Scottish Golf proposing to allow non-club members handicap

D

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Also, this could revolutionise municipal golf.

As things stand, the chances of a non-golfer turning up at a club and paying £900 to £1200 in an annual fee to start playing regular golf is slim.

But get them down the muni and then get them a proper handicap and they might quickly start to play at a level where club membership is the next step.
Reading your link it clearly states the SG Rep said the plan is evolving.
Definitely doesn’t read as anyone panicing.

Only time will tell if it would work, but I believe it will be easy to implement and will suit a lot of Golfers in different situations. It could certainly increase the pool of golfers available to play in opens.
 

Grant85

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And I don't get the feeling that club numbers are levelling out.

In the main, clubs are getting closer to the breadline as older members die or stop playing and there are much fewer younger members to replace them who are going to spend so much on annual fees.
 
D

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A few course in the Glasgow area are on the brink. Won't name names and I'm sure Grant also knows of one!

You have to realise that golf in Scotland is significantly different to golf around the London area. Most clubs up here have a large shortfall of members. Not just 10 or 20 but ten times that number.

This idea of giving people a HC without being a member isn’t going to save a club on the brink - if anything help put the final nail in. And I don’t see it bringing in numbers into the game to make a difference but it will reduce the amount who are club members.

There are plenty play and pay municipal courses in England that offer a membership quite cheap that will give you a HC but you are still a member of that club and a guaranteed income into the club as opposed to the golf union - maybe more Scottish Clubs need to look at that as well as point systems.
 

clubchamp98

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A few course in the Glasgow area are on the brink. Won't name names and I'm sure Grant also knows of one!

You have to realise that golf in Scotland is significantly different to golf around the London area. Most clubs up here have a large shortfall of members. Not just 10 or 20 but ten times that number.
Well if the game is in trouble in Scotland then it may make sense to try this.
What’s the reason for the decline up there? Genuine interest!

Also would a non club hcap travel to other countries bearing in mind the hcap system is changing soon.
 
D

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Well if the game is in trouble in Scotland then it may make sense to try this.
What’s the reason for the decline up there? Genuine interest!

Also would a non club hcap travel to other countries bearing in mind the hcap system is changing soon.
The link states they are looking at giving the golfers a CONGU Handicap.
 
D

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And I don't get the feeling that club numbers are levelling out.

In the main, clubs are getting closer to the breadline as older members die or stop playing and there are much fewer younger members to replace them who are going to spend so much on annual fees.

https://assets.kpmg/content/dam/kpmg/xx/pdf/2018/11/golf-participation-report-for-europe-2018.pdf

The numbers aren’t that dramatic

But it’s also worth noting that’s Sports go through cycles and at times some will flourish whilsts also lose numbers but it always changes.

This idea won’t help clubs - the opposite , it will help nomad golfer though giving them a chance of a HC but then imo clubs will counter it by reducing the opens and also add in restrictions.
 

Jacko_G

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This idea of giving people a HC without being a member isn’t going to save a club on the brink - if anything help put the final nail in. And I don’t see it bringing in numbers into the game to make a difference but it will reduce the amount who are club members.

There are plenty play and pay municipal courses in England that offer a membership quite cheap that will give you a HC but you are still a member of that club and a guaranteed income into the club as opposed to the golf union - maybe more Scottish Clubs need to look at that as well as point systems.

I never said it was going to save a club. I was referring to you stating golf was leveling out. Without being harsh I don't think it would do golf in Scotland any harm if 50+ clubs went under. Not that I'm wishing that on any club or member.
 

rosecott

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SGU being a member of CONGU must surely have consulted CONGU before setting out on this course:

Dec.8(a)

Status of ‘Handicap Only’ or ‘Competition Handicap’ (or the like) categories of golf club membership in the context of a CONGU® Definition of a Member.

It is a matter for individual golf clubs to determine the nature of their categories of membership. However, forms or categories of membership such as ‘Handicap Only’ or ‘Competition Membership’ satisfy neither the spirit nor intent of the definition of a ‘Member’ as contained in the CONGU UHS and do not qualify for the allotment of a CONGU ® Handicap. To satisfy the definition, ‘Members’ of a golf club should have a reasonable and regular opportunity to play golf with each other, including participating in Qualifying Competitions. Peer review is an essential component of the UHS. Affiliated Clubs if, and when, considering the introduction of new or modified forms or categories of Membership can obtain guidance in regard to compliance with the definition of a ‘Member’ and eligibility for allotment of a CONGU® Handicap from their Union.
 
D

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I never said it was going to save a club. I was referring to you stating golf was leveling out. Without being harsh I don't think it would do golf in Scotland any harm if 50+ clubs went under. Not that I'm wishing that on any club or member.
It’s the same in England - the poor courses will close and that will help the stronger courses - the area im in was helped when one big course closed , it boosted a lot of the pro active courses in the area , It helped us spend a considerable amount on the course to improve it. We didn’t offer cheap deal but some clubs did and then didn’t improve their product - it’s no surprise that the rumours are one of those courses is in trouble plus another one.
 

fundy

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Interesting question that results from this. If a club is only viable because it holds the only means to a congu handicap, then should the club be viable anyway?

Surely all the strong clubs with deep memberships, good courses/clubs etc will be fine. Its the ones that actually dont give a decent value for money offering to their members that will be potentially in trouble and have to offer a better product.

Maybe this could actually be good for the game and force some clubs/courses to improve whilst those that dont/cant struggle or fall by the wayside. Think there could actually be some benefits to this in the long term but will require a lot of courses to adapt/change the way they operate
 

SGC001

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Worrying for clubs

Sounds like governing bodies chasing money which leads to more funding in the form of government funding due to increased membership.

