English golf club has crafty way of attracting new members

Royal Norwich Golf Club

An English golf club has gone to a surprising extreme in a bid to attract new members.

It has opened its own MICROBREWERY!

Royal Norwich Golf Club, set to re-open this month after a £10m move to a new home elsewhere in the East Anglian city, is tapping into the craft beer market as it looks to create a club capable of meeting the demands of modern consumers.

Phil Grice, the general manager of the 125-year-old club outlined the ambitious plans in a new podcast with Syngenta Growing Golf.

“I am not convinced that golf on its own is enough,” he said. “You have got to create a community and a reason for people to be part of it.”

• 10 great reasons to join a golf club

• Solheim Cup: Where and when to watch on TV

Grice’s comments come as the old Royal Norwich Golf Club site, which suffered declining membership for 11 consecutive years, prepares to close ahead of redevelopment for housing.

“The business was unsustainable,” admits Grice. “The challenge of having an older clubhouse, with an older membership, an older mentality and an older golf course was leaving us cut adrift.”

WATCH - MASTER YOUR SHORT GAME

While the upheaval has enabled the construction of an impressive new 18-hole course and a six-hole academy course, both by Ryder Cup course specialists European Golf Design, the move is much more than just a re-location.

What’s emerging is an entirely new club, with a bold people-centric vision and a clear strategic plan, informed by market research and customer insights.

• Scottish Golf Tourism Awards 2019: Have you voted?

Grice added: “We’ve looked at the technological world, we’ve looked at the time-based world, we’ve looked at what youngsters and families want and what fits today, more so than telling them what we offer and hoping they want it.

“We’ve taken a top down approach as to what we can do, and a bottom up approach as to what people actually want.

REVIEWED - MOTOCADDY S1 & PRO-SERIES BAG

While the move at Royal Norwich may look like a revolution, according to one leading expert on the private club business, Henry DeLozier of Global Golf Advisors, the move is part of a wider evolution in the golf business.

• EXCLUSIVE - Hole-by-hole guide to Dumbarnie Links

“I don’t believe that traditional club membership is dying as much as it is evolving,” says DeLozier. “The fact of the matter is, what was considered traditional 20 or 30 years ago has changed. It’s just different. One can fight that, or one can embrace the evolutionary process and be a part of it.”

• 17 inspirational quotes from Jack Nicklaus

While many clubs have been agile at adjusting their membership offerings, many clubs have not taken the strategic, long-term approach Royal Norwich has, says DeLozier. “There is still a large proportion that is stuck in the trap of thinking short-term, lacking the strategic vision that will ensure that their clubs remain relevant 10 or 20 years from now,” he adds.

WATCH - OLD SCHOOL IRON VS NEW SCHOOL IRON

Back at the new Royal Norwich Golf Club, final preparations are under way for this month’s opening.

• Introducing golf's hottest new power couples

As well as all-inclusive memberships, the club has been successfully selling new points-based memberships.

“We are absolutely, fundamentally, one hundred per cent a private members’ club, but we believe we operate in a customer focused way,” says Grice. “We’re just ensuring the customer is getting exactly what they want.”

LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST HERE

Share this Article

share-logo
twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
A ROUND WITH MARC WARREN (Epic Mission EP 6)
Epic Mission
play button
Motocaddy S1 & Pro-Series REVIEW & GIVEAWAY
Motocaddy
play button
MASTER YOUR SHORT GAME (Epic Mission EP 5)
Epic Mission
play button
REVIEWED! TAYLORMADE 2019 P790 IRONS!
TaylorMade
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

McIlroy responds to Brooks' controversial comments
Portugal Masters Preview: Don't expect a 59 charge this year...
Day scoops impressive sum in Japan Skins Challenge
"Disrespectful" - Koepka criticised over Rory remarks
The Challenge: Japan Skins – Everything you need to know

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods puts new irons in the bag
New Fife golf course gets go ahead
REVIEW - Adare Manor, Ireland's rejuvenated masterpiece
Win a spot in the ASI Scottish Open Pro-Am with Hilton
Padraig Harrington targets 2020 Ryder Cup captaincy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Set the wrists later in the golf swing
Watch
play button
Release the clubhead at impact
Watch
play button
Stop the hands from flipping over
Watch
play button
Don’t take the club away to the inside
Watch
See all videos right arrow