Golf tee time booking systems have been struggling to cope with the level of demand as golfers in England look to play their first rounds in seven weeks
Golf Tee Booking Systems Crash Due To “Unprecedented Level Of Traffic”
Golf clubs in England were given the green light to open on Sunday evening after Prime Minister Boris Johnson amended the current Coronavirus lockdown measures.
Courses were told they could open on Wednesday, giving clubs and golfers three days notice to get back up-and-running.
Amongst the excitement for golfers, clubs will have been preparing behind-the-scenes for online tee booking demand never seen before.
R&A guidance says that golfers must book a tee time online or with their pro, and it has been a struggle for some clubs to meet the demand.
Personally, I have managed to book one tee time but have been faced with the error message “We are experiencing extremely high load, please try again shortly” from intelligentgolf almost all day.
They tweeted that they are “currently running 10x the normal number of servers, but demand is just growing and growing.”
The company say that they are prioritising emails as clubs who use the system have been struggling to communicate with members via email due to the systems being overloaded.
They also tweeted, “We are running additional servers to get the emails processed as well as handling the bookings. Unprecedented level of traffic.”
Jamie Abbott, Managing Director of intelligentgolf told Golf Monthly: “We welcome the government’s decision to allow golf courses to open across the country tomorrow.
“Unsurprisingly, golfers have been keen to get back onto the courses, and golf clubs across the country have experienced unprecedented levels of bookings in the last 24 hours.
“In order to cooperate with government guidelines and to ensure social distancing, online booking systems have been swiftly implemented at many golf clubs that have not previously had to use such a system for their members.
“We have experienced a monumental 400% increase in traffic, and have been working around the clock to support our customers so that golf club members can schedule their tee off times in line with government guidelines.”
Some clubs are not even opening on Wednesday due to systems needing upgrades in preparation for the entire membership coming on to book times.
Richard Peabody, Managing Director of Club Systems, said, “This is genuinely unprecedented. I know that term is used a lot but I feel I’m using it correctly here.
“We had 10s of thousands of golfers trying to register with the site and app. And even though the vast majority already had HowDidiDo log ins, the extra pressure on the servers to verify membership securely and allow member online booking has, to be completely honest, taken us by surprise!
“At the same time clubs were using our email sending service like never before. On Monday evening we hit 1.1m emails in that one day.
“Although our servers held up to that send rate, the numbers of golfer registrations slowed the site down so it was, in many cases, unusable.
“We then had to take the decision to suspend new registrations until 4pm today when our upgrades were complete.”
Whilst many golfers are booking online, some are also phoning up their pro shops, who have been very busy!
“I was in the shop yesterday taking bookings and the phone didn’t leave my ear from 07.30 to 16.00,” Stephen Grouwstra, PGA Professional and Director of Golf at Cottesmore Hotel, Golf and Country Club in West Sussex said.
“In the 10 years I have been at the club, I have never experienced a day like yesterday.”
“I found booking my time via Club Systems very simple once the initial rush was over,” Golf Monthly Contributing Editor Rob Smith said.
“Oddly, while it sent me an email confirmation, it is not currently doing so for my playing partners even though it has always done so in the past. Overall I think booking this way is great and I hope it will pave the way to full online tee booking in the future.
“I would add that there has been a HUGE amount of work behind the scenes by staff and committee members to help this happen!”
How have you found the process of booking a tee time? Let us know on social media
For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels @golfmonthlymagazine on Facebook and @golfmonthly on Twitter and Instagram