Once again there was an interesting article in Golf Monthly (June, 2010). The article talked about the challenges of golf courses how to retain golf club members and halt the negative trend. There was a survey in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland about golf club membership trends between 2005-2009.
Wales suffered the most by losing almost 12.46% (from 69,764 to 61,070) of his golf club members, while Ireland loss was "only" 3.75%. I think in the current economic climate "pay-n-play" model is the most reasonable payment method. Less money is more secure than nothing. New comers will not necessarily would like to stick to one golf club for the sake of golf community.
There is no place to be surprised when many golf courses are still rigid and not willing to change his golf course membership pricing policy. At the very same time they do not come up with lucrative solutions to retain golf club members. Beside my harsh critics I can show a very positive one as well. From Oregon Golf Association, Eric Yaillen (Director of Marketing & Communication) turned to me after reading my post about co-branded card program for golf club members as part of a loyalty program. There are many options that are still open to stop the negative trend (e.g. affiliate marketing, loyalty card program etc.) .