Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, widely regarded as one of the finest golf resorts in Scotland, has introduced a more open membership approach that incorporates a variety of options for golfers.
The club, which is no longer part of the Marriott group, has introduced two new membership categories – Family Country Club & Under 30s – that reflect a key transitional phase all the way from junior to full-member status.
We asked Sam Oliver, Director of Golf & Leisure, some key questions on Dalmahoy’s recent membership improvements:
bunkered: So, you're no longer a part of the Marriott group - how has that affected what types of membership you offer? Has it given you more flexibility?
Sam Oliver: Definitely! Stepping out from the Marriott portfolio has allowed Dalmahoy to re-discover its own character and not only play on its rich Scottish heritage that is so appealing to our tourists, but also now allows us more freedom to tailor our offerings to the local market.
The new membership seems very family-focused. What was the thought process behind that?
The demands of the modern world means that adults have less free time which puts more emphasis on quality time with the family, and less time for Mum or Dad to disappear off on their own for a day playing golf.
By offering a country club membership for the whole family, this makes it easier to get the balance right, providing an environment where the whole family can spend a day at the club either enjoying shared activities or still doing their own thing but meeting up for lunch or dinner, or both throughout the day.
There are no joining fees in the Family & Under 30 memberships. Has this always been the case? If not, why have you scrapped the joining fee?
We want to be accessible and affordable. We currently offer flexible monthly direct debit payment options with some fantastic loyalty rewards which kind of flips the traditional joining fee and 12 month contracts on its head.
Did you survey families/students prior to drawing up the new membership categories to get a flavour of what they wanted in a golf club membership?
We had an idea of the categories we wanted to introduce and we
carried out membership surveys to both our golf and leisure members past
and present. This in turn allowed us to dig a little deeper and
understand the demand for more package options.
Has there been a shortage of younger members at Dalmahoy in recent years? Is that another reason behind the revamp in membership categories?
The current membership at Dalmahoy is a fair reflection of the general current state of golf memberships across the UK with an average age of around 55. This I believe is mainly down to two reasons; cost and free time.
By offering these new categories we are more flexible and affordable which, along with the variety of facilities we offer and relaxed atmosphere altogether, will make us more appealing to the younger generation whilst not alienating the older members.
When did the new memberships come into force? Have you had much interest already?
We are launching the Family and Young Adult Memberships this month. The response already to our new categories has been extremely positive and we are not finished yet. Look out for ‘golf only’ categories coming in March 2018. There is a long way to go and we have many plans for the club, but establishing a more flexible approach to membership has been one of the first, key changes to be made and I am thrilled with the response.
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Golf membership benefits at Dalmahoy include:
• Seven-day access to Championship and Resort West Course
• On-site practice facilities including nine hole pitch ‘n’ putt
• Heated indoor swimming pool with sauna and steam room
• State of the art gymnasium
• Daily exercise classes (including spinning, body combat and Zumba)
• Outdoor tennis courts
• Membership benefits pack with offers worth £500+
For more information, contact the membership team on 0131 335 8012 or email email@example.com