Golf clubs low on membership

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Dave1980

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With a lot of clubs reporting dips in membership or having capacity to allow more members, are you clubs doing anything to attract new members?

If not what do you think they should be doing?
 
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oof...now you've started it.. I found the whole process of looking for a new club quite depressing, club websites telling me you need to be recommended, then seconded and have an interview. The reality when I rang them was , don't worry about that, just come down with your bank card!
This sort of stuff does little for a game that suffers from an image problem.
 
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My course seems to be actively welcoming new members and their friends.

When i joined I got asked on 2 occasions to invite 1 friend and they could play 18 holes and have a bacon sarnie for £5. I invited 2 different people, one for each occasion.

1 of them joined immediately the other is joining when membership renewal is due.

They seem to also offer finance to cover the cost on a monthly basis and offer an alternative where you have an allocated number of points which you use each time you play. You only get something like 30 rounds from memory but it bridges the gap for those that don't get to play as often but also want to reduce the cost of paying a greenfee each time. You get all member benefits included so can play comps, double credit on the range etc.

I joined as a full member and paid outright, one of the lads i invited struggles for cash so pays the monthly which costs a slight bit more but its negligible and the other lad wants to play with us time to time so has joined on the points based system which he can top up should he need to.

Our club seems to be flexible and welcoming to suit the needs of potential members. There intermediate bracket also goes up to age 30 then it takes quite a price hike, I turn 30 a week after renewal but there happy to let me pay intermediate for the whole year.

Coxmoor however which is just down the road, once you have got over the waiting list you need to have interviews etc and when you do finally become a member you can never get a round in as they don't do online booking and their constantly at capacity. One of my friends is a member there and considering not rejoining as it's bothering him that much. However with a several year waiting list and a course in superb condition they don't actively need to entice members at all.
 

Liverpoolphil

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Could start by lowering the prices. (y):sneaky:
And which could then mean the course itself suffers.

A club needs to make itself look attractive to a potential new member - show off the club , highlight what makes the course so good , sell the clubs extras for families and social activities- have faith in the product.

If the product ( course/club ) is good then people will want to join it

Once a club starts offering cheap deals and reduced fees then somewhere there is going to be a consequence of that.
 

Wolf

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And which could then mean the course itself suffers.

A club needs to make itself look attractive to a potential new member - show off the club , highlight what makes the course so good , sell the clubs extras for families and social activities- have faith in the product.

If the product ( course/club ) is good then people will want to join it

Once a club starts offering cheap deals and reduced fees then somewhere there is going to be a consequence of that.
I agree with absolutley everything that LP says in this post.

Cost is a factor for many people but in my own experience you look at clubs within the budget you have, that then takes a large number out of the equation and its then down to what those clubs in your budget offer within all the criteria mentioned above by LP
 

Orikoru

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But your membership is only £80/100. How much cheaper do you want
No, I was referring to all of the private members golf clubs around where I live which are around £1200 or more. Not even remotely affordable for me. Which is why I have a £100 membership at a club operating from a public course.
 

Wolf

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No, I was referring to all of the private members golf clubs around where I live which are around £1200 or more. Not even remotely affordable for me. Which is why I have a £100 membership at a club operating from a public course.
But then surely you're playing golf that's affordable to you, I understand can't afford the higher rate one but them making it cheaper doesn't guarantee them more members therefore have to set the amount at a rate that is able keep the club in profit to maintain it being able to run.

Not everyone can afford a private club, or afford more expensive private clubs so cut the cloth accordingly.
 

Liverpoolphil

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No, I was referring to all of the private members golf clubs around where I live which are around £1200 or more. Not even remotely affordable for me. Which is why I have a £100 membership at a club operating from a public course.
And I have no doubt they charge that level to enable them to keep the course at the standard required for a private members club charging those fees - make the fees cheaper what happens to the course.

