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Sandburn Hall launch partnership with Cookridge Hall golf club in Leeds
A PIONEERING link has been launched by Sandburn Hall Golf Club which could pave a way forward for the game’s future.
Sandburn Hall has teamed up with the Cookridge Hall club on the outskirts of Leeds in a unique partnership scheme.
Starting from next April members of both clubs can play at either as part of their membership.
The tie-up will initially last for a year but as bonds between the two forward-thinking clubs strengthen it is hoped the link will develop into other initiatives to the benefit of members of Sandburn Hall and Cookridge Hall.
Officials of the clubs came together this week to confirm the radical reciprocal membership package with both path-finding parties convinced they could be starting a new trend as golf battles leaner times.
Said James Hogg, general manager of Sandburn Hall, which has flourished at its Flaxton base off the A64 since it first opened almost nine years ago: “We think this could be a move that other clubs will follow. There’s no negative side to this scheme at all.
“It is on a trial basis for a year and we are easing into it gently, but we are convinced this will be a winner for our members at Sandburn Hall and those at Cookridge Hall too.”
Rob Heath, the golf manager at Sandburn, added how the location of both courses enhanced the tie-up between the two clubs.
“Imagine on a summer’s night if you are a member of Sandburn Hall who works near Leeds, or a member of Cookridge, who works in and around York, and you can just play at the nearest of the clubs from work. That would be a great benefit already.”
The relationship between the two clubs was first struck up when Hogg and Heath went to Cookridge for a game of golf last year, recalled Hogg.
They met with Cookridge general manager Gary Day and exploratory talks began. The clubs also enjoyed respective competitive days at each course.
Hogg said that in times when people’s disposable income was tight, golf clubs had to be innovative to not only retain their existing membership but provide even more for their supporters.
He said: “You can’t just be a golf club that says ‘here we are’ and expect people to turn up. You can’t simply take people’s money and that’s it.
“You have got to be thinking outside the norm and make sure you are adding value to the membership.
“For the third year running our membership subs will remain the same and now we are offering something extra with this reciprocal membership.”
Hogg also mentioned how there was also the growing presence of the “nomadic” golfer.
“There are players who don’t want to pay full membership but will just go from one club to the next to pick up on various deals,” said Hogg.
“If you want to stem the flow of nomadic players and want to keep your members you have got to provide added value. Clubbing together like this is giving something more to our members.”
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