GolfLincsUK - incorporating Golf Club Marketing.Org

Section 5 -Marketing your Club - Involving your Customers

Section 5 - Survey your Customers & Involve them in your Marketing 

5.1.  Do ask your customers what they want. Telling them what they should want is a thing of the past, or should be. Surveying them and meeting their aspirations will promote a positive attitude that they will convey to others.

5.2.  Affinity Groups – A Valuable Marketing Asset


In many clubs affinity groups like the Ladies, Seniors and Spin-ups have for years been denigrated by management committees. The origins of this denigration are lost in time, but it is a crass attitude that has no place in the modern club. Indeed, such affinity groups are the core of many clubs and will grow in importance in years to come. The population is ageing and the retired members generally have:

a.  Time to play that makes their membership fee outlay a worthwhile investment.

b.  A financial standing that is free from mortgage interest and a disposable income that is more predictable than those in today’s workplace.

c.  The time and willingness to help in the running of the club and maintenance of facilities.Can you deny this fact? If the law would permit, you could create a successful golf club with a lower age limit of 55 years! You could certainly not create one with an upper age limit of 55 years!  Accordingly, there is much to be said for targeting some of your advertising at those who are retired or are about to be so. Good reasons for doing so include: 

i.  At the end of one's working life there is the all-pervading threat of a void that needs filling and many are desperate to make certain they have something to occupy their time. 

ii. Many of those about to retire will already have considered golf as a retirement hobby. They just need a prompt.

iii. Retirement often brings with it the financial benefits that make entry into a comparatively expensive sport a possibility. 

iv. Mrs "he's about to retire' will be urging him to take up a hobby or a sport. The threat of having him mope around the house is very real. Unlike many sports, golf can be a husband and wife joint interest.



Establish a Seniors’ section. This is a growing sector of the market at a time when other areas are in decline. You can market a seniors section, but you cannot sell what you don’t have. Most of your competitors will not have recognised the ease of this sector of the market. Establish a section and you will corner the market in your area.

5.3.  Spin–Ups

Spin-ups provide a valuable entry point for new members. As someone who has been a ‘new member’ at a lot of clubs, I can emphasise that a deterrent to joining any group is uncertainty about whether integration will be easy. This is particularly the case with those who are new to golf and joining their first club. A good marketing tool is to invite potential new members to join the spin-up for a trial round. It may just tip the balance and it is free.

5.4  Communication.  Many organisations are notoriously bad at communication, both with members and dealing with outside enquiries. As already emphasised, we live in an ‘instant’ world. We order something on-line and we expect immediate dispatch and fast delivery. If we make an inquiry to a golf club about a visit or perhaps membership, we use e-mail because it is fast and easy. If we then wait several days for a reply, it tells us all we wish to know about that club. It is inefficient, behind the times and not very inviting. We expect a friendly and near instant reply.  A golf club has many issues that need attention, but enquiries with any marketing implications must be right at the top of the ‘important and urgent’ list. Some clubs have truly awful e-mail addresses that cost them business each year. If your address is riddled with hyphens or contains such stems as @talktalkbusiness or @oddesseydsl or similar, take a look at it with a view to changing. As a communication address for the professional it is just about OK. For the casual enquirer its going to be mistyped.

There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.


Sam Walton

Remember: You could run a successful club with a lower age limit of 55 years - you could not do so with an upper age limit of 55 years