The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013 - (Page 5)
Winds of change blowing in tee time
Ripples continue to spread from GolfNow-FORE sale
By Harvey Silverman
'm not real big on the "year in review" stuff. I like to think of tion to customer. We think the future is in the cloud, but that
myself as a forward thinking person who learns from history it must include local redundancy since very few courses have
but doesn't dwell on it. There's too much going on here and a bulletproof Internet connection. We'll write more about this
now. To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, life's moving pretty fast and in the January Perspective, so you can have it along with you at
you'll miss it if you're not paying attention. (Editor's note - For- both the PGA Merchandise and GIS shows- where we expect
tunately for some of us, Harvey's pop culture references may not traffic to be heavy at the PoS vendor booths.
require the depth of historical knowledge that Stuart Lindsay's
GolfNow is rolling out its G1 cloud and tablet based PoS.
preceding article did).
We were introduced to it at our July 1 meeting in Orlando and
There is one story that continues to grow, and is now spawn- were impressed with many aspects, but also circumspect about
ing others - the purchase by GolfNow of FORE Reservations others. We learned last week that a Pellucid subscriber was in(quick - what other company did GolfNow buy at the same stalling G1, and this will give us an inside view of its operational
time?). Owners are trying to marshal the NGCOA into ac- pros and cons as this facility incorporates G1 for its upcoming
tion, new alliances are being created, and at least one owner has season. Its introduction at the PGA Merchandise show should
published a white paper about third party tee time
be interesting to see (another Book4Golf Mt.
distribution. Let's take a brief look back and an at- New alliances
Everest display, maybe?).
tempted look forward at what this all means to the
New alliances are being formed with the inare being
golf industry heading into 2014.
tent of challenging GolfNow. The most intriguWe wrote extensively in the July Pellucid Pering is IBS buying TeeLinks, and partnering with
spective about the GolfNow purchase of FORE.
Brett Darrow's Quick 18. TeeLinks is a tee time
the intent of
For purposes of brevity, here is a link to that issue,
aggregation platform technology that has passed
in which you can read and review our reporting:
through more hands than Tiger Woods'...uh,
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/pellucid/perputter. Not so coincidentally, TeeLinks once
spective_201307/. The bottom line and the historpassed through Darrow's hands at his Greens.
ical significance is that GolfNow purchased both
com. Darrow is the father of barter-based third
its most strident critic in FORE's Harry Ipema
party tee time distribution, and having his hands
and also landed itself upon the shop counters of
back on TeeLinks may be like handing the car
nearly 2000 courses, about half of which were not GolfNow keys back to Lindsay Lohan: you know something's going to
clients at the time.
For most course operators, not much has changed as a result
The key to success for anybody challenging GolfNow is
of this transaction. Current FORE clients can continue to pay finding a major media partner. Rumors persist about more than
cash for the system - there is no coercion to succumb to barter one company pursuing this strategy and the list of potential
despite what some are reporting. FORE is being serviced as partners is short - CBS, ABC/ESPN and FOX. CBS televises
before, albeit with some outage glitches that angered many and more golf than all but the Golf Channel (which is part of the
had them wondering about GolfNow's technical abilities. Prices Comcast/NBC group), so it is the most logical "power" partner.
have increased on some modules and it's not hard to imagine FOX just heisted the U.S. Open away from NBC and is the
the annual lease price increasing at some point in the future, the somewhat controversial newcomer to golf broadcasts (check out
object being to get more courses to accept barter for payment. Geoff Shackleford's must-read take on the USGA and FOX
After all, selling tee times is far more lucrative to GolfNow than by clicking here: http://www.geoffshackelford.com/homepaccepting an annual payment of around $2000. However, this age/2013/11/18/must-read-the-failed-coup-at-the-usga.html.)
has not happened yet and no one can be sure if and when it will.
Partnering won't be cheap. Somehow someone has to come
We've talked a number of clients off the ledge of throwing up with a huge advertising budget or a revenue sharing plan
out FORE and installing something different. We've advised that appeals to the media outlet. They don't work cheap. Where
them to wait, that some new technologies are emerging that does that money come from? Likely from the wallets of course
might eventually send current systems to the tar pits. We look owners and operators, as it's unlikely that barter will be a payfor one key ingredient in any system - a passive tie of transac- ment option. GolfNow has the huge advantage of being part of
The Pellucid PersPecTive
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013
The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013
Back to the future for golf course owners
Winds of change blowing in tee time sales world
An “Island” of creative thinking in player development
Europe follows US lead
November golf weather impact: Mother Nature gives golf the “cold shoulder”
Boston, MA: Red Sox nation plays golf too
OB Sports chosen to operate Tucson muni courses
Too tough to chew
The Pellucid Perspective - December 2013