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2022 Fees - with added Social Subscription

  • 09-12-2021 2:59am
    Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭

    Got my renewal letter in the post this morning. Pretty much in line with last year but they have added an extra 100 euro "social subscription". I've not seen the AGM report as yet but I'm guessing it's credit to use in the bar/restaurant. We had it for a few years a while back but it was scrapped but seems to be back now.

    Don't get me wrong, I will use it - the occasional fry up after a round and a few Sunday lunches with the Mrs. will burn up 100 euro quick enough...but I'm just not OK with it being a mandatory part of the yearly fees. Maybe if the 100 euro was worth 120 or something it would be easier to take...

    Any thoughts?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,815 ✭✭✭Golfgraffix

    Most clubs that have a bar or food levy offer a discount with it, usually between 10 and 20 percent

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    Clubs have to balance their books. When people say they're not okay with levy's that's fair enough, but they'll have to make up the difference some other way. An increase in membership fees, comp fees, reduced spend on club / course maintenance, give up more time to societies, etc. Now maybe they are the better solutions! But I don't think a levy is a bad one, because you can get something for it. Even if it's someone who never uses the club bar, all you need to do is head up one evening with a few mates to watch a match and you'll get through the €100. And if someone is using the bar regularly, then it's just a prepayment at the start of the year.

  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭phelimb

    Yeah, this would be good but it doesn't apply in my club unfortunately.

    @blue note, my annual sub this year includes a generic 'levy' of 250 euro (can't remember how much it was last year - not that much I think) but which I'm guessing is towards course maintenance etc. So an 800+ euro subscription turns into 1,200 when all the extras are added on. As far as I know, the catering is outsourced so not sure how much of the 100 euro will make it back to the club for development and maintenance of the facilities.

    Ah, it's just a bit annoying given the restrictions in playing time over the last two years that they've found a way to up the annual sub without giving anything back if you know what I mean.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    Ah sorry, I thought it was a bar levy.

    We had a generic levy for course development - it was started during the crash so once it was done we were expecting a huge uptick in members / green fees, but instead lost about 100 members. So there was probably €200k of a difference between the expected revenue and actual. The club is still struggling to deal with it. If your club is in need of revenue they have to get it from somewhere. A levy feels more temporary than a membership fee increase, but is also easier to just whack onto the sub, so I don't know which is better. Or worse.

    Outsourced catering is normal. Sometimes with this arrangement the club / caterers split the profits, sometimes the caterer will get a flat fee and there will be some arrangement regarding revenue shares. It'll always be in the interest of the club to have more people eating there anyway.

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,348 ✭✭✭✭Rikand

    We have a bar food levy of 100 quid. No discount, but the food is savage, extremely reasonably priced and the chef throws enough food on the plate that you would want to be some sort of savage to finish it all. I feel like I am doing better out of it :D

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭bailey99

    are u in kinsale golf club by any chance?

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Sultan_of_Ping

    €70 and a 10% discount at our place. I don't mind at all mostly because a few scones or bacon sandwiches after a round, and a sunday lunch usually means it's gone pretty quickly anyway.

    I find, in our place, the ones who complain about it are the ones you never see in the bar, but carp constantly if the hours of the bar and catering operation are modified to suit the footfall at different times of the year.

    We had some discussion a while ago about increasing it but allowing the credit to be spent anywhere in the club including the pro shop, competitions etc Not sure what happened to the proposal but nothing ever came of it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭phelimb

    I am indeed.

    To be honest I never really cared about the bar levy as I used it up anyway but I never agreed with the mandatory nature of it. Maybe if they said that for an extra 100 euro we'll give you 120 euro to use in the clubhouse/pro shop etc. I'd be well happy with that as I'd spend 100 euro no problem each year but I think it should be a choice and with some incentive...

