Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Golf Courses Online Service

(Post: English)
"Last year for the first time, more golf courses closed in the U.S. than opened, suggesting interest in the game has peaked or is waning."

Harry Ipema and David Beckwith have an Internet tool that could help course owners survive a shakeout.

In 1995, the pair formed Fore! Reservations and set up a Web site where golfers could sign up for tee times.

Now they're also pitching a service to owners; they've turned their Burr Ridge company into a customizable database courses can tap into, in order to e-mail customers special offers or simple reminders to come play again.

About 2,000 of the nation's 10,000 courses pay $500 to $1,500 a year to subscribe to Fore! Reservations, which employs 26 people.

Ipema, 53, anticipates 2.5 million tee-time bookings this year, up from 1.7 million in 2007, when revenue hit $3.5 million.

Source: BusinessWeek

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