The Pellucid Perspective - April 2016 - (Page 6)

INDUSTRY TRANSACTIONS EZLinks Golf expands customer base, technology resources with IBS acquisition Move further consolidates industry's online tee time sales marketplace By Jim Dunlap T he finalization earlier this month of EZLinks Golf 's with the Tour in is not too far behind. There remain long-rumored acquisition of Integrated Business Systems a number of smaller and in many cases regional players in the (IBS) not only significantly increased EZLinks' online tee online tee time sales marketplace, and whether the dominance time sales market share and technological services product line, of GolfNow and the EZLinks/PGA Tour entry will have an but also provided additional evidence that those marketplaces overall impact on the industry's future is debatable. are now a matter of the Big Two and everyone else. While the One development that might be worth watching is what efwell-heeled GolfNow and its media partners and backers re- fect the bulked up EZLinks/TeeOff presence will have, if any, main the gorilla in the room in terms of course customers and on the efforts of the Tee Time Coalition created by the National golfer eyeballs, EZLinks and its PGA Tour partners and their Golf Course Owners Association (NGCOA) and the PGA of web portal are the up and coming silverback ready America to essentially create a standard of conduct for third parto challenge GolfNow for jungle supremacy. ty tee time providers. When the initiative was first announced By acquiring the IBS customer base, CEO Gary Cohen said last year, the avowed goal was to create a set of best practices that EZLinks "basically doubled our recommendations that would proreach." Cohen said that the total of vide guidelines for courses to use in courses using either EZLinks or evaluating tee time reseller offerings IBS systems is now around 2,800, and encourage those companies to with the total expanding to between comply. The form of that "encour3,000 and 3,500 when users of the agement" has not been determined Tour and EZLinks-owned TeeOff. thus far, but with the predominance com and GolfSwitch portals are of the GolfNow/EZLinks duo, it is included. While IBS has traditionlogical to assume that without their ally had a strong presence with its compliance, the Tee Time Coalition's club management software in the best practices dictates may not have private club industry, which would many teeth. EZLinks Golf 's Cohen have minimal impact on the tee time says he supports the NGCOA/PGA sales business, Cohen said that actueffort, if not wholeheartedly in its ally approximately two-thirds of IBS present form. customers are public courses. "We broadly support the guideCohen In addition to acquiring the exlines they're talking about," Cohen isting IBS customer base, EZLinks said. "It's a reasonable first generaGolf added rights to the IBS tech- By acquiring the IBS customer base, CEO Gary tion attempt and we applaud what nology and personnel. Those person- Cohen said that EZLinks "basically doubled they're trying to do. We've had a lot our reach." nel include a large number of engiof conversations with them about neers already familiar with many of the needs of golf courses, this, and we're going to work with them to improve it." many of whom will likely be asked to design operating software Many industry observers initially felt that the Tee Time Coto enhance the tee sheet, POS and business intelligence systems alition was created at least in part to rein in GolfNow's increasoffered by EZLinks. ing domination of the online tee time sales and support market. While Cohen characterizes the IBS purchase as a "pretty Others felt it was designed to mitigate the impact of bartered straightforward acquisition, designed to fill out our product and tee times as a payment method for online tee time sales. Cohen service offerings across a wider range of courses," there is no understandably said that barter itself is not the problem, but he doubt that for the immediate future, the online tee time mar- had an interesting nominee for the culprit. ketplace has been altered. While GolfNow, with the financial "We offer every kind of payment [courses] may want, inbacking of Comcast and others and The Golf Channel's me- cluding barter," Cohen said. "The problem is that often barter dia outreach, is still number one, an EZLinks Golf enterprise is not managed effectively, and frankly that's more on [tee time owned in part by an affiliate of the PGA Tour and partnering resellers] than it is on the courses, so that's a problem." n 6 The Pellucid PersPecTive April 2016

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - April 2016

The Pellucid Perspective - April 2016
In search of meaningful operations performance measurement
We have a data problem in golf. Let’s fix it
EZLinks Golf expands customer base, technology resources with IBS acquisition
Devote article
On the scene in Myrtle Beach: Owners lighting candles vs. cursing the darkness
March weather impact: Strong first quarter finish, mixed by geography
Sadly for operators, MLB team not the only “reds” in Cincinnati golf market
Golf ’s use of the President - a whiff or a stiff?

The Pellucid Perspective - April 2016