Technology began emerging in the early 2000’s that allowed people to book and pay for activities online.
Except for golf. In the golf industry, changes aren’t made quickly. Golfers were used to booking tee times and paying for them when they showed up (if they showed up.)
But then came a pivotal change that would change everything. Dustin Volk from Valley View Golf Course in Utah joined us for a recent podcast episode to discuss how they used Covid to push their customers into the 21st century.
Dealing with COVID-19
When Covid-19 came onto the scene in early 2020, changes in operating procedures were introduced to maintain social distance.
Valley View Golf Course decided to keep their course open but the Pro Shop would have to be closed in order to adhere to these guidelines.
For the last week of March, they shut down and dove into the software working with foreUP’s support team. They created an option that is seen as a button on their website saying, Required Payment at Booking.
Now, although courses had never before dared to require payment upon booking, Valley View had every reason to force this practice without worrying about the impact on customer satisfaction.
Eliminating Multiple Price Classes
In the beginning, some things had to be changed to allow for requiring these prepayments. When booking a reservation, the price classes switched from multiple options to one consolidated option. The consistent price allowed customers to be committed to not only showing up to their tee times, but using their reservation to its fullest.
Dustin Volk, Head Pro for Valley View, created this affordable price option based on the time of the day and week.
“My goal is to make golf more affordable for you,” is what Dustin tells his customers, who have also had to adjust to the new way of paying for their tee times.
Golf’s Successful New Practice
Rather than playing a risky game of will they or won’t they all show up, course and club operators can now literally count on their customers. They have been pushed into accountability, which also allows them to spend their day playing and relaxing.
With so few recreational activities available during the spring and summer of 2020, these changes have impacted a whole new demographic of players—one that is already accustomed to paying for their reservations online before showing up.
With the ease of booking and more spaced out tee times for players and reservations guaranteed financially for the course, the fact that they saw the highest rounds ever recorded in April had positive impacts on all aspects of running—and golfing at—the course.
“We’re not going backward,” said Dustin.
About Dustin Volk
Dustin is the Head Golf Pro for Valley View. Not only has he played golf his whole life, he’s been a PGA member for 13 years. Dustin is also the current President of the Utah PGA section and is involved in many aspects.
Dustin gave his PGA presentation on the value of moving into golf management software. In it, he brought up the old-school way of how they used to record business.
“Prior to golf software in general, we were paper, pencils, and tee sheets. Things were run differently at courses in regards to managing payments. At Davis Park at the time, we had the challenge of customers calling in and reserving for prime times and then not coming in and fully utilizing the reservation.”
When asked about why Dustin and his team switched to foreUP five years ago, he talked about price, functionality, and the importance of the speed of the software’s transaction time. Dustin’s staff worked together with the foreUP support team, which has helped lead tee times to more promising results.