Retaining Members – The Strategic Approach: Mark Taylor – A.S.K. Workshops3 min read

Mark TaylorAuthor: Mark Taylor

Posted on: 27th Jun 2016

England Golf’s Mark Taylor will speak at the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops in Hungary on 26th July – Here Mark explains how he supports and advises facilities on how to best implement club centric strategies to drive participation, recruit, and retain current membership trends.

What you need to know about your members

Maintaining current membership levels has never been harder for most golf clubs.

Increased competition, declining loyalty, the perception that a golf club membership does not offer value for money, all create an increasingly cluttered landscape in which clubs have to compete.

But the good news is that contrary to popular industry perception, the growth of the game has never been so strong. Participation levels are rising – more than 5% among adults in 2006, whilst interest in the game among juniors and women is also growing. That means no shortage of potential customers!

However, what is changing is the way that people are choosing to participate. Joining a club is no longer high on the agenda for golfers; hence the decline in waiting lists for many golf clubs and an increasing emphasis on protecting their existing member base.

In order to do so and to attract new members, it is vital that clubs understand what members want. They are the most valuable asset and a healthy membership base that actively uses your club and its facilities should be at the core of any successful golf club.

What clubs need to know about members;

20% of your customers are responsible for 80% of your business is equally true within golf clubs. Every club has core membership, who regularly play in competitions, support club fixtures, buy tickets to social occasions, use the bar and restaurant and support the pro.

The fact is that golf clubs know little if anything about their membership and much of their decision- making is based on anecdotal evidence rather than hard facts.

By finding out more about existing membership clubs can not only generate more income through them but can also find and target potential new members with a similar profile to the existing best customers.

3 MUST knows about members:

Who they are

This includes their name, address, contact details and also their age, marital status, family, occupation. This is not intrusive but designed to help you help them get the most from their membership

Their playing habits

Maintain records of when they play, who they play with, how often they play, do they enter competitions, do they put handicap cards in, have they ever had a handicap?

How much they spend

This may seem mercenary but do they use the bar, or catering facilities, do they support the professional, if not then why not? If they do, then this is just as important to know why – what motivates them?

Other things to know

As well as the obvious areas about what they do and how they use their membership, current membership intelligence can also be used to help improve what is offered to existing and prospective members. What members think about their golf club and what they expect from their membership can be real eye openers – sometimes uncomfortable ones but often easy to act upon.

For more information and to register visit

For more information about the 2016 A.S.K. Workshops visit, follow @PGAsofEurope on Twitter and search #ASKWorkshops, or like the PGAs of Europe Facebook Page.

Mark TaylorAuthor: Mark Taylor

Mark is a Development Officer for England Golf and a Fellow PGA of Great Britain & Ireland Professional.

In 2012 Mark became a PGA Tutor and a further recent appointment as a Golf Development Professional followed for the R&A ‘Working for Golf’ program. Mark continues to coach at his indoor performance studio in Cheshire and retains a passion for coaching working as an England Golf performance coach and England Golf under 14 girls coach. This commitment to coaching and golf development saw Mark awarded with PGA Fellow professional status.