De Vere, the UK’s leading golf resort company is introducing a new scheme which could change the face of golf membership and encourage more families to participate and grow the game.
It's innovative solution 'for the modern day golfer' was launched by the scheme's honorary captain, broadcaster Peter Alliss at De Vere Oulton Hall this week, with the aim, in these stringent times of making golf more accessible, flexible and family friendly while stimulating participation and frequency of play.
The 'De Vere Club' costs £295 to join and centres around a ‘points based’ membership system (100 points on joining) that allows a golfer to play on up 16 courses at 11 De Vere venues using points for individual rounds, and involving the family or entertaining golfing business guests at some of the finest venues in the country.
These include The Carrick on Loch Lomond, Slaley Hall in the north-east and Jack Nicklaus-designed Slaley Hall, all of which have hosted European Tour events. The points used depend onthe exclusivity of the course and on lower tarriff, winter and midweek or higher tarriff summer and weekends.
For example, booking The Carrick at De Vere Cameron House for a round at peak time on a weekend in summer will use 20 points, compared to nine points at a similar time for Oulton Hall near Leeds. However, a midweek summer round at Carden Park or Wokefield Park could use only seven points.
'Far reaching benefits'
De Vere expects its members to get the value of playing around eight to 10 rounds per year for their £295 membership - which it claims is common in rounds played for the current club member paying at least twice that in annual club subscription. In addition De Vere Club members have the benefits of resort facilities, can play in competitions, secure a handicap and book tee times on line. Membership and points can be topped up at any time.
Says Alliss: "It's the first time I've ever been captain of anything and I'm thrilled to be involved in such a pioneering project. I can see the far reaching benefits for avid golfers across the country.
“Nothing beats the feeling of belonging to a club and the more people feel they belong the more they play and enjoy the game. With all the time and money pressures these days, I believe the De Vere Club is a great compromise: the flexibility and choice coupled with the wonderful traditions of club golf”.
De Vere Club members will also enjoy other benefits including discounts on hotel rooms, spa, golf equipment, food and beverage plus attractive member referral incentives.
The resort group says it has invested £25million in the last three years developing top class courses to challenge the archetypal golf club and wants particularly to attract the family and the twenty-something transient golfer who moves around the country for both business and social activities.
'Golfers needs are not currently met'
Says Richard Balfour-Lynn, chief executive of De Vere’s parent company, AHG: “The time is right to create a membership model that allows golfers to spend their golf investment how they want to and we believe the new De Vere Club is suited to thousands of golfers whose needs are not currently met by traditional memberships.”
Independent figures from leading sports research company IFM Sports Marketing Surveys suggest that there are over one million golfers in the UK who currently play between six and 26 times a year, who would be ideally suited to a flexible membership model like the new The De Vere Club.
For further information visit www.devere.co.uk/golf or call 0844 980 8060.
What's your view on the introduction of the De Vere Club scheme? Does it appeal to you? Are you getting value for your current club membership?
It seems to me the scheme has the potential to attract the travelling golfer with a young family and business contacts who doesn't necessarily wish to be shackled to one club and one course.
Your constructive views, as always, are appreciated. ED
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 12:08
I thought it looked like a good idea but i notice they dont say how many points you get for your £295, they then go on to say they expect golfers to get 8 - 10 rounds as part of the membership.
Now I wouldnt deem 8 -10 rounds as being part of a club.
But they do offer you a discount on other services e.g. with 10% off a pint will cost £4 instead of £4.40, bargain!
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 13:11
Should have made it clear and will put into the article, that you get 100 points for your membership (so each point is worth £2.95 effectively. So £59 to play The Carrick on a Sunday or £35 to play Slaley Hall on a Saturday would seem pretty good deals to many, surely?
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 15:03
Okay, so you are effectively buying credit against future play. De Vere get the money up front and you receive a reduction in the green fee. This is really no different to the schemes offered by a number of commercial courses where a Gold/Silver/Bronze membership package includes a limited number of rounds and the option to purchase more or play at a reduced fee. The exception being that it incorporates 11 courses.
