Golf clubs low on membership

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I’m in a catch 22. I love the people I play with in our roll up but the fact remains that once a week golf is the best I will see for at least a year and what has been the last two years.

This is what brings me to my previous statement: is my club better off losing a once a week golfer at £1300 a year because nomad is better for them or retaining a 700/800 weekend only golfer?

It’s a chicken and eggs situation and I know for a fact we have lost members in the past who are in the same boat
They are better losing the member, too many others would try and follow suit. If you don't have the adequate time to get value out of a membership you'd be better playing a public track or getting a public course season ticket
 
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Why do you think there are just old people there ?

These private members ( exclusive) clubs will continue to have their appeal - the course will attract people and members and that won’t change , even through recessions and slumps these courses still stay strong

Why should these clubs be subjected to thresholds and caps ? They are doing really well as clubs so why do they need to change ?
I didn’t say they should be subjected to thresholds and caps, I said the Open venues should adhere to higher standards.

Obviously it’s a different world down there and land being far more valuable, it’s no surprise that there is more of an American model starting to form. In my opinion, not great for the game of golf.
 
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I’m in a catch 22. I love the people I play with in our roll up but the fact remains that once a week golf is the best I will see for at least a year and what has been the last two years.

This is what brings me to my previous statement: is my club better off losing a once a week golfer at £1300 a year because nomad is better for them or retaining a 700/800 weekend only golfer?

It’s a chicken and eggs situation and I know for a fact we have lost members in the past who are in the same boat
Imagine 700/800 weekend only golfers and how busy that course is going to be ?

The club is better of losing the odd member as opposed to losing the thousands of pounds they would do if they offered weekend only membership

As an example if my club gave a weekend membership of the same price at 5 day that’s about £200 less per member and you would prob see 100-150 take it up , that’s going to be anywhere between £20k and £30k of lost fees - that’s a big hit on most clubs budgets that’s going to affect the course.
 
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I didn’t say they should be subjected to thresholds and caps, I said the Open venues should adhere to higher standards.

Obviously it’s a different world down there and land being far more valuable, it’s no surprise that there is more of an American model starting to form. In my opinion, not great for the game of golf.
Higher standards of what, the elite clubs and courses are able to keep them in such good condition because of higher fees, they have the membership they want, their membership will always have a waiting list so why shouldn't they choose who they wish to be a member, it's not as if they are going to run out of guys wanting to be members
 
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I didn’t say they should be subjected to thresholds and caps, I said the Open venues should adhere to higher standards.

Obviously it’s a different world down there and land being far more valuable, it’s no surprise that there is more of an American model starting to form. In my opinion, not great for the game of golf.
What higher “standards” ? And why should they ?

I’m not sure what an American Model is in Regards membership ? Do you mean expensive
 

Oddsocks

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On a weekend only membership o would expect restrictions to make it viable for the club.

For example no majors and only say one comp a month for handicap maintenance. Any majors and so on you would need to pay an addition green fee (gained revenue)
 
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On a weekend only membership o would expect restrictions to make it viable for the club.

For example no majors and only say one comp a month for handicap maintenance. Any majors and so on you would need to pay an addition green fee (gained revenue)
No such thing as majors in most Scottish clubs. Would you accept tee time restrictions e.g. no teeing off before 12pm?
 
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What higher “standards” ? And why should they ?

I’m not sure what an American Model is in Regards membership ? Do you mean expensive
Do some research. In America, to be a member of a club as we would term it (i.e. with unlimited access to your course, competitions, handicap, trophies etc.) is probably in the range of $10,000 starting, with bug joining fees or buy ins. Most will have minimum spends on food and beverages ($100 pm), most will insist on caddies ($80 to $100) and might have a cart fee as well. A lot are now struggling and having to drop fees for younger people.

The alternative is you play public courses or municipals. You don't belong to a club, can't really have a proper handicap or play in competitions. Typically these will be $50 to $100 a pop and weekend rounds will take upwards of 5 hours as they are obviously a money making operation and try to get 4 balls of the 1st tee every 8 minutes.

If thats the model that you think is healthy for parts of the UK, then it's going to be a pretty bleak existence for the weekend warrior living in the home counties.

