Dec 17th, 2016
PlayMoreGolf's flexible membership
Drives new golfers to its network
Words: John Dean
PlayMoreGolf, the UK’s flexible membership network, has attracted more than 1,000 members to its network of 30 venues across the UK, since launching in February 2016.
Based on an initial membership fee of £325 per year, the PlayMoreGolf points system gives the golfer a minimum of 100 points – 80 to be used at their designated ‘home’ club and 20 reserved for rounds at any of the other participating venues throughout the PlayMoreGolf network.
Every time a member plays a round of golf, points are deducted from their allocation, with the number of points set by the individual club making PlayMoreGolf the perfect value solution for the infrequent golfer.
Houghwood Golf Club, set on the edge of the Lancashire Plain in Merseyside, was one of the first clubs to join PlayMoreGolf’s network and has successfully added 74 new, predominantly younger, flexible members in 2016.
Peter Turner, Managing Director at Houghwood Golf Club, said: “The uptake has surpassed our initial expectations and we’ve been thrilled with the success we have achieved since we adopted PlayMoreGolf’s flexible memberships.
“We are continuing to attract ‘traditional’ members to the club, but we believe that this flexible style of membership better meets the requirements of a growing group of younger golfers, whose needs we were previously unable to meet.”
Created by the same team that successfully delivered 18,000 new members to 12 De Vere Venues in just four years, the innovative online points-based approach to membership, which sits alongside clubs’ existing packages, has also generated more than 10,000 new member leads for its venues through its targeted digital marketing campaigns, further highlighting the growing importance of flexible memberships within today’s market.
PlayMoreGolf Director, Daniel Hodson, said: “All of the latest market figures suggest that the majority of golf clubs are facing a decline in membership numbers due to more competition, a perceived lack of value and an ever-increasing number of people engaging with golf in non-traditional formats such as pitch and putt or par-3 short courses.
“It is clear therefore that ‘standard’ memberships are no longer meeting the requirements of a rising number of, typically younger, golfers, who are increasingly finding it hard to commit to playing golf regularly enough to justify a full club membership.
“This is further demonstrated by the fact that over 65% of the golf being played in 2016 by PlayMoreGolf members was during off-peak times, highlighting the importance of a more flexible approach to membership for both the golfer and golf club.”
The PlayMoreGolf network currently consists of 30 venues throughout the UK, a number of which have hosted professional events in recent years, including Macdonald Aviemore Resort, host of the annual SSE Scottish Hydro Challenge on The European Challenge Tour, The Wychwood Golf Club, which has previously hosted The European Tour’s Qualifying School and Studley Wood Golf Club, a former host venue on the Jamega Tour.
“The challenging climate the industry faces at present has forced many clubs to reassess their membership packages and despite only launching in February 2016, the programme has already been well received and we will continue to work with all of our venues to further improve member numbers and help grow the game in 2017,” concluded Daniel.
This all makes perfect sense to us, so long as you don’t have to drive miles to play another course in the network. But it is very much a sign of the times, and if it helps bring in younger golfers so much the better.