Global Edition

European Tour Destinations audit reveals new insights on golf membership trends

5.05pm 4th November 2021 - Management Topics

European Tour Destinations, which boasts a network of 30 golf clubs and resorts across the world, has carried out an audit of membership at its venues to reveal a picture of increased demand and rising fees set amongst the changing need for golfers to have their loyalty rewarded and the need for clubs to finds ways of retaining members.

The findings, published in a new multimedia feature Rethinking Membership, highlighted shifts in consumer behaviour and emerging trends, including:

According to Luis Filipe, Corporate & Leisure Relations Director at Quinta do Lago, which now benefits from a raft of new sport and leisure amenities, there has been a fundamental shift in the Portuguese resort’s members: “The clientele now are younger and are valuing more their quality of life and the quality of family life.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by Golf Club St-Leon Rot’s General Manager, Eicko Schulz-Hanßen, who attributes the change to a desire to improve lifestyles, with “people building in activities on a daily and weekly basis to achieve a better work-life balance.”

The targeting of a younger membership demographic is – and has been – a growing at Linna Golf, Finland. Its CEO, Esa Honkalehto, explained: “Of the 100 new members who have recently joined, approximately 60 are young people who were born in the 1990s. They are more regular players and are keen to participate in the numerous events and competitions we have organised. These young members have brought a spirit [to the club] – and it is very different to what it was.”

Commenting on the survey findings outlined in the Rethinking Membership feature, Head of European Tour Destinations, Ian Knox, concluded: “There’s no doubt destinations are having to rethink membership. With people now wanting to play at different times, looking for different amenities from the club and opportunities for their families to come along, the main challenge for general managers going forward is to understand the membership base and what they are looking for, and adapt to the new and different needs of customers.”

Clubs are having to face up to the challenges of creating family-friendly environments
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