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,193 ✭✭✭bailey99

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,874 ✭✭✭✭Seve OB

    Jaysus. If you don’t like it, you know where the door is. It’s €100 and they aren’t taking it out of your pocket, you get food and drink for it. €100 is feck all, €150 in my club.

    oh yea there you go, it’s a CLUB. To many car park golfers complaining. Country clubs are worse apparently, go in after your round and be part of the club instead of moaning.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 14,443 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    Think I might have to give up my home course (which I get distant membership for as I live enough away)

    Distant went from €200 in 2020 to €300 in 2021 and now €350 in 2022

    Really disappointing

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    €200 for distance membership was some bargain!

    I used to be a distance member on my home course. I think it was €550 and I believe some of the members didn't think they should offer it.

    If you're getting back home a bit and playing when you are, it would be great to be able to play in the Sunday comps and not to have to pay green fees. But at the same time, €350 is a decent amount of money for a second membership. I wouldn't pay it now.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,443 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    Yeh, €200 was good, but full membership is €650, so it's not like the distant membership is a huge bargain anymore tbh. The reason I was getting it was because it was a good deal. €350 is probably break-even for Green Fee payments, so in that sense, I'd probably end up forcing some games, so think I'll leave it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    Ah right, no, that's not a great deal. €200 still sounds like a steal, but after €250 it starts not to be great value.

  • Registered Users Posts: 589 ✭✭✭MorganIRL

    Renewal has been received, our club now is in the black even during the pandemic as a result of govt grants (albeit to be payed back I presume) and healthy summer green fees. What's bugging alot of members is we haven't received anything for the loss of time allowed on the course even though full 12 mths membership paid. Only thing offered is vouchers for green fees ( why when ur a member 🤦🏼‍♂️) and entry to a members draw.. our yearly is just over €700 for year, .. what have other clubs offered for nxt yr, I'd take credit in pro shop (let them increase prices by 5%)

  • Registered Users Posts: 449 ✭✭Richmond Ultra

    Does anyone else's golf club charge an admin fee of 20/30 euro to pay membership by direct debit. Membership is 1000. I pay my gaa club membership through direct debit and have no fees. Membership is 200

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    Yes. I'd have thought most clubs do. There's bank fees, the admin of running it (preparing the dd files, following up on rejected payments, etc), the risk of people cancelling their dds. It's in a clubs interest to incentivise people to pay up front.

    If they phrased it as a discount for paying up front no-one would have a problem with it, even though it would be exactly the same thing.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,443 ✭✭✭✭callaway92

    In 2022 it should never be the case where places are charging extra for monthly payments (rather than all up-front). The monthly payments is beneficial to them anyway keeping a constant cash flow.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    It's never beneficial to postpone receiving subs. Your outgoings won't be steady over the year, you might have big expenses at the start of the year. You might want to invest in the course before the summer due example. And a percentage will stop the dd. So you won't get all the money from the dds. People will say why should they pay if they move away or find that they're not using the membership for example. It doesn't matter, it's simply money the club won't be getting.

    And don't underestimate the admin of it. It's an extra expense to the club. Why wouldn't the members creating that cost pay it?

    I think they should all just raise their membership fees by 3 percent and give a 3 percent discount for paying up front. No one would give out then.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Our club had the levy for a few years, they hoped it encourage members to use the bar and restaurant facilities more. The members didn't like it much so in the end the club just increased fees.

    I didn't mind the levy as the money went on your card and could be used in competitions as well as the bar and restaurant.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 143 ✭✭phelimb

    Jeez, relax there Seve. Read the thread - I was only stating my opinion on the forced/mandatory/compulsory nature of it. It's a money making exercise for the club. That's fine, but I think they could do it in a better incentivise folk to actually use the bar/restaurant!

