Andrew Minty on membership retention

Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu November 11, 2018 14:17

Langland Bay GC’s director of golf details the secrets behind successful golf club membership retention

Andrew Minty

How many golf club managers / directors of golf can honestly say that marketing is a key priority and always appears on governance documents, board meetings’ and sub-committee agendas?

Yet in every situation at marketing meetings, most of the discussion time seems to revolve largely around what new ideas might drive forward some much-needed membership recruitment.

The golf club’s belief being, that without strong recruitment numbers, the golf club would not survive.

So … while most members’ golf clubs would have a finance, greens’, house, marketing and social committee in place, rarely would there ever be a retention committee appointed, even as a sub-group of the existing marketing committee.

While I am a strong advocate of not having too many meetings, a retention meeting could be one of the most important ones you have.

Retention, in my opinion, is made up of:

  1. Making a member feel welcome and giving them a service greater than what they would expect.
  2. Employing the right people. Also to treat every staff member the way you want every staff member to treat your members.
  3. Good communication.
  4. A good selection of members’ benefits that need to be highlighted regularly.

The number one complaint at the majority of golf clubs is poor communication. The more often you communicate with your members, the more value they will see in their membership.

The more you make them feel special, the more they are to talk about your golf club and act as an ambassador for you, which will assist your recruitment.

Membership surveys such as the ones 59 Club offer, provide an economical way of truly understanding the views of your members, what is important to them and the degree of that importance. The results give you clear direction on ways to improve the ‘experience’ afforded to your members, vital if you are to successfully retain their loyalty.

Some would say it is brave for a club to ask for its members’ views, I believe it is brave not to ask – after all, it can cost around six times more to recruit a new member than it does to retain an existing one.

Simply go the extra mile – if you want more members, do a better job of communicating with your existing members.

PGA Fellow Professional Andrew Minty achieved the director of golf qualification in 2008 aged just 28. He joined Langland Bay Golf Club in Wales in 2010. In 2013 the club was named Wales Golf’s ‘Golf Club of the Year’ and in 2015 he was named the GCMA’s ‘Manager of the Year’.


Jenny Yu
By Jenny Yu November 11, 2018 14:17
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  1. Alberto November 13, 09:10

    Really Interesting!

    Reply to this comment
  2. stephen November 13, 12:11

    Good work Andrew

    Reply to this comment
  3. Jenni November 14, 12:13

    Great article – totally agree. There’s little point getting new members if you’re not going to look after your existing! Also marketing to existing members gives a good ROR

    Reply to this comment
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