With Teeoff.com, golf startup EZLinks is trying to make it easier for golfers to book tee times online using computers, smartphones or tablets.
But perhaps surprisingly, EZLinks CEO Gary Cohen isn’t a golf fanatic himself. And in a Conference Room interview with FBN’s Jeff Flock, Cohen says that doesn’t matter too much.
“Part of [my] skills is just to bring in a passion to grow companies,” says Cohen, who previously served as the marketing executive at Redbox, a movie-rental startup. “And that’s what I really like to do.”
Despite the fact that Cohen may not be giving Tiger Woods a run for his money any time soon on the golf course, he says he’s been studying what makes golfers tick.
“You certainly have to have a lot of industry knowledge. I’ve been with EZLinks now a year and a half … I’ve spent a lot of time listening to golfers, to our course partners … And with that, you can start to then focus in on what your strategy is,” says Cohen.
He’s also getting some valuable insights from Jeff Wright, vice president of Teeoff.com and a former PGA pro.
“Teeoff.com is a website where golfers can go to get tee times … we’ve redesigned the experience from our old website and … we want to provide golfers with the best way to book a tee time. Whether they decide to go to a desktop, now everybody’s on a mobile phone or a tablet … we’ve designed the experience to be optimal no matter what device they decide to be on,” says Wright.
In terms of growing the business, Cohen has his eye on other successful booking sites like OpenTable.com, which allows diners to reserve tables online.
“Teeoff.com can be [and] really is the OpenTable of golf. Right now we’re the second largest portal online and with only about 15% of tee times being booked online currently, we see a lot of potential,” says Cohen.
He says he’ll view the company as a success if it can improve the experience of booking tee times for golfers.
“[I]f you can figure out a way to get people to get more enjoyment, whether it’s allowing people to rent a movie more quickly more easily [and] more cheaply or by getting people to get out and spend an afternoon or morning playing golf and do that more effectively, that’s a pretty good way to spend a career,” says Cohen.