What Golf Now’s Worry Free Tee Time Policy Means for the Course Operator

“You will not be subject to course cancellation policies.”

“Worry-Free Tee Times supersede any course cancellation policy.”

As someone working on behalf of the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition to address the difficulties you may be experiencing with online tee time distribution, I certainly understand why the aforementioned statements regarding GolfNow’s Worry Free policy have caused some concern.

I recently met with GolfNow to get some clarity on a number of topics, this being one of them. With Worry Free, GolfNow does not pass credit cards through the system to the course; so that process remains the same.

So how, then, do you enforce your course’s cancellation policy, when a cancellation occurs within your policy’s window?

For example, let’s say a golf course has a cancellation policy that reads:

  1. A person who has made a tee time booking will be required to call the Golf Shop a minimum of 4 hours prior to the tee time to cancel or amend the number of players in the bookings without penalty.
  2. A $20 per person cancellation fee will be charged to the cardholder of the person who made the booking if the tee time cannot be re-sold or spots filled with walk-ons with less than 4 hours notice.

This cancellation policy would require 4 hours notice.

GolfNow’s Worry Free policy only requires that the cancellation occur “before” the tee time. (Does this mean 1 minute before? 10 minutes before? 1 hour before?)

Based on the above cancellation policy, with Worry Free, Golf Now indicated they would:

  1. Allow those golfers to cancel within 4 hours of the reservation AND
  2. Reimburse the golf course for the $20 penalty that already exists in the course’s cancellation policy.

In order to make sure the golf course receives its reimbursement, the owner/operator simply needs to fill out the form located here http://golfnowsolutions.com/no-show-request-form.

It is also important that the owner/operator makes sure that the course’s current/ latest cancellation policy is included in the booking notes via GolfNow. This should always remain up to date.

Reservations made through GolfNow.com are guaranteed to the course on behalf of the golfer, and the onus is on GolfNow to reimburse the course, when/if the course receives a no-show or late cancellation inside of their own policy window.

Again, the course would need to fill out the no-show request form and GolfNow would then reimburse the course for those costs (pursuant to the course’s cancellation policy).

Like many aspects of golf course operations, there is great disparity in how golf courses manage, maintain, and enforce cancellation policies. If you are a GolfNow user that doesn’t currently have a cancellation policy, you may want to consider making that a priority.

Hopefully this information has been helpful in providing a little more insight on this topic. Like many of you, I am most concerned with how Worry Free affects the cancellation policies some courses may already have in place.

If you have any questions on any matter that remotely touches online distribution of tee times feel free to reach out to me and please don’t hesitate to bring your concerns to my attention.

Jared Williams
Managing Director
Golf USA Tee Time Coalition