  • Registered Users Posts: 15,874 ✭✭✭✭Seve OB

    and i was only stating that i think your opinion is all a bit me me me and you should think about the club.

    i was actually talking with the owner of a very well known country club recently and he was telling me about how nobody goes into the place. you cannot run a club like that. as a visitor (and i play a lot of different courses) its always disappointing to go into clubs to find out their bar is shut because nobody uses it :( and i generally have little or no interest in going back to those places. anyway, he told me that they will be introducing a bar levy soon, and IMO he has the right attitude, if the members complain, as far as he is concerned they can sling their hook.

    i also disagree about it being a money making exercise for most clubs, as i've already said, i see it as a way to build your club. most clubs are member owned and there are no dividends paid out or profits shared etc, they just need revenues to survive and when nobody goes into the bar after, maybe the need to force a small amount to be mandatory/compulsory.

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Sultan_of_Ping

    Not looking to pile on, but to ask a constructive question - if there was no levy what could clubs do to incentivise people to use the bar/restaurant? I'm hoping you might have some ideas I can pass off as my own at our next house committee meeting 😀

    Also, I'm not sure it's that much of a money spinner. I can only speak for my place, but the contribution from the bar and food is just ahead of breakeven. We'd like to get more from it by encouraging greater use, rather than upping prices and penalising the currently loyal groups who habitually use it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 832 ✭✭✭Nevin Parsnipp

    Clubs which are located distant from a population centre have a problem as most people have to drive good distances and therefore will only rarely use the bar.

    For a club within a good population centre they have the option of pushing pavilion membership and encouraging locals who may not be golf club members to use the facilities.

    A good barperson helps a lot too ...something of a rarity in golf clubs i find.

    Most clubs spend considerable amounts on the various TV channels and make little or no effort to market them to members ...poor also at marketing their playing facilities.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,517 ✭✭✭blue note

    It's very hard to make a bar self sufficient without a levy I imagine. In my former club they had things on in the bar all the time - cards night, the women's comp used to get a few in after, long handicap, weekly fourball comp, the Friday open was €35 and included a meal, obviously Sunday was busy with the Sunday comp. They also used to do a draw for times in next weeks Sunday comp on a Saturday night. This used to really annoy me, because I was a distance member living in Dublin, so if I was getting down and looking to play in the Sunday comp I used to never get a good time. Plenty of other people didn't like having to go to the club on a Saturday evening too for a time the next week. If I was living in the town I'm sure I still wouldn't want to take time out of my Saturday to go up. But a lot of the older members used to like it because they were in the habit of going up every week and they'd always get their preferred times. But the bar would be full for an hour on Saturday and some would stay for a couple of drinks.

    With all of those, you'd have something in the bar each day to pay the bar staffs wages. The club was also in the town, so walking was an option for some people. And they had a bar levy. Even with all of that, for the bar to be viable they required €100 a member bar credit. Even the distance has €50 bar credit. If people want bar / food facilities in a club you have to pay for them. Normal use isn't usually enough, so part of it will have to be through membership fees.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,080 ✭✭✭billy3sheets

    Many of the members in the 25-40 category are time constrained so maybe have pre-ordering so they can can be done in say 30 minutes. Maybe for this cohort, good deals on christening meals where the whole family dines.

    For many golfers, a snack is what they want after the Sunday morning round as they have a full lunch later in the day. So good light meal menu options are essential.

    Very few clubs are located walking distance from the local population center, so alcohol sales will (should ?) struggle. A 100 euro bar tab would get you a takeaway coffee 40 times.

  • Registered Users Posts: 436 ✭✭Sultan_of_Ping

    Our previous caterer put the menu on the 17th tee and you could call in from there to let him know what you wanted. It just helped speed things up a bit - and probably encouraged people to order breakfasts rather than snacks, knowing they wouldn't have to wait for food to be cooked.

    I'm convinced our current caterer has a fan directed at the 18th over which he blows the smell of frying bacon on a morning - resistance can be futile😀

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,827 ✭✭✭fred funk }{

    It's well known that McDonald's, in the US, extracted their fans straight out onto the busy street to entice more customers in to the restaurant.