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Cheapest golf club membership with gui for 2020

  • 05-02-2020 11:19am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 20 s00bf06e


    Hi, I’m planning on taking the year out but want to keep my handicap going in case I play the odd open comp. what is the lowest golf club membership with gui for 2020 that people have come across.
    Distance member at slievenamon GC is the lowest I’ve seen @ €150


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,055 ✭✭✭ irish bloke


    s00bf06e wrote: »
    Hi, I’m planning on taking the year out but want to keep my handicap going in case I play the odd open comp. what is the lowest golf club membership with gui for 2020 that people have come across.
    Distance member at slievenamon GC is the lowest I’ve seen @ €150

    Ild say you would be hard pushed to get better then that...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,330 ✭✭✭ brick tamland


    Dont forget you'll have to play 3 x comps in wherever you join during counting season to maintain the handicap.


  • Registered Users Posts: 255 ✭✭ doublecross


    Dont forget you'll have to play 3 x comps in wherever you join during counting season to maintain the handicap.

    Don't think that rule is being enforced.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,330 ✭✭✭ brick tamland


    Don't think that rule is being enforced.

    Really. Thats poor. Only introduced a few year ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭ Golfhead65


    Don't think that rule is being enforced.

    It comes up against your handicap with a C beside it..depends on where you are living but Blessington Lakes do a P&P for 159 but with an introductory membership of only 525 I don't know why anyone wouldn't avail of full playing rights


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  • Registered Users Posts: 273 ✭✭ shamco


    Kilrush €150 also


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ Dbu


    shamco wrote: »
    Kilrush €150 also

    Jeez, why do clubs bother with this
    Hardly worth the administration of it alone, and the 'member' probably wont spend a € there over the year


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    Dbu wrote: »
    Jeez, why do clubs bother with this
    Hardly worth the administration of it alone, and the 'member' probably wont spend a € there over the year

    Subscription €150.

    GUI subtract €25pp.

    Various bits of correspondence over the year, paper and stamps, say €5pp at worst.

    Annual processing time: let’s say 30 mins for renewals, 1 hour for new. Maybe another hour for handicap stuff over the year. Let’s go long and say that’s €20 per member per year.

    That leaves a worst case profit of €100 per member.

    Process 100 of those a year, and that’s €10k.

    That’s the same return as you would get from 5 golf classics, or from maybe 15 large society visits, or 25 smaller society visits. Except you don’t have to shut down your course or your weekend tee times to attract those groups, and furthermore your course does not suffer any wear and tear.

    ——

    You may not like the model, but that doesn’t mean it should be written off as a source of funds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    It should be written off for different reasons imo!


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    GreeBo wrote: »
    It should be written off for different reasons imo!

    If you’re thinking along the traditional golf club model you’re absolutely right Greebo.

    Personally I’m surprised more of the rural clubs aren’t offering a (say) €200/€250 associate member rate to people in their locality, with a maximum of (say) 8/10 rounds per year, 3 of which would have to be competitions to maintain GUI, or you’re out.

    Pick up 100 of those and it’s both a chunk of annual maintenance costs, and a pathway towards full golf membership for those that get the bug / begin to find themselves with more free time.

    ——

    If every club in Ireland steadfastly retains the traditional membership model, surely the only outcome is fewer golf clubs?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 701 ✭✭✭ Golfhead65


    thewobbler wrote: »
    If you’re thinking along the traditional golf club model you’re absolutely right Greebo.

    Personally I’m surprised more of the rural clubs aren’t offering a (say) €200/€250 associate member rate to people in their locality, with a maximum of (say) 8/10 rounds per year, 3 of which would have to be competitions to maintain GUI, or you’re out.

    Pick up 100 of those and it’s both a chunk of annual maintenance costs, and a pathway towards full golf membership for those that get the bug / begin to find themselves with more free time.

    ——

    If every club in Ireland steadfastly retains the traditional membership model, surely the only outcome is fewer golf clubs?

    Totally agree with your model


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    thewobbler wrote: »
    If you’re thinking along the traditional golf club model you’re absolutely right Greebo.

    Personally I’m surprised more of the rural clubs aren’t offering a (say) €200/€250 associate member rate to people in their locality, with a maximum of (say) 8/10 rounds per year, 3 of which would have to be competitions to maintain GUI, or you’re out.

