Here’s the top three things I learnt while editing the magazine in January:

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2017 06:56

From flexible memberships to ‘no slow play golf’, Golf Club Management editor Alistair Dunsmuir provides his monthly round-up of the biggest stories in the industry.

3. Downsizing can save a club

This might only apply to clubs in a desperate situation, but moving from 18 holes to nine could free up land that could be used to address the UK’s housing shortage.

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Hassocks Golf Club in Sussex is going down this route. Its owner said “The club will close if this plan does not go ahead.”

2. The good news about membership numbers has been driven by flexible friends

Sport England has revealed that between 2013 and 2016 the number of members of English golf clubs shot up from 442,500 to 520,600, with nearly half of the increase occurring in the last year alone.

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The reason, it seems, is due to flexible memberships – in 2014 England Golf urged clubs to offer this, and now more than a third of them do. One example is Wycombe Heights GC, which introduced its policy at the start of 2016. By the end of the year more than 150 people had joined the club.

1. A bit of creativity can lead to a unique selling point

Marketing experts have said for years that golf clubs should shout about their ‘unique selling point’ as much as possible, and Bromley GC has done just that.

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As a nine-hole venue, a round of golf can be played there in less than two hours, so the club has branded all its tee markers, flags and hole cups with the Golf Express logo, put banners and posters at the driving range and in the clubhouse, and featured in an England Golf video about playing the game quickly.

Of course, ‘no slow play golf’ isn’t unique to Bromley GC, but it’s being used to boost sales there.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir January 31, 2017 06:56
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