There are many things young golfers ask themselves when they consider signing up for a club membership. Younger players don’t play the way members historically have. In general, there is less time to play, as weekends are spent with more focus on family time. When golf was a bigger source of leisure, it may have made more sense to invest in a membership. A country club membership provided status, connections, and pleasure. The “old school” ways, time-honoured traditions valued by boomer players, simply aren’t the reality for next-generation golfers.
Membership fees may also feel too high or even overpriced. 20- and 30-something golfers have less disposable income than boomers had, due to a number of socioeconomic factors.
So, how can you welcome younger golfers to your club membership? We’ve broken out three major categories of strategies to examine. Things like cutting the initiation fee, requiring no long-term commitment, and doing away with strict course rules and dress codes are a great start.
1. YOUNGER GOLFER MEMBERSHIP FEE CONSIDERATIONS
Many golf clubs are deciding to lower or even eliminate the initiation fee for new younger golfer membership sign-ups. Similarly, you might create flexible payment options, such as allowing the initiation fee to be paid interest-free over a few years.
Or, try out a subscription-based membership. Similar to a gym membership or a phone plan, members would be charged monthly, but contracted to a multiple-year commitment. Alternatively, sell 3-month memberships, or even “packaged memberships” with a set number of allotted games per season.
Consider structuring your club with multiple member types, such as an intermediate membership that is made for this demographic (ie. ages 18-39). This tier of membership may come with certain restrictions, such as blacked-out tee time blocks or guest constraints. However, weighed with a reduced cost factor, younger golfers may find these terms very much worth it.
Another way to make membership more enticing is to offer referral discounts. You might choose to reward multiple members, who have the desire to play together, for signing up. Maybe even give a new additional member a free round to welcome them to the club, and to their new regular foursome.
Also, consider the fact these younger golfer memberships may soon become a family affair. You might sweeten the deal by offering special spousal or junior membership rates.