    Pick up 100 of those and it’s both a chunk of annual maintenance costs, and a pathway towards full golf membership for those that get the bug / begin to find themselves with more free time.

    ——

    If every club in Ireland steadfastly retains the traditional membership model, surely the only outcome is fewer golf clubs?

    Which is exactly what should happen if the country can't sustain the current number.

    If every club went down the route you mention, where exactly are all these distance members going to play their golf?

    And more importantly, what quality courses are they going to be playing on?
    No point in paying 150 membership only to have to fork out 2 grand a year in greenfees to get access to quality golf courses.


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Which is exactly what should happen if the country can't sustain the current number.

    If every club went down the route you mention, where exactly are all these distance members going to play their golf?

    And more importantly, what quality courses are they going to be playing on?
    No point in paying 150 membership only to have to fork out 2 grand a year in greenfees to get access to quality golf courses.

    Hence I mentioned rural.

    If there’s not enough chimney pots in an area to sustain a traditional membership model, other avenues have to be sought.

    You’re right that ultimately it will likely end up in the demise of clubs in the medium to long term.


  • Registered Users Posts: 350 ✭✭ Skyfloater


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Which is exactly what should happen if the country can't sustain the current number.

    If every club went down the route you mention, where exactly are all these distance members going to play their golf?

    And more importantly, what quality courses are they going to be playing on?
    No point in paying 150 membership only to have to fork out 2 grand a year in greenfees to get access to quality golf courses.

    I think you maybe seeing this from the perspective of someone who plays 40-50 plus rounds a year. There's a huge number of guys like myself who play up to around a dozen rounds a year, if we're lucky. That's a revenue stream that clubs could do more to tap into. It simply makes no sense for me to pay a full membership fee, when I'm not going to get anywhere near value out of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,500 ✭✭✭ Ottoman_1000


    Skyfloater wrote: »
    I think you maybe seeing this from the perspective of someone who plays 40-50 plus rounds a year. There's a huge number of guys like myself who play up to around a dozen rounds a year, if we're lucky. That's a revenue stream that clubs could do more to tap into. It simply makes no sense for me to pay a full membership fee, when I'm not going to get anywhere near value out of it.

    Exactly this, I see one poster earlier questioned why anyone would pay for PandP membership. I am a PandP member of a club and its perfect as I only get to play maybe 9-12 competitions max per year. It would not make financial sense for me to join the club as a full time member.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Exactly this, I see one poster earlier questioned why anyone would pay for PandP membership. I am a PandP member of a club and its perfect as I only get to play maybe 9-12 competitions max per year. It would not make financial sense for me to join the club as a full time member.
    Skyfloater wrote: »
    I think you maybe seeing this from the perspective of someone who plays 40-50 plus rounds a year. There's a huge number of guys like myself who play up to around a dozen rounds a year, if we're lucky. That's a revenue stream that clubs could do more to tap into. It simply makes no sense for me to pay a full membership fee, when I'm not going to get anywhere near value out of it.

    I think the bit this is missing is that, barring a few famous "championship" courses, its the full members that are paying for the upkeep of the courses that you are playing on (either pandp or greenfees)

    If everyone went to this model then you would be paying left between €150 for Druids or €25 for a field. The rest of the members clubs would either fold or drop in quality.
    Its very expensive to keep a course in top condition, if its not in top condition then you lose greensfees to a better course. Its also very hard to run a bar/restaurant if there is no guaranteed members trade. Who is playing much greenfee golf in December other than members? No members means no one spending money which means the club have to own the bar and restaurant, which in turn means cutting back on options and hours.


  • Registered Users Posts: 142 ✭✭ londonred


    s00bf06e wrote: »
    Hi, I’m planning on taking the year out but want to keep my handicap going in case I play the odd open comp. what is the lowest golf club membership with gui for 2020 that people have come across.
    Distance member at slievenamon GC is the lowest I’ve seen @ €150

    If based near Dublin would recommend the Pay&Play at Corballis €376 inc GUI and insurance , competiton's nearly everyday of the week so easy enough to keep you handicap its the 85th best course in Ireland and good fun to play.


