The Pellucid Perspective - February 2014 - (Page 2)

TEE TIME MARKETING The 2014 solution to barter is... NGCOANow? By Jim Koppenhaver W ith tongue very firmly planted in cheek proposing the above headline, the developing saga of the NGCOA's decision to directly intervene in the battle-of-barter gets more "curiouser" with each verse. After talking to several parties at the PGA Merchandise Show about the "hushed" details of how the next chapter of this tale of intrigue would play out at GIS with a series of "screening" interviews with 4 invited tee time solution providers, the writers of the Perspective debated about whether to publish an intro article or wait until the story unfolded further. While it wasn't a consensus, being the Publisher has its advantages and it was "decided" that we'd provide a preview this month and then let the more skilled investigative reporters on our staff report on the plot twists and turns over the coming months. The tale began with an interesting announcement coming out of the October 2013 NGCOA Board meeting that produced the following official announcement: NGCOA Board Takes Important Step in Alleviating Tee-Time Distribution Challenges Official Statement In response to the growing economic effect of 3rd-party tee-time resellers on its membership and the golf industry, the Board of Directors of the National Golf Course Owners Association voted at their fall meeting on October 3 to form a task force for the express purpose of investigating a potential partnership with a tee-time distribution provider. This decision was the result of many months of in-depth research and discussion regarding current market dynamics, their effect on members, and potential options for action. An ideal system that would be offered through this partnership would be dedicated to economic fairness for golf course owners and operators - the ultimate stakeholders in the golf business. Key tenets of any agreement would include owner/operator-controlled pricing, confidential course-owned customer data, exclusive added benefits for current members of the NGCOA, and a return of any generated revenues back to participants and the golf course industry. The NGCOA Board of Directors considers the formation of this task force a critical step in increasing competition in the market and creating a better business environment for all golf course owners and operators. The NGCOA will provide continual updates to its members as this important matter progresses. If you have any questions, please contact Joe Rice, Director of Membership at the NGCOA, at 1-800-933-4262 x222 or jrice@ngcoa 2 The Pellucid PersPecTive This appeared to be a dramatic leap from their previous involvement in the topic which was largely relegated to publishing a well-circulated but shallowly-adopted white paper in 2011 on Best Practices Regarding 3rd Party Tee Time Resellers. As a reference point, below are the 4 key tenets framing the Best Practices document according to NGCOA's website: 1. The NGCOA's role with respect to Third Party Tee-Time Resellers is to provide information and education to its members so that they are aware of the key issues and can act in their best interests. 2. Golf Courses should promote both individually and/ or in groups, as many sales as possible directly through their own websites, pro shops, call centers, or other outlets. 3. If the golf course, using its own independent judgment decides that it is in their business interest to engage the services of a Third Party Reseller, the Golf Courses should design plans and systems that position these Resellers as supporting strategies only, intended to drive incremental business and fill in times of soft demand. 4. Golf Courses opting to use Third Party Resellers should protect their business interests by managing those Third Party business relationships by utilizing the Best Practices recommended by the NGCOA. To download the list of Best Practices, click here. To the best of our knowledge, only Scott Merchant of Golf Pipeline among providers has signed the Best Practices agreement. In July 2013, NGCOA's member ListServ lit up like a solar sunspot when GolfNow purchased FORE! Reservations. At that point, NGCOA decided they needed an "intervention" on behalf of their owners, either because only one company was following the Best Practices guidance (note Point 1 above where the NGCOA defines their role as education) or perhaps because GolfNow was consolidating their position by acquiring the major competitors who might (eventually) offer a non-barter choice. The obvious question this decision begs is, "Is it a competency or function of a trade association representing their owner-members to intervene in the free enterprise system to "fix" this perceived problem?" The NGCOA Board apparently weighed that decision and decided the answer was "yes," which is completely within their fiduciary responsibilities. Interestingly, since the NGCOA's October announcement, a number of industry veterans and knowledgeable technology stakeholders and practitioners think otherwise and have made those views and the supporting rationale known in various communications with Pellucid. Some cite the organization's previous lack of sucFebruary 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2014

The 2014 solution to Barter is… NGCOANow?
PGA Merchandise Show from 35,000 feet
Philosophy, sociology and epistemology lessons for Hackgolf
The way Keiser rolls
Scottsdale National owner to low-spending members: 'Go, Daddy!'
January golf weather impact: Downward trajectory from '13 continues
Developers' past excess plague DC area courses
ClubLink adds TPC course to Florida portfolio
USGA responsibility not to grow the game. Really?

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2014