Pro tips

Boosting member satisfaction: A short guide to strengthen club life

As a golf club manager, you are able to create and host sparkling social hubs where great memories are made and friendships are fostered. But, it appears not all clubs are hitting the mark when it comes to creating a welcoming and active social environment.

Emil Riisberg
March 20, 2024

It's no surprise that many golfers look to their clubs not just for rounds of golf, but for opportunities to socialize and encourage a sense of community. But... 

Players 1st survey data indicate that many golf club members in both the US and England believe their clubs could do more in terms of providing social events and fostering a pleasant social environment.

Displaying the parameters of which 'Club life' consists

And what are the consequences of deprioritizing this? Well, it could result in less satisfied members and a lower Net Promoter Score (NPS). Clubhouse, vibe, and social events are actually up there, along with other areas that have a significant impact on the NPS. So, you might want to prick up your ears if having happier members sounds good to you.

Click on the video to enlarge. Source: Players 1st data, based on more than 80,000 survey responses throughout the past 3 years in England.

While you are all ears, we must tell you that there are various ways of getting that social environment up and running. But to get you on the right track from the start, we have created this four-step guide to help golf course managers boost their club's social life. 

Step 1: Listen and engage in conversations with your members 

Begin by understanding your members' preferences and dislikes. Engage in informal talks or even conduct surveys to get an idea of their likes and dislikes about the club – whether it's about the social setting, the events, or something else. With these insights in hand, you'd know precisely where to direct your efforts to make events that attract your members.  

On top of that, you might find it impactful to survey your members after an event to see if you actually did hit the jackpot or if you need to adjust the events for the future. The Danish Golf Union has previously done this maneuver with significant success. 

Step 2: Create a dynamic calendar and let people know what happens 

Reflecting on the insights gained from your members, you can start planning and scheduling social events that cater to their interests. If they are into philanthropy, how about organizing a charity golf event? Do they enjoy themed parties or music gatherings? Or are they craving something completely different? 

The goal is to keep the calendar versatile and filled with engaging activities throughout the year that meet the requests and needs of your members. And when scheduling these, make sure to consider whether the dates and activities fit the correct type of members, since preferred time slots and days can differ between juniors, seniors, males, and females. This became evident in our most-read article based on an interview with Dutch golf manager and expert, Renate Roeleveld, about attracting female golfers.

And now that you've planned your events, it's time to spread the word. Good communication is vital. Use newsletters, your website, and social media to keep your members up to date. This helps build a feeling of belonging and gets more people involved. 

Step 3: Foster a homely environment 

The day-to-day atmosphere of the club can be as significant as the events you host. Promote an environment of friendliness and warmth by developing your staff's interpersonal skills – potentially through workshops, webinars, or company days, where the focus area is club life. Also, maintaining a clean and peaceful setting with quality food and drink offerings could make the club a sought-after place, encouraging members to spend more time even on non-event days.  

Remember, every interaction between golfers and the club will shape the overall experience, ultimately creating that perfect chain of touchpoints. And who doesn't like a cozy and homely environment? 

Step 4: Launch member-driven committees 

Handing your members a say in different committees could be a way to generate a bigger commitment to the social life within your golf club. Maybe the seniors want to organize a tournament on Wednesday mornings? Or perhaps some of your members hold a big passion for food, desiring to combine their passion for cooking with their love for golf? Why not let them create a senior tournament or a dinner club in your golf club? 

Member-driven initiatives will not only help ease some of the creative pressure from your shoulders but also give the members a sense of ownership in the club, ultimately making them more engaged in club activities beyond just swinging by for a regular round of golf. 

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