Golfers swing into action on new memberships

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At the core of the marketing plan is a recruiting team that is being led by Canyon Lake resident Hal Stiffler, a marketing professional with more than 30 years of marketing and sales experience. Hal volunteered his services to help lead and train the team in promoting non-resident golf memberships with the goal of recruiting 50 new members within the next year. He gave a presentation at a meeting of golfers last Thursday and at the Board meeting Tuesday. Photo by Sharon Rice.

At the core of the marketing plan is a recruiting team that is being led by Canyon Lake resident Hal Stiffler, a marketing professional with more than 30 years of marketing and sales experience. Hal volunteered his services to help lead and train the team in promoting non-resident golf memberships with the goal of recruiting 50 new members within the next year. He gave a presentation at a meeting of golfers last Thursday and at the Board meeting Tuesday. Photo by Sharon Rice.

Hal Stiffler is a new resident of just three years who has been listening to talk in the community about how much the Golf Course is subsidized by the Association. Hal says he agrees that the financial burden is an issue; but rather than complain about it, he and a grass roots marketing team are taking action to help solve the problem.

A Board-driven focus group was created in July to analyze the current trends at the Golf Course and formulate a plan to help increase activity. A chart displayed at Tuesday night’s CLPOA Board meeting reveals that revenue on the Golf Course for the past five years has not drastically increased or decreased; but costs are going up and Association members are paying the difference. In 2014, expenses at the Golf Course were $1,651,594; revenue was just $779,083.

With 30 years of marketing experience and memberships at seven different golf courses, Hal explained to a large group of golfers that met at the Country Club last Thursday that recruiting new members must be be a never-ending process.

Rather than turning Canyon Lake’s course into a public golf course, he demonstrated that increasing annual memberships, specifically non-resident memberships, is the best opportunity to create financial stability and control liability of those using the course.

Hal has volunteered his professional expertise to help lead and train a team of volunteers in promoting non-resident golf memberships with the goal of recruiting 50 new members within the next year. Long term goals include recruiting 50 additional members in the second year, 30 additional members in year three, 30 additional members in year four and 30 additional members in year five.

The team plans to market memberships within a 15-mile radius of Canyon Lake, specifically to residents in the developments of Canyon Hills, Tuscany Hills, Audie Murphy Ranch and other neighborhoods in Lake Elsinore, Menifee and Murrieta. Marketing tools such as brochures, application forms, website and social media are being developed.

There also are plans to hold membership drive “golf outings” two times a year to which groups of non-members will be invited for a day of golf, a meal and a sales presentation. These outings will be paid for out of the $200 initiation fees paid by new members.

Team members are planning a systematic approach to reach real estate brokers and agents to have them include Canyon Lake Golf Membership information to new buyers. Three membership options will be marketed: Individual, Couple and Junior. The Junior Golf Membership is for ages 18 to 35 who have to work during the day and only use the course in the afternoon and on weekends.

Initially, only 50 new memberships will be offered to create a sense of urgency. Hal and his team say the Canyon Lake membership is highly marketable for the following reasons:

  • Best value in all of Southern California
  • Quality course in great condition
  • Strong membership and clubs
  • Private golf course access
  • Numerous tournaments throughout the year
  • Golf cart included in membership
  • Restaurant and lounge inside the clubhouse
  • Convenient location
  • Pro Shop and golf professional on the premises
  • Driving range and putting green
  • Discounts in the Pro Shop
  • Making new friends and having fun.

The Golf Course and Country Club are the center of social interaction for several hundred golfers in Canyon Lake, and that would be shared by the non-resident members who will be invited to join the Men’s Golf Club, Women’s Golf Club, Family Golf Club and 9ers Golf Club.

Hal says the current recruiting team is being trained on how to present the membership packages to realtors, other homeowner associations and other special interest groups. Community members are invited to become a part of this dynamic marketing team.

A marketing plan is also being developed to promote the golf course within the Canyon Lake community. With the recent Board decision to extend the Junior Golf Membership age range from 18-22 to 18-35 years old, the annual membership is more affordable than ever for the growing population of young adults in Canyon Lake.

Additionally, there is a new Development Program for children ages 4 to 14 that teaches all aspects of the game of golf.  Starting November 1, this program will run Sundays at 1 p.m. and Wednesdays at 4 p.m. The program is $60 per month with a $100 registration fee that includes the first month payment, a hat and a golf shirt.

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Sharon Rice