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Divoty launches, teeing up discounts for New England golfers

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 2, 2011 08:05 AM

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The 21st-century mania for serving up deep discounts to consumers willing to subscribe to e-mail lists marches on, with the launch today of Divoty. The Pembroke-based start-up collects special offers of interest to New England golfers, promising "unbelievable deals for 50 to 90 percent off."

The reality — so far, at least — is a bit less dazzling. Divoty is offering a round at the Glen Ellen Country Club in Millis for a foursome, including carts, for $200 (a 33 percent discount, according to the company). Soon, they'll sell 18 holes with a cart for one golfer at the Gardner Municipal Golf Course for $40 (20 percent off the typical $50 weekend rate, or 11 percent off the weekday price, by my calculation), and a few one-hour lessons with Boston College head golf coach Trevor Drum for $80 (a 43 percent discount, Divoty says.)

"Our mission is to secure any deals that can get people playing more, or playing better," says co-founder Brian Krause. "In the summer months, we're hoping to see a lot of greens fee deals, but also some deals for golf product and golf retailers too, if they make sense. And there is a lot of interest from the golf pro community to do deals on lessons, either stand-alone, or as a package to 'learn & play' their course."

Divoty has forged a partnership with the New England PGA, which, Krause explains, means that "we've agreed that we will only work with facilities that have a PGA pro affiliated with them, to help them increase membership and deliver added value to their existing member base of pros. "

Krause says his Divoty co-founder, Kevin O'Brien, is a former golf pro at the Cohasset Golf Club and Myopia Hunt Club. They've bootstrapped the company so far, and plan to present a new deal to Divoty subscribers every three days at the start.

Divoty isn't the only "daily deal" site designed for duffers, of course. But competitors like 14 Stix and CaddiesBag are focused more on golf apparel, equipment, and accessories — as opposed to regionally-relevant lessons and greens fees.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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