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billk86

Course Web Sites

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I am always amazed when I go to a course's site to find that they have very few, or in many cases, no pictures of the course.

I recently tried a new course that was about an hour drive for me and the only reason I went is because their site had some great pics.

Why don't more courses do more to promote themselves?  This one seems like a no-brainer.

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I have to admit, a nice website is pretty effective in getting my business because that's how I find most of the courses that I play. It won't make me play crazy-high priced courses, but a nice website can make a crappy course look like a five-star resort.

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Often wondered this myself as someone in the industry. What I have noticed is that most courses' sites seem to be put together by relatives or graphic designers; neither category really getting involved with the course to help it meaningfully interact with us (the players)—creating a web site tool that allows non-tech staff to upload static photos being a bare minimum, integrating and showing off our photos a nice step up.

Presumably its mainly the standard combination of limited time available to understand all the marketing options, money available to experiment, and mostly unanswered questions about return on investment. (Even mediocre designers can blow 10-30K of a course's dollars on an unimpressive, static website.)

Maybe as courses experiment with interacting with people over things like Facebook and Twitter, and the newer golf-specific platforms, their approach will change (since the price variable is being eliminated and the time required to experiment is coming down.)

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Quote:

Often wondered this myself as someone in the industry. What I have noticed is that most courses' sites seem to be put together by relatives or graphic designers; neither category really getting involved with the course to help it meaningfully interact with us (the players)—creating a web site tool that allows non-tech staff to upload static photos being a bare minimum, integrating and showing off our photos a nice step up. ...

In our area, the consistently best websites are attached to courses and country clubs run by golf management companies.
I don't claim to be graphics whiz, and I'm only a mid-handicapper, but I could put together a better web package than I see on half of the online course sites I visit.
The course websites put together by relatives must be those which feature "big sky" pictures all taken with a wide-angle lens. Pictures appear to be taken by someone using a camera for the first time. There's an art to taking sports landscape still pictures; spend  $$ for someone who knows what they're doing.
Also: If you're putting together a course website, include a copy of the scorecard. If my wife is going to play, I want to know if the ladies' tees are 5,000 yds. (she has a chance) or 5,800 yds. (compiled by grouchy guys who hate women).
There's an old saying among bartenders: a terrible rock band is worse than no band at all. I think the same goes for golf course websites.

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Yes, I wish they would show a lot more pictures. I do a lot of business travel, also to the UK, and I try to find some courses in the areas I am going.

Surely it would not cause a great deal of work for the Pro or staff to go out on his course and take a few photos. 1 per hole at least.

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I recently found a course that's just 20 minutes from where I work with an absolutely fantastic website, among the best I've ever seen for a course.  Their entire tee schedule is online.  I'm not talking about using golfnow.com or something.  They basically have their tee time scheduling book completely online in digital format which is run completely in house.  You can see not just what times are available but also what times have been taken up, so you can see for yourself how busy the course will be each day.  If you see a slot that you want, just click "reserve" and you've got it.  Beyond that, the two pros working at the course have their entire schedules online so you can schedule lessons with a simple point and click.  You can even pay for buckets of balls at the range online. They also have information about ALL the leagues that play at the course, unlike every other course website which just says "feel free to call or stop by to find out about league play."  Being part of the "under 30 crowd", I really appreciate having as much information and as many services available online as humanly possible.  Courses that respond to this get my business.

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my friend designed and built the website for one of our local courses...

what do you think?

http://www.westovergolfcourse.com/

it's definitely the best course website out of all the ones near us.

That's pretty cool. I especially like the "Course Layout" drop-down menu with all of the pictures.

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Originally Posted by X-Factor611

my friend designed and built the website for one of our local courses...

what do you think?

http://www.westovergolfcourse.com/

it's definitely the best course website out of all the ones near us.

I agree.  It really puts Chicopee's website to shame.  Also one of the best courses in the area as well, at least in my opinion.  Do you live in the area?  I'm in Chicopee.

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