A flexible, proactive approach to membership with targeted and measurable marketing techniques, is the key to growing golf club memberships in the UK, according to PlayMoreGolf Director and well-known industry figure, Daniel Hodson.
Hodson, with over 10 years’ UK golf operations experience, having previously been Managing Director of Crown Golf and Director of Golf, Leisure and Spa at De Vere Hotels & Resorts, feels many golf clubs are still missing a big opportunity to grow membership revenues.
“Many golf clubs are still hoping to grow memberships by creating what they feel are flexible opportunities, but are then not following up with any form of measurable marketing or contact with potential customers.
“Unfortunately, with the many challenges faced in today’s market, golf clubs can not just open their doors and expect new or lapsed golfers to walk in,” he said.
Prior to launching PlayMoreGolf in November 2015, the UK’s first independent online points-based flexible membership programme, Hodson successfully led the creation of De Vere Club, which attracted more than 18,000 new members to 12 golf clubs in just four years.
Daniel explains: “Back in 2010 we felt the time was right to create a ground-breaking model to help golfers whose needs weren’t being met by the traditional style of golf membership and as a team, we learned how to create and administer the country’s most successful flexible membership scheme.”
PlayMoreGolf, inspired by the experience of De Vere Club, is an innovative online points programme which sits alongside clubs’ existing membership packages, and is designed to deliver sustained growth for golf clubs via new, typically younger, flexible members, by providing more choice and flexibility.
In addition to providing a flexible approach to membership, PlayMoreGolf has also been working with its partner venues to provide increased marketing support in order to help attract new members.
“With more than 2,600 membership leads generated for our partner venues within six months of launch, it is clear the demand for flexible membership is there,” added Daniel.
For partner venues, PlayMoreGolf provides bespoke support packages, including strategic lead generation campaigns, sales training, an interactive online product training platform, a fully integrated customer relationship management programme (CRM) and a web-booking engine that directly interfaces with the club’s booking requirements.
The PlayMoreGolf points system is based on an initial membership fee of £325 per year, which gives the member a minimum of 100 points – 80 to be utilised at their designated ‘home’ club and 20 reserved for rounds at other participating clubs throughout the PlayMoreGolf network.
The PlayMoreGolf partner network currently consists of private and proprietary golf clubs, including De Vere Venues such as Wokefield Park and Staverton Park; Macdonald Spey Valley Golf & Country Club and Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa, which are part of the Macdonald Hotels & Resorts network, as well as the Wychwood Golf Club and Henlle Park Golf Club.