National initiative to increase club membership tees off April 10-17
Golf clubs across the country are being encouraged to take part in this year's Scottish Golf Awareness Week, themed "Golf Club Membership - Time Well Spent" to promote the wide range of benefits and the flexibility membership can offer to golfers.
The Scottish Golf Union and Scottish Ladies' Golfing Association first launched Golf Awareness Week back in 2009 to support clubs in their efforts to attract new golfers to the game and retain existing members.
While national membership numbers fell by 1.9 per cent among adult male golfers during 2010, some positive signs emerged with 37 per cent of clubs recorded an increase in their numbers and 10 percent of clubs reporting double digit percentage growth.
The timing of this year's initiative - as the weather improves and clocks go forward to allow lighter evenings - coincides with the US Masters in Augusta, the first major of the season, often regarded as the traditional start to the golfing season.
Scottish Golf development manager Andy Salmon believes that numerous special offers and a range of membership options will encourage nomadic and sporadic golfers to consider membership at their local golf club.
"By marketing the benefits of joining a golf club through a national media campaign, our aim is to provide clubs with the platform to deliver their own marketing activity on a local basis and attract nomadic golfers or lapsed members back into club membership," explains Salmon.
"We have been hugely encouraged by the response from clubs over the past two years who have adapted well to the changing nature of membership. We've seen a much more proactive approach, with an increased number of age and price categories on offer, flexible payment options and a customer-focused approach," he added.
"While we are under no illusions as to the continued challenges clubs are facing, including poor weather and a difficult economic climate, however our membership figures from last year highlight what can be achieved with the correct approach."
More than 220 clubs attended the recent SGU and SLGA seminars with membership high on the agenda and the governing bodies have reacted to the demand from clubs for increased support and more resource in this area. Investment in this year's campaign has risen, while a wide range of membership marketing services have been provided on the SGU website, from advice on running open days to case studies on clubs who have been successful in recruiting new members.