It is true that statistics can be made to prove anything, but the above stats do illustrate the fundamental problem facing golf clubs around the world. The UK is particularly badly hit, with massive over-provision that poses a real problem for traditional clubs. There is a fast growing threat from companies like Crown Golf and hotel chains including DeVere and IHG. One only has to look at the 'English Club Golfer' display advertisements to get a feel for the strength of their assault on the market. Their presence is starting to change the way new golfers look at the sport and although some see this as good for golfers, it is certainly not good for the traditional club. You may say that with their current standing the threat from the new providers is not too serious, but they will grow rapidly and they need only reduce a traditional club’s membership by a relatively small number to make that club a casualty, as several have been over the past couple of years. One single fact that you should recognise is that in many regards the main difference between 'them and us' is that they are very good at marketing and management. We could be but are not! Too many good years have made us complacent.
As a golf club member for near 50 years and a former Captain of 3 clubs in the UK (twice) and Germany (once), I feel passionately that every possible measure should be taken to preserve the traditional golf club. The tier-one prestige clubs much coveted by the rich and famous are not really under threat. It is the local tier-two club that has for decades provided the golf centre for its local community that is most at risk and is least likely to have the resources to ensure survival. Managers know that many have closed over recent years and as we enter 2015, some 22 are up for sale. I know from experience that most clubs have difficulty in balancing the annual budget and are reluctant to spend the sort of money demanded by marketing consultants. Nor do they need to. Anyone who has been involved in running a club will understand that one cannot tackle the marketing task without looking at certain elements of management. Accordingly, this site covers those more obvious management initiatives to which many clubs appear blind.
Good marketing is vital to survival, but is not about spending large sums of money. Marketing is really about developing an enthusiasm for your product and conveying that enthusiasm to potential customers. It takes a good team of members and a little knowledge and understanding. For those involved it can be really rewarding. Most of the required knowledge and understanding is available free on this site. To meet essential site and admin costs I make the remainder available at a small one-off charge.
The Marketing/Management Element of the Site Contains the following sections:
Section 1. Putting Golf Club Marketing & Management into context
Section 2. A small element of Marketing Theory
Section 3. The Challenges facing traditional clubs
Section 4. Practical Marketing& Management initiatives that have generally not been adopted but are proven to work
Section 5. Involving your customers in your marketing initiatives
Section 6. Promoting your club
Section 7. A look at the membership dilemma
Section 8. Making the most of your existing Assets
DIY Marketing - How to avoid consultancy costs
Marketing v Reality - A look at how successful companies achieve success from marketing
Section 4 & Section 6 Inclusion order form
Comprehensive agenda for a marketing meeting
For those who prefer to read the whole document rather than the individual web page sections, Sections 1,2,3,5,7, and 8 are consolidated into a pdf that will open at this link. In addition, some individual pages have download links for that page.
What we offer? - There are a host of marketing companies moving into the golf market. Quite reasonably they are 'for profit' businesses that will provide a service to anyone who will pay, be they hotels, golf companies or neighbouring clubs who are your direct competitors. Their fees are significant. GolfLincsUK is an initiative by a retired marketing professional that is dedicated to traditional clubs. There are no consultancy day rates or high fees. What is offered mirrors what you will get from a professional consultancy for a very large fee; except that it is almost all free and is backed by a great deal more real golf experience. In fairness to existing subscribers we guarantee not to accept a subscription from a near competitor.
It is regretted that unauthorised downloading has resulted in the practical solutions pages and those on promoting your club, offering tried and tested and original marketing initiatives, being redacted. However, a list of topics covered is on the page. The complete text is provided to subscribers. The package can save tens of hours of research, exorbitant consultancy fees and many hours of pre-meeting administration as well as ensuring inclusion of the initiatives and ideas a meeting will wish to consider. It costs the equivalent of a couple of green fees or a couple of boxes of premium balls! See below for details.
Before you move on, etch this imperative into your every thought:
“Our Golf Club is essentially a business and we exist to sell our product to customers – If our business fails, all other aims and aspirations fail with it”
The marketing content of this site is copyright GolfLinksUK 2012
Copies of the consolidated 30 page document in .pdf format, containing all information on this site together with other comprehensive practical marketing initiatives, a 26 topic agenda/prompt and a short skeleton motivational script for your AGM, can be obtained for£95. The document .pdf , script & agenda will then be forwarded to your e-mail address. The subscription also includes support for 12 months in the form of e-mail advice on specific marketing issues relevant to the purchasing club.
A Paypal account is not essential to this process.
Alternatively you can order by post by completing the form at this link
(Oz and NZ customers please note: We love your business but Paypal only please - no more cheques!)
Note: It is regretted that for ethical reasons we cannot accept a subscription from any club within a 20 miles radius of an existing subscriber, except where a marketing relationship exists between the two clubs.