The golf course booking industry has turned the process of making golf course reservations completely on its head. Gone are the days of having to send a letter weeks in advance, signed by the club secretary, to enquire about the possibility of playing St Andrews or one of the other great links courses. Now it is possible to check availability online, compare prices, reserve your tee times and have instant confirmation.
This technological revolution has allowed golfers of all standards to follow in the footsteps of the golf legends by playing some of the great golf courses of the world. Few of us will ever have the chance to play football on the pitch at Wembley or the San Siro, but imagine the thrill of being to play at Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, St Andrews or Kiawah Island the day after the conclusion of a Major…certainly a memory to be treasured.
Another benefit for golfers is that with so much competition in the marketplace, discount tee times are always available. Clubs benefit too from this industry in terms of profile and cashflow. This is especially so for courses in remote areas that hitherto were off the beaten track.
Popular destinations for online tee-time reservations include the major Florida resorts, Hawaii, Pebble Beach, Torrey Pines, Pinehurst, Myrtle Beach, Kiawah Island, Sea Pines and Harbour Town.
Courses along the Algarve in Portugal are always in demand, as are those along the Mediterranean coastline of Spain.
For visitors to the UK, the old historic links courses – especially those on the British Open roster such as St Andrews, Royal Birkdale, Turnberry, Troon and Royal Lytham – are very attractive destinations, as are the great Irish links courses, especially Ballybunion, Lahinch, Portmarnock, Royal Portrush and Royal County Down.
In Australia, the Sand Belt courses around Melbourne are always popular. And other countries like South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Turkey and Canada attract huge numbers of golfers each year also.
The major companies operating in the tee-times industry include GolfNow.com, GolfLink.com and TeeOff.com, but there are many other companies, some focusing on specific countries such as Spain and Portugal.