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The secrets of retaining golf club members

The secrets of keeping golf club members happy, contented and loyal are revealed in new report commissioned by England Golf: Valuing Your Customers.

The findings, from Manchester Metropolitan University, will be used to help golf clubs strengthen their business by retaining their members.

They’ll be shared by England Golf’s club support network, together with a specially produced video and other resources which will help clubs identify and provide the golfing experience their members want.

The report makes the point that it costs less to retain a member than to attract a new one and it highlights six ways to keep members happy:

– Offer enjoyment and engagement

– Provide a unique ethos and atmosphere

– Create a great customer experience from the car park to the bar

– A warm welcome which extends far beyond a ‘meet and greet’

– Participation options for all, from novice to experienced player

– Ways to keep members involved long-term

It also offers ideas for clubs to consider which will customise their approach to members. These could include becoming a female-friendly club or offering alternative formats which could be welcomed by beginners, older players and those who are short of time.

Report author Dr Chris Mackintosh said: “Members are the lifeblood of any club and retention really matters. The evidence says that if golf clubs can be more diverse, more open and embrace a friendly culture more people will stay in the game and we will grow the sport.”

Abbie Lench, England Golf’s Head of Club Support, added: “We want to show clubs how to understand and to value their customers and build a healthy base of loyal members. There’s another great benefit because we find that clubs which have an excellent relationship with existing members, will improve their reputation and find it easier to recruit new players.”

England Golf is now working in partnership with MMU on a three-year research project to better understand volunteers in clubs and the critical role they play in retention.