Research shows that consumers prefer choice. Behavioral economics and consumer choice theory support a selection-based approach with variable pricing. In golf, some are willing to pay more for a specific day and time, while others care more about price and less about time.

Offering a selection of prices and times provides the greatest golfer satisfaction and results in the highest returns for your course.

A time-sensitive golfer

Jim is flying into town for a last-minute business meeting. He would love to hit the links on Saturday morning before he returns home. But under a traditional pricing model, your course is already sold-out of morning times. The slots were priced at standard rates and sold-out the day before. Since Jim can’t play later in the day, he’s disappointed and returns home—your course never realizes a golfer like Jim existed.

Under a demand-based model, software forecasts the impending sell-out several days before and begins to raise prices, in effect, reserving tee times for golfers like Jim. The more price-sensitive golfers still book times later in the day. When Jim searches for a morning time he is thrilled to find one and has no problem paying a premium. The net result is higher customer satisfaction and more revenue for your course.

A price-sensitive golfer

Mark wants to play your course, but it’s always been out of his price range. And he’s not sure it’s worth the higher cost. Searching around for times the other day, he sees a low price for a weekday-afternoon time—much lower than he’s seen before. This piques his interest, so he buys the time, even though he must pay in advance and it’s non-cancellable.

When Mark plays, he has a fantastic round and appreciates your course. It’s such a great experience, he can see himself paying a little more to play there again. Mark is still a price-sensitive golfer but he’s also a new customer who’s now open to stretching their budget.

Dynamic pricing is here to stay

You may be thinking these are isolated cases—they’re not. Different circumstances drive a broad range of consumer behavior. When demand is high, it means golfers are willing to pay more and their underlying circumstances may all be different. When demand is soft, there are still golfers willing to play, just not for the current price. Understanding and appreciating varied circumstances lead to the acceptance and appreciation of demand-based pricing.

Meet your golfers where they are

The same golfer may behave differently depending on the circumstances. Mark may behave more like Jim when his time is limited, and he wants to play. And when Jim has a flexible schedule, he may behave more like Mark. These varied circumstances are present all the time and demand-based pricing helps you cater to all golfers while maximizing the return for your course.

A well-implemented plan results in revenue growth of tenty percent or more to the bottom line while ultimately increasing overall golfer satisfaction.

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