With an increasing number of clubs introducing flexible membership schemes, Club Systems International (CSI), the UK and Ireland’s leading producer of golf club IT systems, has seen a surge in the use of its MerlinTouch™ loyalty card system.
Since its launch in 2005, MerlinTouch™ has become the most successful EPoS Loyalty Card System in UK and Ireland sporting and membership clubs. But its ability to cope with an increasing number of flexible membership packages, particularly in the golfing arena – and at no extra cost – has been the catalyst for increased usage.
And, as always with the MerlinTouch™, it integrates smoothly with CLUB2000® software and, now, CSI’s new cloud-based ClubV1 administration system.
Club Systems International’s sales manager, Hilary Clamp, explained: “Flexible memberships are proving increasingly popular in golf, as members find they simply can’t justify a full membership package, and our systems are able to handle these with ease.
“The MerlinTouch™ system is able to illustrate the different membership categories on receipts for purchases or green fees. Installing a Mini-Merlin in the shop allows the club professional to collect the green fees and has numerous other advantages for both the pro and the member. These include flexible discount profiles, individual member turnover reports, preferential discount rates for high consumption members, along with automatic discount rate changes with increased turnover. You can also include stock control.”
Using MerlinTouch™ enables clubs to increase their standard price at the point of sale, charging non-members more, while retaining a lower member cost via an automatic discount – and the same mechanic applies to the flexible membership if appropriate.
It is a system which has been used to great effect at Seaford GC, in Sussex, since 2012, as secretary Lawrence Dennis-Smither explained.
“We introduced a new category of membership on April 1, 2012, called Downland membership – a low-cost, flexible alternative to traditional membership,” he said.
“We manage this category using Club Systems software and a Mini-Merlin till in the professional’s shop. Downland members can book their golf using a BRS tee-time booking system and manage their golf credits with their members’ swipe card.
“The system is easy to operate and relatively low in cost to install. The daily EPOS reports provide all the financial and statistical information required. We see this type of membership being further extended in the future as members’ lifestyles change.”
Those views were echoed by Alison Morgan, the marketing lead at Grange-Over-Sands GC, who added: “It’s easy to load the flexi credits onto the member’s card initially; it’s easy for the member to top up their credits; it’s easy to monitor flexi credit balance. The till system works well – it’s easy to use from a staff perspective and the member receives a receipt for each transaction, so if we have a course marshal they’re able to check that the flexi credits have been redeemed before play.
“I would recommend Club Systems if a club is thinking of introducing flexi membership.”
Club Systems International Ltd has been designing, building and supporting IT systems for golf clubs since 1982. Now, with more than 1,800 golf clubs in the UK and Ireland, along with customers as far afield as Dubai, Ghana and Sri Lanka, Club Systems International has grown to lead the UK & I golf club market.
Club Systems International www.clubsystems.com