Part of the club

As the cost of living rises, there’ll be lots of golfers asking, is golf club membership right for me?

When golf clubs emerged from Covid before other sporting venues, membership was undoubtedly the best thing an amateur sportsperson could have access to. But, as the cost of living rises and with life back in full flow post-Covid, there are about to be many golfers questioning whether to maintain their membership.

From my point of view, it’s essential, and not just as a golf writer, I’ll admit that being a member of a golf club is part of who I am. I get a great deal of value from the experience – the chance to play whenever I want, to practise using the club’s faculties, to be part of a unique community both on and off the golf course… all of these are important factors for me, and many others who will prioritise their membership fees in 2023. 

For clubs, this is a time to ask: are we providing value? This is a moment to reflect on golf’s post-Covid boom and assess how they have handled the influx of players, and how they will keep them.

A key part of membership is feeling part of the club. Members who feel part of the fabric of the club and its community are far more likely to want to continue being part of it. So too are those who make the most of the facilities and benefits of membership and clubs should be telling members what’s available to them, reminding them of all the benefits they have on top of access to the golf course.

Few clubs can simply post their fees on the notice board and watch the money flow in and we, their customers, have a range of options at almost every club.

Five-day options, flexi-memberships with small additional green fees per round, paying over 12 months, and taster memberships – to name a few – are all still out there and those who may want to reduce costs in 2023 will look for these.

Meanwhile, clubs which provide options which work around busy lifestyles – such as nine-hole competitions – have another tool available to them.

Clubs which are moving forward also have an advantage in the coming months. Sharing progress on the golf course, showcasing what recent investments have achieved and highlighting there’s more to come are key things to share as members make decisions for 2023.

I can’t throw enough support behind being part of a club. From playing five holes in the evening to spending hours on the practice green, there is simply no better, or more flexible, way to enjoy your free time. It’s imperative clubs remind members of the benefits of membership in the coming months, show they are moving forward, and keep golf in a strong position.