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How is what GolfNow is doing legal?


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Can you book a tee time at a course in your area by not using GolfNow? if you call a course directly is it possible to book a tee time? Not just your favorite course, but if any course in your area ac

This also isn't a real monopoly. A true monopoly, when one exists, has the power to enact price-fixing and create real barriers to entry into the market. A company that literally just compiles data an

Ah, quit being such a cheapskate. Just go with it. If you are griping about the $3.49 booking fee, I think you should instead pony up the $200 and pay for the GolfPass+ membership. Not only will yo

Monopoly comes into play if there is substantial difficulty to obtain product or service (teetimes in this case) from other avenues and thus allow the company to raise prices. That is hardly the case here. They are discount brokers of teetimes offered by golf courses, and they do not have the ability to raise prices beyond what club would normally charge. Having to offer less discount does not equal to pricing power. Yes it sucks for consumers that there is less competition on discount offered but that does not make GN monopoly in any shape or form.

All these broker services worked well when most clubs were operating in traditional ways, like you had to call to book. In today's environment, that is hardly the case anymore. Many clubs have their own online booking system, ironically many are also operated by Golfnow, and I have seen some clubs offer discounts when booked through their own system.

What could get GN in monopoly hot water is if a substantial portion of all teetimes booked are on its platform, and it decides to increase service charges in such way that is unreasonable. Again, what is unreasonable is subject to what one can justify in court.

 

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Tired wrong narrative. NBC never purchased Golf Channel. Comcast has been the sole owner of Golf Channel since 2003. Comcast bought NBC Universal in 2011. After the sale was approved Golf Channel the Versus network and any other Comcast owned sports properties were placed under the NBC Sports umbrella.

That said anything that Comcast has ever touched sucks and is awful.

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*Concast is a joke* I agree their fees are greedy for the “service” they offer. What exact VALUE do they provide. Are we too lazy as people to look on a maps application and find a golf course and go to their website/call-them? WTF. It is the laziness of the consumerism spoon-fed world that we inhabit. Every course has disdain for golfnow, but when you have a gun to your head as an owner with the potential to lose significant business because the “masses” use golfnow because they saw it on the TV and it is “easy”. Man sometimes I wonder how far gone we really are...

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I was a GN hater as much if not more than most. They have a sharp pencil and it gets sharper each year. When they went to only being able to use promo codes during the week and having to book 3 days in advance, I dropped my Golf Now VIP membership. They had me so ticked off I even contemplated renewing my membership just so I could book a hot deal tee time each day so I could cancel it with the worry free cancelation clause and cause them to not sell the tee time they bartered from the courses.

I was that bent on finding a way to defeat GN myself. However, I didn’t do that because I enjoyed the lower prices and didn’t want to cause missed opportunities for deals to others. Instead I continued to book hot deals all last year simply because it was still much cheaper booking hot deals with the booking fee as opposed to paying rack rates. At the end of about 50 rounds last September where I typically booked for 2 or 3 players, I had about $160 in promo codes that I wasn’t able to use simply because I work during the week. My promo codes were actually starting expire from the prior year.

Upon further investing the GolfPass program, one of the things the GN representatives told me on the phone was they were able to use my promo codes dollar for dollar toward the purchase of the GolfPass $200 fee. Combining that with the $250 in monthly promo codes, it was a no brainer for me to enroll in the GolfPass program for $40 out of my pocket. Just eliminating the booking fees, thru using my promo codes made me a happy a GN booker again.

I’m sure their pencil will get even sharper in years to come. Their in business to make money and absorbing the competition is one way they can grow their business without negatively affecting us Golfers. As Golfers we do have competing interests as we are also their source of income. However, they can only optimize so far and they aren’t far from hitting the maximum limit.

We are as also the Customer, and if GN fails to satisfy our needs, their business will decline. Point being, use due diligence when making your bookings so you protect and support the Golf Brotherhood.

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Like what was said earlier, I'm sure they will not face any legal action from this acquisition.

It sucks big time though. The difference between GolfNow and TeeOff previously was not just the $3-4 booking fee per player. With those 20-30% off dealtime rates the difference was often $20+ per player for me. Obviously the more expensive the course, the bigger this discount was.

I messaged MGSpy on Instagram pointing out this crappy business deal for golfers, and they read my complaint but no response.

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We may not like it but it certainly isn’t illegal. Vote with your wallet. If the market won’t support such a move they will lose money and need to change practices. If people continue to use it, then good for them for finding a market niche. That’s how business works. They haven’t manipulated the market at all and certainly don’t come close to meeting monopoly criteria.

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In Nebraska GolfNow pretty much only has the small town courses and the low volume Omaha/Lincoln courses. At least around here GN is not causing harm to anyone but when I travel I go to GN and often times the Hot Deals are near the top of the decision making process

 

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My local market is the same. Courses that are closer in proximity to the epicenter of the metro area and those that have no problems filling the tee sheet are no where to be found on GolfNow or Teeoff. Most of the courses I have noticed complaining about GolfNow are those located further out and/or have been struggling to survive as is.

