As a consumer who is researching and considering purchasing an online tee time system for a private country club, you need to know what features to look for that differentiate an adequate system from a superior one.
So how do you select an on-line tee time system for your private golf club? A quality system must be user friendly. It must be fluid and intuitive. If the system does not allow the member to operate it in a logical fashion, all of its benefits will go unrealized. When researching and evaluating tee time systems, ask these questions:
- How was the system created? Who played the key roles in the design and development of the system?
The system should be a complete tee time system, not just an add-on or a feature that is piggy-backed onto existing products simply to fill a void. Few people, if any, know the day-to-day intricacies involved in running a golf operation better than golf professionals. They are truly the individuals most qualified to design a system that meets the needs of both members and the professional staff. The most reliable software is built by software engineers who have extensive experience and expertise. The ultimate system would be one that was developed by both experienced software engineers and golf professionals with private golf club experience.
- Was the system developed specifically for private golf facilities?
Public and private golf facilities are completely different operations. It is essential that the system you purchase be able to meet the needs of a private golf club. For example, a system that was originally developed for a public course may not be able to accommodate different membership categories and the accompanying restrictions attached to each type of membership. It should not be necessary to modify your playing policies to fit the system. If the system purports to work equally well for both public and private facilities, be skeptical.
- Does the system make sense?
Does it solve the problems you want it to? The purpose of making tee times on-line is to give members more information and simplify the reservation process. The system should allow the member to make and modify tee times in a straightforward, simple manner. Insist on a demonstration of the system.
- Does the software allow for customizations?
Every golf club is different, each with its own unique policies and restrictions. There is no one size fits all system. In order for an internet-based tee time system to be successful, the provider must be able to customize that system to meet the specific needs of each club. Make sure the software will be able to accommodate your club’s specific requirements without additional costs.
- What type of customer support does the provider offer?
Who will provide the support? Without exception the provider must offer 24/7 customer support. Make sure that qualified personnel will be available to assist you. It should be someone who understands private clubs and, specifically, golf shop operations.
- Lastly, does the system really work?
Be sure to ask for references and ask how many clubs are currently using the provider’s system. Check multiple references to see how happy others are with the product and with the customer service. If there is any hesitation about providing references, look elsewhere.
Talking with golf professionals, general managers and members at clubs that are using an on-line tee time system is the best way to get honest information about the impact that on-line tee times can have on a golf operation. Once you hear the rave reviews, contact one or more tee time providers to schedule an on-line demonstration for your general manager, golf professional or board of directors. You will be your club’s hero!