New research discovers that more than 80% of UK clubs do not offer discounts to senior members
By Martin Inglis
More than 80% of golf clubs do not include seniors in their membership prices, a study has revealed.
The research, carried out by GolfSupport.com and involving 244 golf clubs in 15 towns and cities across the UK - including Glasgow and Edinburgh - focused specifically on each golf club's membership structure.
The study found a mere 45 (18%) of the clubs had a reduced membership price and/or incentives available to seniors, despite that being one of the most prominent demographics in golf.
In Glasgow, only four of the 30 clubs involved in the research (13.3%) offered discounts for seniors, while in Edinburgh it was just two out of 20 (10%).
The picture was even starker in some cities in England. In Cambridge, only one of the 11 clubs reviewed offered a senior discount; in Bristol, it was only one out of 14; whilst in the capital, London, only three of the 44 clubs reviewed gave senior discounts.
The research noted that golf clubs had varying criteria as to what age qualified as being senior. For most of the reviewed golf clubs that offered senior membership discounts/incentives, it was determined as being 60 or 65 and over.
Other golf clubs were higher in their age classification for seniors, with 70 and above or 80 and above.
Included within the research findings were comments from some senior golfers, including, ‘Beth’, a 77-year-old golfer from Edinburgh. Currently a golf club members, she pays the full seven-day subscription fee charged by her club but believes that allowances should be made for golfers in her age group.
"I understand they have to provide cheaper membership options for the younger generations to attract them to the game but at the same time they must not alienate the older generation," she said.
'Mick', a 68-year-old from Coventry who retired three years ago, added: "I have kept my eye on the membership prices of those golf clubs accessible to me but unfortunately their rates have consistently remained too high for me to be tempted.
"It's a huge shame they don't offer any discounted rates for seniors like they do with other age categories."
Interestingly, Campsie Golf Club in Glasgow had the best deal of the 45 clubs offering reduced membership rates for seniors.
Senior men with no prior membership to the club can join for an annual fee of £361.05, 39.4% cheaper compared to the full male membership cost of £596.05.
Similarly, senior women with no previous membership to the club can join for a yearly payment of £178.25, 42.2% cheaper compared to the full female membership cost of £308.25.
GolfSupport.com also conducted a survey on if seniors should get a discount or incentive on their membership fees. Categorically, 92% of the 520 respondents said 'yes'.