IMG PRESTIGE Q&A WITH CALLUM NICOLL FROM LONDON GOLF CLUB
IMG Prestige Q&A with Callum Nicoll, Director of Golf at London Golf Club, United Kingdom.
1 – Despite the pandemic, 2020 was a very positive year in terms of new members joining the club. Do you notice much difference between individuals and corporate?
Membership is one area where thankfully most golf clubs thrived throughout 2020, and at London Golf Club it was no different. 20% of our new memberships came from our corporate categories and the demand for rounds from our existing corporate members increased by almost 100%.
In a positive way we definitely felt the knock on effect of business entertainment being unavailable within the city, whether this be from sporting events, live concerts, conferences or hospitality. Hosting commercial clients became very popular on a one to one basis and on a personal level the open space and safe environment of a golf course allowed this to flourish.
2 – Apart from the fantastic clubhouse, golf courses and practice facilities, the club also offers unique members benefits away from LGC. Is this something you feel plays a key role on keeping and growing the membership?
Absolutely yes, we find that our members are regularly engaged and value our existing club partnerships. The focus on building upon our lifestyle brand partners which already include car partnerships, real estate, jewellery, champagne, travel and hospitality will continue in 2021.
We have a membership base who love to travel whether this be nationally or internationally, and reciprocal programs such as IMG Prestige allow us to showcase this within the many benefits we offer. In any club, a strong membership benefits program can really help with engagement and ultimately member retention year on year.
3 – London Golf Club’s hospitality department has always been a key part of the business. How did you adapt as a club, to keep generating revenue throughout 2020?
Like all hospitality businesses throughout 2020 we were very much governed by the regulations handed down to us, and as we normally host a good number of weddings, events and conferences on a yearly basis this was certainly where we witnessed the shortfall. We were able to adapt and use our indoor space wisely to offer intimate weddings and events for 15 to 30 people, a new marketing campaign was created to showcase that we can offer the perfect setting for family and smaller gatherings.
The emphasis and attention for golf groups and corporate events allowed us to utilise our outdoor space to greater effect, with investment into updating outdoor furniture and equipment we re-designed our packages and found a very positive response to groups looking for a relaxed and casual open-air dining option.