: November 22, 2022

A few years ago, I already talked about the fact that golf clubs should also use revenue management – aka yield management – to generate extra revenues by utilizing tee times and customer purchase history effectively. What is this about?

Yield management is a widely used method in the airline, hotel, and car rental industries. Thanks to the similarities to the hotel industry, golf clubs can also apply revenue management principles developed there.

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In contrast to the hotel industry, golf courses do not offer different types of rooms per night for different customer needs; the different tee time zones per day attract either premium or price-sensitive customers, however.

Identifying customer types makes it possible to gain insights that are necessary to develop the most relevant offers.

This means that you need to refine your potential target groups and customer types to find golfers for peak time, but also for your empty non-peak time tee time zones.

When you combine the buyer profile with buying insights, you have clear guidance for the decisions you need to make to sell more green fees, but also other services of the club.

In this way, you can match the most profitable customers with the right tee time offers and maximize the yield per available tee time, but also to the various amenities of the club.

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Sweetspot case study – Hills Golf & Sports Club

I have just discovered that the Swedish Hills Golf & Sports Club – host venue of the 2018 Nordea Masters – started to implement Sweetspot’s revenue management. Sweetspot’s data-driven revenue management tool is the market leader in Sweden.

In some cases, Sweetspot was able to increase annual revenue by up to 46%.

This solution is especially worth paying attention to know when the number of golfers and those who want to play golf is increasing.

Furthermore, golf clubs must become more flexible and customer-committed in order to offer the most meaningful experience possible to their guests.

In many cases, I feel like still using the “take it or leave it” approach. This will not work anymore, just like mass offers and mass communication messages.

Sweetspot Revenue-chart

In 2012 a consortium of golf enthusiasts fronted by European Tour pro Johan Edfors acquired the Hills Golf & Sports Club. They implemented a new approach to revenue management.

They thought the classic golf club management and tee time booking systems were not able to generate extra revenues for them.

This is how Sweetspot entered the picture in 2018. Since then, by utilizing Sweetspot they were able to increase revenue by 24%. This is equal to 4 million Swedish Krona (=322 498 GBP; = 368 300 EUR).

Between 2018-2022, the average revenue per booked round increased by 20%: 689 SEK to 826 SEK.

Sweetspot Average-chart

To achieve its business goals Hills Golf & Sports Club has implemented these changes since 2018:

  1. Changed from GIT (provided by the Swedish Golf Federation) to Sweetspot.
  2. Introduction of partnerships limited on play value which previously has been limited to the number of rounds.
  3. Availability increases for members on attractive tee times.
  4. Introduction of new membership based on data from the playing behavior of members in 2019 & 2020.
  5. Fine Tuning in memberships and dynamic pricing in 2022.

As you can see tee time and golf club membership sales are becoming data-driven too. The era of guess working and assumption-based offers are dead and gone.

Conclusions on Sweetspot

Hence, I recommend collecting as much customer data as possible and insights about your golf club guests and members.

By using Sweetspot you will be able to optimize, based on insights and set strategies.

I believe revenue management, automation, and optimization are the key principles that will help us to exceed our golfers’ and golf club guests’ expectations and to deliver hyper-personalized golf experiences.

This article was brought to you by Sweetspot.