Third-party marketplaces have their place. If your golf course is in a higher sought after golf destination… and less than 2 years old… and you are competing with a popular golf trail or a well established name brand golf course… and you don’t have a booking engine on your website… then a third-party marketplace is perfect for you.
That might sound a little harsh but, the fact of the matter is that the impact from the exposure that third party marketplaces can provide for most golf courses is over. The age of the internet has been upon us for decades now and most golfers know where they want to play, and where they are going to play… no matter where the tee time is available for sale.
See our survey data supporting this claim here.
Sure, golfers still visit marketplaces to book tee times but, that is only because golf courses have signed an agreement that allows third parties to control the lowest rate.
Whether it’s price parity or the floored out “daily bartered deal," if a customer can find a lower rate for the same product or service on another service, they will tend to purchase from the third party and not from the source. Unless you’ve got Bezos’ money, you’ve likely done the same with other services in the last month.
The issue is that once you’re in the third party marketplace, they are extremely proficient with scare tactics that make you think if you leave their platform, your business will tank. The largest third party is, after all, owned by Comcast and if you’ve ever called them to cancel your TV service, you know how good they are at making you feel like you’ll be back to watching black and white reruns of Gomer Pyle in no time if you continue with your decision.