In this episode of C+RB’s video series, Kent Instefjord, PGA, General Manager of the Beloit (Wis.) Club, discusses the steps taken to turn a struggling club, where membership had dropped below 200, into a thriving property that now has over 700 members, with more being added each week. An emphasis on golf and a new focus on a casual, resort-style vibe has been the recipe for success.
“The Road Ahead” video series from Club + Resort Business highlights how clubs are moving forward to create successful new programs, events and amenities and enhance the member experience.
This episode features how the Beloit (Wis.) Club placed an emphasis on golf and creating a resort-style vibe to drive membership—which had once dropped below 200—to over 700 today, and still climbing. It started with billionaire businesswoman Diane Hendricks buying the struggling club in 2014. She immediately hired Kent Instefjord, PGA, as General Manager and work got under way.
Following the construction of a 24,000-sq. ft. clubhouse with a resort-style pool complex, the club introduced the Ironworks Golf Academy and opened the Ironworks Golf Lab. Knowing he wanted a full-time instructor at the property, Instefjord lured top teacher Travis Becker away from the Cherokee Country Club in Madison, Wis. and bolstered golf even further.
“We have one of the best golf academies in the Midwest—if not in the country—from beginners and juniors all the way up to very competitive players,” Instefjord says.
Efforts to “blow away” the nation of a “stuffy” private club have been paying dividends as well, Instefjord notes. With contemporary and live music playing—sometimes a little loudly—amid the newly created indoor and outdoor settings, the goal is “to have a bar and restaurant that are one of [members’] favorite places.” And unlike most other private clubs, the Beloit Club takes cash and credit cards, allowing members to more easily bring guests who may want to make purchases themselves.
It’s all led to “passing in a blink of an eye” the thought that membership at the club could never surpass 300, Instefjord reports, with 150-plus added even in the peak of the pandemic, and “no slowdown” in sight.
(Viewing time: 11 minutes)
Previous episodes of “The Road Ahead” can be viewed at https://clubandresortbusiness.com/category/the-road-ahead-the-road-back/
Upcoming episodes will feature a club’s success with golf fitness-specific programs that help members improve their overall game and health, and how other clubs are achieving growth through a variety of strategies tailored to the specific needs of their properties, markets and target demographics.
If you have a great idea or success story you’d like to see featured on a future episode of “The Road Ahead,” contact email@example.com