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The Membership Curve You Should Not Ignore

Amy Buchanan

Membership plans were once straightforward.

Golf and country clubs offered full clubmembership and some junior plans, enabling those under 40 to join for less or pay later. Some clubs added a senior membership for those over6 5. That was it.

But simple was not better. We have learned that membership offerings must be tailored to a prospective member’s ability to pay and stage of life. The plan becomes shaped like a bell curve.

Today, a good program begins with what is known as a young professional membership. For those
in their 20s who are just starting out and laden with student debt, dues are greatly reduced. Otherwise, they can’t afford to join a club, and the incremental revenue is lost.

As young professionals age into their 30s and make more money, dues increase but remain less than full or regular dues. And then, somewhere in their 40s, as they reach their peak earning years,they move into paying regular club dues and stay there for decades.

That is going up the bell curve.

A successful membership plan also offers attractive plans as members age and their ability to pay decreases. Instead of just having one plan after
65, we have implemented offerings with dues decreases at ages 65, 70, 75, and 80 as their physical ability to enjoy golf and the amenities decreases (and they are living on a fixed income) but not their desire to enjoy the club.

It is also smart to charge no dues for member sover 80. These members can’t play golf like they used to, or if at all, but they still have a social life at the club and will support it through dining andparticipating in social activities. Everyone wins.

That is going down the bell curve.

Each club and market is different, but we hope you get the point. A bell-curved membership plan will result in more members, fun, and revenue.

Bobby Jones Links customizes our club’s membership plans to maximize sales and member enjoyment.

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