The Power of Points-Based Membership in Golf 

golf club manager having the power of the points based membership
By Brad Chard - 28/05/24

Points-based memberships are the future of golf

What are my options for introducing a flexible points-based membership and what prevents my full members downgrading onto it? 

I am often asked this question when clubs are considering alternative membership solutions to 5 and 7 day membership categories. 

My response tends to be the same. There is a place for another type of membership that can work alongside what clubs currently offer. If you have not already done so, I would encourage you to read our blog on Things to consider before launching a Flexible Membership.

This is a critical piece as this potential new category does not replace what you already have. It compliments it.  

Why does your golf club need a flexible membership category? 

There are likely to be several reason(s) why you are considering new categories of membership. 

  • You need to increase revenue. 
  • You have a need to have a different category of membership due to demand from incoming member enquiries. 
  • You are looking to increase the utilisation of your tee sheet.  

Golfers are changing their playing habits 

The needs of the golfer have changed, and they require more flexibility and choice in how they play and pay for their golf. The power of a points-based membership in golf means that golfers who would have not considered joining your club due to the amount of golf they play, will now consider joining your club because this option suits their playing frequency. 

There are several different ways golf clubs can achieve flexibility and there will be benefits and disadvantages to each option. To ensure this new scheme works seamlessly alongside existing categories, we encourage clubs to ensure they have the functionality to control the entitlements within this new scheme. 

Why golf clubs should control their points-based membership category

One of the biggest fears some golf clubs have is the current members reaction to this new category of membership. Clubs are concerned current members will elect to move into this category. 

Controlling how this category operates and the entitlements within it are critical.  When on-boarding new partners, we encourage them to have a different set of entitlements to that of your 5 and 7 day members. Entitlements such as booking windows, competition access, discounts off F&B and or retail.   

Your flexible membership category will cost less than your 5 and 7 membership categories so entitlements should be different. We’ll talk a little bit about yield later. 

How to maximise tee sheet utilisation 

The next key measure is the points matrix. This is the power of a points-based membership.  This determines the value of time based on the current utilisation of your tee sheet.  

Encouraging golfers to play at your quieter times through the points matrix and position your busier times with higher points values that falls in line with green fee rates is crucial.   

By designing a points matrix that has availability 7 days a week, that encourages flexible members to play at the quieter times. It also ensures your new scheme works seamlessly alongside existing categories. 

Increase your yield through points-based membership 

The value of the points matrix is the key control to manage yield. Unlike schemes that offer unlimited golf, a points matrix is designed to yield according to demand. This becomes effective when we analyse tee sheet data to make informed decisions about where the opportunities are.  

We spoke earlier on about having availability 7 days a week. By allowing the golfer to choose when to play their golf means that the golfer has been given flexibility to make their own choices. Moreover, the club can then manage the time and day of the week and ensures it achieves the yield per tee time they are looking for. 

So, we can now understand the power of a points-based membership. It is of course important to point out that this is not the only approach one can take to achieve flexibility in membership categories.   

Having a flexible approach to golf membership categories does not mean that a points-based membership solution is the only type of membership you can implement. There are others to consider. However, my only words of advice would be to ensure that controls are in place to ensure the scheme works seamlessly alongside your existing categories of membership.