New data from PlayMoreGolf, indicates that some clubs are starting to see golf course utilisation reduce to as low as 35% - despite the ‘boom’ in popularity over the past 16 months.
Despite the dip in playing frequency, golf clubs are reporting that they are in their best financial health since 2008.
The success can be linked to an influx of five-day and seven-day members joining during the pandemic. However, the key to sustained growth in 2022 and beyond will rely on clubs developing an improved 'membership mix'.
Whilst clubs may be doing well financially because of the recent surge in memberships, PlayMoreGolf is encouraging all clubs to assess next year’s membership offering.
This comes as the R&A and England Golf's recent findings show 24-to-35-year-olds are the group with the strongest uplift in members.
However, as economic pressure increases for all players, especially the 24-to-35’s, clubs understand this cohort is vital to growth, but they may now be unable to afford the traditional membership options for the season ahead.
At a club level, there are positive signs that younger players are enjoying the game once again, but it also highlights the importance of having a range of membership pathways to maximise the new recruitment and retention of members.
This approach can attract new players and help retain players who might be considering their options.
For example, this year, almost half of PlayMoreGolf members that did not renew went on to upgrade to a golf club's five-day or seven-day membership category.
The opportunity for clubs, therefore, is to offer members several options and protect revenue and promote growth.
For continued success in 2022, UK clubs must optimise their membership mix, welcoming ‘traditional members’ and players facing challenging economic circumstances that still want to play albeit in a different way.
For clubs, all players drive revenue, but flexible members through PlayMoreGolf are helping increase course utilisation, and often at multiple courses simultaneously.
PlayMoreGolf recognises the demands of the modern golfer - 72% of members play their golf after 1 pm through the spring and summer.
Plus, the app provides a way to easily manage their golf that works in harmony with their busy lifestyles - with players booking a round of golf on average three days before.
PlayMoreGolf offers a large flexible golf membership, linking 14,000 players with more than 250 UK golf clubs under one membership.