Columbus, OH golf tee times review

Columbus, OH tee time software

Golf in Columbus, OH is loved by millions of Ohioans. The greater Columbus area has over 40 public golf courses and some of the best private golf found in the world. Private golf includes, Muirfield Village where the PGA Tour and Jack Nicklaus host the Memorial golf tournament. Scioto Country Club has hosted the Ryder Cup, US Open and PGA Championship and Columbus Country Club has also hosted the PGA Championship. Columbus is home to two 'national' clubs that generally rank in the Top 100 courses in the United States. These are Double Eagle and The Golf Club. The Ohio State University golf club is home to Scarlet and Gray golf courses. Scarlet also ranks in the top 100 and is host to the Korn Ferry Tour (PGA Tour owned) Nationwide Children's Hospital championship.

Beyond the great golf, the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, was born and raised in Upper Arlington, OH a suburb and border neighbor of Columbus, OH. Nicklaus learned to play at Scioto Country Club where Bobby Jones won the US Open with Jack's father in attendance.

For a quiet Midwest city like Columbus to have such a rich golf scene is unusual but this is not the only surprising aspect of golf in Columbus. Columbus public golf courses have changed the landscape when it comes to golf management software providers. In 2017 almost every public golf course within 50 miles of downtown Columbus could be found selling tee times through the GolfNow tee time marketplace. Today less than 60% are selling tee times through GolfNow and Supreme Golf and less than 40% through Teeoff.

Looking beyond tee time marketplaces, foreUP leads in Columbus, OH when it comes public golf course point of sale and electronic tee sheets. foreUP enjoys 35% market share which is tops among the six providers servicing public courses in the greater Columbus area. GolfNow services 32% of the market and Teesnap supports 16% of the golf courses. Club Prophet, Club Caddie and Lightspeed Golf serve more than 15% of courses, collectively. For almost 70% of a public golf market to not use GolfNow as their golf management software provider is unusual.

Of the 15 public golf courses less than 20 miles from downtown Columbus, foreUP serves 9, Teesnap serves 3, GolfNow and Club Prophet each serve 1 and one, Thorn Apple Country Club, does not use an electronic reservation system.

Seven golf courses in the area sell tee times through Supreme Golf and GolfNow but not through TeeOff. This could be related to controlling the price of tee times. TeeOff which is owned by GolfNow does not charge a convenience fee and some courses may find that to be a threat to their promises of lowest rate guarantee.

What stands out the most about the market is the combined dominance of foreUP and Teesnap over GolfNow. As mentioned, GolfNow has good technology market share in Columbus but not in areas with the greatest population. Why is this happening in Columbus and other strong golf markets? To me the answer is obvious and includes a few factors. Technology providers like Teesnap, foreUP, Lightspeed Golf and Club Caddie have good to great products. Just about any golf facility in the world can use those tools and run a very successful operation. So if the tech is 'even', price becomes the differentiator (not to dismiss relationships/reliability but price will likely matter most). If the golf course is located near a lot of people (especially golfers) it likely costs more for the GolfNow tools than paying for foreUP.

As all golf industry people know, there's a never ending debate about paying for tech, service and distribution with rounds of golf or cash and I'm not addressing that in this post. The point I'm making is if a golf course uses GolfNow to help run the business and the golf course is located in a highly populated area, GolfNow will likely be on the high end when it comes to cost. It seems, at least in Columbus, the golf course owners and managers have figured that out and they are finding alternative solutions that help them thrive and enjoy a healthy bottom line.

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