GolfNow: Oh My! Oh My!

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This blog sort of pains me to write.

On a personal level, I really like Jeff Foster, SVP, New Media Group; Will McIntosh, SVP Business Development and Strategy; and Mark Burris, Media Specialist.  They are really good guys.  Jeff is fun to play golf with, and all I imagine would be a delight to have a drink with at Vito’s.  I sincerely believe they are very well intended in trying to assist golf course operators improve the financial performance.

However, I question and have documented (CLICK HERE) that the business practices of GolfNow are misleading, detrimental to the financial interests of golf courses, and may be in violation of the Can Spam Act.

During mid-November, Las Vegas-based Golf Summerlin engaged our firm to guide them in creating a strategic plan.   One of the steps in the process was to shop secretly their golf courses.  We utilized GolfNow to book tee time reservations.

GolfNow’s site indicated I was getting a 20% discount when I wasn’t.  The rack rate as listed on the client site was identical to what GolfNow indicated was a discount.

My TCP/IP addressed was blocked by the GolfNow website when updating my profile.  I sent two inquiries to them regarding this, and they failed to respond.

Since booking the tee time and slightly overpaying based on the higher transaction fee GolfNow charged, I have received an email daily from GolfNow encouraging me to play other golf courses in Las Vegas at up to a 60% discount from Golf Summerlin’s current prices.

Though I unsubscribed, I received a further email from GolfNow.

Finally, when researching GolfNow Solutions, I received this WARNING MESSAGE:

 “There is a problem with this website’s security certificate.   We recommend that you close this webpage and do not continue to this website.  The security certificate for this site doesn’t match the site’s web address and may indicate an attempt to fool you (emphasis added) or intercept any data you send to the server”.

The results of my experience using GolfNow are eye-opening, and you can see from the documentation of how I cam to question GolfNow’s business practices by CLICKING HERE.  Since inception, the credibility of GolfNow has been in question.  Experiences like this do nothing to bolster one’s confidence that they are trustworthy.   That is a shame for GolfNow has some tools, if properly used, can help the golf course operator.

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  1.    Reply

    Thank you for your insightful article on GolfNow. I have visited numerous NGCOA Chapters including: NY, PA, NC, Mid Atlantic and IN during the past two years and without a doubt GolfNow is perceived as a competitive threat far more often than a facilitator to sell tee times. Owners feel like they are being coerced, pressured and bullied to accept GolfNow terms with few alternatives. As you demonstrate in your presentation, GolfNow provides no loyalty or commitment to its participating customers and in fact continues to be a competitor to the golf course owner. Golf course owners who retain GolfNow have no idea of the communication taking place between GolfNow and the golfing public.

    I recall you asking me a while back whether the golfing customer and his data belonged to the golf course owner or management company operating the course. Well apparently GolfNow believes the data belongs to them….

    What a mess!

    Rob Waldron
    Investment Advisor – Golf Division
    Leisure Investment Properties Group

  2.    Reply

    Welcome back from the dark side! I have been following you for years and for years you kept a close eye on the industry and tried keeping operators on track. You and Harry Ipema lead the industry. Then you crossed over and drank the GN/G1 coolaide. I spent many adult beverages pondering why and what happened. Recently I heard thru the grapevine that you may be breaking from the cult and from this publication I see it is true.

    In addition I see you tell it like it is with the USGA….

    Welcome back my friend.

    Rock Lucas, PGA, CGCSA, NGCOA

  3.    Reply

    You think the GolfNow boys are “trying to assist golf course operators improve the financial performance?” Their No. 1 priority, their far and away No. 1 priority is increasing revenue and profits for itself. Last I looked, they are a division of a public company. As such, they are subject to stockholder examination and comment. If their revenue and profits drag, they hear about it. Continued employment depends upon GolfNow’s performance – not the golf course clients’ performance.