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Revolutionizing Tee Time: GolfSnake App Offers Seamless Reservations for Denver Golfers

The director of Dallas-based Frontier Investment Management’s Denver office, Bruce Kendrick describes himself as “not a good golfer, but an avid golfer.” 

Kendrick likes to hit the links a couple of times a week, but he has been hampered by a general lack of availability in the Denver area since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“It was really hard to get tee times then, and it’s only gotten worse,” he says. “You have to try to schedule something like a week in advance or two weeks in advance.” And booking a foursome has been “virtually impossible.” 

Enter Denver-based GolfSnake. Kendrick started using the new website to find tee times at the end of the 2022 season. “It saves a lot of time and effort,” he says. “Now it’s just on my phone, and boom, boom, boom.” 

GolfSnake founder and King Cobra (yes, that’s his real title) Chris Glode is a serial entrepreneur and a diehard golfer. GolfSnake merges the two pursuits. 

“In the Denver market uniquely with population growth and everything else, the demand for golf tee times completely outstripped the supply,” Glode says. “You would think there’d be a de facto OpenTable kind of aggregator that would bring all of the tee times into one place.” 

But there wasn’t such an aggregator, so Glode built one himself. Launched in August 2022, GolfSnake now offers a scrolling list of available tee times at more than 50 courses in the metro area on its website and iPhone app. Tee times are updated every five minutes. 

Competitors like NBCUniversal’s GolfNow are focused on selling tools to the courses, Glode says, while GolfSnake is golfer-centric. “We have at least three to four times as many tee times on the site as GolfNow does,” he notes.

“Your biggest obstacle is finding something that people will use and keep using over time, so I’m trying to tackle that first. If we can tackle that, we can figure out some different ways to try and make money from it.” Monetization could come in the form of commissions from the courses or, more likely, tools for the end users. 

After Denver, Glode is looking to scale GolfSnake into other states and countries, starting with Minneapolis-St. Paul. “With the shorter season [in Minnesota], the golf courses are packed and they definitely have this problem,” he says. 

Glode says he intends to keep bootstrapping GolfSnake as he grows into new markets and builds new tools. “One of the things I’ve learned through many startup failures is the expectations that come with raising money,” he says. “Until I’m sure that this can be something that can actually be a business, I’ve tried to do it as scrappy as much as I can.”

 

Eric Perterson headshotDenver-based writer Eric Peterson is the author of Frommer’s Colorado, Frommer’s Montana & Wyoming, Frommer’s Yellowstone & Grand Teton National Parks and the Ramble series of guidebooks, featuring first-person travelogues covering everything from atomic landmarks in New Mexico to celebrity gone wrong in Hollywood. Peterson has also recently written about backpacking in Yosemite, cross-country skiing in Yellowstone and downhill skiing in Colorado for such publications as Denver’s Westword and The New York Daily News. He can be reached at [email protected]