The First Question We Always Get Asked: ‘Will Introducing a Flexible Membership Category Cause All My Full Members To ‘Downgrade’?’

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When we discuss the PlayMoreGolf opportunity with golf clubs, they always ask the first, same question: will having a flexible golf membership category mean all of my full members are going to ‘downgrade’? The short answer is no, and here’s why...

The traditional membership model is only becoming less suitable for the more casual or time-limited golfers that don’t play on a regular basis. Out of the 2.3 million golfers who played at least twice a month in the UK last year, 1.4 million weren’t affiliated with a golf club, leading to an average golf club having a net loss of 15 full members each year.

With golfers leaving their traditional memberships, the reliance on unreliable green fee revenue has increased, causing clubs a dilemma.

For members who are frustrated with the costs and inflexibility of a full membership, a flexible alternative offers a solution that benefits both golfers and clubs alike. Whether it’s based on points or credits, a flexible membership helps clubs to appeal to golfers who simply cannot justify a full golf membership.

When launching PlayMoreGolf with a club, each individual golf club sets all the parameters around their new flexible membership category, ensuring a flexible member doesn’t have the same benefits and rights as a full member. We completely understand that full members should have more benefits for paying a higher rate. (Think airlines - naturally you get more on a business class ticket than you do on an economy one.)

There are a number of key benefits that we encourage a new partner club to limit for flexible members; competition access, tee time availability, and booking window to name a few. These are key to making a flexible membership seem expensive to someone who plays golf regularly. In fact these often highlight what good value a full membership is for anyone playing more than 3-4 times per month.

In short, by launching a flexible golf membership category, only golfers who were at risk of leaving the club anyway will explore the new category. For our partner clubs - who we’ve now worked with for 3+ years - adding a flexible membership category actually helped retain golf members, ultimately increasing the club’s profitability. 

How many members over the last five years have left your club due to not playing enough golf to justify their membership?


How PlayMoreGolf can improve your club’s retention and add to what you’ve got

The most attractive aspect of flexible golf memberships is right there in the name. Like 37% of golf clubs, offering a flexible membership can act as a magnet for attracting and retaining golfers with busy work or personal lives. Seven-days-a-week access to their golf course is a tempting thing for new and existing members alike who just can’t find the time to golf consistently and who require a greater selection of options, enabling them to easily juggle work and family commitments around their golfing.

The ability to play on multiple golf courses across the UK is also a strong pull, making it possible for anyone who finds themselves travelling around a lot to get the most from their membership and take full advantage of good weather or social events with friends and co-workers — wherever they are.


What makes PlayMoreGolf’s flexible membership different?

We’re not here to take any of your full members away. Quite the opposite: we want to make sure you keep the full members you’ve already got. Hundreds of golf clubs across the UK are using our proven platform to operate, run, and administer their flexible memberships, allowing for a structured flexible membership category to run alongside their club’s full membership offerings whilst still giving them control of their tee sheet.

In fact, the feedback from these clubs revealed that on average, up to 2.5% of full members who were going to leave the club, actually opted to renew as a flexible member instead. Without a more flexible membership option to choose from, these members would likely have left the club anyway (or even worse, joined a local competitor), meaning we’ve helped those clubs retain their customers and improve profitability.

“We believe PlayMoreGolf’s creative and innovative approach will not only encourage people back into the game – and get newcomers started – but also see them retained within the game over a longer period of time, particularly young and occasional golfers.”

Jamie Carroll - co-founder PlayMoreGolf

Golf clubs already in partnership with PlayMoreGolf typically gain the following results:

  • Average performing club joins 72 new members per year
  • Average performing club retains 83% of flexible members
  • Average performing club upgrades 8% of flexible members

You can see the full list of benefits PlayMoreGolf has to offer here.


What one of our partner clubs had to say

“We added the PlayMoreGolf membership category to our offering 18-months ago, and before we started working with PlayMoreGolf we were cautious about adding a flexible membership due to the thought of our full members downgrading.

Using PlayMoreGolf’s unique platform enabled us to remove that risk, and at our full membership renewal in April 2019, less than 2% of full members transferred to our PlayMoreGolf category. In fact the feedback from these members was that they’d have ended up leaving the club if it wasn’t for the option of PlayMoreGolf.”

Greg Darkes, Head of Membership at Whittlebury Park


We’re here to add to your full members

Simply put, if your flexible golf membership is structured properly then it’ll not appeal to full members who play regular golf. At PlayMoreGolf, we take charge of the admin and operation of your category, making sure it runs smoothly so that you retain customers. 

By working alongside your full membership category, PlayMoreGolf’s aim is to make sure you keep who you’ve already got, whilst allowing you to appeal to a huge new audience of potential golf members. Plus, if you create a big enough base of flexible members, chances are 8% of these will upgrade and become full members once they get the bug and start to play more golf.


If you’re interested in becoming a PlayMoreGolf Partner Club and would like some more information then please contact us on sales@playmore.golf.

Written by Emma Rowlands

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