Do you still have a long waiting list of prospective members and are all membership categories at the approved maximum numbers?
- Do you still have a long waiting list of prospective members and are all membership categories at the approved maximum numbers?
- When current members move on, are they readily replaced by younger members, particularly females?
- Does the club have an entrance fee for new members that increases in line with operating costs?
- Are your annual subscriptions sufficient to ensure an operating profit, and the provision of funding for future capital expenditure needs?
If your club can answer yes to each of those questions, congratulations, you have the option of doing no more than continuing to evolve your current practices.
If, as is reportedly the case in all but a few clubs, there are more answers in the negative than the positive, the option of “steady as she goes” no longer exists.
While all responses to the challenges identified in the AGIC research come with some risk, the option of doing nothing involves the greatest risk to your club’s future financial viability.
Align the club’s unique circumstances with the opportunities identified in the research.
Consider the alternatives and short-list the potential responses
The alternatives are to reduce costs to match reducing revenues (then pray that works), adopt a positive golf-related response to retain existing members and attract new participants, or attempt to launch or accelerate non-golf-related activities.
Most traditional member-based clubs have responded to this challenge by removing entrance fees and heavily discounting annual subscriptions in their advertised membership offers.
Participants in many industry categories have previously engaged in a “race to the bottom” by discounting their revenue to the point they are no longer financially viable, or their service standards and product quality suffer and drive away their existing customers while failing to attract their replacements