  • Registered Users Posts: 359 ✭✭ paulanthony


    GreeBo wrote: »
    I think the bit this is missing is that, barring a few famous "championship" courses, its the full members that are paying for the upkeep of the courses that you are playing on (either pandp or greenfees).

    The example given above is an associate membership of €200 for 8 rounds a year. What is the difference between 5 x associate members paying €1,000 and playing 35 rounds and one full member paying a €1,000 sub and playing 35 rounds a year (apart from the fact that the five associate members could (potentially) consume more dinners, balls from the pro shop, golf lessons, lucozades etc that the single guy)?

    I don't agree with the idea of thinking of all golf clubs in Ireland as one collective which should cater to the (say) 120,000 people who want to pay a €1,200+ sub a year and play 1-2 times every week, and that the market should conform to this (ie, 15% of clubs should close).

    Golf clubs, like any other business or club, should be free to try ideas which may (a) generate extra income, (b) encourage more people to get involved in golf, (c) help sustain their club.

    The reality of letting clubs close to shrink to the size of the market (using my 15% figure above) won't mean ten clubs closing in Dublin or other urban areas where an alternative is five minutes further down the road, it'll mean more rural clubs like (for example) Skibbereen closing where the nearest alternative is 40 mins away in Bantry. Why shouldn't the members of such a club be entitled to try novel ideas to keep their club going.

    To be clear - I'm not a big fan of the Slievenamon distance membership for your GUI model, but other "less than full" membership options seem reasonable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 438 ✭✭ zep


    There is also the Hibernian club option.
    https://www.hiberniangolf.com/
    They charge €195 for membership and €50 per round on the Smurfit K Club course.
    Need to play 4 rounds to keep GUI.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    The example given above is an associate membership of €200 for 8 rounds a year. What is the difference between 5 x associate members paying €1,000 and playing 35 rounds and one full member paying a €1,000 sub and playing 35 rounds a year (apart from the fact that the five associate members could (potentially) consume more dinners, balls from the pro shop, golf lessons, lucozades etc that the single guy)?
    Well the basic difference is that you need 5 times the golfing population to support the second model as you do the first.
    In a shrinking market where you cant shrink your costs without impacting your product, I just dont see it working...
    I don't agree with the idea of thinking of all golf clubs in Ireland as one collective which should cater to the (say) 120,000 people who want to pay a €1,200+ sub a year and play 1-2 times every week, and that the market should conform to this (ie, 15% of clubs should close).

    Golf clubs, like any other business or club, should be free to try ideas which may (a) generate extra income, (b) encourage more people to get involved in golf, (c) help sustain their club.

    I 100% agree that clubs need to cater for different markets, but I think you do this by balancing costs against standards. The recent golfing recession has meant a group of golfers expect top conditions for less than top costs.
    That model works when its not the only model, the regular members pay for the upkeep of the course and are rewarded with "unlimited" access, the nomads are supported by getting reasonable greenfee rates at top quality courses.
    In essence, the members are subsidizing the others, but this is ok as they get other benefits.
    The reality of letting clubs close to shrink to the size of the market (using my 15% figure above) won't mean ten clubs closing in Dublin or other urban areas where an alternative is five minutes further down the road, it'll mean more rural clubs like (for example) Skibbereen closing where the nearest alternative is 40 mins away in Bantry. Why shouldn't the members of such a club be entitled to try novel ideas to keep their club going.
    Clubs will only close if there isnt a sufficient population to support the club willing to pay the appropriate amount for the standard they want. So you either lower the standard or you increase the costs. You simply cant keep the same standard with fewer people.

    Those novel ideas in Skibbereen are just cannibalizing the members from Bantry.
    Would would anyone join Skibbereen as a full member if they can get the same access for less under a different model?
    Then how does Skibbereen maintain the course to the same standards with less income?
    Lower standards means fewer greenfees and you are then in a death spiral with no way out.
    To be clear - I'm not a big fan of the Slievenamon distance membership for your GUI model, but other "less than full" membership options seem reasonable.

    Less than full options are totally fine, as long as you are still talking about membership.
    More cash = more access to your club, more committment and hopefully better standards!

    But cash for GUI is not good for anyone IMO.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 359 ✭✭ paulanthony


    GreeBo wrote: »
    Well the basic difference is that you need 5 times the golfing population to support the second model as you do the first.
    In a shrinking market where you cant shrink your costs without impacting your product, I just dont see it working...

