Attracting and Retaining Members
Many clubs are implementing reduced initiation fees across the board
Gearing toward younger people to attract them to club
Offering payments over extended periods of time
Refer a new member and receive $500 credit in the Golf Shop
Offering incentive for joining club (i.e. member receives a new driver or a set of junior clubs)
Retaining our older members is a recent challenge. Senior members are dropping in favor of winter club or public facilities. Clubs are lowering dues, providing special perks, non-resident status, and reduced cart fees in an attempt to add value
Question each club needs to answer is what value does the member receive for their dues?
Perception is: access, service, prestige, practice facilities, dining, entertainment
Allowing house members to play but pay a guest fee
Package guest fees at a discount buy 10 get 12 but must prepay
50% off greens fees for relatives (grandparents, siblings out of town)
Mandatory guest fees in packages of 10, can trade or sell to other members. Guest packages can also be used as a revenue generator at the beginning of the season
Member Guest – offer a free foursome of golf to the guests as part of their tee gift – These are your potential new members (1 day or Multi-day M/G)
Reflect internally on your current members to help increase retention
Legacy members offered a 50% discount on current initiation fee and may spread payments over 4 years
Not seeing a member within 30 days is a yellow flag and deserves a phone call, not seeing them in 60 days is a red flag and warrants the scheduling of a face to face meeting, because if you don’t see them for 90 days they will be contemplating resignation- assign an assistant to use handicap computer to monitor
New member orientation – lack of mentoring from sponsors was consistent among all the clubs
New member party – all new members within the last 5 years invited. Great mixer and way to introduce people. Can go over unwritten rules with each department head- some have made it fun (comedy)
HP/staff plays nine* holes with each new member – explains the program and philosophy of the club. *Some need more or less to get acclimated
New Member Packet that explains the services provided and important facts for the golf operation.
Can the membership process be streamlined to make the process more appealing to prospective members?
Important to for the club to interview and know new members however how does someone join if they do not know anyone to begin the process?
Caddie fees – increases in fees may kill the programs
Independent Contractor status – evaluations may jeopardize status
No discounts for carts vs caddie fees encourages walking
Do not publish base fees, liability issue
Times caddies must be taken have been relaxed
4% of PGA members are women
Pink Links – Facebook page for female professionals
Benefits/difficulties experienced in recruiting
Fashion Retail Merchandising majors can be available to intern in your shop through colleges/universities with this major- FREE
Women’s golf development
No-Holers – non players being introduced thru clinics. Greeted them at valet with champagne, told to walk around the clubhouse and explore – create comfort zone at the club on first visit
8 sessions, presented diplomas at the end, last session was 9 hole scramble, scheduled from 10:30 – 11:30 so they could then transition to lunch at the club
Tied in events after clinics: Bookclub, Specialty chef, trainer – make the club a destination for the day
Sent a recap e-mail following each session. New sessions were added to previously sent e-mails so that participants could use as a reference for past topics.
Outfit of the week was promoted to the group – became great shoppers
Wanted their own identity and named themselves the no-holers because they only took lessons and did not play
Golf Chicks – 5 hole wine and dine, new golfers recruited for 45 minute clinics,, Thursday nights then transitioned inside for dinner or drinks, created their own logo for merchandise
Women want to identify themselves in a group, group must have a title/name, enjoy relaxed and fun atmosphere
All playing had a goal oriented towards completion in a certain amount of time – 5 holes from the family tees in an hour
TPI Junior program is a must attend for all
Great programming which includes a rounded approach to Jr. Development
PGA Sports Academy – free resource, great YouTube videos by Joe Hallett
Create your own junior clinic with your friends, pick your own day and times
KWIK Golf- worth looking into
Junior set rental program idea- allows all kids to be properly fitted at all times- HOMERUN
Rent little set for $75 per season, tween set for $125 (75-100 rentals last year). One challenge is storage of the clubs
Each set usually last 3-4 years, members charged to replace any lost/broken pieces of the set. At the end of the sets life, donate to First Tee and take the write off.
Parent-Child outings – gear towards corporations for outings or own member events
Videotape each kids swing at beginning of year, mid-year, end of year, include interview of their personal goals for golf, archive.
Can compile for end of season montage video of camp clinics, tournaments, etc.
Pro-Jr event – scramble format. Get kids playing with professional staff
Par 3 family night from family tees – tie into a bbq
Drive in movie night with golf carts
Fishing tournament on the course ponds and incorporate into golf tourney- some tie in camp outs on the course/range into these events
Communication With Membership and Staff Knowledge
What’s Happening Board – dry erase board in staff area where each staff member can write personal happenings of each member after one on one discussions to share with the entire staff
Journal for all extraordinary things done by the staff under counter- beyond the call of duty
Track range rounds
Quantify everything that happens in the golf operation – number of phone calls
Newsletters are a must- weekly or monthly; send in mailing and/or email. Video increases open rates
Fashion member of the week – take a picture of a member wearing the outfit they bought in the shop and post their picture as the winner each week. Members will plan their outfits and special order items in effort to win. Include in newsletter and post in locker room
All communication needs to be centered on the members and their activities, include as many names as possible. They will read anything that they feel they may be mentioned in.
Communications that are sent under the Head Professionals name also seem to have a higher open rate vs. those sent from club
Film testimonials from members after fittings, incorporate into newsletters
Video all events at club, archive and compile season ending montage. Send to all members via YouTube
Include video in communication
Use Survey Monkey to send surveys to gain valuable information from your members that can be used to create and Action Plan for the future.