“We started a program to inform people that membership actually is affordable,” Head Golf Pro Jeff LeFevre says, noting that new membership rates, categories, and tiers have added 92 new members in the past 18 months.
Linwood (N.J.) Country Club is testing out a new membership campaign strategy, and it appears to be working, the Pleasantville, N.J.-based Press of Atlantic City reported.
“We’ve had 92 new members in the last 18 months,” said Jeff LeFevre, the head golf professional who has served at the facility for 30 years. “We started a program to inform people that country club membership actually is affordable. You used to drive by here and think, ‘Oh, Linwood is private, I can’t get on the course here.’ That is now a misconception.”
Reacting to the great recession economy and abundance of competition, many private facilities such as Linwood have drastically slashed rates and initiation fees. Linwood even went one step further, addressing the seasonal nature of its clientele. Many of them spend half the year in Florida. The new membership rates accurately reflect one’s potential for usage. A professional under age 30 can get started here for as little as $1,500, which includes social privileges. Even 20 rounds per year can place someone in the same price-per-round range as a public course. Other membership tiers, such as family packages, cost more, the Press reported.
“The major advantages to a place like ours are pace-of-play issues (the course is not overrun by participants) and the personal touch,” LeFevre says. “The staff here knows what your favorite sandwich is, what you like to drink, when you are going to play and right away your bag is on the cart.”
The membership process also became easier. One can now apply without being nominated by a member. That eliminates a major hurdle, because many potential applicants may not have ties to an existing member. The membership interview process remains, the Press reported.
The course was built in 1920 with 6,349 from the back tees and 4,919 from the forward set, the Press reported.