    But it's not one or the other... You would have to structure the offering so that the very regular golfer playing 40 times a year is still better off with full membership BUT you can add a handful of additional associate members who (a) don't have the time to play 40 rounds a year (b) are just getting into golf etc and these people may indeed transition to full members in future. Basically a more realistic version of the 5 day membership which is totally useless to anyone working a Monday to Friday job.
    GreeBo wrote: »
    I 100% agree that clubs need to cater for different markets, but I think you do this by balancing costs against standards. The recent golfing recession has meant a group of golfers expect top conditions for less than top costs.
    That model works when its not the only model, the regular members pay for the upkeep of the course and are rewarded with "unlimited" access, the nomads are supported by getting reasonable greenfee rates at top quality courses.
    In essence, the members are subsidizing the others, but this is ok as they get other benefits.

    Agree with this. As I said, full membership still has to remain as the most attractive offering to very regular players.

    GreeBo wrote: »
    Clubs will only close if there isnt a sufficient population to support the club willing to pay the appropriate amount for the standard they want. So you either lower the standard or you increase the costs. You simply cant keep the same standard with fewer people.

    Again agree with this, but I'm trying to encourage more, not fewer, people to participate. I agree if you introduce a new offer and a load of full members downgrade to it then you've gotten it wrong. You need to be attracting those lapsed players etc.
    GreeBo wrote: »
    Those novel ideas in Skibbereen are just cannibalizing the members from Bantry.
    Would would anyone join Skibbereen as a full member if they can get the same access for less under a different model?
    Then how does Skibbereen maintain the course to the same standards with less income?
    Lower standards means fewer greenfees and you are then in a death spiral with no way out.

    They don't get the same access under a different model - I think that is clear. They get a much more restricted access.
    One would hope the income would be greater, not less, as there are additional members.


  • Registered Users Posts: 48,742 ✭✭✭✭ Wichita Lineman


    Golf clubs always have to balance the fact that existing long term members paying full fees perceive (and in some cases with good reason) that they are subsidising 'cheaper golf' for everyone but themselves. Without full memberships a golf club will close.

    I've said it hundreds of times the nomadic players or those who expect top quality standards for the handful of times a year they have time to play absolutely take for granted that there are plenty of full members paying to keep things cosy for them.

    In reality the casual golfer doesn't give a s**t if my club or your club closes as they will always have another one available to them for their couple of rounds a year.

    Why should clubs have to cater for those who don't care if they close or not?


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    But it's not one or the other... You would have to structure the offering so that the very regular golfer playing 40 times a year is still better off with full membership BUT you can add a handful of additional associate members who (a) don't have the time to play 40 rounds a year (b) are just getting into golf etc and these people may indeed transition to full members in future. Basically a more realistic version of the 5 day membership which is totally useless to anyone working a Monday to Friday job.

    You cant use 40 times to calculate cost benefit, at least I dont think you can.
    That's probably 5% of golfers.

    I don't see how you can offer a better version of 5 day without all your weekend golfers just moving to that model.

    Sat/Sun is prime time for golf for the vast majority of people, as soon as you start offering that for a lower price you have just kicked off the beginning of the end.
    Those of use working Mon to Fri are paying extra for the privilege of Weekend golf, courses are empty mon to fri other than some society groups, but even they are more like Fri or maybe Thursdays.
    Agree with this. As I said, full membership still has to remain as the most attractive offering to very regular players.
    Which means weekends.

    Again agree with this, but I'm trying to encourage more, not fewer, people to participate. I agree if you introduce a new offer and a load of full members downgrade to it then you've gotten it wrong. You need to be attracting those lapsed players etc.
    You attract them by offering the less desirable times at discount rates, but as above, if you are offering the top prize for cheaper then you are going to get your membership migrating.

    For example, if you offered a discount for golfers on weekends before 9am then all your full members who play before 9 will downgrade.
    They don't get the same access under a different model - I think that is clear. They get a much more restricted access.
    One would hope the income would be greater, not less, as there are additional members.

    How much more restricted can you get than 5 day and still attract enough people to make a difference?

    I think the income for one club might be greater, but only becuase they have attracted golfers from some other club. The nett result is the same, some club closes.


