Ten Ways #8

Encourage Prospects at your Member-Guest

There are some good reasons to require handicaps at your member-guest. First is quality of the competition. A second frequently unstated one is to discourage marginal players. This makes total sense for a club’s multi-day invitational.  It makes sense for much, or even most of the schedule.

But its dangerous if you’re looking for new members. Face it, most of the serious golfers already have a club.  Its unlikely the average club is going to have such a difference in finances or quality to pull a happy member from a similar club. For the clubs we’re talking about, they’re limited to pulling from semi-private and marginal clubs.

“Hey, but we let people with no handicaps play”  “Scratch”.  Great, so you’re going to recruit someone whose initial experience is dragging their team 10-15 strokes off the competition. Embarrassing someone is a tough introduction.

Have 25-33% of your member-guest events friendly to golfers with no handicap. I can name a half-dozen people (my wife included) that I would have invited to events this year but there were no events to invite them to.  It may just be having a separate flight using Callaway system or something. Ever thought of just having a nice outing with great service, great food, etc. and leave the competition alone for the day?  I actually think handing out a couple hundred bucks in cash to the winning team is tacky, while it drives up the price of the event.

Many clubs are optimizing their member-guests around the desires of the most serious golfers in their current membership. All I’m saying is occasionally keep the big picture in mind.


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