That time of the year again...renewals. When do you say enough is enough?

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brendy

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When I first joined my club in late '05 our membership fee was circa £740-£760 per year, when I joined I also had to pay a joining fee (equiv to 2 years membership) also so not cheap for a decent but not best in the area club.
This years letter has come in and membership has now broken the £1k mark (with a 2.x% increase, £50 social levy, union and insurance fees included).
Given that our club played less than 20 weekend qualifiers this year, I feel that it is not good value for money and that no value has been added since joining in 05. This years season ran a scheduled April to almost the end of September...not even the end of September.

I emailed committee back in mid October asking that they consider reschedule the months worth of non qualifying scrambles, greensomes, 4BBB etc events that litter October when the course is in perfect working order and certainly qualifying conditions. At the time I was told it would be brought up at the committee meeting. These meetings have been and gone, minutes posted online and included inside the envelope received today is the calendar for next year...same bloody events. I know for a fact that many of the "competitive" members would rather challenge their handicaps than play team events so it isnt just me having a rant.

Time wise, the course gets wet usually Nov-March with no attempt to add water features/open drainage, though the green staff have been very busy repairing/installing new drainage but understand that work needs done periodically anyway.
Membership wise, our membership average age is 58 and the social events really highlight that with Bingo, Bowls, Dinner dance nights etc, nothing for the "younger" members in their 20's/30's and 40's really.
Looking around at the better courses in Co. Down and across into Belfast, its hard to see why we pay so much (local economy, I know some English clubs are a lot more). If it wasnt for the £2k plus joining fee that I had to pay plus the membership over the last 8 years, I would be leaving tomorrow. Anyone else feeling similarly short changed by their clubs fees rising?:mmm:
 

Billythefish

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That time is now. My club has put membership up this season, apparently to give the green staff a rise, even though the green staff are ignorant and rude.

I decided that the best part of a grand will be better spent at another club. It's not as if they spend it on the course either, the sand in the bunkers is terrible.
 

bladeplayer

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Sounds like your on the ledge just wishing some one would push you mate,

I wouldnt pay that much for such a small amount of qualifiers anyhow , not even that youd play in them all but you at least have the option , sounds like the committee is set in its own ways , you could maybe get a petition up asking for more qualifiers and if you can get enough people to sign it , it might change ..

I wouldnt let what i have previously paid influence my staying or going (unlees it had only been last year , not so in ur case tho)
 

HawkeyeMS

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Personally I wouldn't be including the previously paid joining fee and subs in the equation. I pay my subs each year after answering 2 questions: Can I afford it and do I think the club is worth it? Once I've paid that's it, I forget it and play golf. When next year comes it's same questions and choice. I am never getting the money back so it's of little consequence.

It sounds to me like you don't think the club is worth what you are being asked to pay so there's only one answer to me.
 

Hacker Khan

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Joining fees are essentially sunken costs and most economic theory says they should be disregarded when making any decision for the future. Obviously you don't want to pay a joining fee every year and swap every year as that's silly. But a lot of golf clubs seem to hope people do not make rational decisions based on sunken costs.
 

Hacker Khan

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Also I know it's been said before and will be said again, but why golf clubs send out the annual subs at the time of year when we have weather bombs wreaking havoc, fairway mats, temporary greens, squelchy fairways and it gets dark in the afternoon, and not when we have long hot evenings ideal for playing golf is beyond me. Kind of shows a complete lack of business sense.
 
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The membership average age is 58 !? Is this normal & if it then it highlights the poor value that golf club memberships offer to anyone who isn't semi retired or retired.
 

Ethan

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Well, I agree that small numbers of qualifying comps is a pain. There was a time when you could;t find a weekend without one and sometimes two, and midweek events as well. Now there seems to be a lot less external sponsorship from car makers, banks and the like.

So if you have an alternative (Clandeboye?) that offers good golf, reasonable membership and more comps, then why not? If you are thinking this, there are probably a few others, and Bangor will eventually realise they need to change.
 
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brendy

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Well, I agree that small numbers of qualifying comps is a pain. There was a time when you could;t find a weekend without one and sometimes two, and midweek events as well. Now there seems to be a lot less external sponsorship from car makers, banks and the like.

