Half of the members play just 5% of all rounds: Do they get value for money?

In Danish golf clubs, 50% of members play nearly all rounds. Not surprisingly, the same people claim they're getting great value for money. And what about the rest? Their sense of value takes a big hit, but offering them a few more rounds and boosting their experience can make the turnaround.

Lucas Balleby
June 7, 2023

Picture this: You become a golf club member, feeling thrilled to hit the links whenever you want. But things don't go as planned, and you end up going less often than you had hoped. Sometimes, the reason is that certain club societies, which you can't join, have taken up all the slots. 

And when you finally do get a chance to play, you often see the same members playing round after round, making you wonder if you're getting the same value from your membership. 

Well, this situation is not just imaginary. 

We've got some interesting findings from Danish golf club members that shed light on whether they feel they're getting their money's worth. And let us tell you, the difference between the members who play a ton of rounds and those who play fewer is crystal clear. 

Half of the members in Danish clubs play a whopping 95% of all rounds.
Half of the members in Danish clubs play a whopping 95% of all rounds.

Half of the members in Danish clubs play a whopping 95% of all rounds. Yes. We know. Playing that often must be a golfer's dream come true. And these members are most likely also participating in club societies to squeeze out as many tee times out of their membership as possible. 

But what about the other half?  

Well, they only get to play 5% of the rounds. And this really lowers how they see the value they're getting for their money. 

Fewer rounds, less value 

So, let's dive deeper into something that probably won't shock you. We wanted to understand how playing more or fewer rounds influenced how members felt about the value of their membership. 

But before we reveal the findings, let's clear something up: Value isn't only determined by the number of rounds you play. It also includes the overall customer experience at the club.

Still, as the graph below shows, the number of rounds does play a huge role. 

Membership value vs. number of rounds played; Membership value; Rounds played; Membership value perception;
Membership value vs. number of rounds played.

As we said, it probably comes as no shock: Members who play a lot of rounds feel like they're getting the deal of the century. They dominate the course and are pleased with the value of their club membership. 

On the other hand, members who play fewer rounds feel let down. And they believe they're getting less value as their rounds decrease. 

So, what can you do about it? 

When members play an average of about 20 rounds, they generally feel they're getting good value for their money, and this perception remains fairly stable as they play more rounds. However, if they play fewer than 20 rounds, this feeling quickly decreases with each round they play less.
Players 1st

To sum it up: By finding a solution that helps members who play fewer rounds, you will make things fairer for everyone. Even small adjustments will make a big difference for them, while other members who play more rounds won't see much change. This means you'll have more members who are happy with what they get from their membership. 

More rounds or a better experience will do the trick 

The problem of rounds being shared unfairly has a simple solution, just like the actions of the legendary outlaw from Nottingham. You can take tee times away from the members who play the most and give more slots to those who play less.  

But there's more to it than just counting rounds. Some clubs have members who are fine with playing less. And why is that? Because the overall club experience makes up for the fewer rounds they play. 

Even if members play fewer rounds, your club can make up for it if they have a fantastic time. On the flip side, no extra rounds can make up for a lousy course, unfriendly staff, or a rundown clubhouse. 
Players 1st

And even though changing how tee times are scheduled and making the club experience better are two different things, they can work together. By giving members who play less more opportunities to play and improving the overall club experience, your club can create an environment that meets everyone's expectations. 

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