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Private clubs and COVID Tee Sheet Access


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So our nice little club here in Ontario has been absolutely slammed this year. For various reasons, people who would normally be unable to play weekdays, for example, are playing. There is one particular foursome I'll use as an example, but they are far from the only ones, who would normally be at a job, who are on the tee sheet for the same time every day. They are on a young persons membership so there is a weekend restriction on them, but weekdays are a free for all. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but given that there are members who are paying full freight but having a hard time getting tee times weekdays(there are usually no more than 2 or 3 spots from opening to 1 pm), have any courses extended discounted dues restrictions to weekdays?

From a straight golf perspective, we have actually been turning away trial members, so that part is good, although I don't think it will make up the lost event business. But just wondered if anyone knows of clubs that have added weekday restrictions just to make sure the primaries can play weekdays.

It hasn't really affected me that badly, so I'm not saying I want it implemented, but given how the weekday mornings seem to be as in demand as weekends, there would seem to be a thought at least.

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We were pretty jammed up when the state allowed the club to open. The approach the club took was that any member could only have 3 tee times per calendar week. If you had reached your third time, you could call the starter the day of to see if there was an available time (which did not count against your allotment, if there was).

After a couple of months, they lifted that restriction and there really isn't any issue at this point.

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The clubs I am familiar with have not changed the tee time restrictions on membership types that have them. Their tee sheets are certainly busier than before, ~ 90% full on weekend mornings, and probably 70% full on weekday mornings (used to be maybe 40% full on weekday mornings), but they have kept the same 10-minute tee time intervals they have had for years. The only new restriction the clubs I am talking about are enforcing is no longer allowing reciprocal play during mornings.

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I agree. It shouldn't matter what other members are paying. Being in a different dues class doesn't entitle an older member to any rights or privileges not explicitly stated in the bylaws. Clubs need younger members to survive. They are bringing the benefit of their age to the club (and their hopeful lifetime of membership) in exchange for a "discounted" rate for the first few years. Once in the door, all members are to be treated equal. I've been a member at a couple of private clubs. My old club had a few members who outwardly showed disdain for younger members who got in through a membership drive. I had no patience for that kind of behavior/ignorance. Get rid of the younger members or treat them as lesser because they don't pay the same dues as you and watch your club slowly die as it's membership roster dwindles.

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These guys who are paying less are also the type who will jump to another club in a heartbeat if they get a better deal. There was a group of 10 who did exactly that this year. How is a club surviving when that is happening?

Buy a share/pay initiation and we will talk. But I'm sorry, you fork out more money for certain privileges. If we were not giving them the option of paying full freight, that would be one thing.

But a club also needs revenue to survive. Why would anyone stand for paying 30% more just because?

 

 

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"Pretty sad you have restrictions on younger members. Even more sad that you want to extend them. A better option may be to relax them an integrate those members more into your club."

 

Pretty sure I said nothing of the sort. But if you would like, I can send you our address and you can top up their dues so their restrictions can be removed.

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Usually most clubs, and any business for that matter tries to account for this. Say 20 new members join, they project the numbers out that only 10 stay for the next year for instance. Now in a couple years they hope to have a few groups of those 10 who stayed at full membership price.

Now you can to restrictions further. but at what cost? Perhaps only 3 out of 20 stay and become full members. Now that will become an issue in 5-10 years. Hopefully, it is something the management and board have looked at to see the health of the club both now and in the future, and their decisions are based on that.

 

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Well for this year we've actually had to turn away trial memberships. Apparently the course that drew the group of guys has really ticked off their regulars with all the promos, and there are no tee times.

I know there is the whole "plan for the future" thing, but clubs have to remember that the people who are paying the freight today can't be assumed to be willing to be crapped on constantly in the name of the future.

There are factors outside of golf contributing to the situation, that should be resolved by next summer. Normally it's never an issue to get a tee time.

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I had a play away membership with Club Corp for when I travel.

They just reduced the benefits from 2 rounds per club per month to 2 rounds per market (metro area) per month. They also changed the times available from no weekend morning rounds to no tee times between noon Friday and noon Sunday.

My guess is with Covid they had people utilizing their benefits more, pissing off the normal club members.

I'm cancelling my membership because I'm not getting enough value anymore, most of my rounds were Friday afternoon.

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Clubs everywhere are slammed. There is more work flexibility with everyone working at home. Very little vacation and work travel has lots of folks on the course, especially those in sales.

Our restrictions are only once per weekend, with same day call in to check availability for a second round. Weekdays are open with blocks for seniors amd ladies league play.

How are these guys getting the times? Just making tee times before you? Also, a lot of junior membership initianton fees these days are more than what "old timers" paid. So they may have reduced dues but may have stroked a bigger check.

If folks are not getting the times they wanted they may just need to be a little more proactive in getting slots. Maybe you have not had to call 7 days in advance before, but now you do.

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One of the clubs I belong to has ~600 members (the other 3 have 650 combined) and it is the only one without tee times. Works perfectly. No issues whatsoever and I’ve never had to wait more than 45 minutes to play ever. I’d normally arrive 30 minutes before I play anyway so it really isn’t meaningful. At this club we also have an enforced 3:40 pace of play as well.

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We were slammed and did make some preferential booking changes. When Phase 3 opened up and people starting going to vacations homes (in province) or back to the office etc, the tee sheet went back closer to normal. With Ontario going to Phase 3 your tee sheet issue might solve itself.

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That does not seem like very many rounds per year. Do you play year round? 25,000/365 is 68 golfers per day. If you go out in foursomes 10min apart you have 24 tee times per hour. So your club only has 3 hours per day of a full tee sheet if you are open year round. Maybe I am missing something? Most years we see about 50,000 rounds with much lighter play Nov-Feb due to weather and folks travelling.

With that little pressure on the tee you should be able to manage without much trouble.

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I don’t see why any truly private club would have tee times. The 2 I have belonged to both had “tee times” basically just for weekend mornings so people knew what time to show up if they had big groups. One of the best perks of belonging to a private club is being able to just show up and go play. Sure there would be days where it’s lined up on the tee box for an hour or so, but hell it would still be like that with tee times. No tee times is the way to go for private clubs for sure.

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So will caveat my statements a bit...

We are closed on MondaysJan/Feb is noon shotgun only Tues-Thursa few weeks a year are shut down due to snow or freezing temps.Spouse play is WAY up relative to 2019Club demographic is ~65% employed 35% retired50% of folks have school aged children (most children's activates cancelled)I agree that pre-Covid we could have done no tee times Tues-Thursday.  But now it is nearly totally booked with almost no availability.  Weekends are always solid.  I can get a time if i call 7 days in advance, but if I just show up i am likely out of luck any day of the week or may have to wait 3 hours.  At the end of the day we have too many people who want to play, and not enough slots during peak times.  Like others have said, and to OP's point, this is mainly a Covid issue, but it is not changing anytime soon.  Metro Atlanta is announcing remote learning through at least January.  Which means most people will continue to work from home.  Which means more golfers.

That being said, if I make a tee time as soon as I can, I am fine.  It is when I try to book last minute when I have a problem.

 

 

 

 

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I pay a "junior" membership rate that applies for 30-35 year olds. We don't have any restrictions, and the reason I chose the club was because of that. With that said our dues structure has always been 21-29 "Super Junior," 30-35 "Junior," 35-62 "Full," 62+ "Senior" and there haven't been any "promos" or membership drives that changes the pricing. All levels include an initiation fee so you're less likely to jump ship at a little better deal. I've never really considered leaving, but if they imposed restrictions on junior or super junior members because the tee sheet is fuller then I would consider moving to a different club

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