Sunday, January 18, 2009

No more no go on negotiating your club membership

Are you currently a member at a chincey, semi-private (otherwise known as public) golf course? Have you stopped bothering to call for a time on a weekday afternoon because you are 95 percent sure the course is filled with outing hacks?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, The Green Blazer has got some truth to drop on ya: Private clubs are suffering; now is the time to negotiate yourself a fatty deal! Follow the steps below and you'll never have to see an outing hack in a cutoff t-shirt again:

Which club is struggling the most: A sign is a sign
You should be able to gauge the clubs that are suffering by word of mouth and the level of desperation in the ads. A sign on the the fence that borders the busiest surrounding round is a good indication that they need new members. The Golf Club at Cape Cod in Falmouth, MA temporarily waived its $85,000 initiation to attract temporary members. That is not a move on an, "exclusive enclave," as they bill themselves, but would be a sick opportunity to sneak in.

Call the GM and make him aware of your interest
A GM at the brink of losing his job will cream his pants at prospective members contacting him. By calling and giving him your info, he may even contact you, sweetening the deal if you haven't reached out to him in a while.

Express discontent with one or more of the offerings
The club you are targeting likely already has a deal going, but they might be sugar coating it a bit, so ask questions and call them out on anything that sounds fishy. Maybe the club doesn't offer a cart membership, or maybe their minimums are too high. Whatever it is, make your contact at the club aware that hey ... That sucks. Sensing your discontent, the manager will often offer you something extra without you having to ask.

Do's and Don'ts in Negotiating your deal
Many GM's are up creek without a paddle, their job hanging on by a thread. Even so, most will not circumvent the clubs policy on the dues members pay. If you ask them for lower dues and no initiation, you'll likely end of gaining nothing and looking like a chince in the process. Initiation fees, however, can often be amortized over many years, so definitely tell your contact that you will not be able to pay the entire initiation the first year.

Guest Passes Glore
There is no end to the number of guest passes you can conjure out of a softy manager at a desperate club. If their deal offers 3, the minimum you should ask for is 9.

Start paying next year
If it is mid-season and you're ready, you should be able to work out a deal to get the rest of the current year for free. A great rule when negotiating ... If the incentive you are asking for doesn't show up on their books, they will be inclined to acquiesce to your request.

THERE'S NO GAMBLING AT BUSHWOOD!: Many country clubs are gambling away their exclusive reputation by offering screaming deals to new members. Some clubs are hurting so bad they can't even afford stick em' for their members grips.


clevelandpoppapump said...

one of the funniest things i've read in a while!

Anonymous said...

My family's club has goon to shit. They lowered the dues and cut the initiation in half. And the service is way worse now.

Anonymous said...

Good dispatch and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.