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Going Beyond Golf: How Racquet Sports Impact Financial Outcomes

Members are looking for variety, and industry data has been clear in recent years: Clubs that offer members a multitude of sporting activities that extend beyond a single option such as golf or yachting have a competitive edge, and racquet sports are a critical component of a broad service and amenity offering.

In the two pie charts presented here, the yellow slices indicate the proportion of overall operating expenses allocated to non-golf sports, which is where racquet sports are categorized. The larger the yellow slice, the broader the club’s amenity set. In a true “golf only” (or yacht/dining only) club, there would be no yellow slice.

Clubs with a smaller yellow slice offer a narrow amenity set and their initiation fees are lower ($20,000 at the median). Clubs with a larger yellow slice have broad amenities and higher initiation fees ($52,500 at the median). Offering a wide breadth of services and amenities increases the club’s appeal to a broader cross-section of prospective members and positions the club to command a higher initiation fee.

Building on that analysis, in this graph we can see that as initiation fees increase, so too does the investment in racquet sports. A club’s initiation fee represents the intersection of demand and supply for membership, and the data shows that clubs in high demand are investing more in racquet sports.


Golf Life Navigators, founded in 2014 by PGA Professionals Jason Becker and Lynn Josephson, helps baby boomers and others identify golf communities where they can secure a property and membership that best fits their unique needs.

The firm created an online questionnaire, ProGuide³, that represents the three primary areas of focus for that decision: golf, real estate and lifestyle.

Fourteen percent of respondents to the ProGuide³ questionnaire say tennis amenities are also “important” when making a decision to join a particular club and/or community. While this is a small percentage that is actually down about 3% since 2021, Becker says it’s a factor that still has weight.

“Having the right amenities will still move the needle,” Becker says. “Even adding one or two more members each year because of the tennis amenities, or saving one or two members a year from attrition, could add up long-term.”

Further demonstration of tennis’ appeal for those joining golf communities is reflected in the significant percentages of ProGuide3 respondents who answered “yes” to questions about their level of interest in tennis programs, facilities and services.