What makes a good Golf Club
What makes a good Golf Club is a short Golf blog post highlighting what members and visitors want from a good Golf Club.
Golfers want lots of different things in membership or at a facility.
There are also many different styles of golf club that you can join. Public courses, resorts or private clubs are among the choices that you have as a golfer.
So what do golfers look for when deciding where to join?
Below is a list of answers from my recent questionnaire that I sent out to 100 randomly chosen golfers.
What do Golfers want from a Membership?
The cost of membership is different at every club. This depends on the type of club, Private members, public, resort etc.
It will also depend on what facilities they have to offer and where they are situated and how much you can afford to spend.
Most golfers would like the following from their membership fees.
Value for money
The annual subscriptions may differ by a considerable amount but value for money should still be present.
No joining fees
Joining fees are now becoming a thing of the past as many golf clubs are battling for survival.
Low subscription fees
This was a popular answer to my questionnaire. There are many golfers that still believe that golf club membership is too expensive. I suppose that this will differ, subject to where you live and depending on the course & club conditions.
Free junior membership
A popular subject is free junior membership up to the age of 16. The promotion of golf to all children is really important for the future of the game. I believe that this should be subsidised by adult members or even by the government.
Free waiting list
If the club that you wish to join is popular and they have a waiting list. There is no way that you should be paying for this unless the fee is a small administration fee to help pay for the wages of the person/secretary who is in charge.
Many golfers look at the clubs’ partner clubs. These are other clubs that have a deal in place, such as, being able to play golf at a neighbouring golf club when your course is closed due to a tournament or a company day etc.
Additional benefits including discounted green fees at other courses. Bar & restaurant discounts, pro shop discounts etc.
Membership benefits should include, discounted guests green fees, Bar & restaurant discounts or rewards, pro-shop discount and lesson deals.
Official Handicap and a full tournament calendar including inter-club matches and access to national events.
Tournaments are a huge factor in deciding where to join. Some golfers want as many tournaments as possible whereas others want fewer competitions and more social golf. An official handicap is also something that some golfers require.
Welcome pack including a Membership card, Bag tag and other freebies.
Most members will be proud to be a member and they will also want to display the fact. A membership card, bag tag or even a baseball cap will make good ammunition for the clubs marketing department.
Regular meetings between club members and officials and/or regular email notification.
Communication with the members is vital. Emails are great but lots of golfers want face to face meetings. Lots of golfers see emails as a lazy way to communicate. Social events can be a great opportunity for the club officials to meet their members.
Member referral rewards
I was surprised to see just how many golfers wish to see member referral rewards. Members that refer other golfers to join the club should be rewarded with a discounted subscription or some other reward.
What facilities do Golfers want?
Every club has different facilities on offer. This depends on the type of club it is and where it is. It could be a Resort course, a private members course or even a public course.
Location, location, location.
Local facilities are important. The travelling distance to and from the Golf Club is a key factor for a golfer. It may just be a case of saving petrol money or it might be that the golfer is Eco-minded and doesn’t want to travel by car every day.
Golf course design.
The course itself is the most important to any golfer. The length of the course, difficulty and conditions of the course is paramount. Golfers can turn a blind eye to some things as long as the greens are in excellent condition.
General upkeep and first impressions.
Standards and the Upkeep of the course, range, putting green and the clubhouse are really important. The first impressions can make a difference in the decision of where a golfer joins. Golfers like to bring friends to the club to show it off. It, therefore, should look well kept after and maintained.
These will typically include a driving range, chipping area, practice bunkers, putting green, indoor golf etc.
Golfers will need the services of a PGA Professionals or a PGA Coach at a point in their careers. The use of a Trackman or some other tech will be an advantage. The hiring of training aids would also help. An Academy membership may be a thing.
A well-stocked Pro shop including Logo clothing and accessories are important. Members like equipment Demo Days. A good repair service is vital. An online Pro-shop is vital for the modern era.
Luxurious changing rooms.
Some golfers make the decision where to join on how the locker rooms look. Clean white fluffy towels, spacious toilets, Wider lockers and luxury carpets can make or break the golf club.
More and more golfers expect some kind of Spa facilities. These may include a sauna, steam room, power showers, hot tub, pool, massage and other health treatments.
Other sporting facilities
Tennis, indoor golf, a gym with a fitness trainer, even yoga are just some of the extras that golfers are looking for.
A good modern restaurant.
The use of seasonal produce, Locally sourcing, constantly changing menu, various salads & theme nights and the use of daily menu boards. Good staff, friendly yet professional. These were all mentioned by the golfers that I questioned.
Al fresco possibilities are a must with most golfers. A terrace/balcony or private dining pods have also been mentioned.
An area with comfortable seating, an open fire or log burner. Local beers, local spirits and reasonable bar prices are a must.
A good social life is important. It should include Quiz nights, karaoke, Rule explanation nights, seminars, after dinner speakers and live music. This allows members, both new and existing to mingle and make new friends.
Ample secure parking that is well-lit and wide enough. Taxi facilities or a shuttle bus are a bonus.
Clubs, Trolleys, Electric trolleys, buggies, GPS and Caddies. These are important for all golf clubs to have. They should be maintained and regularly replaced to keep up the image and standard.
Most golfers want a halfway house on the course. They should supply water, fruit and snacks and other goodies. Many golfers would like enough seating to sit down and have a break to let other players go through.
A Good website
Hugely important is a good clean website. There should be enough information but not too much text. Online booking facilities for tee times and restaurant table reservations should also be possible. Up to date condensed photos that load quickly is a must. Good websites should include as little scrolling as possible.
A good function room
A good function room is important to a club. Events & meetings can be held here and it should be free to hire to the club members.
Free unlimited Wi-Fi with a strong signal is vital for a modern golf club. It should be possible to access without a password.
Flat large screen or several screens with Sky Sports or the Golf Channel should be available. These are important because members will use the bar more often when major sporting events are shown on the TV.
Children’s play areas, indoor or outdoor are becoming more and more important. Even a Crèche has been mentioned because more and more young families still want to play golf and take a break from the children.
What is your opinion? What do you look for in a good Golf Club?
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