Membership is your golf club's most valuable asset. Without loyal members, your club will cease to exist. That is why it is so important to allocate a significant portion of your budget, time, and focus to retaining existing members while also find ways to attract new ones. Every club has tips for success, but these are by far the best ones we've seen golf clubs make use of:

1. ​Define your member benefits
Your golf club’s member benefits can be defined as the answer to the question: Why should I choose this golf club over another? It’s your key differential, your competitive advantage, and what members should refer to when they explain why they chose to join. Being able to identify and drive value through your member benefits will help you build the foundation for your marketing strategies and materials – and they should definitely be front and center on your website! In order to sell your membership and benefits, you need to make sure all of your Club Officers, Board Members, volunteers, and members know and understand what they are – if they don't, then what you consider to be your golf club's most unique qualities might not actually be all that unique.

2. Market where your members are
This means physically and digitally. The key to gaining and retaining members is to stay constantly visible. Hang a flyer at the local golf course or store. Create a social media page or group for your club.  Advertise in local publications or participate in industry-related events. As a leader of your organization, you should be viewed as a credible source in the space. If you’re not constantly marketing your group on and offline, how will your members know who you are?

Your website is a critical element of your communication… prospective members should be able to immediately see why membership in your club might be just right for them. Is your website up-to-date with content and events? Is it visually stimulating – with pictures of your members, events, etc? Do you have any quotes from members that validate your benefits? Your memberplanet benefits through the NCGA give you great templates to help you build a website if you don’t already have one and/or update to a different platform. Be sure to leverage this free benefit if you haven’t already.

3. Leverage a member referral program
No marketing strategy can beat personal recommendations and word of mouth. Great referral programs leverage members who are advocates of your organization. Your members should be willing to promote all the benefits they’ve gained by being a loyal member of your club. If you haven’t pursued this before, make sure the process is simple and easy for your members to recruit on your behalf by providing relevant materials and incentives for doing so. Incentives can come in the form of free entry to a tournament or even a discount on their membership.

And if you are already utilizing this strategy, track its success and seek ways to continue to improve it. Always keep in mind that your members are your greatest assets. Make sure they are well equipped with training to answer questions and positively represent your golf club.

4. Keep your existing members happy
Retaining your current members is even more important than obtaining new ones. Nothing defines a successful golf club more than its loyal members. The fewer you lose, the easier it will be to reach your growth goals and the less resources you’ll have to spend to do it. The key to maintaining your current membership base is to always drive value through your member benefits. Secondary to that is making it convenient to remain as a member of your golf club (hello, online payment!). It’s critical to continually communicate your value to members, whether it’s through marketing automation, event notifications, email campaigns, or social media posts. Listen to your members as well – get feedback and their thoughts on how things are going currently at the club. Take that information to further improve your value proposition and member benefits and to stay relevant in our ever-changing technological and social landscapes.

These four tips can help a golf club not just stay current in appealing to younger demographics, they also ensure that it continues to excel and deliver membership that is valuable and accessible. To learn more about how your club can use the NCGA Member Management Solution (memberplanet) to bolster membership visit