The demise of the golf membership entrance fee in this country is now a reality as we head into 2013, yet there is still a hardcore of well-established clubs that continue to resist being drawn into what Castle Golf Club’s John McCormack describes as "the race to the bottom".
"The race to the bottom is a spiral downwards that’s scary," says McCormack, who manages a hugely popular Dublin club that still charges an entrance fee to new members. "In that kind of race it’s the people with the deepest pockets who are the ones that will survive."
Far from elitism, Castle’s philosophy is based on sound business sense. Entrance fees are used to maintain the club to a high standard so that members do not slip away quietly when tough economic times come along and harsh choices are made at home.
Giving holes names, as they have always done in Scotland, infuses them with life and meaning. They should be kept short if possible. Carnoustie has good names like Cup, Gulley, Hill, Brown, Brae, Long, Short, Dyke, Meadow, Island, and Home. Such names are quick and brief and lie comfortably in the memory. Names like these also induce a feeling of community and mutual support in your club.