  • Registered Users Posts: 359 ✭✭ paulanthony


    Ok, let's just leave it as it is so. There's clearly absolutely no possible room for any other models / offerings than those which have been used for the last hundred years?

    I'll give myself as an example. Currently not a member anywhere. With a small child etc I'm not going to join a club on a full membership paying (and I'm using St Margaret's here as an example as it has its prices online) €1,395 a year as that would probably cost be well in excess of €100 per round and I don't really have that spare. I'm also not going to join as a 5 day member for €749 as I work M-F so that's just not a runner, even if it was half that price. So I'm not someone who would be downgrading from a full sub to an alternative one.

    I would however join if they offered the following for say €300ish: Associate membership, GUI, 8 rounds a year (4 M-F, 4 Weekends but not before 10am), can't play the weekends of the club majors, extra rounds €15 Mon-Thur ¦ €20 Fri ¦ €30 Sat/Sun (plus all the other usual exclusions from interclub teams, committees etc). I can't see that being too disruptive to the full members.

    Between the sub and a few additional green fees, meals, spend in the shop this would potentially amount to a €500-600 spend by me over the season. 20 of those = €10k. It also gives me the opportunity to be a member somewhere and participate in the sport. Hopefully I then become a full member five years later.

    I appreciate people will just reply saying sure let's design memberships to totally suit you and your requirements, but I expect that would suit a lot of people and encourage them to take the plunge and join a club. I don't think it would encourage Mr/s Saturday comp for the last 15 years to downgrade (unless s/he was planning to give up membership anyway).


  • Registered Users Posts: 972 ✭✭✭ Euphoriasean


    Ok, let's just leave it as it is so. There's clearly absolutely no possible room for any other models / offerings than those which have been used for the last hundred years?

    I'll give myself as an example. Currently not a member anywhere. With a small child etc I'm not going to join a club on a full membership paying (and I'm using St Margaret's here as an example as it has its prices online) €1,395 a year as that would probably cost be well in excess of €100 per round and I don't really have that spare. I'm also not going to join as a 5 day member for €749 as I work M-F so that's just not a runner, even if it was half that price. So I'm not someone who would be downgrading from a full sub to an alternative one.

    I would however join if they offered the following for say €300ish: Associate membership, GUI, 8 rounds a year (4 M-F, 4 Weekends but not before 10am), can't play the weekends of the club majors, extra rounds €15 Mon-Thur ¦ €20 Fri ¦ €30 Sat/Sun (plus all the other usual exclusions from interclub teams, committees etc). I can't see that being too disruptive to the full members.

    Between the sub and a few additional green fees, meals, spend in the shop this would potentially amount to a €500-600 spend by me over the season. 20 of those = €10k. It also gives me the opportunity to be a member somewhere and participate in the sport. Hopefully I then become a full member five years later.

    I appreciate people will just reply saying sure let's design memberships to totally suit you and your requirements, but I expect that would suit a lot of people and encourage them to take the plunge and join a club. I don't think it would encourage Mr/s Saturday comp for the last 15 years to downgrade (unless s/he was planning to give up membership anyway).

    100% agree with you that there can be both a good offering to full members and a restricted 7 days membership. Let's says the average golfer plays 30 rounds a years, 10 rounds could be priced at 1/3 of full membership, 15 at half membership. There is a large pool of people that have given up golf for the exact reasons you have outlined who could be tempted back with this offering.

    I know I wouldn't be interested or feel hard done by the restricted membership as I play twice as much as this would offer. Number used are pie in the sky but there is definitely a balance to be had with a good outcome for both club and players.


  • Registered Users Posts: 774 ✭✭✭ Kingswood Rover


    This old chest nut again baton down the hatches and take out yer hatchets


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    Golf clubs always have to balance the fact that existing long term members paying full fees perceive (and in some cases with good reason) that they are subsidising 'cheaper golf' for everyone but themselves. Without full memberships a golf club will close.

    I've said it hundreds of times the nomadic players or those who expect top quality standards for the handful of times a year they have time to play absolutely take for granted that there are plenty of full members paying to keep things cosy for them.

    In reality the casual golfer doesn't give a s**t if my club or your club closes as they will always have another one available to them for their couple of rounds a year.