Clubs aren’t going to lower fees just to enable people to join if it means sacrificing the quality
 

DRW

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oof...now you've started it.. I found the whole process of looking for a new club quite depressing, club websites telling me you need to be recommended, then seconded and have an interview. The reality when I rang them was , don't worry about that, just come down with your bank card!
This sort of stuff does little for a game that suffers from an image problem.
I can understand what you say, but would add in comparison to 15 years ago, it is like night and day now. Have been though the process now at a number of clubs around the country. Clubs are much better now and more options available, mainly down to almost all clubs not having waiting lists and the power of the internet. IMHO it being forced upon them.

Hopefully they will continue evolving into more of a proper service industry than a closed doors/old boys kind of setup that they used to operate under.

The main thing is they treat you right when you contact them and are welcoming. I think all the ones I have recently contacted have been excellent, even if it involved chats/interviews or not (well being completely honest maybe apart from one but that operates in the old exclusive club kind of way and getting membership really is not a simple case of taking your bank card).

I think golf is evolving due to market and social pressures and will continue to and I am thankful of that.....:cool:
 

Orikoru

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But then surely you're playing golf that's affordable to you, I understand can't afford the higher rate one but them making it cheaper doesn't guarantee them more members therefore have to set the amount at a rate that is able keep the club in profit to maintain it being able to run.

Not everyone can afford a private club, or afford more expensive private clubs so cut the cloth accordingly.
Well it would get them one more member, haha.
 

Jacko_G

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I'd go as far as saying I'd estimate that 90% of GC's in Scotland are short of members. Yet as you say, some of the dinosaur attitudes is horrendous. Some of these clubs insist on letters of introduction, meetings with the captain, people to back up your application etc etc.

Dark ages outdated nonsense is my assessment!
 
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Most reputable golf clubs around south west Scotland would still require you to have a meeting with the captain or Secretary, I don't see why this is an issue, surely it's the clubs responsibility to go over the finer details of membership, make sure you are respectful, show you around the facilities etc. I wouldn't want my club to let in somebody who just phoned up and paid via card, I think there is value in a face to face chat, making sure the joining member is comfortable etc
 

mhwgc

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Interesting, our club is full and they closed the membership in October and now have a waiting list in operation. A few places usually get freed up around renewal time due to the usual churn but looks like they'll be quickly filled.
 

Orikoru

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Most reputable golf clubs around south west Scotland would still require you to have a meeting with the captain or Secretary, I don't see why this is an issue, surely it's the clubs responsibility to go over the finer details of membership, make sure you are respectful, show you around the facilities etc. I wouldn't want my club to let in somebody who just phoned up and paid via card, I think there is value in a face to face chat, making sure the joining member is comfortable etc
On the one hand, I actually agree that someone from the club would obviously want to meet the new member in person before accepting them. But on the other hand, I wonder what on earth it would take for them to then reject said member based on that meeting?? Surely it must be pretty much a formality unless they openly admit to being a racist, or end up punching the captain in the face for some reason.
 

Bunkermagnet

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My membership fees have slowly gone up through time, once or twice stood still but never down. We must be doing something right because we are almost full.
 

Dando

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With a lot of clubs reporting dips in membership or having capacity to allow more members, are you clubs doing anything to attract new members?

If not what do you think they should be doing?
my local 18 holer is Shooters Hill and they have done away with the joining fee but I still cant really justify the annual fee of £1300 when I have a love/hate relationship with golf plus I prefer to join the forums motley crew on their meets.

for me, I would love a weekend membership but I know that's not possible.
 
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On the one hand, I actually agree that someone from the club would obviously want to meet the new member in person before accepting them. But on the other hand, I wonder what on earth it would take for them to then reject said member based on that meeting?? Surely it must be pretty much a formality unless they openly admit to being a racist, or end up punching the captain in the face for some reason.
I think in an interview situation you would have to say something pretty bad or express something not in the clubs interest to be rejected. I think there is a need for interviews and if people don't want to attend a 15 minute interview they really can't be very serious about joining
 
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