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Covid Golf Club - Membership Fees during Covid

  • 04-01-2021 11:45pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 55 ✭✭ narodvale


    A quick one for you Covid golfers should anyone be able to offer any advice.

    I just moved home from Australia and managed to get a membership for 2021 to a great course at a decent rate. Received a slightly more competitive rate for paying the entirety up front.

    Not in a great financial position having just moved back, but an investment I was more than happy to make if I had been able to avail of some rounds on this lovely course.

    Now that golf clubs are closed, are membership fees refunded, or indeed at least partially refunded?


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 317 ✭✭ gooseygander


    Nope, not ours anyway. Ours are actually looking for a financial dig out from the members on top of the years sub


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


    Expenses for clubs pretty much stay the same whether they are open or closed or at least they do if you want your facility to be playable when you are allowed to play. I appreciate it's not ideal for everyone and clubs should facilitate anyone genuine struggling but it's essential that members pay their fees to keep clubs open.


  • Registered Users Posts: 702 ✭✭✭ ClutchIt


    No refunds as stated above. I am hopeful that come Feb golf should be back for the long term. With the frosty weather in Jan anyway, most courses would be closeda bit. You hopefully won't miss out on too much golf.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10 ✭✭✭ kjansch


    Are any clubs adopting more modern pricing structures to refelct these times?

    I know at Lisheen Springs you can pay a block of money upfront and each round is deducted from that until used up.

    Any others out there showing initiative like this?


  • Registered Users Posts: 588 ✭✭✭ rickis tache


    Paid up my membership in new in Sept last as was told I could have the reminder of 2020 and all of 2021. No word on discounts officially but talk of getting the first 2 months in 2022 added.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,134 ✭✭✭ blue note


    I paid mine in September. I believe I get a month free when I renew in September 2021.


  • Registered Users Posts: 496 ✭✭ Stacksey


    ClutchIt wrote: »
    No refunds as stated above. I am hopeful that come Feb golf should be back for the long term. With the frosty weather in Jan anyway, most courses would be closeda bit. You hopefully won't miss out on too much golf.

    I'd imagine it will be March before golf courses are open again


  • Registered Users Posts: 55 ✭✭ narodvale


    Thanks all, interesting to hear peoples perspectives, and what some clubs are doing.

    It seems some clubs are openly acknowledging Covid, and trying to put some free months in place to split the impact on themselves, and their members.

    Although I appreciate it's essential that members keep their fees up, I would have thought pro actively reaching out to member's and exploring some ways they might get a return on these fees are definitely worth looking at. As a new member at a club who has paid for the year in full the prospect of missing out on months of golf (Potentially 6 months dependent on how this new strain progresses and vaccine roll out goes, I'm aware it's impossible to predict) with no acknowledgement by the club is very disappointing.

    At the end of the day most golf clubs are run as a business, at a profit, or they wouldn't be able to continue to exist. Gym memberships at this time also have overheads, but are providing full refunds or membership pauses. I'm well aware this is not a like for like, but I'm surprised at the stance of many clubs


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,060 ✭✭✭ Ollieboy


    narodvale wrote: »
    Thanks all, interesting to hear peoples perspectives, and what some clubs are doing.

    It seems some clubs are openly acknowledging Covid, and trying to put some free months in place to split the impact on themselves, and their members.

    Although I appreciate it's essential that members keep their fees up, I would have thought pro actively reaching out to member's and exploring some ways they might get a return on these fees are definitely worth looking at. As a new member at a club who has paid for the year in full the prospect of missing out on months of golf (Potentially 6 months dependent on how this new strain progresses and vaccine roll out goes, I'm aware it's impossible to predict) with no acknowledgement by the club is very disappointing.

    At the end of the day most golf clubs are run as a business, at a profit, or they wouldn't be able to continue to exist. Gym memberships at this time also have overheads, but are providing full refunds or membership pauses. I'm well aware this is not a like for like, but I'm surprised at the stance of many clubs

    There is no comparison between a gym and a golf club. Gym can turn of heat, lay of staff and basically cut all there bills down to rent.

    Golf clubs have huge capital investment and the grass still grows and course needs maintenance even without players.

    I don’t think anyone that understands the golf membership model expects refunds or discounts because they own the club and want it to succeed. I’m sure they would like refunds though.

    When a members club as a surplus they will use the funds for capital projects or reduce subs the following year. They might be run as a business but it’s not a capitalist business.

    Gyms and certain types of golf clubs like resorts etc are business for capitalism and run based on supply and demand. Members clubs are very different


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


    Agree with above, a members owned golf club is run on a not for profit basis but it still has to create revenue to maintain facilities and stay open. Some people just dont seem to get the difference between a members owned club and an investor owned club. We are probably paying less in membership fees than we were 10 years ago while costs of running the club have not stayed at that level. It really frustrates me that there is an opinion regularly posted on here that clubs should make golf cheap as chips while demanding course conditions to be like Augusta 365 days a year. You cant have it both ways.

    You can be sure that every club acknowledges the difficulties caused by Covid-19 but not all are able to do much about it. I know for a fact that our membership fees alone do not cover all our outgoings and that the membership fee is kept as low as possible to ensure the maximum amount of people can still afford to join and play golf. Full membership where I am is a maximum of €600 and you can get to play a lot - if your personal circumstances allow that. There is no way that isnt value for money. Even with all the closures last year I only played 4 rounds less year on year at my home club.

    Everybody's circumstances are different but the club cannot possibly cater for all of that without alienating huge sections of membership. Clubs have to make choices. People have to make choices as to how they get that value for money rather than whinging about the club screwing them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,060 ✭✭✭ Ollieboy


    Our membership played 65% more last year and we were closed for 3 months the price per round was lower.

    Some business clubs brought in entrance fees this year, figure that one out. You pay 2k to be allowed to join as a members own club this goes to buy a share in the assets of the club.


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


    We dont even have a joining fee so you get to own your share for just paying your membership! I do think there was a minimal joining fee on top of £100 punts or thereabouts when I first joined my club but I cant remember as it was about 20 years ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 927 ✭✭✭ billy3sheets


    My club refunded a significant amount for Lockdown #1 and I heard they will be making some gesture for Lockdown #2. The refund is on the on the GUI card so it will all come back to them again but nonetheless it is very appreciated by members, perhaps especially as it is a commercially run club.

    They are also introducing a 2k joining fee for new members after Feb 2021. As an existing member, I'm fine with this. In fact I look at it as a reward to existing members - quite different to reduced fee offers made by many clubs to entice new members in recent times which galled may long term members who paid full whack.

    I don't see a huge difference between member-owned and commercially run clubs. Both have to balance the books with similar income and outgoings, operate within market constraints, just different business models.
    I also know that owning a share in your club with a joining fee hasn't worked out very well for many golfers in the last 20 years. In several cases I know of, it's been used to extract additional levies from members when finances were in trouble and the share has no resale value or is not refunded by the club when a member leaves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,134 ✭✭✭ blue note


    The owning a share in a club is more a technicality than anything. It is true that you own a part of the club, but it's not as if you can sell it or withdraw what you own.

    The difference with member owned clubs is that the members govern them and there's no owner looking for a cut off the profits. So in theory they should be cheaper because of that saving, but in reality when clubs are run by businesses they'll often run them very efficiently and offer great value. But they will price themselves to make money. That will involve keeping the members happy, but you're keeping them happy to make money from them.


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