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Where Did All the Golf Courses Go? A Look Into a Changing Industry

April 15, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

With various markets falling victim to the sluggishly recovering economy, the golf course industry is no exception, particularly in Orlando, Florida. Orlando is well known for an abundance of public golf courses, abounding with budding greens and nature's imposing features. The Orlando golfer might once had hit the greens more frequently, but as the numbers show a recent past of declining revenue and low occupancy, golf courses are forced to offer low prices unheard of just 5 years ago. With the business model of discount and discount-again rates, golf courses have themselves in a predicament.

As for the golfer, well, the economy could not be more generous to one's time spent in leisure. Of course, with web sites like discounting prices beyond the tolerance of a golf course operator's stomach, even the golf courses themselves are matching these discounts freely. After all, it's not just about getting the tee sheet full, it's about building and maintaining your own consumer base. Obtaining a golfer's email address and golf club preference can be just as valuable to a golf course as is the cash earned from his or hers wallet.

Tactics used by courses to discount without giving away the kitchen sink may vary, including offering resident rates, exclusive promo codes obtained only by registering for tee time alerts, and 3rd party affiliate sites that offer discounted rates at specific demographics. Many golfers book and play their tee time at these rates without understanding the history of these price changes. With such an understanding it could be assumed empowerment to both the average golfer and struggling golf course could be accomplished. For example, until recent years the low prices were often found by booking early. As a matter of business sense, the sooner a course can fill it's tee sheet the better, but with industry-wide pressure from 3rd party discount sites we have seen a shift to last minute deals.

With the construction of new courses being put on hold, and a golf course closure rate far higher than such development, golfers may soon find themselves with increasing rates, despite a slum economy, as the industry corrects itself naturally. And as the correction takes place we may see a slight shift in pricing - golfers may receive a bigger discount if they book further out than waiting until the last minute. Courses like Kissimmee Oaks Golf Club, Kings Ridge, and Highlands Reserve Golf Club have all seen a drop in rates but stand to pass the test of time in this new course versus old course race. Both have offered some of the lowest rates on tee times Orlando has seen in years. As of the writing of this article all of these golf courses were offering rates less than $80 a player.

These courses, and other golf courses in Orlando with similar popularity and stature have given themselves an advantage with aggressive promotional efforts. Whether running a group offer through, heavily discounted rates through, or offering promo codes under's Orlando tee times listings, there is no doubt the local favorites in Orlando, not excluding the Disneyland Resort courses, will still be in good shape and back to their notably higher prices within years given a strong economic turnaround. Only time will tell.

References and comparisons to Orlando tee times and Orlando golf courses.

Source: EzineArticles
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