Kilspindie Golf Club – 400% Online Revenue Growth
In February 2022, Kilspindie Golf Club and The Revenue Club entered into a partnership in order to increase visitor revenue. As one of the leading courses on Scotland’s Golf Coast in East Lothian, the opportunity for growth was significant.
With no online booking platform, a key driver in introducing online booking was to reduce the burden on staff administering phone call and email bookings. The data from 170 of our course partners shows that 75% of casual golf is booked online in the UK, so having an online sales tee sheet is a must.
Moreover, we were cogniscent of protecting member tee times, which were already at a premium given Kilspindie’s strong contingent of playing members.
Phase 1 – Online Booking
With a tee sheet system already in place that included an un-used online visitor booking module, the first phase of our plan was to set online booking for visitors live.
We conducted historic round analysis, and implemented a dynamic pricing structure to ensure our visitor pricing was relevant to course utilisation. These tee times were opened initially on a 4-day booking window to ensure member booking rights were protected.
In 2022, online visitor green fee revenue grew significantly, with Kilspindie generating an additional 118 visitor bookings through online sales. However, conversion of booking engine traffic to bookings remained very low at 1%. The combination of a high green fee rate and a short booking window of 4 days meant that converting traffic to bookings was a struggle.
Our experience shows that the higher the green fee rate, the further in advance it needs to be available to book to convert to bookings. There was also a notable opportunity for golf tour bookings due to the club’s location on the East Lothian coastline as golfers will often plan their trips months in advance.
Phase 2 – Opening Additional Visitor Availability
With data from REPORTS.GOLF highlighting the need to open up additional visitor green fee availability, we set out a visitor booking and pricing structure for 2023 that opened up to 15 tee times per day through the summer months on a long lead basis. These tee times went live in January 2023.
As per our 2022 structure, all available tee times then opened up 4 days prior to play date.
Opening up these blocks of availability had a significantly positive impact on visitor sales at Kilspindie:
- Online green fee revenue is 425% up on 2022
- Online conversion rate is 300% up on 2022
- Average online green fee rate grew 25% on 2022.
The ability to open up additional availability meant green fee rates also increased. Golfers booking on a long-lead basis are more likely to pay higher green fees, and so our pricing structure reflected this to ensure maximum yield from visitor green fee revenue. This also helped to demonstrate the value members were getting from the membership, and justified the changes made to visitor bookings at Kilspindie.
With much focus on dynamic pricing to generate additional revenue, the booking window for visitors can sometimes get overlooked, despite being an important tool in opening up availability and driving a high conversion rate.
Opening up long-lead visitor bookings at Kilspindie offered the option of advance booking to those who want it, whilst driving a high green fee rate to those golfers looking to secure a premium time. This was all managed whilst keeping members’ interests in mind, with the blocks in place providing minimal impact to in-demand member times.
In an age where online booking is the dominant medium of securing a tee time, consider opening your visitor slots further ahead than the standard short-lead booking window, even if just to highlight potential availability. This will result in more bookings, and less admin work from your team to field enquiries about tee time availability.
“The Revenue Club was introduced to me by the former GM at Kilspindie, and as this was my first experience in generating income from visitors it was important for me to achieve the budget set. We are a busy members Club, and I needed to stick to the member booking rules the Club had in place. Kilspindie has became very popular amongst the golfing world, but this is still no guarantee we would reach our intended budget which is why we decided to join forces with The Revenue Club. Apart from their help with online sales, The Revenue Club have also been there to help with Intelligent Golf training for myself. Hopefully our partnership can go from strength to strength“
General Manager at Kilspindie Golf Club