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What’s important to know about recruiting millennials to join the club?

OCCAM’S RAZOR is the work of a Franciscan friar and theologian, William of Occam, who reasoned that it is better to keep things simple when attempting to understand complicated ideas. This is good advice for club directors and managers when trying to plan ahead.

The confusion begins in answering, “What do they want?” As club leaders’ eyes have turned from generation X to the millennial generation, a good source for answers can be found from Kris Hart, the co-founder and CEO of Nextgen Golf, whose motto is “Live Life. Play Golf.” Hart emphasizes two basic needs that clubs meet for millennials: flexibility and community.

“Millennials are often on the move and need flexibility for when they can play. More importantly, having flexible membership costs and initiation fees are an important factor for millennials when joining a club,” says Hart. “Some may not stay in one city for a long time, paying up-front costs are less attractive.”

According to Hart, millennials need to be part of something. “Clubs that have younger members and a good community around the club are attractive. Millennials rely heavily on recommendations from family and friends and want to hang out with people like them.”

Now the largest market segment in America, the millennial generation has high expectations, in general. “Millennials expect to be treated the same as a full adult member and do not want to be restricted or looked down upon as a young adult member.” Hart advises.

And first impressions are important! According to Hart, “Technology expectations are continuing to increase. The club’s digital presence and online reputation has become much more meaningful given millennials can go right to google and research everything about a club in a matter of seconds.”

Health and wellness are imperative for this generation. Clubs that have gyms, fitness classes and embrace the health and wellness movement will be better prepared for this generation. Millennials are getting married and having kids later in life than previous generations. As millennials continue to age, family-focused clubs are increasingly more important, Hart stresses.

Keep it simple if your club wants to attract millennial members.

Henry DeLozier is a principal at Global Golf Advisors, an international club management consulting firm that provides specialized services to more than 2,700 clients from offices in Toronto, Phoenix and Dublin (IR). He can be reached at [email protected] or visit