Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Ensuring It Always Pays to Play

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Ensuring It Always Pays to Play

Article excerpt

Byline: Tim Taylor ? (0191) 389 3120 ?

NEWCASTLE United has become the first traditional golf club in the city to announce a pay-as-you-play membership scheme following a 10% loss in members over the past 12 months.

Golf in general has suffered from the double whammy of the severe economic downturn and one of the wettest summers on record in 2012.

United secretary Peter Jobe said: "I predict many other clubs will soon be doing the same - golf cannot turn a blind eye to what should obvious to everybody by now."

Jobe insists there is still a market for regular golfers wanting to pay the club's full annual membership fee of PS552.

For that, members play unlimited golf and enjoy the benefits of belonging to a community-conscious club such as United for what amounts to just over PS10 a week.

Jobe added: "We still have 450 people joined up here taking into account all our categories of membership.

"Quite apart from the weather and the economy, take the example of a golfer in their early twenties with a young family and a busy career.

"Whether such a person can afford a full membership or not might well become irrelevant if he or she does not have the time to play golf once a week.

"That means it is not value for money. "All the statistics we get from England Golf tell us that, although club membership is dropping, there are more people than ever playing the game - they are just not necessarily members of clubs." It is that transitory group of "floating voter" United are aiming at with an associate membership introduced following a committee meeting on Tuesday evening. …

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