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R is for Revenue Management in golf…

A golf course has a fixed capacity, perishable product, high fixed costs and low variable costs, the green fees can be priced differently, demand evolves, the green fees can be sold in advance and the market can be segmented. These factors make a golf course ideal for applying revenue management.

Revenue management helps to predict and influence consumer demand to optimise inventory and price in order to maximise revenue/profit growth. Revenue management started with the airline industry, today it is applied in many industries including golf!

Revenue management is at the core of what we do at The Revenue Club. With that in mind we have added our top tips on how to create a successful revenue management strategy at your golf course (as an alternate to using our services!):

  • Get your distribution channels right: A number of factors are important which include ease of channel management; their potential; the cost involved; marketing opportunity the channel provides; and not least, the technology it uses and its compatibility with your own tee sheet.

  • Offer book direct incentives: Booking through external partners such as is important, but direct bookings are the most desirable method of reservation. A golf course can encourage direct bookings by offering value-added incentives. These can include anything, from buggies in the price to add value, price reductions, better lead times and so forth. The goal is to divert golfers away from using third parties, where they are more likely to choose a competitor.

  • Maintain organised records of key data: Good data is key to a successful revenue manamgent strategy, and knowing your REVPATT number for the same month last year will help you make smarter decisitons about tee time pricing.

  • Always keep up with consumer trends: It is important to be aware of what is happening in the wider market. For example, of late booking lead times through third parties have been reducing and shifting to Friday – Sunday playing days.

  • Prioritise website and mobile experience: Quite simply, too many golf course websites are out of date or neglected. Considering the number of golfers booking online is increasing, it is paramount to have an updated, optimised website for computer, mobile and tablet – especially your visitor booking engine. A professional website also requires periodic updates, taking into account technology updates, changing customer behaviour, design trends and security. An optimised website assists your search results. But you can also use it as a foundation for online marketing tactics including advertising via Google and social media as well as organic growth.

  • Technology: Does your tee sheet allow you to select a different lead time for each online channel? Does it allow you to easily add multi-ball pricing? Does it provide you with the reports you need to analyse the data for revenue management? Does it have a mobile responsive booking engine? If not, it will be a lot of work to implement a successful revenue management strategy.

  • Internal communication: It’s important that all team members at the golf course understand the Revenue Strategy and what the GM/Secretary is looking to achieve this month and this year. It is especially important for your golf operations staff to understand why the price of a green fee might change, and how to handle this if a customer queries it. For example, if you are looking to drive volume it is particularly important to push up sells such as buggies, F&B etc.

  • Online reviews: Put simply the better your online reviews, the easier it is to increase rate

  • Workload & a quiet office: analysing data and editing rates accordingly requires a quiet uninterrupted space. From personal experience this is very difficult to achieve in a golf course environment, with constant interruptions from members, staff or the telephone! If you are looking to analyse data perhaps work from home for the morning or similar! Lack of time is often the reason for employing the services of The Revenue Club.

If you would like a meeting at your golf course about what impact revenue management could have, then please do get in touch via the contact form on our website and we will arrange a time to meet.

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