If you have a burning desire to play those 11 course (or at least a few of them) then I don't see a problem with this kind of thing. I would actually like to see a few of the non-member owned courses in my area join up and offer a similar arrangement. However, I see this as an opportunity to supplement a club membership rather than replace it. Basically like buying a golfing holiday and taking it in bits over the course of a year.
Not for me as I am unable to committ to things to far ahead due to work travel (I am overseas alot!), and would end up rushing to use up the credit at rubbish times of year, but it might work for some people.
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 15:18
But your not really a member of anywhere really. You probably wont be allowed to play comps at any of the courses as per a fully fledged member.
As mentioned all you are doing is getting a offer to play the courses at a cheaper than the published rate by paying upfront.
I dont see it as membership at all.
Added to the fact you would be stupid to pay the published prices for these courses as most are the discounted tee time websites offering reduced fees also.
So what is the point of paying £300 upfront?
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 16:20
Barnham Broom in Norfolk has been doing the same thing for oh about 20 years!
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 17:42
You'd be better off buying a load of 2 Fore 1 vouchers and doing it that way.
Membership it aint.
Posted: 24/03/2010 at 21:11
I have just joined a similar scheme at a pay and play in kent. £249 = 249 points and a typical round is between 4-6 points depending on tee time. It can also be used for a half price range card or shortgame practice area and even includes a free lesson. After 1930hrs it is free to members for a quick evening 9 holes or so! After giving up my previous club membership of £600+ per year on a course that is on temporary tees and greens for 4 months per year this makes much more economic sense for me. The money saved can also go towards more green fees at other courses and give extra variety instead of the same place time and again. It seems quite popular so maybe other clubs could adopt a more flexible approach in future.
Posted: 25/03/2010 at 07:32
As I've given up my membership (due to lack of use) this scheme interested me (as Slaley Hall is only 20mins from my door). I have read the e-brochure and they claim that a round will cost "6-7 points on average".
Wow! That's pretty good, 14-16 rounds (especially if you struggle to play that many in a year), even around the Priestman/Hunting pair on their own is good value without the lure of Loch Lomond.
But now, having read the above, it would seem that the "6-7 points on average" rounds are the 4pm starts, on Wednesday, in December ones!
Or you can have 3 rounds somewhere nice during summer over a weekend.
So initially, what seems like good value (especially the VERY MISLEADING e-brochure valuation), isn't really great value after all. Especially as I got a deal to play both the Hunting and Priestman for £40 last summer!
Posted: 30/03/2010 at 11:17
I made the switch from propriatory club to members' club last year and it's the best thing I have ever done.
Here is another hotel chain who already extract plenty of cash from "members" looking for another way to get more folk on their courses on a deal that isnt that great.
I used to love it at Bowood when I couldnt get on the course on Good Friday and Easter Monday as it was full of folk on "winter specials" green fees and "members" had no prioirity on Bank Holidays. No thanks!
Posted: 30/03/2010 at 14:11
I have a problem with Herons Reach Golf Club regarding eligibility to play golf in their competitions, it does state on The De Vere Golf Club website:
"The De Vere Club membership is a flexible way of undertaking your golf and
leisure activities that can be used for the golf fanatic as well as the entire
family at any of De Vere’s world class golf resorts. It is a points base scheme
that enables all of our members to hold the more traditional elements of a golf
membership such as hold a handicap and play in club competitions but with the
added flexibility of a modern membership scheme."
and this is taken from the FAQ's on De Vere membership page:
Can I play in club competitions?
As a De Vere club member you are able to play in any club events
at your home club. Your home club is where you originally purchase
Do I receive any other benefits?
You will receive full member benefits, to find out more call your home club.
My issue here is that De Vere are marketing a golf membership with full member benefits and the ability to play in any club event at your home club when in fact it is not possible to play in the biggest competition of the golfing calendar, the Club Championship.
I took out the new De Vere Golf Club membership in good faith and I am not receiving what has been promised and I would like to hear any views on this matter.
Posted: 31/08/2011 at 16:41
Steve, I'm not sure I'm understanding your problem. Is Heron's Reach your "home" club? If so what's stopping you from playing in the Club Championship?
Posted: 31/08/2011 at 19:31