Tee Times Magazine publisher Steve Wetzler is a character. My favorite Steve anecdote is about the day he showed up for a breakfast meeting with his left eye swollen shut. As I shook his hand I sympathized “Gee, Steve, are you ok… what happened to your eye?”
Steve said very matter of factly, “Well, every so often my glass eye is irritating me and it happened this morning so I just took it out.”
I spent the rest of our breakfast session praying to the heavens that his left eyelid would NOT pop open while I was making eye contact… thankfully, it didn’t.
Last year I was talking with Steve and lamenting the fact that there was no longer any easy place to book tee times at Twin Cities courses without hunting and pecking on each golf course website. Most of the top Twin Cities courses used to be listed on TeeMaster, but that dog has had its day… and none of the other multi-course sites (GolfNow, TeeOff.com, etc.) has attracted a critical mass of the courses I like to play.
My frustration spilled over on Steve when I said… “Tee Times Magazine… how in the heck can you call yourselves Tee Times Magazine when you don’t even offer a service to allow people to book tee times?”
Steve got a faraway look in his eye (the good eye… not the other one which always has a faraway look).
After what seemed like an eternity in deep thought, he mused “Tee times… what a concept!”
Our conversation abruptly ended as Steve dashed out of the room shouting “Eureka!” and “I’ve got to call GroupLooper right now.”
So, I guess I can take some small measure of credit for the new service that Tee Times Magazine will be launching in May … namely, tee times! Steve collaborated with the GroupLooper® team to put together a tee time service that every nomadic golfer will love. Now, when you’re looking to book a tee time away from your home course there’s no need to hop from website to website… you’ll just click on a button on the Tee Times website or on a link in one of their emails and you’ll land on the GroupLooper Tee Times Booking page sponsored by Tee Times Magazine.
From there, you can quickly find the course you want to play (including a list of Tee Time’s recommendations) and you can have your tee time booked in 15 seconds or less. If there are no tee times available at your first choice, just select another course and in another 15 seconds you can have a tee time.
When Steve told me about this I figured there had to be a catch, so I asked … “ok, what is this service going to cost me?” With a twinkle in his eye, Steve said “You’re going to like the price… it’s FREE.”
Fist bump… high five… I was hooked. As a nomadic golfer, this service will save me lots of time in finding and booking tee times, and even better yet I can use GroupLooper’s social network features to invite my friends and fill my tee times.
Of course, there are plenty of courses that haven’t yet gotten with the program. If you’re looking at one of the pop-up lists of courses and there’s no blue checkmark next to a course name, that means they don’t yet allow direct bookings. In that case, GroupLooper® will transfer you to the golf course website, where you can complete your booking but each course typically requires you to create yet another account with its own user id and password. When you play at a course that doesn’t offer direct booking, do us all a favor and tell the course operator that they should hurry up and connect to GroupLooper® Tee Time Booking.
Enlightened Twin Cities course operators like Links at Northfork, Ridges at Sand Creek, Pebble Creek, Stones Throw, Southern Hills and others are already bookable through this new service, and the list will grow throughout the summer. Next time you’re shopping for an away game, check it out… it’ll save you time… and isn’t that the most precious commodity that we all have?
Tee times… what a concept!