An interesting article written by Martin Dempster in The Scotsman highlights a creative solution for golf courses struggling to give value to their membership subscriptions. It must be an idea that has considerable mileage in it if rolled out across Scotland and perhaps not just at the smaller clubs.
In fact the more you think about it the idea of reciprocal benefits across selected clubs has considerable merit - could it work if an Ayrshire club decided to partner with one in Fife, one in East Lothian and one in the Highlands. I'm pretty sure it could and add incredible loyalty and added value to all concerned. Certainly an idea worth pursuing.
This scheme sees Turnhouse in Edinburgh linking up with Helensburgh, Stranraer and Craigie Hill in Perth to give golfers an "added bonus" for deciding to be members of their respective clubs. Under the terms of the agreement, which tees off on Monday, Turnhouse members will get to play for free at the three other courses, with only minor terms and conditions in place.
"We have got to look outside the box in these difficult times for golf clubs and webelieve this arrangement is worth giving a try," said Turnhouse secretary Dougie Cleeton, "Clubs all over the country are doing an awful lot at the moment to try and entice new members but this arrangement is looking at the wider picture."
"We all have to try and retain the members we have as clubs are competing against each other and we see this as an added bonus for our members. The days of people joining a golf club for life are gone as there are not many waiting lists now," he said. "That means we've got to make it attractive as possible to be a golf club member and we believe this idea could be a winner for the clubs involved.
"Hamish Grey, CEO of the Scottish Golf Union, says the four clubs should be applauded for showing such initiative. "We welcome anything that adds to the value of being a member of a golf club and helps keep people as a member of a golf club," he said
One of those ideas that has to be commended and one which would undoubtedbly be welcomed by members across the country.
Now who do I need to speak to on our committee...