Rounds are up, but people are down

Rounds are up, but people are down

Last week’s BRS Golf figures made interesting reading.

The number of rounds of golf so far this year is up 100% from the number played in the same period in 2019.

But the number of members of golf clubs? Down 6,000

If you’re still a member somewhere, this is all good news – more space, more tee times and so on and so forth.

For the golf clubs dependent on the subscriptions every year for your budget? Not so good.

It wasn’t all bad news – visitors were up by 21%, which goes some way towards plugging the gap, but the point is that not all revenue is created equal.

Whether you’re a private business or a golf club, recurring income makes life so much easier.

You can’t rely on “one-offs” to pay the increased electricity bill, but you can try to convert them to members so that you can rely on their payments.


Anyway, all this talk of the decreasing members reminded me of an article I wrote a while back, which is pretty pertinent to this subject – here it is below:

I was chatting with my favourite golf club the other day (the identity of the club will remain a secret!).

And they had good news – they’re at full membership, AND they’ve got a 100-strong waiting list.

A position they haven’t been in for over a decade.

I congratulated them, and then my marketing head kicked in, and I started asking a few questions.

“Okay, so you’ve got a hundred people on your waiting list – what do they get?”

“What do you mean?”

You know, communication from you. Do they get a copy of the club email newsletter?

No – that’s only for members.”

“Do you send them any emails?”

“Only when we have a space.”

“And how long could it be until you have a space?”

“A few months to a few years.”

“Okay, so how are you keeping them warm while they wait?”

“What do you mean “warm”?”

“Engaged, happy, still interested, all of that stuff”

“But a waiting list is a guaranteed new member whenever WE want them to join.”

“Are you sure? Do you take a deposit from them to put them on the list?”


“So, what is there to stop them from joining another Club or just deciding that they are actually happier with just paying green fees than a full year’s membership up front?”

“Nothing, but they would never change their mind, I am pretty sure…”

This Club didn’t have a waiting list at all.

Instead, it was a “potential client list”.

And as the private sector knows, “potential” is no guarantee of them becoming an actual customer.

Until the money is in your account, the job isn’t done, which means that keeping in contact with your “potentials”, engaging with them, and ensuring that they’re still interested in working with you isn’t just sensible, it is critical.

How often do you speak to your “potentials” list?

Rounds are up, but people are down

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