Hitachi Capital set to help even more clubs drive membership in 2022

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick December 9, 2021 11:55

Hitachi has a revolutionary finance product for clubs that want to attract new members and retain existing ones. The flexible membership product is tailored specifically for the golf industry with no recall on defaults and immediate payment to boost cashflow.

The Consumer Finance Division of Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is on the course to speed up play and build on its share of the golf market. After developing their game-changing golf membership finance proposition, it has proven to be a great success for clubs across the UK.

“In early 2019 we started working to support golf retail outlets to fund golf equipment and we now work with over 140 pro shops and retail stores nationwide,” says James Eyre from Hitachi Capital UK’s Consumer Finance Division.

“Supporting retailers with an interest free offering for golf equipment has been really successful, but we realised there was a huge market we weren’t currently playing in – golf membership finance.”

Golf club memberships can be somewhat expensive especially when there are joining fees bolted on top, so, to make the sport more accessible, clubs will often offer a direct debit scheme to pay the membership cost over the year instead of in a lump sum. The golf membership finance market is worth around £50 million a year and Hitachi Capital have moved successfully into the market.

“Unlike the main competitors in this market, Hitachi won’t recall funds from the golf club should a member default on their loan, eliminating concerns around cash flow and the overall admin burden for clubs in chasing member debt,” says James. “We are able to pay the golf clubs within three working days for each fully completed application, whilst other providers typically pay out up to a month after the application has been processed.”

Hitachi offers a range of different payment terms, so customers can choose to pay the membership fee over six, ten or twelve months. When members can’t golf in the colder winter months, taking a ten-month payment plan means customers won’t be paying when they’re not playing.

Originally launched in March 2020, Hitachi Capital UK’s Consumer Finance Division began trialling the new proposition with four golf clubs and after writing £100,000 worth of paid finance in four months, the decision was then taken to roll the proposition out nationwide in a bid to take the market by storm.

“The rollout has been a huge success, we now have over fifty golf clubs utilising our finance facility for golf memberships, with over £1,100,000 worth of paid finance written in the last 12 months. We are anticipating considerable growth over the next 12 months” says James.

As well as the retail side of the market, Hitachi Capital UK’s Business Finance Division also offer asset funding for over 300 golf clubs, golf pros and driving ranges, providing funding for assets such as greenkeeping machinery for ongoing golf course maintenance and swing studios for the pros to use when teaching at their respective driving ranges. Now membership finance is being offered, Hitachi Capital UK is quickly becoming the one-stop-shop for the golf market.

Just recently, Downfield Golf Club contacted Hitachi Capital about its membership finance offering.

“Having used the product successfully at my previous club, moving my new club was a priority,” says Simon Stevenson, general manager at Downfield Golf Club.“The finance facility reduces admin for my office team, the application process is easy for members, funds are paid quickly and we do not have to worry if a member defaults on their loan. This is a quality offering from a market leader and I would definitely recommend Hitachi to other club managers.”

Peterhead Golf Club began using the membership offering in 2021. “Hitachi are very professional and our members are very pleased with how easy it is to apply for finance. We experienced difficulties with a previous finance provider, the relationship management and customer service since we moved to Hitachi has been first class” say Peterhead Golf Club, “We would recommend Hitachi to other club managers”.

Hitachi are looking to establish themselves over the next 12 months as the go-to finance provider for the golf market as James Eyre from Hitachi goes on to explain: “It’s going to be an exciting year as we aim to bring on-board 300 golf clubs, with a view to ramping this up to 1,000 clubs over the next five years.”

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is a leading financial services company with over 35 years’ experience in providing innovative finance solutions. Membership finance terms of six, ten & twelve months are offered to members. Hitachi has a dedicated golf finance team with industry understanding and a direct telephone number.

To find out more about Hitachi’s Golf Membership options call them today on 0333 9960 288 or enquire online at HitachiCapital.co.uk/golfmemberships

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick December 9, 2021 11:55
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