It’s safe to say that the traditional golf club of yore is becoming increasingly rare. With many golf clubs around the globe being faced with the very real possibility of having to close down due to the economic downturn, this year has seen an unprecedented amount of change. While Australia hasn’t been hit quite as heavily, quite the opposite, we’ve nevertheless seen that golf clubs this side of the world have also seen transformation – these are the top 4 trends in golf club management we’ve encountered this year.
Adventure Golf Is a Big Hit with New Golfers
Many would-be golfers can be a little intimidated by the sport, especially if they’ve never set foot on the green. Large swathes of land, intimidating players that know what they’re doing, and expensive equipment can often act as a deterrent to potential players.
To counteract this, many golf clubs are investing in the creation of small ‘adventure golf’ courses. The benefit of these are multiple, one of which being the relatively small amount of investment required. Considering the fact that these courses take up a minuscule amount of space compared to your run-of-the-mill golf course, it’s no surprise many club owners are investing in this option.
Rise of Flexible Memberships Packages
We’ve also seen a discernible increase in the number of golf clubs offering flexible membership structures. With increasing competition in the marketplace, it may seem a little counter-intuitive to create ‘gaps’ that allow customers to leave, but it has actually become a very strong selling point to draw in new customers.
The reason for this is that it gives consumers the freedom to choose their terms, rather than being handcuffed to an expensive annual membership they may not end up using. Golf clubs that implement the flexi approach offer reduced price packages for longer commitments, which usually leads short-term customers to sign up once they’re happy with the golf club they’ve chosen.
More Than Just a Golf Club
These days, golf clubs can’t afford to rest on their laurels. With consumers faced with a plethora of entertainment choices, clubs are going all-out to ensure they stand out from the crowd. From establishments focusing only on golf, we’re seeing clubs taking that next step and investing in non-golf revenue streams.
For example, the prestigious Wentworth Club no longer limits itself to the golf club tag, but instead places emphasis on other areas such as tennis, fitness, and spa days. Clubs are taking their investment beyond the green, with buildings being given complete facelifts with the installation of new club furniture, bar areas, and more.
The idea is to draw not just the golf players themselves, but their non-golf playing families and friends as well. With expansions such as spas, health facilities, and restaurants, your golf club can be given a new lease of life.
Increased Focus on Female Golfers
With around 20% of golfers being women, there’s an opportunity to draw more players into the sport. Leading golf clubs have come to realise it, with establishments evaluating how welcoming their facilities are for female players and creating programmes specifically catered towards women. For example, some golf clubs are giving discounted rates for coaching to introduce women to the sport.
The key takeaway from these trends is just how quickly things are shifting in another direction. Golf clubs are diversifying income streams, going beyond the traditional clientele, and offering their services in brand new packaging. For those of you in a position to make decisions, these trends are more than just ‘food for thought’ – it may be what’s necessary to keep your business moving forward!
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