Do You Know Where Your Discounts Are? – Do You Even Know Where Your Course Is Listed?


By Harvey Silverman, Contributor, Golf Business | Silverback Golf Marketing 

There is a time in most of our lives when we’ve made a charitable contribution by purchasing one of those massive coupon books, thinking, hey, there are lots of coupons with great deals and savings I’ll use. And then, three years later, you’ll find it stuck in the back of your junk drawer with no more than two or three coupons torn out. 

Are these coupon books a scam? Well, not really. A charity or non-profit organization has benefitted from your generosity, and whether you took advantage of the coupons is on you. True, many of the deals weren’t as good as they looked initially, with restrictions and expiration dates. But that’s caveat emptor – buyer beware. 

The “Player’s Pass” is golf’s equivalent to the coupon book. I learned of it through an email from the site, which is a news website, digital media platform, and entertainment company that receives commissions from affiliate partners for which it markets its products. It has a very low rating on TrustPilot

However, the email I received from Mashable caught my eye because it was about golf, and the offer was 50% off the “regular” $99 price for a Player’s Pass membership. So this wasn’t a charitable solicitation; this was flat-out revenue-producing commerce. And I fell for it, if only for the purpose of research, examination, and what would result from this article. 

The state-by-state list of courses is extensive, with more than 4,000 (the Player’s Pass website says 3,000), most of which have links to book a tee time that goes not to the course website but rather GolfNow. More on that in a minute. Over 600 of the listed courses do not have a tee time link but rather a “coupon” to download and print with instructions to call the course for a tee time and present the coupon at check-in. The majority of the coupons are two-for-one deals with a variety of conditions or restrictions. Some are just dollars off, and some are a set price that’s discounted from the regular price. 

So I contacted listed courses to verify the deal displayed on the Player’s Pass website. I’ve yet to find one that admits to its participation. In fact, I’ve found several that know about Player’s Pass because someone presented a coupon at check-in, only to find out that previous ownership or management had agreed to participate and offer a deal years ago, one as far back as 2006. And the deals are renewed every year, automatically. However, two courses I spoke with, one a major brand name, have sent cease and desist letters to Player’s Pass, have not received a response, and the courses remain listed on the site. Player’s Pass, seemingly, is an enigma. 

So, yes, Player’s Pass has an email contact form on the website and a toll-free number to call. I’ve used both methods to gain contact with a real person, all for naught. The listed address is a mailbox in a UPS store in Gilbert, AZ. I called the store to see if they ever heard a phone ring in the box. I also inquired if there was a way to contact the owner. The response was negative on both counts. Red flag, you think? Yeah, as big as they get. 

Regarding the GolfNow link, this is nothing new or untoward. It’s an affiliate program that GolfNow uses to make more money by splitting the transaction fees with the affiliate partner. It’s another distribution channel for the tee times listed on the GolfNow platform. However, it does place courses on a website that purports that “Player’s Pass saves you money every time you play golf.” So courses run the risk of being associated with a discount golf site even if no discount is offered, and being confronted by Player’s Pass members wanting to know their deal, with unfortunate customer service consequences. And it’s why every golf course needs to know where and how its name is listed across publicly-accessed websites and search engines. 

Unfortunately, the real victim is the golfer, the person (me!) who purchased the Player’s Pass only to learn that there aren’t as many money-saving deals as advertised, and who may confront a golf course staff member or manager who will not accept the coupon and disavow any knowledge of the Player’s Pass relationship. And by so doing, golf bears the brunt of consumer anger, not a company housed in a UPS store mailbox. 

(If you don’t want to be listed on the Player’s Pass website, I strongly suggest you make an effort to contact them by email, phone, and a written cease and desist letter. Sure, it’s annoying, and you have many better things to do. However, your reputation is taken advantage of by a product that’s not all it says it is. Please let me know at what actions you take, and the results.)


🎙 Golf Business Podcast Episodes

→  Note from the editor: You can follow updates to this story on NGCOA's member-exclusive online community, where Ronnie Miles, NGCOA Sr. Director of Advocacy, has posted updates to Players Pass and further developments.

Harvey Silverman is a contributor to Golf Business and the proprietor of his marketing consultancy, Silverback Golf Marketing, and the co-founder of, golf’s only pay-by-hole app. Harvey authored NGCOA’s “Beware of Barter” guide and has spoken at their Golf Business Conferences and Golf Business TechCon.


Click the "Comment" button below to share your thoughts with the author!

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