How to Properly Manage Tee Time No-Shows

The current boom in golf is incredible! Although our green grass facilities have a greater pool of golfers than they’ve enjoyed in many years, there is still a finite number of tee time reservations available every day to accommodate these golfers. With that limited number of tee times available in a single day, it’s vital to each facility’s bottom line that every reservation is honored, ensuring greens and cart fees are paid, maximizing course revenue. 

However, the problem is when online or in-person reservations are not honored. This can lead to no-shows, vacant first tee boxes, and lost income for the facility.

Here’s what you need to know about No-Show Management and its impact on your bottom line.

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Important financial losses can be caused when no-shows occur

Let’s say that during the peak of the summer season, a golf course offers 12 hours of tee time. There are 24 potential golfers available every hour at 10-minute intervals. A facility can earn more than $14,000 a day in greens and cart fee fees at $50 per golfer. Add residual revenue like food & beverage, range balls and golf shop merchandise, and every individual who frequents our courses has the potential to generate significant revenue. 

Even if none of these additional revenue streams work out, a golfer in our example is worth at least $50 per round. Based on this example, if just two of these reservations resulted is a no-show per hour, your course will lose $1200 per day. The maximum revenue potential is lower as the days get shorter and there are fewer tee times available. 

A no-show does not matter what time of year it is, and this can lead to lost revenue. $1,200 per daily becomes $8,400 per weekly and more than $30,000 a month. This is a substantial figure that can greatly affect a facility’s bottom line—very few businesses can sustain annual losses of $100,000 or more.

If your course doesn’t require pre-payment of tee times, you’re probably part of the example above. No-shows should be monitored to determine if there are any losses. It will also serve as proof that you need to make changes in your system. 

Implementing policies to reduce losses from no-shows

Pre-payments for tee times are usually honored 95 percent of all the time. Online or over-the phone reservations without such mandates only have a fulfillment rate 80 percent. That’s one in five golfers not showing up for their tee time. As an example, imagine that 20 percent of your tee times would be missed. That would mean you would lose nearly $3,000 each day. This is almost impossible to sustain for northernmost and seasonal courses. 

Some facilities might be reluctant or hesitant to implement pre-payment procedures out of fear of losing potential players. But research shows that courses that require pre-payment earn greater revenues when it’s all said and done. As the world changes, so do businesses and consumers. Any immediate effect a facility recognizes will eventually be corrected over time. 

Aspen Golf Club is one example. This Colorado public facility allows you to book online and pay at the time of your reservation. But there are also Follow these rules. Cancelling a tee time within 24 hours of the start time is the golfer’s responsibility. Failure to do so means a full charge to one’s credit card. 

Tobacco Road Golf Club in Sanford North Carolina takes it one more step. Golfers who make an online reservation are greeted with The following disclaimer is included: “I agree that my reservation may only be rescheduled to a later date and cannot be cancelled. No refunds or rainchecks will be issued for this reservation.” 

Once a tee times reservation is confirmed, the customer is locked in. Although the club may give ample notice, they will not allow the customer to change their reservation. They cannot cancel for a full refund. The club gets paid if you miss your tee time, and the golfer is also charged. 

Whether you choose to implement strict enforcement policies from the start or ease into the process with a more liberal view, having golfers pay in advance is not the wave of the future – it’s happening now. In 2020, touchless services became mandatory and have been a major part of the golf industry for many years. The system allows for prepayment of fees, mobile checking-in, and email reminders. This helps golf courses make the most of their limited tee time. 

How technology can reduce no-shows

All of this should not be done. Anyone by surprise. With the automation and technology that has become mainstream in many facets of business, alleviating phone calls to the golf shop, providing a real-time account of your tee sheet and ensuring revenue is received at time of reservation are all factors that we saw coming, and they’re all good for the game your business. 

Facilities can also be made with this innovation. Dynamic pricingYou can increase revenue and course usage, while also increasing your profits. Finally, you’re freeing up staff to teach, club fit or sell merchandise in the golf shop, while also reaching a younger demographic online. 

Dynamic Pricing Feature

We all know that the driving force in the golf industry is the relationships we build. These policies and systems enable customers to receive email reminders and communication is key to these connections. Additionally, many tee times reservation systems work. with a club’s appPush notifications are the best way to stay connected. They let golfers know when their tee time is and make sure they get there on time.   

Time to review your club’s online booking policy

Research has shown that no-shows are a significant factor in determining the success of a golf facility, even with the current influx. This is evident in our example. The City of Calgary Golf Online Reservation System It is better than I can: “Due to high demand, and reduced capacity, there is no tolerance for no shows. One no-show will result in immediate suspension of online booking privileges.” 

This model has been adopted in many restaurants and food delivery companies that allow you to pre-order on an app or website. They don’t let you order a meal and simply not show up to pay for it—golf facilities shouldn’t leave themselves susceptible to such uncertainty in their daily business model either. 

With greater revenue, a clearer picture of one’s tee sheet, more consistent communication with customers, customer service that keeps up with the times, there are no negatives or downsides to implementing such automated pre-payment systems. The cost to do so will undoubtedly be recovered in increased greens fees and cart revenue, as well as food & beverage, driving range and golf shop sales.

Are you looking to reduce no shows and increase the revenue of your golf club this season? Talk to one of our experts today about how Small BizSense can help you.

Cyndy Lane

Cyndy is business journalist with a focus on entrepreneurship and small business. With over a decade of experience covering the startup and small business landscape, Cyndy has a reputation for being a knowledgeable, insightful and approachable journalist. She has a keen understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing small business owners and is able to explain them in a way that is relatable and actionable for her readers.