Golf is seen by many as a luxury, so when times get a little tough on the business or domestic front – it is one of the first things to go. Members cancel their memberships, corporates rein in on lavish golf days and small midweek societies struggle to get the required numbers out. As a result Clubs may find themselves in serious competition for the diminishing membership renewals and incremental green fees from corporates, societies and visitors that are out there.
Golf clubs on the whole have realised that they have to go out to the marketplace and promote themselves effectively to win this business. A good website is a key marketing tool that is often under utilised in this sector. Very few courses nowadays can rely on prestige alone to keep the societies and visitors coming back.
Net72 was appointed to create a new website for Royal Ashdown Golf Club in East Sussex.
Royal Ashdown is looking to further develop and has recently appointed a new Secretary, David Holmes. David is one of the new, younger breed of Secretary and it is clear that he understands the importance of marketing. David realised that the old Ashdown website looked dated and was not intuitive to navigate. He instructed Net72 to develop a new look website designed to put Royal Ashdown head and shoulders above the competition.
It would have been very easy to pick one of the more established Golf Club website companies, but David and Royal Ashdown chose Net72 to be their contractor as Net72’s platform allows much more flexibility and design creativity. It is unlike other rigid, prescriptive web companies that turn out web sites that all look the same which is a common problem in the sector. The Net72 system can accommodate just about any design and layout you can imagine.
The new website utilises impressive photography throughout thereby maximising its stunning course which is its greatest asset. It has an intuitive navigation system that allows users to find the information they desire quickly and simply. The hole by hole guide shows the course planner, photos of the hole, as well as tips from the Club Professional. Our research shows that these are the most popular pages and so we place particular emphasis on making them fully comprehensive.
Away from the visitor pages, Ashdown also needs to satisfy their Membership. The secure Members’ area on the website allows members to see what is happening in and around the club. Ashdown has taken advantage of Net72’s ‘Contact List’ module that allows members to keep their contact details up-to-date. The club diary is available to sync directly with members’ calendars, and there is a portal for members to check competition results and up-to-date handicaps.
Looking forward, Net72 is building a reporting system for Ashdown that will replace their current management system. This will have the added benefit of interfacing directly with the website database, providing the specific reports that they want to run in relation to the commercial operation of the business without needing to use both the club web site and a more traditional golf club administration software system as well.
All in all this has proved a substantial and positive step forward for what is not just a prestigious, but also progressive golf club.