Haywards Heath GC

Open Solutions powers Flexible success for Haywards Heath GC

When it generated 118 new members in one year, Haywards Heath GC’s highly successful model for Flexible membership began attracting a lot of attention from the UK’s golf clubs. The membership initiative is powered by Open Solutions, and it’s pioneering a new approach to subscription income.

When it was planned in 2012 and then launched in June 2013, club secretary Graham White was the man behind Haywards Heath’s flexible membership success. After adding 118 Flexible members by the end of May 2014, the Flexible membership initiative has achieved the following results:
- 67 Flexible members have joined to date (at May 31st 2014)
- 6 that joined as Flexible Members have since upgraded to the full or five day categories
- 17 past members that had left the club have returned to become Flexible Members
- 12 Social and Academy members have upgraded to the Flexible membership
- 21 Full and 5 Five Day members who would have left the club, but instead downgraded to the Flexible category.

The club has succeeded in not only making Flexible membership an attractive offer, but one that is managed without needing a tee time booking system. The subscription income is up by over £50,000, as are the related bar and catering revenues, while the club’s overall membership levels are healthy. As an existing Open Solutions customer, all the club had to do in terms of its software was to pay a small amount to enable the points management option.

Flexible Membership: the usual objections

The over-riding concern of any golf club is that offering a much cheaper format of playing membership will cause an unsustainable outflow of subscription income from Full memberships to the cheaper option. Graham found that by setting up the Flexible Membership carefully:

a) To reflect a fair cost for those who only want to play once a month or less
b) At a rate per round that cost more than those Full members who played every week
c) By surveying the members initially to establish the likelihood of transferrals
d) By communicating with the members to get their understanding and support for the new initiative
e) Timing the launch to avoid any immediate transfers from full membership…

…Haywards Heath GC could both offer affordable golf club membership that suits the modern way of life, and retain its members.

Flexible membership management and Open Solutions go hand-in-glove

Open Solutions’ till systems were vital, as White acknowledged at the time: “Management of the Flexible Membership category is very different from the other categories. Behind the scenes, the Open Solutions GPoS system automates the otherwise very complex management of the new Flexible Membership’s points system. As far as the Flexible member is concerned, he or she just swipes a card in our Pro Shop or in the bar, and those of us in the office just click to download a real time report of all the tee times booked and paid for, whenever we want.”

Graham continued: “The whole Flexible Membership initiative from start to finish has exceeded our expectations, and overturned all the perceived challenges and members’ pre-conceptions. Because we have the right software thanks to Open Solutions, it’s been very easy to manage as well. That’s why for Haywards Heath GC, Flexible membership is a genuine win win.”

For the full three page article and case study, please click here to download the PDF.

" 12 years ago we bought five EPoS tills from Open Solutions. We still haven’t seen anything to beat them, so when we needed one more for our latest development, The Lodge Hotel, it was an easy decision"

Mark Stewart, Club Secretary, Kingswood Golf Club

" To achieve the highest possible levels of retention, keeping your members well informed is key.... additional detail such as the receipts feature is certainly reducing both calls to the office and the time it takes for us to give them the details they’re after."

Jeremy Bohn, General Manager, Hartsbourne Golf & Country Club