Golf courses have limited slots available. Most golf courses book out tee times for golfers, but don’t accept payment until the day of the game. This puts the golf course at immense revenue risk. When people don’t show up, because of whatever reason (rain, don’t feel like playing, etc), the golf course doesn’t get paid, and the tee time goes unsold.
We ask ourselves, if airlines, hotels, and even cinemas accept payment upfront from customers, why doesn’t golf clubs do the same?
The answer we have from golf clubs, is that:
- Payment systems to implement for this were expensive
- It’s not the norm for golfers to pay upfront.
Pricing Strategies for golf clubs:
Golf clubs always drop prices as it is the easiest and quickest way to gain customers. But is it a long term solution? Dropping prices without justification devalues the golf course, and raising prices, later on, will pose an issue.
- Provide more value for the same price. For example: Including meals, massages, merchandise, vouchers, caddies, etc.
- Reducing prices, but for something in return. For example: Bulk purchase, upfront payment, etc.
Benefits to golf clubs for collecting payment upfront from golfers:
- Secure revenue upfront. If golfers don’t show last minute, the golf club still wins, removing the risk of loss of revenue upon no-shows/last-minute cancellations.
- Improve efficiencies at the registration counter. Golfer registrations and payment receipts are prepared the day before golf. Golfers don’t have to line up for registrations, and golf club staff can be better deployed on game day to serve golfers, and not stuck behind the counter doing administrative/non-valuable tasks.
- Removal of credit card terminal fees. The Deemples upfront payment facility includes this service, allowing golf clubs to reduce credit card terminal fees.
How the Upfront Payment Facility works:
- Golfers create or join games at the golf club on Deemples app.
- Golf clubs can edit/delete/chat into all games on Deemples played at that golf club. (Access to Deemples admin portal for the golf club can be provided to the golf club)
- Golf club can request payment from golfers via Deemples admin portal.
- Golfers can pay golf club in advance via Deemples app.
The golf club can request payment of any amount from all golfers via Deemples.
Payments can be accepted from all pricing tiers: Members, members’ guests, visitors, seniors, juniors, professionals, ladies, travel agents, golf agents, reciprocal members, affiliate members, current promotional rates, etc.
All payments accepted via Deemples by the golf club incur an upfront payment facility fee (as a percentage of fees collected).
Suggestions to make upfront payment work for the golf club:
Provide benefits to golfers for committing payment upfront. Golfers are not going to pay upfront if upfront prices are similar or with insignificant benefits as compared to paying at the counter.
The more in advance payment is requested, the more benefits the golf club can provide.
For example, 50% off if paid 3 months in advance, 30% off if paid 1 month in advance, 20% off if paid 1 week in advance, 10% off if paid within the week, no discount (published rates) at the counter (since there was no risk to the golfer). An easier example: 20% discount if paid upfront, 0% discount at the counter.
Some golf courses also do it on an occupancy-based discount. For example: $100 for the first 20 people, $110 for the next 20, $120 for the next 20, and so on, for the same session (ie Saturday afternoon slots).
The golf club decides on refund policies for payments being collected for games happening at that golf club.
Deemples will execute all refunds approved by the golf club.
Suggestions for refunds:
- Quote only non-refundable rates.
- Provide vouchers instead of refunds so that payments can be kept by the golf club.
- State refund policies upfront, so that golfers are aware.
Transfer of Funds from Deemples to the golf club:
Payments accepted from golfers as requested by Palm Garden, will be transferred to Palm Garden, net of Deemples facility fee, grouped by each game and once the game has commenced.
Arrival of funds to the golf club’s bank account will depend on the payout schedule of the payment gateway vendor. Currently, payouts are scheduled at 20:00:00 pm MYT, on every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.
Deemples will email list of players, along with the amount paid by golfers, Deemples facility fees, net amount transferred to the golf club, upon game commencement.
Statements and Notifications:
The golf club will get emails/notifications when:
- Golfers create/join games at the golf club
- Golfers make payment
- Payout is made to the golf club
- Game commences, with a list of players who are playing, paid, amounts paid, and net amounts paid to the golf club.
Obligation of the golf club:
- The golf club should be responsive in all chats to golfers joining and creating games at the golf club on Deemples.
- The club to communicate and quote the exact price to golfers on Deemples. So that no further payment is required when golfer arrives at the counter.
- The golf club provides permission to Deemples to assist with quoting prices for games at the golf club when necessary.
- The golf club to honor permission for a golfer to play at game time, once golfer has made payment, as requested by the golf club.
Obligation of golfer(s):
- Golfer to make payment via Deemples app as requested by the golf club.
- Golfer to identify themselves at the registration counter to collect starter sheet.
Obligation of Deemples:
- Deemples to transfer funds to the golf club in a timely manner as stated in this contract.
- Deemples to continuously improve on processes and features, to help golf courses/clubs/hosts run more effectively and efficiently.
We hope this article covers everything related to payments via Deemples. Additional items can be discussed and agreed upon in writing as we progress. The Deemples upfront payment facility will continue to evolve and improve to make managing risks and forecasting revenue a breeze for golf clubs.
Founder of Deemples