Think its very short sited and cant see how its good for clubs or the governing bodies in the long term.

The poorly thought out need for more clubs report by golfs governing bodies leading to the over supply of clubs in the 90s has lead to a lot of consumer choice but ultimately clubs have suffered, their further recommendations leading to silly membership options (for the clubs themselves) and stupid green fee price. (£5 a round etc)

U can get on almost anywhere now for silly prices with clubs cutting their own throats, why be a member.

This is another reason not to be a club member.
 

SGC001

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Its the middle to lower entry level clubs that will suffer the most, which is where a lot of people get introduced to the game

Golf shouldnt be looking to turn golfers into nomads if its wanting to suceed. This seems to be what this is likely to achieve.
Overall nomads play less than members, they'll be decreasing real usage further and fudging figures to say participation is up as member numbers will be.
 
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User20204

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For the life of me I can't see this being good news for any club in Scotland, many golfers retain their membership purely for handicap purposes. If they start handing out handicaps to non members then there is no reason to be a member and as said above, you fish around and you can get cheap golf due to struggling clubs offering deals everywhere.

One small point, the SGU hasn't been in place for almost 4 years now, it's Scottish Golf.
 

HankMarvin

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People are going to jump at it - it allows them flexibility and it also allows them to not pay for when they can’t play or when it’s poor weather etc

People are going to leave golf clubs - years subscriptions will go down and there is no way people getting a cheap HC from SGU is going to fill that gap - clubs need that consistent income to keep them alive , I can see them straight away protecting themselves and bringing in restrictions of who can play in their Open Comps

They believe this will help members club - how they believe that I have no idea. There is a reason why the golf unions have not gone down this avenue - seems the SGU are going to shoot themsleves in the foot

If a club looses 20 members that’s potentially £10k-20k they need make up - does anyone seriously think this idea will fill that gap ?

Then there will be the ones who use this to go pot hunting, pay the 4 quid odd a month get a high handicap then enter Opens and scoop the cash, yeah great idea from the clowns at Scottish golf.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Not a great idea for me. It doesn't say how these golfers will get access to the course to actually play the competitions. For me, I pay my subs to be a member and enter comps and can't see how that is fair on those that stump up annually if golfers can pay c£60 to maintain a handicap and then be allowed to rock up, pay a green fee and participate in a competition.
 

Jacko_G

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You have to look at this from the other side of things too..

On average Scotland is losing 5k members per year (yes they pick up members along the way too) if all 5k of these people decided to keep their handicap running despite not being members then that is £60 x 5000 for Scottish Golf to reinvest into the game.

Add in the fact that to keep the handicap active they will have to pay a minimum of three green fees a year to play that is another 15000 green fee revenues for clubs around the country.

It's also been shown that the people leaving the game are ones who are struggling for time or financial reasons, not bandits who want to keep an artificial high handicap.

It's easier to keep your handicap high playing every week as a member than it is playing a handful of times a year.

All in all I think this is a positive for Scottish Golf and as I have quite categorically stated previously I am no fan of them. However they have introduced a few things lately that has made me believe that they are now hopefully engaging better with the golf clubs and their members.
 

Jacko_G

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Not a great idea for me. It doesn't say how these golfers will get access to the course to actually play the competitions. For me, I pay my subs to be a member and enter comps and can't see how that is fair on those that stump up annually if golfers can pay c£60 to maintain a handicap and then be allowed to rock up, pay a green fee and participate in a competition.

Well done Sherlock. Not like you to regurgitate previous posts.

Actually brings quite a bit of additional income into the game, not the other way around.

Quite confident it's a positive.
 
D

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You have to look at this from the other side of things too..

On average Scotland is losing 5k members per year (yes they pick up members along the way too) if all 5k of these people decided to keep their handicap running despite not being members then that is £60 x 5000 for Scottish Golf to reinvest into the game.

Add in the fact that to keep the handicap active they will have to pay a minimum of three green fees a year to play that is another 15000 green fee revenues for clubs around the country.

It's also been shown that the people leaving the game are ones who are struggling for time or financial reasons, not bandits who want to keep an artificial high handicap.

It's easier to keep your handicap high playing every week as a member than it is playing a handful of times a year.

All in all I think this is a positive for Scottish Golf and as I have quite categorically stated previously I am no fan of them. However they have introduced a few things lately that has made me believe that they are now hopefully engaging better with the golf clubs and their members.

Balance it out -

Say each club loses 10 members to this new system , that’s on average £5 -10k lost to each club per year

Greens aren’t going to fill the gap , Scotland Golf aren’t going to give the clubs any money - what exactly are they going to do with the money they get ? It’s not going to the clubs is it who already have each member pay a yearly subscription

Golfers need clubs - cut their legs away from them and there could be dire consequences as the article states.

This system imo won’t bring more money into the game - it will actually mean less money to the clubs and maybe a bit more to the golf union.
 

fundy

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Balance it out -

Say each club loses 10 members to this new system , that’s on average £5 -10k lost to each club per year

Greens aren’t going to fill the gap , Scotland Golf aren’t going to give the clubs any money - what exactly are they going to do with the money they get ? It’s not going to the clubs is it who already have each member pay a yearly subscription

Golfers need clubs - cut their legs away from them and there could be dire consequences as the article states.

Devils advocate Phil, how many members do you think LBGC would lose if this was brought in in England?
 
D

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Devils advocate Phil, how many members do you think LBGC would lose if this was brought in in England?

Double figures

Guys who only play on a Saturday in a Comp , guys that don’t play over the winter prob lose a number of country members as well

Why would they need to spend £1k when they could spend £50 and then just a green fee at club somewhere , even if they paid just the green fee for the comps it would be cheaper
 
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