Will introducing Flexible Membership at my golf club cause all my full members to downgrade?

Full member downgrade? Flexible membership | Playmoregolf
By Brad Chard - 20/02/24

Why a Flexible Membership is perfect for your golf club

When we discuss the PlayMoreGolf opportunity with golf clubs, many ask the same question. Will having a flexible golf membership category mean all my full members are going to ‘downgrade’? The short answer is no, and here is why:

The traditional membership model is only less suitable for the more casual or time-limited golfers that do not play on a regular basis.

Have golf club membership numbers slowed down?

We know that participation in golf has remained strong but the number of golfers joining golf clubs has dipped. The Golf Industry witnessed a boom in membership at levels never seen before but we know that joining rates have dipped in 2023.

For members who are frustrated with the costs and inflexibility of a full membership, a flexible alternative offers a solution that benefits both golfers and clubs alike. Whether it is based on points or credits, a flexible membership helps clubs to appeal to golfers who simply cannot justify a full golf membership.

What benefits should a member get?

When launching PlayMoreGolf with a club, each individual golf club sets all the parameters around their new flexible membership category. This ensures a flexible member does not have the same benefits and rights as a full member. We completely understand that full members should have more benefits for paying a higher rate. (Think airlines – naturally, you get more on a business class ticket than you do on an economy one.)

There are several key benefits that we encourage a new partner club to limit for flexible members:

  • Competition access
  • Tee time availability
  • Booking window (to name a few)

These are key to making a flexible membership seem expensive to someone who plays golf regularly. In fact, these often highlight what excellent value a full membership is for anyone playing more than 3-4 times per month.

Why your full golf club members will not downgrade to a Flexible Membership

In short, by launching a flexible golf membership category, only golfers who were at risk of leaving the club anyway will explore the new category. For our partner clubs – who we have now worked with for 3+ years – adding a flexible membership category helped retain golf members, increasing the club’s profitability.

How many members over the last five years have left your club due to not playing enough golf to justify their membership?

How PlayMoreGolf can improve your club’s member retention

The most attractive aspect of flexible golf memberships is right there in the name. Offering a flexible membership can act as a magnet for attracting and retaining golfers with busy work or personal lives.

Seven-days-a-week access to their golf course is a tempting thing for new and existing members. We know some golfers struggle to find the time to play consistently and therefore require a greater selection of options. This then enables them to easily juggle work and family commitments around their golf desires.

Furthermore, the ability to play on multiple golf courses across the UK is also a strong pull. This makes it possible for anyone who finds themselves travelling around a lot to get the most from their membership. Plus, they can take full advantage of good weather or social events with friends and co-workers — wherever they are.

What makes PlayMoreGolf’s flexible membership different?

We are not here to take any of your full members away. Quite the opposite: we want to make sure you keep the full members you have already got. Hundreds of golf clubs across the UK are using our proven platform to operate, run, and administer their flexible memberships. This allows for a structured flexible membership category to run alongside their club’s full membership offerings whilst still giving them control of their tee sheet.

In fact, the feedback from these clubs revealed that on average, up to 2.5% of full members who were going to leave the club, opted to renew as a flexible member instead.

Without a more flexible membership option to choose from, these members would have left the club anyway (or even worse, joined a local competitor), meaning we have helped those clubs retain their customers and improve profitability.

“We believe PlayMoreGolf’s creative and innovative approach will not only encourage people back into the game – and get newcomers started – but also see them retained within the game over a longer period of time, particularly young and occasional golfers.”

Alastair Sinclair – CEO PlayMoreGolf

What are the playing habits of a Flexible Member?

Golf clubs already in partnership with PlayMoreGolf typically gain the following results:

  • Successful clubs are shown to have 70 active members after a 3-year partnership.
  • The average age of a member is 44.
  • 78% of golf rounds are played at off peak times.
  • Average performing club retains 80% of flexible members.
  • Average performing club upgrades 8% of flexible members.

You can see the full list of benefits PlayMoreGolf has to offer here.

What one of our partner clubs had to say.

We always wanted to offer flexible membership at the club as we knew there was a market for it, but we did not how to manage it. The concern was always that the administration of it would be time-consuming and difficult.

The fact that PlayMoreGolf is managed online, points are automatically deducted and bookings feed into our tee sheet is fantastic. It ensures the staff are free to continue with their tasks and looking after members/guests.

The lead generation setup gives us an opportunity to speak with potential members and grow our database. The new members have been fully welcomed to the club, and we are grateful for the increase in membership.

Natalia Lowe, Theale Golf Club

How to grow full members through a Flexible Membership category

We are here to add to your full members.

Simply put, if your flexible golf membership is structured properly then it will not appeal to full members who play regular golf. At PlayMoreGolf, we take charge of the admin and operation of your category, making sure it runs smoothly so that you retain customers.

By working alongside your full membership category, PlayMoreGolf’s aim is to make sure you keep who you have already got. This will also help you appeal to a huge new audience of potential golf members. Plus, if you create a big enough base of flexible members, chances are 8% of these will upgrade and become full members once they get the bug and start to play more golf.

If you are interested in becoming a PlayMoreGolf Partner Club and would like some more information, then please contact us on [email protected]