Why is there a negative view about flexible golf membership?  

Flexible members blog
By Matt Smith - 18/06/24

4 myths about Flexible Membership 

Flexible golf is thriving. More golf clubs are implementing the category into their membership options. However, we believe there are a few misconceptions about flexible membership.

So, what are they? 

1. Flexible membership is cheap golf  

Absolutely not! Data shows that the yield, or cost per time, compared to your standard full member, is significantly higher.  

If your full member plays on average once a week and pays £1000, the cost on average is £19.23 per round.  

If a flexible member pays £375 and plays 12 times per year (PlayMoreGolf data shows their members play an average of 8 – 12 times per year), the cost on average is £31.25 per round.  

That’s an increase of 62%. Yes, a Flexible Member may pay less, but they play a lot less too. 

2. Flexible members take up all the “prime” times 

This simply isn’t the case. According to our data, a PlayMoreGolf member tends to play in the off-peak times of the day. In 2023, 78% played after 1pm. The most played day of the week was Wednesday. A lot of flexible golfers are not interested in competitions, they just want to play once a month on a quality golf course. 

3. They get the same benefits are a full member  

The majority of the time no. However, we recommend the club decides this.  

In our opinion, there needs to be a clear distinction between flexible and full members. This should be in terms of the booking window, which should be shorter. Limited access to competitions and club matches. And even the discount behind the bar they get should be different.  

If a flexible member wants all of the benefits, they need to consider upgrading, which is only beneficial to the club. 

4. All the full members will downgrade  

Highly, highly unlikely! As we have shown, the average cost per round is more and they would receive less benefits.  

However, if a full member did downgrade, ask yourself why? Could it be because of time restraints or the overall cost of membership? If so, they would probably be looking to leave the club. But, by having this category, it has probably helped retain them at the club, which is a good thing.  

They say it costs 10 times to acquire a new member than retain an existing member, so keeping them at the club, albeit on a smaller membership is good for the member and the club. 

Implement a Flexible Membership category at your golf club 

Whether golf clubs’ partner with PlayMoreGolf or decide to run their own scheme, we believe most golf clubs should operate one. There is a big market for those “infrequent” golfers who would love to feel part of the golf club but don’t play enough to warrant full membership – yet.