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Jan 13th, 2021

Clubs still in no rush to help members

Only a quarter of clubs are offering a reduction or deferral

Once again We have had a great response to our survey of club members on the subject of subscriptions. Sadly, the picture has not improved since we initially surveyed during the first lockdown in the UK.

The percentage of clubs offering a form of reduction or deferral has fallen from 32% to 24%. When expanded to all clubs' schemes, it is a similar picture with 55% providing nothing compared with 49% last time.

It is a polarising issue with many believing there is no question that members must pay their full subscriptions if they want their clubs to survive. Some even questioned why GolfPunk was suggesting that the situation should be otherwise.
'Why should clubs reduce fees? The club still has the same costs and this year even busier so more work is required on the course.'
'I think that as members clubs we are in this together, the impact on the primary finance stream of all golf clubs by deferring, extending or returning subs would be catastrophic for golf club finances!'
'I am happy to pay my fees as normal because I want my club to survive.'
I think your wording of ‘demanding’ is quite rude, as a lot of clubs work with their members.'
We believe that some clubs and we stress we do not include all clubs should think more about their members' financial predicament. We do not necessarily demand reductions in subscriptions but we would expect to see deferral schemes and potentially hardship funds.

Golf clubs collect almost all their subscription at the beginning of their year and that money then sits on deposit reducing as time goes by. Interest rates are at an all-time low and as such clubs could offer payment schemes to spread subs over time. No one would complain if modest interest is charged on the payments.
Others are in the camp who are critical of the lack of support for members and recognition of the golf we have lost.
'Member of 2 clubs, one recognises the problems facing furloughed staff and self-employed, the other playing hardball!'
'There should be a pro rota reduction in fees for the time the courses are closed.'
'I would expect my club to reduce the fees at a given point when they come up for renewal in April.'
There is also evidence that clubs are imposing sanctions on those late in making payment of their subscription.
'Quote "subscriptions due 1st January must be paid on or before 26th February or 10% interest will be added, with no exceptions"
'Our club is imposing a £100 admin fee for all subscriptions that are paid after the due date.'
'Club asked for additional £60 per member to cover covid expenses.'
As we have said previously, we hope all clubs wake up and realise that there are members in real financial difficulty resulting from the pandemic. These members will have supported the club in the past and now need a little help in return.

Finally, we also asked the question as to whether respondents felt that golf courses should be open during the latest lockdown. Not surprisingly, 82% thought they should be with a further 6% believing they should be available for those who live very close to the course.

TAGS: News, COVID-19, Survey, lockdown, 2021