European Tour Destinations audit reveals new insights on golf membership trends

Clientele is now younger, valuing quality of life – and family life

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 5 Nov 2021

European Tour Destinations audit reveals new insights on golf membership trends

Demand for golf has increased globally – and with it, membership. However, what members want has changed – and venues need to respond to earn loyalty and retain valuable customers for the long term.

That’s the view of European Tour Destinations, a network of 30 world class golf venues, revealed in a recent audit of golf membership.

The findings, published in a new multimedia feature Rethinking Membership, highlighted shifts in consumer behaviour and emerging trends, including:

  • 30% of venues increased annual fees between 10% and 20%
  • 78% of venues are planning capital investment in new amenities over the next 12 months
  • 50% of new golf members at Finca Cortesin and PGA Catalunya Golf and Wellness in Spain, and Quinta do Lago and Bom Sucesso in Portugal, are women

3. Players at Linna Golf.jpg

According to Luis Filipe, Corporate & Leisure Relations Director at Quinta do Lago, which now benefits from a raft of new sport and leisure amenities, there has been a fundamental shift in the Portuguese resort’s members: "The clientele now are younger and […] are valuing more their quality of life and the quality of family life."

It’s a sentiment echoed by Golf Club St-Leon Rot’s General Manager, Eicko Schulz-Hanßen, who attributes the change to a desire to improve lifestyles, with “people building in activities on a daily and weekly basis to achieve a better work-life balance.”

The targeting of a younger membership demographic is – and has been – a growing at Linna Golf, Finland. Its CEO, Esa Honkalehto, explains: "Of the 100 new members who have recently joined, approximately 60 are young people […] born in the 1990s. They are more regular players, […] keen to participate in the numerous events and competitions we have organised. These young members have brought a spirit [to the club] – and it is very different to what it was."

Commenting on the survey findings outlined in the Rethinking Membership feature, Head of European Tour Destinations, Ian Knox, concluded: "There’s no doubt destinations are having to rethink membership. With people now wanting to play at different times, looking for different amenities from the club and opportunities for their families to come along, the main challenge for general managers going forward is to understand the membership base and what they are looking for, and adapt to the new and different needs of customers.”

For more information about European Tour Destinations, visit: www.europeantourdestinations.com