As many UK golf clubs struggle through the winter and see their memberships decline, Farleigh Golf Club is bucking the trend by recording its best start to a year in the club’s history.
The 27-hole Surrey venue’s exceptional start to 2020 has seen it recruit an impressive 76 new members in just four months – with 56 of these sales coming in January and February – making it the best membership sales performance period since it was taken over by The Foxhills Collection in 2010.
The increase in sales is testament to the club’s course conditions throughout the colder and wetter months. Renowned as one of the best winter courses in Surrey, Farleigh’s greenkeeping team has, once again, kept the course in excellent condition and given golfers the ‘Farleigh Guarantee’ of no temporary greens or tees.
The championship-standard course boasts greens built to USGA specifications and variety in abundance with three 18-hole loops from which to choose – and, with fantastic year-round playing surfaces, the club has built an enviable reputation among local golfers.
Its reputation, coupled with significant investment into course machinery and clubhouse facilities, has not only seen the club increase its membership, but also cement its standing as a prime venue for professional tournaments, after it was selected to host the PGA Fourball Championship in 2019 and 2020, with the prestigious tournament returning in August this year.
A survey published by KPMG, in late 2019, showed a downward trend on golf membership over the past five years with a 10.43 per cent decline across the UK.
But Farleigh’s extraordinary past four months has completely bucked this trend and has seen the club nearly quadruple the amount of memberships it sold this time last year, with a total of 20 memberships sold between November 2018 and February 2019.
James Ibbetson recently joined the club as its new general manager in November, making the move from director of golf at Yas Links, Abu Dhabi, full of fresh ideas and plans to take Farleigh forward.
He said: “It’s been all change at Farleigh in recent months with me coming in as new general manager, as well as a significant restructure in the sales department and golf team, with Steve Stiller, former golf manager, moving onto pastures new. In the absence of a golf and membership sales advisor, the golf team, led by golf operations manager Paul Babbage, has worked tirelessly to push through membership sales and achieve the outstanding numbers that we have seen.
“I don’t think anyone was expecting such a start to the year, but when you have such a good product like ours, it’s really not a surprise that people want to be a part of it, especially golfers who don’t want to hang up their clubs in the winter.
“Not only are we lucky enough to have an amazing course layout, but we also have a dedicated and knowledgeable greenkeeping team which manages to keep it in unbelievable condition all year round, which is no mean feat considering the unpredictable English weather!”
There are a vast amount of bespoke membership packages available at Farleigh to suit everyone’s needs, including junior, colt, five-day senior, five-day golf, seven-day golf, corporate membership, flexi membership, winter membership and its popular Farleigh Friend scheme, which gives members a complimentary round, plus discount on green fees, food and beverages and in the pro shop.