When golf courses re open

trevor

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Not sure I get this, if you haven't left why would you pay to start playing again. Or do you mean if they were shut for more than a year.
 
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jim8flog

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I had in mind many months of closure.

My thoughts were along the line of -

With so many not renewing their membership despite various incentives now should clubs go the other way when and if they rejoin. (seems quite a few have Mar/April year starts)

Or should it simply be higher membership charge.
 

duncan mackie

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If golf courses reopen after a long period of closure should they reintroduce joining fees?
The only way I can make senses of the underlying question here is to say yes.
If loads of people choose to leave the club because of potential long term closure then a club should introduce a joining fee for 'New members' as appropriate.
 

DaveR

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I think I get what you mean. If I leave my club the policy is to charge ex members 50% of the joining fee to rejoin. I wouldn't have a problem with that under the circumstances.
 

Robin Hood

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I can't see it. Most clubs will be desperate to keep existing as well as recruiting new members. Joining fees will be a key consideration for people, and therefore is likely to put many off.
It will be competitive and unless you are lucky to have a waiting list then I can't see many clubs would be arrogant enough to try it.
 

Lord Tyrion

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They will need every penny they can get. Joining fees are a barrier that most clubs can not afford to put up. It would be a very brave, or foolish, club that goes down this route.

I can't see it.
 

Wolf

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It's a big no from me.. I don't like joining fees and wouldn't pay one. I think it'd put many people off rejoining clubs and would cause clubs more issues but just my opinion.
 
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I think ultimately it depends on supply and demand. If you have a full, or pretty much full membership, then you can justify joining fees.

If you don't... then it's hard to put that kind of barrier up. But at the same time you don't create the disincentive for people to leave their membership for a year, knowing they can pick it back up and realistically still play once a month as a guest etc for basically nothing, as well as take advantage of plenty of other pay and play deals that will be available.
 
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Depends on the course, could be a chance to get into Sunningdale.
I join a club to play golf , being at a top 100 club wouldn't make any difference to me. I know for some it's a bit of a brag, but I'm just out to enjoy the game and as long as it's a decent enough track with nice greens and fairways I'm a happy man.
 
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Big issue with golf and membership in general is that this used to give you a lot that non-members didn't have.

Realistically it was tough to play much golf as a non-member. Outside of municipals, it was difficult to get onto many members courses - especially at weekends and many clubs had waiting lists and hefty joining fees.

Now, it's not. If you have a few mates to play with, it's very easy to play a fair amount of golf for £1,000 that you would otherwise pay for membership. Even on some of the same members courses - there are golf now deals to play without a member at certain times for not very much cash.

I think far from abandoning joining fees, clubs need to come up with far more radical proposals to improve what is on offer. For me it seems absolutely crazy that clubs don't pool their resources more. Whether they merge, or have more in the way of reciprocal membership or playing rights. Vast majority of towns and cities will have at least 3 clubs in a locality with similar fees all competing for the same golfer. Merge the proposition so that 1 membership gets you access to the other 2 courses and try and ensure an agreement that fees are set at the same level going forward and reasonable joining fees of say 50% of a years membership are put in place and enforced.

Suddenly the proposition looks much better and it might be that the 3 clubs all have a few extra members. In time, it becomes much easier to share resources such as staff and equipment. If one course is always busier than the others, this will likely police itself as some will prefer to take advantage of playing on a quiet course, even if it's not their favourite.

Also maintenance becomes a lot simpler because if you have a big drainage job or tree felling to do... you just say 'sorry the course is closed Mon, Tue, Wed, go and play one one of the other 2 courses'. You don't have to work around groups playing through and can save a lot of time by not having to do course set up for 3 days while green staff complete a project that might otherwise be strung out over a few weeks, or only done in the winter.

Who knows if the finances improve significantly, there may be an opportunity to further improve the proposition with a gym / swimming pool at one. Plenty of people paying £25+ for a gym might be able to justify £85 pm for golf & gym.
 
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DaveR

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It doesn't bother me at all paying a joining fee. I paid £1000 to join my club, been there 12 years and intend to stay for quite a few years yet. So far it equates to £83 a year and reduces every year I'm there. Not too bad for a top quality course.
 

sunshine

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Surely it's just a simple case of supply and demand. If there's a flight to quality when the courses re-open, then higher quality courses will be able to charge a joining fee. I'm guessing if you leave a club then later want to rejoin, your application starts at the back of the queue. IF the club is full and introduces a joining fee then you have to suck it up.

That's a big IF - plenty of courses will be desperate for people to re-join. Trying to punish people who left would be cutting off your nose to spite your face.
 
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jim8flog

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I think far from abandoning joining fees, clubs need to come up with far more radical proposals to improve what is on offer. For me it seems absolutely crazy that clubs don't pool their resources more. Whether they merge, or have more in the way of reciprocal membership or playing rights. Vast majority of towns and cities will have at least 3 clubs in a locality with similar fees all competing for the same golfer. Merge the proposition so that 1 membership gets you access to the other 2 courses and try and ensure an agreement that fees are set at the same level going forward and reasonable joining fees of say 50% of a years membership are put in place and enforced.



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We have reciprocals with a number of other clubs but started to restrict it because of abuse.

E.g One club regularly has a visiting society. It was noticed that 4 of the players each time were booking a reciprocal just before or after the society booking. If they do that now there is a likely hood they would not get the booking just before or after as we changed the booking system.

We noticed that we had a lot more players coming to our club than we had our players going to theirs.
 
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We noticed that we had a lot more players coming to our club than we had our players going to theirs.
This is the issue with my plan that probably stops these conversations getting any further than just that. There will always be some kind of imbalance and even if it is just minor or even just a perception, some clubs will always have an issue with it.

But in reality clubs should just suck it up and move towards a merged strategy for the greater good.
 

HomerJSimpson

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With many households struggling including furlough (at best) for some, golf will be a welcome release for most when we are allowed back. If clubs are creative with their marketing to attract members they could pick up a host of new members, especially those that may not have joined a club before. However if you whack a massive barrier like joining fees in the way, on top of an annual membership then people will look elsewhere
 
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