    Why should clubs have to cater for those who don't care if they close or not?

    It’s called supply and demand.

    If your product isn’t getting the sales it needs to return a profit, you either stop selling the product, or you rebadge it and sell it as something else. If you don’t, you’re going out of business.

    Golf club membership in NI has allegedly fallen by 30% in 15 years, even though in real terms, golf club (traditional member model) membership has never been cheaper, and never been easier to attain. All to a backdrop of 3 major winners, home of The Open, a series of Irish Opens, and the now mythological status of RCD and Portrush all ensuring that public interest in the sport has never been higher.

    So when members of rural courses in Armagh, Antrim, Derry, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone ask the question “Why should clubs have to cater for those who don't care if they close or not?”, they’re actually asking the wrong question.

    They should be asking “if we want a golf club in this town, how can we cater for as many people as possible in this town?”.

    ——

    Members longing for days of yore to return are slowly killing the clubs they proclaim to love.


  • Registered Users Posts: 782 ✭✭✭ thewobbler


    Let’s take a healthy enough club, an established parkland attached to a rural town. Would I be wrong to say maybe 500 members, paying an average of €800pa?

    So it generates roughly €400k subs.

    ——

    They’re taken over and the new owners chuck out all the members, and go strictly pay per play.

    There’s around 7 good months to a golf season in Ireland: mid March to mid October. A 30 week period, when rounded down.

    So for those 30 weeks a year, the weekend timesheet has to become your cash cow. That was the premium that members usually paid for.

    8 hours a day at a steady but not breakneck pace, is 24 golfers an hour, is 192 players. At €30 a throw, that’s €5,760. Lets call it €5,500 after losing a few no-shows.

    Saturday and Sunday, that’s €11k a weekend, or €330k for weekend tees alone across peak season.

    The weather will wipe out a few days so we are back down to €300k.

    So they’ve the 5 shorter wetter months of the year to claw in €100k from those premium slots that everyone wants, just to emulate the membership model income.

    It’s tight, but if they’re getting full timesheets in summer, they’ll clear that mark with a month spare.

    That’s the big if. Are there really 384 golfers in the area willing to pay €30 every weekend during the summer? Probably not.

    But then trade that up with large societies rubbing their hands at the prospect of a complete weekend afternoon timesheet for their society. Winter or summer.

    ——

    Of course there’s other income streams affected too - competition subs, profit on restaurant and bar sales. But these are the very streams that are falling in line with membership numbers. Not incurring the cost of an empty bar midweek, and only opening at weekends, there’s a financial sense in that.... especially with no members complaining about not being able to get a pot of tea between 4 on a Thursday afternoon, and no catering contractor squeezing wine into their end of the take, just to make ends meet.

    As for other green fees, there’s no reason for green fee levels to change midweek, as long as the course maintenance is upheld, the same punters will come along. If anything these green fees might go up as there’s no men’s, women’s juvenile competitions taking place, no team practice taking place on long summer evenings.

    ——-

    This isn’t the future for everyone. But it will happen to dozens of clubs over the next 20 years, when the receivers come calling, and investors want little more than to turn a small annual profit, while waiting for the right politician to bribe about zoning the land for private housing.

    Is this really a preferable future to changing the current membership model and attuning to maintain some form of profitability?

    ——-

    I’m not an accountant by the way. I’m aware my numbers are judiciously pulled out of thin air.

    Except there’s 170,000 registered GUI members across 420 clubs, encompassing ladies, juveniles, distance members, weekday members, senior members, as well as premium members. That’s just over 400 per club. I doubt the average is more than 550-600. And how many of those are paying this full rate?


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    Ok, let's just leave it as it is so. There's clearly absolutely no possible room for any other models / offerings than those which have been used for the last hundred years?

    Well the product hasn't changed in the last hundred years, but expectations and costs have and since time to play is longer, there is less of your product available, for the same costs.

    I'll give myself as an example. Currently not a member anywhere. With a small child etc I'm not going to join a club on a full membership paying (and I'm using St Margaret's here as an example as it has its prices online) €1,395 a year as that would probably cost be well in excess of €100 per round and I don't really have that spare. I'm also not going to join as a 5 day member for €749 as I work M-F so that's just not a runner, even if it was half that price. So I'm not someone who would be downgrading from a full sub to an alternative one.

