Global Edition

National County Card – driving fuller memberships

7.25am 9th November 2007 - Corporate

National County Card is a brand new concept, which supports the very people at the heart of the game, namely golf clubs and private golf club members. National County Cards are only available to private golf club members and allow them to play courses all over the country for favourable green fees. Any 18 hole golf club can join the scheme, it’s free to enrol. In addition, golf clubs receive a financial reward for every one of their members who buys a card.

To date, nearly all discounted green fee schemes benefit ‘non’ golf club members, ranging from 2 for 1’s to national newspaper schemes. The people who actually support the golf industry, month in, month out, are private golf club members; these, however, are the very people who are getting the worst deal.

Private golf club members pay joining fees and subscriptions only to find non golf club members enjoying nearly all the benefits of a full member, but without the financial commitment.

Rob Sutton of National County Card said, “Why should people who support the industry get the worst deal? Equally golf clubs too are losing out. Why would someone join a golf club if they can play at the same club, half price and enjoy nearly all the benefits as a member who pays joining and regular subscription fees? From a business perspective this makes no sense and unfortunately the situation is going to become much worse unless golf clubs and private golf club members make a stand.

“National County Card’s objective is to address this issue head on. The scheme is only available to private golf club members. Not only do golf clubs enrol for free, they receive a payment of £5 from every one of their club members who buys a national county card. The card is not restricted to areas or counties, card holders can use it nationally which encourages private golf club members to play courses all over the country.

“To support this we will be launching a national advertising campaign to recruit golfers to the scheme. These golfers will be recruited via a targeted, national advertising campaign throughout 500 golf ranges and clubs and a national radio campaign launching early 2008. National county cards will be affordable to all private golf club members (at around £24 per year). All golfers will be verified with their club – if you are not a member of a golf club, you will not be sold a card.

“Having surveyed hundreds of golf clubs, it is a fact that golf clubs would much rather have private golf club members visiting their course than non golf club members. Private golf club members know the rules and etiquette, are more likely to spend more money in the bar and restaurant facilities and respect the course and fellow members.

“In time we expect tens of thousands of private golf club members to join the scheme, which will not only financially reward the golf clubs but significantly reduce tee time availability for 2 for 1’s etc. In time, golf clubs may decide to do away with such schemes all together or only accept full green fees for non members. Ultimately these ‘non member’ golfers will be forced into golf club membership growing the whole industry and bringing ‘fairness’ to everyone who enjoys the game.”

National County Card

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