Attracting a lot of attention from other UK’s golf clubs, Haywards Heath Golf Club’s highly successful model for flexible membership is powered by Open Solutions and pioneering a new approach to subscription income.
Club Secretary Graham White, the man behind Haywards Heath’s flexible membership success, launched the initiative in June 2013, and in adding 118 Flexible members at the end of May 2014, has achieved the following results:
- 67 Flexible members have joined to date (at May 31st 2014)
- 6 that joined as Flexible Members have since upgraded to the full or five day categories
- 17 past members that had left the club have returned to become Flexible Members
- 12 Social and Academy members have upgraded to the Flexible membership
- 21 Full and 5 Five Day members who would have left the club, instead downgraded to the Flexible category
The club has succeeded in not only making Flexible membership an attractive offer, but one that is managed without needing a tee time booking system. The subscription income is up by over £50,000, as are the bar and catering revenues, while membership levels are healthy. As an Open Solutions customer, the club just paid to enable the points management option.
Flexible Membership: the usual objections
The over-riding concern of any club is that offering a much cheaper format of playing membership will cause an unsustainable outflow of subscription income from Full memberships to the cheaper option. Graham found that by setting up the Flexible Membership carefully:
a) To reflect a fair cost for those who only want to play once a month or less
b) At a rate per round that cost more than those Full members who played every week
c) By surveying the members initially to establish the likelihood of transferrals
d) By communicating with the members to get their understanding and support for the new initiative
e) Timing the launch to avoid any immediate transfers from full membership…
Haywards Heath GC could both offer affordable golf club membership that suits the modern way of life, and retain its members.
Flexible membership management and Open Solutions go hand-in-glove
Open Solutions’ till systems were vital, as he acknowledges, “Management of the Flexible Membership category is very different from the other categories. Behind the scenes, the Open Solutions GPoS system automates the otherwise very complex management of the new Flexible Membership’s points system. So the Flexible member just swipes a card in the Pro Shop or the Bar, and those of us in the office just click to download a real time report, whenever we want.”
Graham continues, “The whole Flexible Membership initiative from start to finish has exceeded our expectations, and overturned all the perceived challenges. Because we have the right software thanks to Open Solutions, it’s been very easy to manage as well. That’s why for Haywards Heath GC, Flexible Membership is a genuine win-win.”
Haywards Heath GC www.haywardsheathgolfclub.co.uk
Open Solutions www.opensolutionsinternational.com