October 30, 2014

Create a Social Membership on Steroids

david-soteloDavid Sotelo is the PGA head professional at Gentle Creek Glof Club in Prosper, Texas.

David Sotelo on the importance of creating a social membership on steroids:
Here at Gentle Creek, we created a new player development membership program to deal with the issue of people leaving clubs because they can’t justify the amount of time spent at the facility. This “social membership on steroids” carries a golf component where the range is open for use at any time and the course is available for use late in the day from Tuesday-Sunday. This program has been a huge factor in turning around our membership numbers because we were no longer forcing people to immediately commit money and time to a full membership; they can spend their own time playing or practicing and then decide for themselves whether a full membership would be worth it. Although it could be perceived as a “trial membership,” this program is really focused around letting golf development members to use the facility on their own time without full commitment. We have now transitioned from having an older membership to having a lot of families and young kids, which has led to us hosting a complementary junior clinic each day for our youngsters. Everyone is very busy with ancillary activities in their lives, so creating a program that meets members’ agendas has been a very positive factor for us.

David Sotelo on the business impact of creating a social membership on steroids:
Our membership was down to approximately 280 before this program started, and now we are sitting near 760 members. Of those people who become golf development members, 20 percent upgrade to a full membership once they find out how golf fits into their lives. When dealing with a “time bankrupt” demographic, including a lot of families who have kids playing multiple sports, becoming more flexible in membership can make a huge difference.

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email dsotelo@pga.com