I meant higher standards in terms of accessibility. If you are an Open venue you should be more accessible or you can continue to do your own thing in private and not benefit from the massive public spectacle. This has improved in recent years, but still has some way to go. In my view, the R&A basically bowed to public pressure with regards to male only clubs and if the media hadn't made an issue of it, the Open rota courses would have continued as they had been.

If you think elitism is good for the game of golf, then you are wrong and I would suggest you are part of the problem. Elitism does no good for the sport. It turns people off, it prices people out of the game and ultimately makes the game smaller and in time there will be a knock on effect on the sustainability of courses, tournaments, manufacturers etc.
 
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Do some research. In America, to be a member of a club as we would term it (i.e. with unlimited access to your course, competitions, handicap, trophies etc.) is probably in the range of $10,000 starting, with bug joining fees or buy ins. Most will have minimum spends on food and beverages ($100 pm), most will insist on caddies ($80 to $100) and might have a cart fee as well. A lot are now struggling and having to drop fees for younger people.

The alternative is you play public courses or municipals. You don't belong to a club, can't really have a proper handicap or play in competitions. Typically these will be $50 to $100 a pop and weekend rounds will take upwards of 5 hours as they are obviously a money making operation and try to get 4 balls of the 1st tee every 8 minutes.

If thats the model that you think is healthy for parts of the UK, then it's going to be a pretty bleak existence for the weekend warrior living in the home counties.

I meant higher standards in terms of accessibility. If you are an Open venue you should be more accessible or you can continue to do your own thing in private and not benefit from the massive public spectacle. This has improved in recent years, but still has some way to go. In my view, the R&A basically bowed to public pressure with regards to male only clubs and if the media hadn't made an issue of it, the Open rota courses would have continued as they had been.

If you think elitism is good for the game of golf, then you are wrong and I would suggest you are part of the problem. Elitism does no good for the sport. It turns people off, it prices people out of the game and ultimately makes the game smaller and in time there will be a knock on effect on the sustainability of courses, tournaments, manufacturers etc.
Blimey that’s a lot to take in

I don’t recall when I said “elitism is good for the sport” - if you would mind just finding that for me

As for the American Model - I don’t expect many clubs are anywhere near the same level of fees in the UK bar the top level clubs , even then some top courses are still under a grand a year

There is plenty of choice around the Uk - private members courses , exclusive ones , pay and play , members courses owned. Y companies etc etc - there is plenty of “affordable” golf around the UK for everyone depending on their situation , I live 40 mins from London and have loads of options in the area depending on my budget

As for Open course being accessible - I have played 7 of them with no issues at all , was able to book a tee as either part of a group or just a fourball, the only way which is hard to get to play is St Andrews but even then people still get to play it regularly

There are lots of options for people who want to play golf in the UK - and there are also exclusive courses for the people that want that - and those exclusive courses do very well because the courses are some of the best in the UK

To me at times you post a lot of paragraphs but don’t actually understand. Suggesting that exclusive clubs will soon start to struggle shows a lack of understanding of the appeal of them.
 
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Fair enough, but presume you have to pay a green fee each time you play.

How much is this and how often do you play?

Coz if it’s £15 a pop and you play twice a week , that’s £1500 plus £100 over a year.

If it’s £20 a pop and you play once a week that’s still £1100 with the fee.

Just askin
You are correct, and don't worry I have done the maths. But we don't want to play the same course every week. So yes being a member where I am and paying 20 a week on green fees works out nearly the same as one year's membership, but that assumes if I join the members course I literally just play that same course every week for the whole year, which I wouldn't want to do at all. We like to vary it up, play two comps a months and play at different courses on the other weeks.
 
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As stated here and I have seen on other threads in my short time on this forum, weekend only membership is a no no.
What is more viable is some form of flexible or credit membership, where the 'credits' are purchased up front and redeemed at different rates depending on the season / day / time of play.
Basically you pay for when you play, retaining club membership but possibly with some restrictions e.g. entering 'board competitions' or Inter Club matches...
These are being offered in various guises at clubs in my area.
 