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For those of you who are still trying to play on the cheap and dissing GolfNow, let me show you the benefits of the GolfPass+ membership. I just booked a starting time at nearby Pasatiempo Golf Club, one of the top semi-private clubs in California, and Alister MacKenzie's masterpiece where his ashes are scattered, and his house is beside the sixth green. Check out this booking I just made. Sorry for the crude obliteration given that I don't have Photoshop and I don't know how to edit an image other than mere cropping. Vital information is blocked out to protect me from assassins.

golfnow-confirmation-052120.jpgFortunately for me, this course is not on the list of exempt courses under the GolfPass+ Terms and Conditions. Yes, it sucks that the terms specify Hot Deal times Mon-Thurs after noon, but you just have to look on the site and see what is available. Often you will get bummed when you see that your favorite courses have Hot Deal times before noon, but the monthly Play codes you get are good for a year anyway, and you can let them accumulate and use them all up if you want. There are a number of golf courses around me that have greens fees of over $100, and these monthly Play codes prove very valuable over time. In fairness, there is a state-by-state list of golf courses exempted from the Play program (i.e., you cannot apply your Play codes to these courses), and as you can see from above the exempt courses are not necessarily determined by price alone. You must read the details in the fine print to see if the membership fee will be worth it for you. I pay $200/year for my GolfPass+ membershis, but the perks are so good that, if I stay updated on the site and pay attention to my Promo, Play and Rewards codes, the membership will easily pay itself off in just a few months, and in the case I showed above, I got it all back already with using just one Play code, and remember that with my membership I get one new Play code per month. In addition you get Rewards that are usually $10 off which you can use as many as you want per booking, plus with the GolfPass+ you accumulate 25% more points for every dollar you spend. Of course, given the Terms and Conditions, the best way to maximize value of your membership is to book through Hot Deals exclusively. Hot Deals, monthly Play codes, Rewards, waived booking fees and Worry-Free cancellation privileges all add up to very good value--if you know how to use the membership.

Give it a try, guys, and don't be so cheap. There is no doubt in my mind that GolfNow is a valuable service, and your membership fee supports the staff and you help put food on their tables. You just have to pay upfront for the membership, but I tell you guys that it's worth it. At least for me it is.

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I am not a regular TeeOff user, but I did log on to it about a year ago and established an account there. Just for fun I logged on to the TeeOff site and the site recognized my cookies and automatically logged me on to my GolfPass+ account on the TeeOff website, which appears to be identical to the GolfNow platform. The funny thing is that there is one particular local course which used to be on GolfNow, but they severed their ties with GolfNow and switched to TeeOff. I registered with TeeOff solely for that golf course, but upon establishing my account I looked at the deals they had on that site, and the deals there were not as good as GolfNow, so I did not bother booking there anymore. Now when I logged on to TeeOff today I tried looking for that particular course I couldn't find it anymore.

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Teeoff’s migration to the GN platform just happened in the last couple of months. Surprised they were able to get it done so quickly after the acquisition but that does make GNs future intentions very clear.

I for one have been thankful for all of the money that these sites have saved me over the past 7 years and the consolidated online search has been very convenient, however this acquisition thus far does not instill much confidence for that continuing in the future.

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GolfNow sucks and I try and avoid using them at all costs. Thankfully in SoCal there are multiple ways to book tee times. I use Golfzing.com more often, they are mostly for American Golf related courses but booking fees are low so I don't mind losing it if I have to cancel. Here in Long Beach CA, we have discount resident cards for the nearby courses... if I book with GolfNow, I can not use my resident card for discount, just their policy, which blows. Also, if we book for 4 and have a last minute drop out that we can not fill before teeing off, whoever books the time, gets charged. That does not happen if we book through LBCgolf or Golfzing. That's the least of it. More than once I have shown up to the course to find out either the course did not get the reservation OR it was double booked. I have been staying as far away as possible from GolfNow, they are absolute garbage and I have no idea how they have gotten as big as they have providing such terrible service.

Call the courses directly. Find the tee time on GolfNow if you can, but call and book it through the course if possible.

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  • 4 weeks later...

The one thing I noticed over the last week is that all but 1 of my local (45 min drive) courses have disappeared from GolfNow. Very happy I didn’t renew my VIP account when it expired earlier this year.

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GolfNow - 1-800-767-3574

TeeOff - 855-383-3633

I haven’t had to call GolfNow in years but I did call TeeOff twice this year (once because the website was down and once due to the course being closed due to COVID-19 concerns). Not a big fan of the the price increases over the past few years, but never had a problem getting someone on the phone nor getting a refund when applicable.

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