The Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies’ Golfing Association first launched Golf Awareness Week back in 2009 to support clubs in their efforts to attract new golfers to the game and retain existing members. While national membership numbers fell by 1.9% among adult male golfers during 2010, some positive signs emerged with 37 percent of clubs recorded an increase in their numbers and 10 percent of clubs reporting double digit percentage growth.
This year’s national campaign coincides with the weekend of the US Masters in Augusta, the first Major event of the season broadcast on terrestrial television and regarded as the traditional kick start to the golfing year for many. With the clocks changing and the lighter nights, coupled with an expected improvement in the weather, the governing bodies hope their activity will encourage nomadic golfers to consider joining their local golf club.
“By marketing the benefits of joining a golf club through a national media campaign, our aim is to provide clubs with the platform to deliver their own marketing activity on a local basis and attract nomadic golfers or lapsed members back into club membership,” explains Andy Salmon, Scottish Golf Development Manager.
“We have been hugely encouraged by the response from clubs over the past two years who have adapted well to the changing nature of membership. We’ve seen a much more proactive approach, with an increased number of age and price categories on offer, flexible payment options and a customer-focused approach,” he added.
“While we are under no illusions as to the continued challenges clubs are facing, including poor weather and a difficult economic climate, however our membership figures from last year highlight what can be achieved with the correct approach.”
More than 220 clubs attended the recent SGU and SLGA seminars with membership high on the agenda and the governing bodies have reacted to the demand from clubs for increased support and more resource in this area. Investment in this year’s campaign has risen, while a wide range of membership marketing services have been provided on the SGU website, from advice on running Open Days to case studies on clubs who have been successful in recruiting new members.
This year’s national campaign will focus be themed “Golf Club Membership – Time Well Spent” promoting the wide range of benefits and the flexibility membership can offer to golfers. The governing bodies are working with leading marketing agency Merchant Soul to develop the campaign, with activity taking place across national and regional media.
Club managers and committee members can download membership marketing tools by visiting http://www.scottishgolf.org/go/club-services/membership-marketing