So if you have an alternative (Clandeboye?) that offers good golf, reasonable membership and more comps, then why not? If you are thinking this, there are probably a few others, and Bangor will eventually realise they need to change.
There is a few local clubs I would consider. Clandeboye having 2 courses and a modern clubhouse is a big draw. Distance wise it is around a mile and a bit, same as Bangor.
Shandon, Belvoir and Rockmount are good courses though carry varying amounts of snobbery. Kirkistown has potential but just dont rate its layout and couldnt see me playing it in the winter. Ardglass would be perfect if it wasnt 50 mins or so away.
Bangor has a healthy turnover of members currently but all of those over 60s wont be paying full whack forever. I have resorted to drawing up pros and cons for my currrent club and those other potential clubs. Still undecided but it honestly wouldnt take much for me to be satisfied with Bangor if they would just amend a few things.
 
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Personally I wouldn't be including the previously paid joining fee and subs in the equation. I pay my subs each year after answering 2 questions: Can I afford it and do I think the club is worth it? Once I've paid that's it, I forget it and play golf. When next year comes it's same questions and choice. I am never getting the money back so it's of little consequence.

It sounds to me like you don't think the club is worth what you are being asked to pay so there's only one answer to me.
Agree with this.
 

HomerJSimpson

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I would forget the joining fee from way back. That's done and dusted. For my money, I'd want a longer season, especially if conditions dictate the course would be playable. I don't think I'd be getting value for money but of course without knowing the atmosphere, course etc that's a purely personal and subjective opinion. However the tone sounds as if enough is enough but I guess it begs the question what are your options locally?
 

AmandaJR

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Also I know it's been said before and will be said again, but why golf clubs send out the annual subs at the time of year when we have weather bombs wreaking havoc, fairway mats, temporary greens, squelchy fairways and it gets dark in the afternoon, and not when we have long hot evenings ideal for playing golf is beyond me. Kind of shows a complete lack of business sense.
Ours is 1st June and seems a much better plan!
 
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brendy

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The membership average age is 58 !? Is this normal & if it then it highlights the poor value that golf club memberships offer to anyone who isn't semi retired or retired.
There is no value for us family men that work 9-5 (or longer)
I normally play Saturdays only but try to play some winter sundays and summer 9 hole mid week evening comps, not many though. It represents awful value for money which is partly my own making by not playing more but as a family man I just cant commit to much more so no matter the outcome my participation will still be limited for 10 more years at least until my daughters are well into their teens.
They introduced dual tee competitions last year that, during medal tee competitions, those that wish to play from the shorter yellow tees could do so in a parallel competition instead...to me that is crazy as handicaps are out of kilter if they are being measured on two different sets of tees etc.
Its not all bad, to give a reasonably balanced view there has been some great decisions made too. For example, a pellet burning system that saves thousands in heating bills, led lights instead of halogen saving similar per year.
The mixed lounge and function room downstairs have been renovated recently and as I said earlier, the green staff are flat out with drainage maintenance. The proshop is run by a great bunch of lads too.
quality wise, I believe we are the most expensive local club and surprised me given yhat we also have probably the largest membership.
The actual property footprint of the club is quite small as surplus land was sold over the years and is completely ring fenced by ring roads and housing so maintenance costs should not be close to what Clandeboye pay given they have a massive estate with 2 good courses and practice areas.
 
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Berger

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There is a few local clubs I would consider. Clandeboye having 2 courses and a modern clubhouse is a big draw. Distance wise it is around a mile and a bit, same as Bangor.
Shandon, Belvoir and Rockmount are good courses though carry varying amounts of snobbery. Kirkistown has potential but just dont rate its layout and couldnt see me playing it in the winter. Ardglass would be perfect if it wasnt 50 mins or so away.
Bangor has a healthy turnover of members currently but all of those over 60s wont be paying full whack forever. I have resorted to drawing up pros and cons for my currrent club and those other potential clubs. Still undecided but it honestly wouldnt take much for me to be satisfied with Bangor if they would just amend a few things.
Belvoir is a lovely course. A mate of mine joined there last year and I thought about it for a while but couldn't justify the £1,800 joining fee on top of £1,200 subs. The other thing that put me off Belvoir was the inability to ever get a Saturday morning tee time as it seems set in stone on a Saturday. I'm quite happy being able to get on there for £20 though.

I played the Dufferin at Clandeboye for the first time this summer and loved it. I think it's on a par with Belvoir.
 

davidg2010uk

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How many rounds do you reckon you will play between April-Oct ? I think I'd need to play 40+ rounds in that time to justify those fees.
 
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