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When Covid struck in mid march, lock downs and incomes were savaged for many people.

A lot of golf clubs in the UK have their annual renewals at the start of April, so many members of these clubs had to make a decision on whether to rejoin or comeback at a later date.

It has saddened me to see that quite a few clubs have told members who rejoin at any time over the next year, their fee's will be backdated to April. I was just was just wondering what your thoughts are on this and is this legal?

I know this has pushed me away from re-joining my existing club. I just wondered if this is Legal and have others been affected by it.

They say many golf clubs are struggling but if this is how they treat people in times like this, its no wonder.

My old golf club just lost out on about £1700 worth of my business over the next 12 months because they wanted to punish me for 3 months membership.

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Clubs are doing all sorts of stuff. I would imagine most of it is "legal" enough for them to do it. I doubt most people are going to take a golf course to court over consumer protection acts or malicious business practices or whatever they are called. I imagine they are fine to take that chance.

My club pulled in 2020 bills that are normally done in later months into immediate and just said pay them now.

You think this is bad wait until the assessments come at the end of the season.

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With our short season here we were only delayed by two weeks so not a huge deal in the scheme of things. Last year we were delayed for a week by the terrible weather and poor conditions so at least this year when we opened conditions were good.

I'm expecting an assessment this year as well.

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My home club sent a rather brutal email out saying anyone cancelling their monthly direct debits would be classed as resigning. The email was written in a threatening tone and got a lot of flack. In truth nobody stopped paying and the club is doing ok. We have a large outside area so may be able to serve food and drink in a fortnight.

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Loyalty works both ways.

Not everyone is affected the same by covid, if you work in tourism and leisure, I assure you, times are hard.

The thoguht of paying 100 dollars a month while not having an income coming in for 4-5 months is not something a lot of people can do.

Why make it harder for people wanting to come back when they can eventually do so?

Why should someone have to pay up to 11 months fees for 1 month of membership which is what their policies now make possible..

its bonkers and pushed a quite few people away from the club. Just wondering waht other people think.

I got a deal down the road for half the price, so I'm happy, I just think its dumb as I spent tons on the sim and clubhouse there.

 

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I look at this a couple of ways. If you break a bone and can't play for several months, what would you do? I tend to believe that clubs should only charge an annual sub, or a higher pro-rata amount so it there is an incentive for people to pay the full amount. And have the renewal date in spring so that people can't just join for a summer.

I also look at from the club's perspective. Their costs probably haven't dropped much due to the lock-down if there is still maintenance being done. Should everyone just stop paying? As far as I'm concerned, you commit for the year, and if you can't play for some reason then too bad.

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Not sure of the structure of your club. But golf courses have tremendous fixed costs also. These places have had negative cash flow during the quarantine. Difficult times for anyone in the hospitality industry including the owners.

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Indeed, the alternative is they don't charge anyone dues, go bankrupt, and close.

Our club still charged us full dues, but we are getting it "back" in the form of credit to be used at the club (guest fees, F&B, etc). They also suspended out F&B minimums and all storage/locker fees. My buddies at other clubs had similar arrangements

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I have asked a few people i know about the "legalities" of assessments this year at my club. I'm not sure "legal" is the correct word but there are laws in several countries regarding consumer protection. I mean things like "bait and switch" i don't believe are legal and that isn't forcing you to buy anything.

I am concerned this year that some clubs will try to slap 10,000$ assessments or something on members due to no wedding revenue and vastly diminished restaurant revenue. This could also be seen as "justified" to stay in business, however i don't think it's reasonable to charge someone an assessment 2-3X the size of their annual dues. I have asked around what our "rights" are in that case. I haven't actually read my contract yet....i suppose i should. I believe assessments are mandatory even if you leave the club and they can pursue you for them.

No granted, none of this has happened yet. But i wonder what the bills will be end of season.

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Here's the situation.

Subs were due in April, I was in a position to rejoin in August. So that's 4 months I would have missed out. They lost out on 66% of annual subs.

My expenditure at the club across the club house and pro shop over the next 8 months until the next Pro Rata restarts would EASILY have been at least the same as my 12 months membership fee.

I don't get how a business with any kind of brain would throw away £1750 worth of business for the sake of trying to make someone pay £320 for a service they had to leave for a few months due to covid and the economic impact it has on their life. If you worked in tourism and leisure and were self employed you would understand. If this is how all golf clubs roll then I think that's why many are struggling. Maybe the problem with a lot of golf clubs is they have idiots in in charge?