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Blimey that’s a lot to take in

I don’t recall when I said “elitism is good for the sport” - if you would mind just finding that for me

As for the American Model - I don’t expect many clubs are anywhere near the same level of fees in the UK bar the top level clubs , even then some top courses are still under a grand a year

There is plenty of choice around the Uk - private members courses , exclusive ones , pay and play , members courses owned. Y companies etc etc - there is plenty of “affordable” golf around the UK for everyone depending on their situation , I live 40 mins from London and have loads of options in the area depending on my budget

As for Open course being accessible - I have played 7 of them with no issues at all , was able to book a tee as either part of a group or just a fourball, the only way which is hard to get to play is St Andrews but even then people still get to play it regularly

There are lots of options for people who want to play golf in the UK - and there are also exclusive courses for the people that want that - and those exclusive courses do very well because the courses are some of the best in the UK

To me at times you post a lot of paragraphs but don’t actually understand. Suggesting that exclusive clubs will soon start to struggle shows a lack of understanding of the appeal of them.
With regards to the exclusive clubs struggling that was more to do with the traditional members clubs who still had the stuffy appearance and you could only get in if you knew a few members or had the right job or religion and went through an interview process etc. Accept the playgrounds for the well off may well be doing just fine.

And yes, there is still a lot of choice for most in the UK. However probably that choice is diminishing in certain areas around the south east.

Like I said, the American model is not something we want to go down and regular golfers (especially those in the SE) should be wary of legitimising these places by aspiring to play the likes of Wentworth and Loch Lomond etc. As I've said, accept they have a place and a right to exist and most do a decent job of keeping a low profile.
 
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"The alternative is you play public courses or municipals. You don't belong to a club, can't really have a proper handicap or play in competitions. Typically these will be $50 to $100 a pop and weekend rounds will take upwards of 5 hours as they are obviously a money making operation and try to get 4 balls of the 1st tee every 8 minutes"
The vast majority of US golfers are not members of clubs, but they have proper handicaps managed by associations under the USGA. They play competitions in the same way as CONGU members in the UK.
It's easy to confuse the golf and country club approach with golf clubs; in many ways we are the odd one out in having golf clubs that are fundamentally for the playing of golf alone. These are very rare things elsewhere around the world where the club, country club or resort is far more normal. In the US they go even further and have full time retirement communities with golf as well (as much of Southern Europe is moving into as people are moving into their holiday homes on a more permenant basis!).

Oh, and we have 8min gaps for 4 balls day in, and day out....not saying it's good, just that it exists in normal clubs too!
 

PhilTheFragger

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You are correct, and don't worry I have done the maths. But we don't want to play the same course every week. So yes being a member where I am and paying 20 a week on green fees works out nearly the same as one year's membership, but that assumes if I join the members course I literally just play that same course every week for the whole year, which I wouldn't want to do at all. We like to vary it up, play two comps a months and play at different courses on the other weeks.
That’s absolutely fine, but it blows your argument about it being financially based out of the water,

It is clear that if you play the same course regularly (weekly) (especially dahn sarf) , then membership is probably cheaper than nomad golf.

It’s good to have the choice 👍
 
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As stated here and I have seen on other threads in my short time on this forum, weekend only membership is a no no.
What is more viable is some form of flexible or credit membership, where the 'credits' are purchased up front and redeemed at different rates depending on the season / day / time of play.
Basically you pay for when you play, retaining club membership but possibly with some restrictions e.g. entering 'board competitions' or Inter Club matches...
These are being offered in various guises at clubs in my area.
Completely agree with this. A good way of keeping lapsed golfers in the game and also introducing new golfers to the sport without coughing up a full years fees.
 
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With regards to the exclusive clubs struggling that was more to do with the traditional members clubs who still had the stuffy appearance and you could only get in if you knew a few members or had the right job or religion and went through an interview process etc. Accept the playgrounds for the well off may well be doing just fine.
Those clubs are also going to be just fine because they come attached with a great golf course to them - if the course is that good people don’t have issues jumping through hoops. There are plenty of courses that only allow jacket in dinning room etc etc etc - would love to be a member at them and these just aren’t playgrounds for the rich.

