Those Wonderful Long Tails
In addition to regular memberships, golf and country clubs have always had junior and senior memberships. Long ago someone figured out that younger people would join their club if they decreased their dues, moving them to full club dues paying members when they got older and advanced at work and in pay. Similarly, senior memberships, also with decreased dues, were designed to keep older members in the game as they graduated into fixed incomes and played less. Nothing new here.
What you had then was a classic bell curve, with the majority of members, paying the highest dues, in the middle of the bell curve, and fewer members at the tail ends.
However, Bobby Jones Links learned to lengthen the tails on the curve, so to speak. We now offer dues plans that begin or change at 21, 30, 40, 65, 75, and 80. Our membership sales have increased dramatically and our attrition is much less as a result.
Where once junior membership was everyone under 40, now a club’s dues structure should be even more tiered to make it even more affordable for young professionals in their twenties. Seniors who play less as they age now can stay at the club they love – and where their friends are – by paying dues commensurate with their age and declining club use.
Lengthening the tail on the membership bell curve is smart business. It’s an extended membership offering based on a prospect’s ability to pay and stage of life. Your club should consider it too.