    I would however join if they offered the following for say €300ish: Associate membership, GUI, 8 rounds a year (4 M-F, 4 Weekends but not before 10am), can't play the weekends of the club majors, extra rounds €15 Mon-Thur ¦ €20 Fri ¦ €30 Sat/Sun (plus all the other usual exclusions from interclub teams, committees etc). I can't see that being too disruptive to the full members.
    I'm sure you can't, but I'd check with your treasurer and committee before you roll out the new model.

    Let's say the average full member plays 20 competitions a year, that's pretty much every weekend during the summer months and a bit before and after.

    Using your model that would cost them 900 ish. So they have saved 500 ish on their previous costs. The club can't recoup these as that prime playing slot is still used up u that same golfer.

    Where does money now come from?
    If this is the average member and the average club has 500 members, now your club is down 125,000 a year with no more golf slots to sell than they had before your model.

    I just don't see how you think the numbers work for the club, clearly they work for you!

    What you need to remember is that clubs are not trying to make money, they are trying to be self financing. There is no owner taking the profits home at the end of the year.

    What your post really distills down to is that you want to be a member without having to pay for it because you can't use it 7 days a week. You need to stop thinking about it as a gym membership, it's a club that you are buying a part of, you are not just renting the course for a few hours.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,534 ✭✭✭✭ GreeBo


    thewobbler wrote: »
    Let’s take a healthy enough club, an established parkland attached to a rural town. Would I be wrong to say maybe 500 members, paying an average of €800pa?

    So it generates roughly €400k subs.

    ——

    They’re taken over and the new owners chuck out all the members, and go strictly pay per play.

    There’s around 7 good months to a golf season in Ireland: mid March to mid October. A 30 week period, when rounded down.

    So for those 30 weeks a year, the weekend timesheet has to become your cash cow. That was the premium that members usually paid for.

    8 hours a day at a steady but not breakneck pace, is 24 golfers an hour, is 192 players. At €30 a throw, that’s €5,760. Lets call it €5,500 after losing a few no-shows.

    Saturday and Sunday, that’s €11k a weekend, or €330k for weekend tees alone across peak season.

    The weather will wipe out a few days so we are back down to €300k.

    So they’ve the 5 shorter wetter months of the year to claw in €100k from those premium slots that everyone wants, just to emulate the membership model income.

    It’s tight, but if they’re getting full timesheets in summer, they’ll clear that mark with a month spare.

    That’s the big if. Are there really 384 golfers in the area willing to pay €30 every weekend during the summer? Probably not.

    But then trade that up with large societies rubbing their hands at the prospect of a complete weekend afternoon timesheet for their society. Winter or summer.

    ——

    Of course there’s other income streams affected too - competition subs, profit on restaurant and bar sales. But these are the very streams that are falling in line with membership numbers. Not incurring the cost of an empty bar midweek, and only opening at weekends, there’s a financial sense in that.... especially with no members complaining about not being able to get a pot of tea between 4 on a Thursday afternoon, and no catering contractor squeezing wine into their end of the take, just to make ends meet.

    As for other green fees, there’s no reason for green fee levels to change midweek, as long as the course maintenance is upheld, the same punters will come along. If anything these green fees might go up as there’s no men’s, women’s juvenile competitions taking place, no team practice taking place on long summer evenings.

    ——-

    This isn’t the future for everyone. But it will happen to dozens of clubs over the next 20 years, when the receivers come calling, and investors want little more than to turn a small annual profit, while waiting for the right politician to bribe about zoning the land for private housing.

    Is this really a preferable future to changing the current membership model and attuning to maintain some form of profitability?

    ——-

    I’m not an accountant by the way. I’m aware my numbers are judiciously pulled out of thin air.

    Except there’s 170,000 registered GUI members across 420 clubs, encompassing ladies, juveniles, distance members, weekday members, senior members, as well as premium members. That’s just over 400 per club. I doubt the average is more than 550-600. And how many of those are paying this full rate?

    I think you are banking the future of your club on having a bunch of different societies willing to play the same course every week for ever. In my experience this is not at all what societies are interested in, itb somewhat defeats the point.

    There are already a cohort of people willing to do this, we call then members!


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