March 26, 2010
The steep recession that hit Delaware and the Cape Region also smacked the area’s private country clubs.
It wasn’t that long ago that country clubs here and elsewhere seemed to act as if the business cycle did not apply to the recreation industry. Faced with fixed costs and declining membership, however, the local clubs are once again doing what they can to bring in new members.
Milford’s Shawnee Country Club draws many members from the Cape Region. The club is waiving the initiation fees for those joining this year. The Board of Directors also adopted a monthly installment payment plan for dues, and a quarterly payment plan for the required stock purchase.
For example, a new member can join in April for a base payment of a combined $515, for a membership that carries full use privileges for the golf course, clubhouse, tennis courts, and swimming pool.
Shawnee also offers Junior Memberships for those under age 35, with no stock purchase required, along with several other membership options.
The club is holding an Open House Week for the first time April 5 through 11. A $35 payment earns players a round of golf, use of a golf cart, food and beverage, and a tee gift. For more information or to schedule a tee time, call Shawnee at 302-422-7010.
This spring Sussex Pines Country Club is celebrating the final completion of the total replacement of thirteen of its greens. The Georgetown club suffered through the 18-month process of eliminating the effects of root rot. It also brought its other five greens up to USGA standards, according to membership chairman John Gregg.
Sussex Pines is also marketing for new members, with a Grand Re-Opening event scheduled for April 23 and 24. The club is holding a demo day from noon to 4 p.m. on Apr. 23 for those looking to try out new equipment, featuring manufacturers such as Taylormade and Cobra, and it’s open to all.
That evening, the folks from WGMD-FM will be at the clubhouse to join the celebration. At that time, there will also be a trunk show, with golf shoe offerings from Footjoy and also Dawgs, which are essentially Crocs for golfers.
In addition, golfers who call ahead for tee times can arrange for a free round of golf on April 24, and check out the newly renovated greens for themselves.
Gregg said Sussex Pines is offering two new special membership options this year. The first is aimed at encouraging teenage golfers, by offering a special $35 monthly rate for those aged 14 through 17. That could prove to be a great way to maintain the long tradition of good Cape Region junior golfers.
The second option is aimed at folks who’d like to experiment with a country club membership, before making a final commitment. For $150, golfers can purchase a one-month trial membership, which carries with it full use privileges for the entire facility. At the end of the month, the prospective members can then choose to join for the rest of the year, with the dues pro-rated for the remainder of the year.
For more information, call Sussex Pines at 302-856-3363.
Kings Creek Country Club in Rehoboth Beach is also in the marketing mix for new members, with its 20th Anniversary Membership Drive. Beginning April 1 through July 31, the first twenty new members to join can enjoy a 50% discount on initiation fees. There’s also a drawing to be held at the Anniversary Gala July 31, with one of these twenty new members winning a total waiver.
The club is also offering a wide range of membership discounts for its other membership classes, including the Junior Club, Sports Membership, and Social categories.
For more information, contact Gary Wheeler at 302-227-7172.