Many golf course operators use dynamic pricing technologies to maximize revenue per available round (RevPar). The feedback we’ve received from our clients who use this technology has been overwhelmingly positive. It seems to me that if you can maximize the RevPar automatically on your booking engine/tee sheet, AND simultaneously increase the number of unique visitors to your booking engine, then you found the “Holy Grail” of RevPar.
Let’s Get Some Feedback
I wanted to get some feedback from customers, so I reached out to our friend Arnaud Zunz, Co-Founder of PriSwing. PriSwing provides world-class dynamic pricing solutions to many golf courses across the US, Canada, and Europe. Their software allows you to adjust your pricing strategies based on real-world factors like demand, weather, course conditions, historical data, events, and more.
I asked Arnaud to give me the names of a few customers who could vouch for it. He started rattling off names left and right. It turns out we share a lot of mutual customers. We had no idea of how many mutual customers we shared because PriSwing’s technology allows the golf course to use their existing Tee Sheet and Booking Engine (no tech changes needed!). Well.. that’s pretty nice!
So, what do some of these mutual customers have to say? Here’s a few of the replies I received...
Justin Kuehn, VP of Marketing at Hampton Golf | Jacksonville, FL
Hampton Golf operates 25+ facilities and Justin had nothing but positives to say about dynamic pricing. “...Across the portfolio, 100% positive. We are able to balance rate with utilization, real-time, and hassle free. Also, one of the most important components of the system that is often overlooked from an MCO perspective is the ability to instantly move rate remotely…”
Matt Bryant, General Manager at Green Valley Ranch | Denver, CO
Matt shared nothing but positives saying implementation with PriSwing was smooth and RevPar was up 17% over 2020. He also noted that the effects on their regulars was overall a positive saying “...Our regular customers had a small learning curve when booking their tee times online or with the golf shop staff, but most aspects of the process have gone smoothly with little interruption. We have seen a positive impact and response from our public golfers as they can shop for the time and price that fits their needs and then book that tee time up to 60 days in advance if they wish.”
Whitey O’Malley, Owner of Saddleback Golf Club | Firestone, CO
Whitey was traveling abroad when he received my email asking for feedback but still had time to sing the praises of dynamic pricing! Whitey said “…I seriously can’t believe everyone isn’t using it. You talk about low hanging fruit...”. He also stressed the importance of monitoring key time frames of the booking engine to be sure it’s working correctly adding “...We were pricing in 2 hour segments, next season we will price by 1 hour blocks…”.
Another good point Whitey made is determining the elasticity of the rate. “...like every course out there we have been hesitant to totally take the lid off the top of our weekend morning rates. We are going to be walking towards a bit more of a pricing discrepancy according to when they booked. Right now it is a max ~$10 difference. We don’t know the elasticity of that pricing…”. One of his concerns is the scenario of one customer in line behind the other and each one paying a very different price, but he also believes that.. “...as long as they book it online and see the price they are paying, how could they not be ok with it?...”.
Slade King, COO of Play Golf Calgary | Calgary, AB
Slade operates 5 golf courses in Calgary and said that the implementation “..was a lot easier than anticipated”. He also believes that requiring prepayment is essential to success to avoid the discussion about price during check-in. Slade set-up pricing to increase dynamically each day within 7 days from booking. This incentivized his loyal customers to book 7+ days in advance to get the best rate. Slade also added that, "...In the past, the most loyal customer was booking in advance and paying our rack rate, and then as the days went by we would run promotions, discounts, rate breaks etc, where last-minute golfers would pay the cheapest rate. We now have our loyal customers pay the cheapest 'base rate' and the last-minute bookers paying the higher dynamic rate."
Slade also shared that they’ve seen a 7% average increase to their RevPar (Revenue Per Available Round) adding that “...The impact to the bottom line was substantial, as all of those dollars go straight to the bottom line...”.
Sounds great, but can these results still be Improved?
If you can increase the number of unique visitors (golfers) to your website and booking engine, then it only feeds into the dynamic model of increased demand equaling increased RevPar. Whether or not you’re on the dynamic pricing train, Google Search strategies to get in front of more golfers who are searching for courses to play in your local market is a must. If you’re using dynamic pricing and/or search engine marketing, we congratulate you. In today’s environment, you need to use both in order to effectively maximize your true potential for RevPar.
Get an Unbiased Review
Do you want to know how many golfers are searching for courses to play in your local market? Do you want to find out where you rank for online searches for golf courses to play? We provide a free marketing grade report, and you can submit your website here for an unbiased analysis and report of your online presence. We’ll also tell you how many monthly searches for golf courses to play take place in your local market.