• Google AdWords Sells More Tee Times. Here’s Why.

    Kent Ashby  •  June 1, 2018

Since its inception in the year 2000, Google AdWords has grown exponentially, becoming a staple in many business’s marketing efforts. With over 3.5 billion searches taking place each day, it’s easy to start to see why advertisers find it so attractive.

Here at 1-2-1 Marketing, we use the Google AdWords platform for many of our clients looking to attract new customers to their course, and let me tell you… it works. In fact, it has worked better than any other paid marketing platform we’ve tried for selling tee times. That includes Facebook. However, when you start to take a closer look at why Google AdWords works so well for selling greens fees in comparison to other advertising platforms, it makes a lot of sense.


Local businesses are arguably the biggest beneficiaries of Google’s advertising platform, as people are using keywords like “Restaurants near me” and “best hotels in Charleston” now more and more. With search results becoming hyper-localized and more relevant than ever, people have learned to rely on Google for recommendations on nearby places. Golf courses are no exception. As we’ve written about in a past article, the popularity of the search term “golf courses near me” has increased nearly 60% in the last 12 months, as well as various other “near me” type searches that relate to golf. That statistic shouldn’t be ignored, because it’s indicative of how these searches are becoming the new norm. While many golfers know when and where they are going to play without the help of search engines, there is an equal or greater number of golfers that aren’t sure. Google AdWords allows golf courses to get in front of these people.

User Intent & Timeliness

What makes Google AdWords so great for selling tee times, is the fact that the users are expressing their interest and intent with every search they perform. When someone Googles “Houston golf courses”, they are expressing exactly what they are looking for at that time. While other digital advertising platforms (ie. Facebook) allow you to target users based on their interests and behaviors, none of them hold a candle to Google AdWords for knowing exactly what the user’s intent is at that very second.

When someone is searching for golf courses on Google, there’s a very high probability that they will be making a tee time somewhere in the minutes to come. This means they are nearing the end of the sales funnel. They are ready to make a buying decision. At this point, it’s AdWords enables golf courses to be at the right place, at the right time, and with the right ad.

Relevancy of Ads

When you are almost certain of the user’s intent, you can serve more relevant ads to them. Google AdWords allows you to dynamically generate ads based on the keywords used in the search. While one person may search “golf courses in Houston”, another may search “golf course with driving range” because they want to hit a few balls before their round. Being able to show ads that appeal to this specific interest expressed with the user’s intent can help increase click-through rate, conversion rate and ROI.

Tracking Capabilities

We harp on it a lot, but being able to track your advertisement’s ROI is crucial. When you can see how many tee times are sold through ads, it’s much easier to make educated and precise decisions that will help improve ROI going forward. Google AdWords shows you which keywords are generating the highest returns and which keywords are just eating up your budget. This helps us marketers fine-tune the campaigns and “cut the fat” where it’s not needed.

While other platforms, like Facebook Ads, give you a lot of great information and have ROI tracking capabilities as well, they do not report on which specific interests, behaviors, or demographics are driving conversions. It’s all lumped together, based on the targeting parameters that were originally chosen. That makes tracking and optimization a tough task. With Facebook limiting your ability to target hyper-niche groups earlier this year, it’s nearly impossible to know the specifics of your audience, unless you’re running a nation-wide or regional campaign. With Google AdWords, user-based data is available. Although it comes in the form of keywords, it helps paint a much clearer picture than what can be achieved on other ad networks.

Don’t Get Us Wrong…

There are other ad networks out there that outperform Google AdWords for certain types of promotions. Facebook and Instagram are the clear-cut winners when it comes to advertising upcoming events, memberships, junior camps, contest and many others. However, when we get the question “Which is better for selling tee times?”, Google AdWords is the easy answer.

Based on search demand, volume, and competition of each local golf market, some facilities will benefit from a Google AdWords campaign more than others. For an evaluation of your facility’s search engine marketplace, email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or give us a call at (407) 395-4701.

Is your website built to perform?

Find out if low visibility online is impacting your business with a FREE Digital Marketing Analysis.

Invalid Input
Please let us know your name.
Invalid Input
Please let us know your email address.

Subscribe to our blog for helpful golf marketing tips and industry updates.

Please let us know your email address.