How clubs are tapping into the corporate golf market

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 27, 2018 16:58

Alternative, especially flexible and reciprocal, membership categories have seen strong growth in the last few years and now golf clubs are applying the principles behind them to attract companies.

A major golf club and a leading golf group have both introduced new corporate membership categories in recent months in order to tap into what could be a highly lucrative market.

Ramside Golf Club, based at Ramside Hall Hotel, Golf and Spa near Durham, has opted for a flexible points-based scheme for organisations looking to entertain clients, reward staff or improve their handicap. ‘Corporate flexi-golf’ is a plan that has been designed to offer companies a flexible way to enjoy the benefits of membership at a golf club that boasts two 18-hole championship courses which are open all year round and are a popular choice for corporate entertaining.

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts’ corporate golf membership is available across all five of its UK golf venues, including Macdonald Spey Valley Golf & Country Club

For an annual fee, firms are given 1,000 points which they can use to play nine or 18-hole rounds whenever they want.

The value of the points changes depending on days, times and months of the year, with nine holes starting from two points on summer evenings, and ranging to nine points during the club’s busiest times.

Business leaders can use these points for clients and guests, who will also be able to take advantage of chipping and putting areas, use of the sauna and steam room in the clubhouse and discounted buggy hire.

Along with guest invites, corporate flexi-golf allows up to four named members to enjoy a host of further benefits, including corporate bedroom rates, competition entry and a selection of discounts and offers at the clubhouse.

Helen Roseberry, director of golf at Ramside, said the scheme, launched this spring, has attracted a lot of interest.

“Flexi-golf gives companies and individuals the opportunity to play at a time that suits them, which means they can fit it in around their busy work schedule.

“The value of the points changes to reflect the club’s busiest periods, and they can be redeemed against rounds on both our courses.

“Since launching, we’ve had a lot of enquiries and many firms have signed up to take advantage of the deal.”

Annual corporate flexi-golf membership costs £2,750 plus VAT and includes 1,000 points. Top-up points are available in increments of 500, priced at £1,500 plus VAT.

Meanwhile, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, the UK’s largest independent hotel group, has also introduced a new corporate golf membership category to provide UK businesses with a variety of corporate golf day opportunities. This one centres on reciprocal membership rather than flexible.

It is available across five UK golf venues (Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf & Spa; Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf & Spa; Macdonald Spey Valley Golf & Country Club; Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, Golf & Spa and Macdonald Linden Hall Golf & Country Club) and provides access to eight championship courses, and enables up to four active card holders from the company, as well as their guests, to enjoy a weekly fourball at a chosen resort and up to five reciprocal rounds at other facilities throughout the network.

In addition, corporate members also receive a range of benefits including discounts on purchases in the golf shop and on food and beverages, as well as entry into club competitions.

Ramside Golf Club’s first hole on the Cathedral Course. Image: Mark Alexander

Keith Pickard, group director of Golf, Leisure & Spa at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts, said: “With more than 500 group golf events taking place at our resorts every year, Macdonald Hotels & Resorts remains one of the UK’s leading corporate golf venues.

“We have listened to what companies have been telling us and believe our new corporate golf membership will undoubtedly meet their needs and hopefully help to make a real impact on their business.”

 

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu July 27, 2018 16:58
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