The Abbey Hotel Golf & Spa in Redditch came on board as a BRS Golf by GOLFNOW customer in June 2018, but already they are seeing business-altering results. Pay & Play revenue over the last five months at this stunning, championship-standard parkland course in Worcestershire is up 50% on the previous year and members have taken to online booking with ease.
In fact, Golf Manager Rob Davies, was so pleased with the results of his partnership with BRS Golf that he is already using our technology at Abbey Hotel’s sister site Marston Lakes in Sutton Coldfield.
We spoke to Rob about why he chose to partner with BRS Golf, why he prefers the barter payment model and the transformative impact that online booking and efficient tee time management has had on his business.
- Increase golf course profitability
- Increase direct online visitor bookings
- Cater to Pay & Play golfers
- Cater to members looking to book online
- Improve efficiency
Why choose BRS Golf?
“The number one reason was to increase profitability,” he notes. “Honestly I felt like we were living in the dark ages by not offering visitors the ability to book online directly! We have used Teeofftimes effectively for a number of years and are one of the best-selling courses in the region on that platform – so the demand to book online was obviously there.
“I spent a couple of years pushing to implement online tee time booking for Abbey Hotel.
Then, about 18 months ago, we were bought by M&T Ventures and they were very supportive of my initiative to install online bookings. They had faith in me and my decision to go with BRS Golf.
“I knew about BRS Golf from other clubs using them, and from Teeofftimes being part of the same group, so it was a very straightforward move to go with BRS Golf.
“We are a proprietary club – although we do have about 350 members – and we’re very popular with Pay & Play golfers, most of which book online. I knew we needed to cater to that.”
Did you have any concerns?
Rob says: “We had very few initial concerns. The only one was cost! We went with a barter deal though, so cost was no longer an issue. We give one tee time a day in exchange for the technology and this is priced cheaper than our usual rate. For us it was definitely the best way to go.
“We had some concerns about transferring members to BRS Golf when we migrated the system over from V1, but it wasn’t an issue at all.”
How was your onboarding experience?
Rob replies: “The whole experience was great – from initial consultation to onboarding and training. BRS Golf Market Sales Manager Richard Dixon came and sat down with me on a couple of occasions to talk through the products and options – he was fantastic. Then BRS Golf Technical Specialist Barry Johnston came to do the onboarding and it was just a matter of a day’s training. He sat down with my staff and took them through the system as well.”
Do you feel your main aims have been met?
“We wanted to increase direct bookings and profitability,” Rob says. “And we certainly did that! We are 50% up on last year’s Pay & Play revenue over last five months! BRS Golf also allows us to reduce our rates at quiet times should that be necessary which has helped drive revenue.
“Having online booking feels like we have opened up a whole new customer base. We’re getting lots of return visitors booking via the website. We might even need to add a waiting list for popular tee times!
“I’ve also noticed that having online booking has helped to spread play out throughout the day as well. Rather than all turning up at the same time, members and visitors are playing different time slots throughout the day. I’m definitely noticing a more even spread of tee times on days with no competitions.
“In our membership we were seeing a growth in under 30s joining the club, so having the Members’ Module and booking app helps cater to them. Currently 60% of members are using the Members’ Module and I want to get that to 80% this year.
“BRS Golf has definitely helped improve efficiency. Previously the occasional booking coming through Teeofftimes by email would be missed, and you’d end up with a disappointed customer. Now staff can log into the system and see immediately all the bookings for that day. The reporting tools are fantastic and simple to use.
Would you recommend BRS to other clubs?
“Absolutely,” Rob enthuses. “In fact, at our sister site Marston Lakes the first thing I did was install BRS Golf to help revenue growth and efficiency there too! I can’t be in the same place at the same time, but I can login on my iPad and see what’s happening on both courses at a glance, maybe switch rates at quieter times.
“There are still quite a few clubs that don’t have online booking systems. I just don’t understand the mentality behind that. Sooner or later they’ll get left behind.”
Abbey Hotel Golf & Spa is one of over 1,500 BRS Golf customers throughout the UK and Ireland enjoying the simplicity of market-leading tee time booking technology.