Its just bad business.

I not longer give a crap about my club and feel betrayed.

They've lost my trade for the next 8 months and possibly forever.

My friends at the club think they mean spirited for doing this and they're worried the growing costs of the club will be passed on them next year, as fees already increased this year by about 9%.

It just seems dumb to me. Its not like I was asking for free golf, or had even used the time they wanted to charge me for. I won't be exploited like that and they've lost me.

I was just wondering if anyone else was in a similar boat not bothered. New Club is much cheaper, much much closer to home and much tighter so it will improve my game.

 

I just keep hearing how golf clubs are struggling and I'm none too surprised if this is a common thing.

 

 

 

 

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Charging for a service I have not used.

 

AND

 

Only back dating payments for EXISTING MEMBERS.

 

in other words, if a new member joined now, they pay from June to April 2021.

If I joined right now. I would have to pay from APRIL 20 to APRIL 21.

 

They're making the rules up as they go along. Its BS. I'm being treated with contempt for giving them my business.

 

Naturally I'm playing elsewhere, but if golf courses want to survive, they need to buck their ideas up.

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Is it legal? lol. To charge golf club members for a full year. Yes. That's legal. I'll go out on a limb and say that is legal everywhere in the world. I think you should leave the club though as it is clear it is not meaningful to you at all. That's fine. There's nothing wrong with that. It isn't the relationship that I have with the places I'm a member though and if I felt that way there's no way whatsoever I would be a member at those clubs.

I moved to Australia for 2 years a few years ago and didn't want to lose my membership. Paid full dues for the entire time I was gone as I didn't qualify for suspension in membership, and TBC, this was almost as much per month as yours is per year*. At all of the clubs we belong to, even though services were severely reduced over the last several months, we paid EXTRA money to keep the employees from taking on the hardship. I actually went out of my way to ask two of them to charge the members more to make sure the club stayed strong.

*-note that I realize that money is meaningful at different levels to different people but that amount was not insignificant to me at the time.

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I don't know why, but many of the clubs in the UK are being a-holes about finances. I have been following the thread about guys who tried to get refunds for trips to the UK that were cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. They are being (unfairly IMO) extremely unaccommodating. They don't seem to have any sense of fairness. I have enjoyed my golf trips to the UK and Ireland, but I won't be going back.

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I see no harm in asking the club for some help. I think a 50 percent split would be fine.It would be a rational and decent thing to do.

my problem is I left the club. If a new member joins they pay from the month they join until next april, if I rejoin as late as Feb 2021, they charge me for 12 months service despite me only being able to play for one. Not that I would join that late, but yo get my point.

Its BS. Anyway I moved on so leave it at that. Next time I hear of glof clubs struggling, I'll not be surprsied.

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Well I pay annually. I figure it's the commitment I've made. Don't get me wrong, some will have done it tougher than others during this. My injury was well timed in that they had to find desk work for my team during the lockdown, so I've carried on working through. I can just see it from both points of view. We have the debate every summer when people only want to join for summer (we play year round but it gets wet).

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I am with doublehans. They are doing this to keep current members from leaving a few months to save a few bucs then rejoin without a penalty. Someone new is someone new. They are trying to prevent the whole membership from doing what you wanted to do but can't now. Life and especially private club life isn't free. If everyone did that, they would be out of business. To me, that is the price you pay for belonging somewhere. You are certainly allowed to move on (and have) because you didn't like this policy. That is your option. People everywhere have memberships to gyms and many other businesses who are not getting a credit for every second they didn't have access to their usual amenities. That is just the way it is. Be happy you can afford some amenities that many can't. Life unfortunately isn't fair. I am glad you found a solution that worked for you. I mean no disrespect to you. Good luck at the new club.

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I take it there is no joining fee at this club? I think the policy makes sense and have definitely heard of similar policies. Another option is setting a policy where members who resign (that is what you are doing when you want to stop paying) are ineligible for membership for a year or five years or something like that.

 

I'm glad your friends are telling you it doesn't make sense because they are supporting you, but asking anonymous folks on the internet and we are going to tell you the truth. The club is doing the right thing.

 

Sorry you had to resign from your club. It sounds like you enjoyed the place and made good friends there. Hope things improve for you financially.

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