NGCOA report critical of tee time bartering

The National Golf Course Owners Association has taken another shot at tee time bartering with the release of a new study that makes the case that such bartering is not in the best interests of golf course owners and operators. 

The 62-page document, titled “Beware of Barter: The Ins and Outs of Trading Your Tee Times,” was drafted by Harvey Silverman, a consultant and long-time observer of the tee time bartering debate. The study provides data and information about the industry practice of bartering tee times in exchange for golf management software technology and tee time distribution services. 

“Our market sentiment study in 2018 revealed the industry has a very complicated, love-hate relationship with the barter method of compensation for technology and tee time distribution,” said Jay Karen, NGCOA CEO. “We firmly believe the barter economy is allowing for deep, unnecessary and erroneous discounting of golf, as well as aggressive disintermediation with customers that golf courses have worked decades to cultivate. “

He said the report is an attempt “to shine light and bring clarity to a relatively dark and opaque business practice.” 

The NGCOA concluded that although some members have found a way to work within the barter model to their advantage, “success stories that involve barter are exceptions, not the rule.” 

The report, however, does not call for the end of online tee time bartering. But it does advocate a change in how tee time companies do business. The report recommends that courses retain control of their tee sheets and of the rates they charge. And it provides guidelines for terms and conditions that it said courses should ensure are part of their relationship with online tee time agencies.

“We believe course operators should not engage in barter methods of compensation with online tee time agencies unless the conditions and results are measurably and indisputably favorable to your business,” Karen said in the document.

Add new comment

If you enjoyed this article and would like to sign up for a FREE digital subscription, click here!