Unattached Golfers Express Willingness to Join Clubs
Golf clubs throughout England have experienced an unprecedented level of demand for tee times since venues reopened following the lessening of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, but due to that surge in numbers and social distancing guidelines reducing capacity, it has proven to be a challenge for unattached golfers in particular to secure their spot on a course.
The consequences of the shutdown has seen a great interest in memberships, with reports across the country of increased applications hitting the desks of club managers since the game resumed.
Undoubtedly, this is welcome news for institutions that have witnessed falling numbers in recent years, and there is heightened optimism that these unique circumstances could open the door for potential growth in the game, a topic that we have recently explored in the below features.
As noted for a considerable time on Golfshake, many golfers remain unattached for a variety of reasons, but could recent events prove to be the catalyst that drives a significant proportion of them back into traditional club membership?
Well, there is evidence suggesting that it may accomplish just that.
In a recent Golfshake Survey, we asked non-club golfers whether they intended to join a club once golf reopened.
9% definitely said YES that they would apply for a membership when play returned, a modest, but notable percentage when you consider that this demographic potentially covers hundreds of thousands of golfers in Britain. However, more intriguing was the 40% who said they would consider joining once some form of normality returns to life, a significant number of people that are open to becoming members, a group that clubs and venues should now actively seek to court.
51% of nomadic golfers who responded to our survey simply prefer being unattached.
However, these comments submitted below showcase the fresh willingness that many now have to join.
"Been considering it for a while. If tee times are reserved for members it may force my hand."
"May have to join one if tee times are restricted to members only."
"I like the flexibility of being unattached but would consider it if it was the only way to play and was not stupidly priced."
"Possibly - depending on the packages available."
"Can’t justify being a member due not being able to play as often which makes it financially logical."
"More likely to join and start supporting a club."
"Will join if local club opens and my job is ok."
"I am planning on joining a club still, as I was planning to before the lockdown."
"I am a Country Member of a Club but intend to join a local Club."
"I shall certainly make the move to join a club as I'd been dithering about it for a while."
Satisfying demand for tee times is a major challenge for golf clubs in the current climate, rewarding members while maintaining the continuing revenue stream of green fee paying golfers, but the longer-term answer may be to draw more of those players into taking up memberships by launching attractive, flexible and affordable options.
But it's a refreshing task for venues to face, one that if successfully navigated could prove to be rewarding for years to come, reversing a once seemingly dire trend of declining full-time club members.
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