Golf addicts get fix online

OCT 2010

ITS members are known as ‘addicts’ and they can graduate to ‘junkie’ status by qualifying to rate and review golf courses around the world.

Golferholics.Com is a new venture by golf mad IT executive Corey Tai following private investor backing.

Tai says the website’s focus is to make information and course and equipment ratings and reviews available free to the army of people around the world who are addicted to their sport.

“Golferholics is a database for golfers,” he says.

“We aren’t trying to sell golfers anything – we’re just putting credible and unbiased information at their fingertips.”

Golferholics.Com protects its credibility by not allowing clubs, equipment companies or suppliers to advertise on the website and a three-year strategy is in full swing.

“Our income is being derived from three areas, starting with annual listing fees paid by clubs. These fees entitle the club to seven pages of club information on the website,” says Tai.

“Listing fees are also paid by equipment makers, suppliers, and anyone whose commercial interests are in any way allied to the golf industry, such as travel companies and hotels.

“We want Golferholics.Com to be a virtual Yellow Pages of the golf industry. Our third income stream is advertising and not necessarily from businesses with a direct interest in golf.”

Information includes fact sheets on clubs and their courses, equipment launches, club news, player profiles and golf travel, accommodation and lifestyle options.

Tai says the advertising can be ‘specific’ to a country, state, region, or city.

“Advertisers can target the world, a whole country, or just their own area, with their choice reflected in the rates they pay,” he says.

The site will initially target Australia, New Zealand and Asia but within three years will seek to tee-off in the US and Europe.

Revenue potential appears solid given there are 2400 golf clubs in Australia and 32 on the Gold Coast alone.

“Our market research shows that for every golf club, you can factor in at least 10 related businesses, such as retail golf shops, club repairers, or teaching professionals,” says Tai.

“That means that on the Gold Coast, we can potentially target 300 or more advertisers. The scope, when you take in the rest of the world, is mind-boggling.”

Tai was a partner in Brisbane company Datamini Computers for 14 years. The hardware importer employed up to 65 people during Tai’s tenure.

The catalyst for Golferholics came five years ago after an ‘irritating’ experience when trying to organise a golf trip to Thailand.

“I spent up to eight hours a day scrolling the net seeking information on golf courses, flights, accommodation, restaurants and transport,” says Tai.

“I became utterly frustrated with the poor or non-existent club websites and phoning was useless because of the language issue. I did some more homework and found that the problems I encountered with Thai clubs were reflective of the situation around the world. The golf websites that I did locate were virtually all vehicles for selling you something.”

Golferholics.Com members have access to golf-course discounts and to specials being offered by suppliers.

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