Caller Alert

It’s no secret that the reservation process changes on a daily basis. At one point, more than half of airline tickets were sold through travel agents and in-person sales. Now, almost 90 percent of travel is booked online or through call-centers.

As always, trends in other areas of hospitality are usually a sign of things to come for us in the golf industry. More and more golf courses are turning to third party call centers to handle the the tee time reservation process. Minimizing overhead costs associated with employing staff to answer phones and take reservations is often the reason this business decision is made. Other times, the course is simply looking to offer golfers the option to book tee times 24/7, even when the course is closed. Using call centers can offer the smart operator an opportunity to earn revenue opportunities that might otherwise be missed if the golfer is unable to be connected directly with the course.

But, using third party call centers is not without its challenges. You need to be asking the right questions (to yourself and the third party) if you are using a third party call center. Are you comfortable with trade times being sold on your course website or via the call center? Have you agreed that trade times can be sold through the call center? Are you doing any secret shopping to make sure that the third party reservation specialists are providing accurate information to golfers? If you agree that trade times can be sold via the call center, are you certain that the reservation specialist is not incentivized to steer golfers to certain tee times (trade or otherwise)?  Have you asked the third party if there is some rational basis (dynamic pricing strategies) for directing golfers to tee times other than those requested?

Many of these issues you must assess yourself. First, determine whether or not you want to be in the business of bartering tee times. Second, determine under what conditions barter tee times will be marketed and through what channels will they be sold. Lastly, be certain that the third party will make you aware of when, where, and how tee time inventory is sold. These issues ultimately turn on knowledge. The third-party that is most transparent with all their business dealings usually has the happiest operator-clients.

Is your golf course using a third party call center? Is the relationship being managed according to your wishes? I want to hear from you, contact me at [email protected]


Issue turns on Knowledge.

Trade times are only sold on third party website. Wasn’t told that a trade time was actually bought. What kind of training do these folks get? How are they paid? Are they incentivized to steer golfers to trade times more often than tee times the golf course owns?  The issue is simple. If that is the case, and it isn’t for any dynamic pricing related reasoning, the third party should make the operator aware of this.

Should you be in the trade business? Should you be selling trade in the call center?

How do they work?

Is your golf course using a third party call center? Is the relationship being managed according to your wishes? I want to hear from you, contact me at [email protected]

Kurt notes:

-was not told that they were selling trade times on course’s phone line

Wasn’t told it was a trade time that was actually being bought

Does it show up as course revenue or trade time?


When someone says they want to book a 10 am tee time on Saturday, and the tee sheet is empty? 10,11, and 9 am are most valuable.. you should be pushing golfers to 15-20 minutes on either side of the hour. Because when that 10 am is available the day before, dynamic pricing kicks in, and you’re now able to sell that time for more money than what it would have sold if all you had left was 1045. Every other industry does this. Sell same product and least desirable first, so that the most desirable is available at the last minute, but priced at a premium.

Don’t move them more than 30 minutes.

They should not be directed towards trade times unless explicitly agreed upon by the client and the operator.

Not completely sold on selling trade time through the course’s phone line as it is.

The operator doesn’t know or didn’t know that they were selling trade times through the call center and in some cases directing callers to different times.

Any difference between taking trade times through golf course website as opposed to the call center?

Are you comfortable with either model. He’s Comfy with trade on a course’s website. Getting more comfy with trade sold on a call center.

This is the type of conversation that we need to have at some of these conferences.

The No BS Podcast: Del Ratcliffe, Andy Weekes, Kurt Albertson, Ali Murdoch, Jeff Foster


Tyler Bell

Foresight Golf

Former regional sales manager ezlinks podcast candidate

Aug, 1997

Tee Time Summit

NGCOA hosts a national Tee Time Summit in Atlanta.

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