In sunny Southern California, it can be hard for golfers to schedule tee times on their favorite courses. While spots are coveted, if tee times are canceled or open reservation times aren’t noticed, golf courses can lose out on a substantial amount of revenue.
Enter Noteefy, a tee time-reservation and booking platform that has experienced a significant amount of growth since launching last year. The Woodland Hills-based company’s first official client was Simi Hills Golf Course. It initiated a new partnership last week with Landscapes Golf Management, which services and supports several courses. It also launched with Chambers Bay, a Washington state course that previously hosted the U.S. Open. Noteefy has also signed up three large clients in the past month: the Touchstone Golf Foundation in Berkeley, the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta and the Tournament Players Club, which is owned by the PGA Tour and operates a large chain of public and private courses.
While there are similar companies that primarily serve golfers searching for available tee times, Noteefy’s chief executive officer and co-founder, Jake Gordon, said that Noteefy’s business exists more to support golf course operators. After starting to play golf as an adult, Gordon noticed that it was very difficult for him to find tee times and thought that course operators were likely wasting manpower consistently answering calls from players looking to book reservations.
“I thought, what if, instead of me having quite literally nine tabs open of my nine favorite golf courses and smashing the refresh button, we can somehow automate that entire process?” Gordon said. “Which, if we did it successfully, would help me get the tee time and help the golf course operator fill a potentially unfilled tee time?”
The company officially launched in October and Gordon said that Noteefy has signed up more than 50 golf course operators, with thousands of open appointment notifications going out to interested golfers every day. Partnering course operators include the Southern California Professional Golfers’ Association of America and the National Golf Foundation.
“It’s a lot like an airline where, if that seat goes unfilled, (the revenue) is gone,” Gordon said. “We are exclusively focused on operators and bringing technology to golf courses versus other (companies), who I think are trying to monetize the golfer.”
The company said its software is akin to a combination of the flight-tracking tool from Google LLC and the reservation service OpenTable. Golfers can access a course’s schedule or search for which courses in their area are available at a given day or time, and then reserve tee times through Noteefy’s application. If nothing is available, the user signs up to be alerted whenever a tee time frees up, usually because the reservation is cancelled. From there, the available time goes to whoever gets the alert and books a reservation first.
“We used to receive what seems like 500 calls a week from golfers asking about our tee time availability,” Simi Hills Golf Course general manager Brian Reed said. “Now I send our golfers to Noteefy’s automated assistant, and everyone is happier.”
While this does serve players looking to golf, Noteefy’s real goal is to help course operators recoup revenue that could be lost on cancelled reservations or free times that may go unnoticed. The company claimed that its clients are seeing an average of $50,000 in net incremental revenue per course, per year with Noteefy’s platform.
“We really see ourselves as business-to-business, bringing our software to course operators at scale,” Gordon said. “There is a consumer element, where golfers can come to us to find times, but … operators are the main stakeholder.”
Gordon said that Noteefy is in “hyperscale” mode and, after raising about $500,000 in pre-seed funding from family and friends, is currently planning a seed funding round with investors.
“We actually just filed a patent on our demand-matching software and algorithm, and we’re pretty excited about the work that’s gone into building that,” he added.
Noteefy’s technology was developed in-house, and the original platform was built by Gordon’s co-founder, Dathan Wong. Wong, who now serves as Noteefy’s chief technology officer, previously worked as an engineer at companies including Microsoft Corp. and Santa Monica-based Involve.ai.
The platform is offered as a monthly subscription that integrates into a course’s website, with two tiers and pricing depending on the profile and needs of the client. The first tier, which Gordon said costs a few hundred dollars a month, is akin to a white labeled version of the software and is most popular among public courses. The second tier includes a concierge service and charges closer to a thousand dollars per month. Clients on the second tier are most commonly resort courses, with clients that include Streamsong Golf Resort and Sand Valley Golf Resort. The platform is free to golf players.
“It’s exciting to be a founder in the golf tech space,” Gordon said. “There’s plenty of startups and many other verticals, but to be able to kind of bring innovation and technology and help customers on both sides is super exciting, and I think the market has been very receptive.”