Golf Marketplace Economics: How the Philadelphia Golf Market Loses Millions Each Year


By Sean Duggan, Director of Sales, GolfBack Solutions

What if I told you that, overnight, the equivalent of 3 brand new 18-hole daily fee golf courses (competitors) opened in your immediate golf market? What if I told you millions of dollars are taken from your golf market every year?

“That’s not possible.”

Well, that’s exactly what happens every day in the Philadelphia metro area through GolfNow barter. Stay with me…

We analyzed one date, May 21st, 2022, to see the market impact of barter and the results are astonishing:

The method of extracting the data below was to visit, select the hot deals button on the home page, and then select Philadelphia as the location. We repeated this process for 10 days and recorded the data found on this webpage which may or may not be an exhaustive list of every course in the Philadelphia area that is listing hot deals however, this is what we found.

Philadelphia Hot Deals Data May 21st, 2022

  • Total Philadelphia Area Courses Listing Hot Deals on GolfNow during our research: 50

  • Total Traded Rounds of Golf on May 21, 2022: 320

  • Total Value of Listed Hot Deals on May 21, 2022: $15,545

  • Total New Golf Courses (Competitors) Created by Barter: 3.2

  • Total Estimated Value of Listed Hot Deals (Annually): Millions

PHILLY_HOT_DEAL.jpgSo – If we assume the average 18-hole course will do 100 rounds a day then we can then say, with certainty, that trading tee times in the Philadelphia Market has created 3 new golf courses and unneeded virtual competition in that market (320 barter rounds / 100). These are rounds booked on a virtual competitor’s site and are rounds that redirect revenue away from golf course owners and operators.

This is yet another example of competitive displacement – offering your lowest rate and barter inventory on an aggregate platform creates actual competition. (i.e. You are building a golf course for GolfNow to make money and take golfers from you.)

Hot Deals in the Philadelphia market alone have the potential to generate more than $15k per day in barter revenue for GolfNow…Why? Because GolfNow is given access to the golf course’s lowest rates which lures your golfers away from your booking channels. Then they collect that customer’s information and advertise more super low hot deals from your competition to your customers. 

Golfers are smart and when they want to play golf, they will find the best deal. If you want to maximize your revenue potential then that best deal should always be through channels you own. Not on a third-party marketplace. 

The long-term impacts of a large segment of the golf market giving their best price to a third-party are simple. Millions of dollars per year that could be put back into the golf courses are going to continue to enter the hands of a company that doesn’t have to cut one blade of grass. It is your club, it is your brand, it should be your customer and your profits! 

So, what is the solution? Develop your non-negotiables:

1.)   Own your customer data

2.)   Own your lowest price

3.)   Own the direct relationship with your customer

4.)   Own 100% of your green and cart fee revenue online

5.)   Stop listing inventory for lower prices in third party channels

Sean Duggan, PGA is the Director of Sales at GolfBack Solutions. He can be reached at



** The views and opinions featured in Golf Business WEEKLY are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the NGCOA.**