Golf Channel Academy Editorial
Look who is picking your pocket - again…
Following the public relations fiasco that GolfNow entertained us with over the last couple weeks (you can read my Op/Ed on that story by clicking here)… It put them back on my radar. As such, I read one of their many emails that I typically just delete. It came with the subject line “What are you practicing for?” Perhaps you got it too? If not, be assured that all of Your Customers probably did.
Thinking I must be “practicing” to help them move their “Boat Load of Trade Quota”, I assumed I would be looking at the local “Hot Deals”. So, I opened the email. To my surprise, it wasn’t about Trade Times at all. In Fact, it wasn’t even about GolfNow (so I first thought).
The email was about “The Golf Channel Academy”. Which (naively) I assumed was one of those fill-in shows on The Golf Channel in between televised tournament play. You know, tune up your game by watching our expert tips on The Golf Channel every morning kind of thing…
Turns out, those folks down south who are “bringing you golfers” have a new scheme in mind. You see, what they did was take my email from a course I booked (years ago) via GolfNow and just solicited me to take lessons with a “Golf Channel Academy” instructor. They didn’t want me to watch their TV program – they want me to take a lesson. A real lesson costing real money.
Now I know what you’re thinking – “Finally, The Golf Channel/GolfNow is not just sending me [free] golfers, they are actually going to round up some students for me to give lessons to and put real cash in my pocket! After all, they wouldn't expect the students to travel to The Golf Academy to take those lessons”. Yet, as with most other things GolfNow does “for the golf course operator", you would [once again] be absolutely wrong!
As we have told you countless times, GolfNow takes Your Data to sell Their Product to Your Customers. Now, in addition to Tee Times and Golf Merchandise (DealCaddy.com), GolfNow has quietly gotten into the lesson/teaching business… as stated on their website (click here for full copy):
“With 68 locations (as of December 1, 2015) canvassing 25 states and one Canadian province, Golf Channel Academy is among the most expansive golf instruction networks in North America today. Its lead and staff coaches number more than 200, and include 17 current members of Golf Magazine’s “Top 100 Teachers” list and 49 members of Golf Digest’s “Best Teachers in Your State” rankings.”
This sounds impressive and I am sure these are good instructors with good intentions. I have no clue what deal they made with GolfNow to be a Golf Channel Academy instructor. The issue is: What right do they have to solicit Your Customers from Your Golf Course to sell them Their Lessons?
And therein lies the problem. They are NOT your customers! Along with the Trade Times you bartered for all of those "FREE" services, you also signed away the rights to your data. GolfNow is not alone in this scavenger hunt -- most (if not all) barter companies do the same thing. If you are bartering and have given up your data, then you got yourself into this mess and only you can get yourself out of it.
For those of you old enough to remember Ross Perot (1992 presidential candidate), it reminded me of one of his memorable lines referring to NAFTA, “…there will be a giant sucking sound going south.” and there go your students and lesson income spiraling down the bowl.
But hey, “they earned it”…
What’s next? “SkiNow”! Oh wait… never mind.