And yes, there is still a lot of choice for most in the UK. However probably that choice is diminishing in certain areas around the south east.
I don’t think it is diminishing at all - there is loads of choices , courses all over the place from exclusive to pay and play council run. This forum has members from the varying courses in the South East and into the home counties and the M3 Belt

Like I said, the American model is not something we want to go down and regular golfers (especially those in the SE) should be wary of legitimising these places by aspiring to play the likes of Wentworth and Loch Lomond etc. As I've said, accept they have a place and a right to exist and most do a decent job of keeping a low profile.
You mention SE again and the American Model - the only person that has suggested anything of the such is yourself - it’s nowhere near that and wouldn’t even get close.

Golfers want to play the best courses they can - and people will always get the chance to play 99.9% of them.

It doesn’t matter what the level of “exclusivity or Elitsm” is if the course is of the top standard.
 
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Completely agree with this. A good way of keeping lapsed golfers in the game and also introducing new golfers to the sport without coughing up a full years fees.
These would obviously be good outcomes - in practice, as predicted by many, clubs introducing these have seen large numbers of existing members switch their membership category. Things will re-balance in time but there is scope for a number of significant problems to crop up in the meantime!
 

Dibby

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Do some research. In America, to be a member of a club as we would term it (i.e. with unlimited access to your course, competitions, handicap, trophies etc.) is probably in the range of $10,000 starting, with bug joining fees or buy ins. Most will have minimum spends on food and beverages ($100 pm), most will insist on caddies ($80 to $100) and might have a cart fee as well. A lot are now struggling and having to drop fees for younger people.

The alternative is you play public courses or municipals. You don't belong to a club, can't really have a proper handicap or play in competitions. Typically these will be $50 to $100 a pop and weekend rounds will take upwards of 5 hours as they are obviously a money making operation and try to get 4 balls of the 1st tee every 8 minutes.

If thats the model that you think is healthy for parts of the UK, then it's going to be a pretty bleak existence for the weekend warrior living in the home counties.

I meant higher standards in terms of accessibility. If you are an Open venue you should be more accessible or you can continue to do your own thing in private and not benefit from the massive public spectacle. This has improved in recent years, but still has some way to go. In my view, the R&A basically bowed to public pressure with regards to male only clubs and if the media hadn't made an issue of it, the Open rota courses would have continued as they had been.

If you think elitism is good for the game of golf, then you are wrong and I would suggest you are part of the problem. Elitism does no good for the sport. It turns people off, it prices people out of the game and ultimately makes the game smaller and in time there will be a knock on effect on the sustainability of courses, tournaments, manufacturers etc.
That's not true. Sure some clubs are like that, and then there are others at the opposite end of the scale. When I used to live in the US, I wasn't really into golf, but I was aware of one local club that offered a family membership for $660, that covered handicaps, comps and golf for the year for all members of a family who resided at the same address. At the other end of the scale, there was Ryder cup course in the general area, prices were not even published, but it was clear you had to pay thousands a month, plus extra charges like restaurant minimums, locker rates, cart boy charges etc..

The US membership model is pretty much the same as here - there are all different offerings to suit all budgets, with some regions e.g Florida and California are more pricey than others. However usually the more upmarket clubs are the ones that the members like to talk about a lot, and post about a lot online - who would have thought!
 
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Completely agree with this. A good way of keeping lapsed golfers in the game and also introducing new golfers to the sport without coughing up a full years fees.
A lot of clubs are now offering a credit based system where you can pay an amount to be a member and get points based on the fee paid which are then redeemed when the golfer plays. Naturally a weekend round is more points than say a midweek afternoon but it gives those who want a weekend only type of membership the opportunity to play when they want and have access to a handicap and comps. Once the credits run up they simply get topped up. I have a friend who was a member at Kingswood in Surrey and wanted weekends only and didn't play on a frequent basis. For him it worked out as a really flexible option
 
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You are correct, and don't worry I have done the maths. But we don't want to play the same course every week. So yes being a member where I am and paying 20 a week on green fees works out nearly the same as one year's membership, but that assumes if I join the members course I literally just play that same course every week for the whole year, which I wouldn't want to do at all. We like to vary it up, play two comps a months and play at different courses on the other weeks.
Curious as to why don't you want to play the same course every week? Conditions are never the same from one day to another so the course is never the same.
 
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