Responding to a membership crisis

This young freehold proprietary members’ club fell into financial difficulty early, misjudging its market for membership. Cornerstone Golf came in to reassess the offering and put the club firmly back in the black.

Situation

A four-year old high-end proprietary members club in South East England found itself relying on bank loans. Demand for its debenture-based membership offering had dried up, leading to a pressing need to address its cost base, optimise revenue streams and grow the EBITDA.

Response

It was clear the market segment for membership was too small, and the value proposition appealing enough to this segment. Fundamental change was required, including:

  • Rebrand and relaunch of the club
  • New, targeted sales programme introduced to close out debenture sales
  • Change in management personnel
  • Introduction of new membership categories
  • Launch of a new academy
  • Overhaul of the food and beverage function.

Business Outcomes

  • All 600 full memberships were sold eight months ahead of target
  • 177% year-on-year increase in new member sales
  • 58% increase in green fee revenue in year one
  • Junior section filled in under 12 months
  • Retail turnover tripled in four years
  • F&B went from loss-making to highly profitable within 18 months
  • Club doubled its number of wedding booking
  • Converted (£600k) EBITDA loss into £468k within five years
  • Club sold for ten times EBITDA, and a profit of £1.4M

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