‘We’re trying to give members a discount – but we need to balance the books’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 8, 2021 06:32

A Lancashire golf club has said it is trying to give its members a discount due to the lack of golf in the past 11 months – but it also needs to balance its own books to make up for lost income.

The comments from the secretary of Harwood Golf Club come as a survey of UK golf clubs has found less than a quarter are offering either a price reduction or deferral option for members financially struggling amid the pandemic but who might want to renew their annual subscription.

Like most golf clubs in England, Harwood’s course has been closed for more than a third of the time since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020, with at least severe restrictions placed on its clubhouse for that entire period.

Mark Schofield said: “Members will have had around four months of golf where they’ve not been able to play, but they’ve been extremely supportive of the club.

“We usually do very well with external functions but the bar’s been shut so we’ve lost nearly 12 months of income there.

“There’s a really good, strong management team, we’ve had to manage it extremely carefully and keep spending to a minimum to get through.”

Harwood Golf Club. Image from Facebook

He added that the club, which has more than 400 members, has not seen a single member ask for a refund on their subscription – even though it still remains uncertain when the golf club can reopen.

“The club is trying to find a way to give members a discount, whilst also balancing the books to make up for lost income,” he said.

“We’ve done very well for new members, it’s just trying to retain them now.
“Usually we’d give them something more than just golf, but with the clubhouse being closed we don’t have those social aspects.

“The after-golf experience is very important to a lot of people, and you can understand people thinking it’s a lot of money for just playing golf when they can’t experience anything that goes along with it.

“We’re a members’ club and it’s a lot different to a gym membership.

“People get attached to the club and they’re very supportive and loyal and want it to succeed.

“Most people will stay with the club they started at, we hope we can convince some of our new members to do the same.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 8, 2021 06:32
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  1. Gordon F February 17, 12:28

    People would all rather have a great course and money spent there rather than a few £ back.

    Reply to this comment
  2. MEdwin February 12, 12:09

    It is very commendable of the club and will be highly appreciated by new and old members alike.

    Would be interesting to know if the club considered giving members a credit on their accounts, to spend at the club, instead of a discount.
    This would preserve cash in the club while giving members an enhanced benefit. It would also stimulate activity at the club post lockdown. The approach of giving an enhanced benefit versus a discount or refund has been applied in other industries like education for example.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter February 8, 17:36

    No need !! Most members will understand, discounts are not possible, due to the nature of this crisis !! If we’re engaging, communicating and raising awareness correctly, there will be no need for offering any discounts !! In times of crisis, strong clubs tend to get stronger and weak ones get weaker !! Discounts are one reason why !!

    Reply to this comment
    • SwilkenBurn February 16, 23:56

      Peter you sound like youre very well off, isnt that lovely for you….dont speak for me and the 99 percent, I’d like some goodwill, a gesture at least for my loyalty without anything in return.

      Reply to this comment
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