As the world ground to a hold with the recent lockdown, it was a case of ‘batten down the hatches’ for many clubs. But for some, like The Nottinghamshire Golf & Country Club, it was a chance to strengthen its bond with its membership and local community – with surprising consequences.
As Golf Clubs were forced to close their doors and furlough many of their staff, it left many in a precarious position. The Nottinghamshire, with its two courses, additional restaurant and boutique hotel to consider, the decision was perhaps harder than most…
But for owner Alan Hardy, the way forward was clear. The day after lockdown, he generously offered the club grounds and 29-room hotel, ‘The Residence’ to local NHS trusts at no cost, allowing frontline key workers to be able to stay safe and isolated, while relaxing in beautiful surroundings.
To facilitate these true VIP guests, the club’s Managing Director, Amanda Fletcher and Head of Operations, Jane Rudkin actually left their own homes and families to move into the hotel too, ensuring that guests had the usual laundry and supplies to keep them comfortable throughout their stay.
By communicating what was happening via social media, newsletters from the MD and even local TV radio and news, the local community became hugely supportive of the club’s stance, which led to many local’s gathering to attend a moving, socially distance ‘clap for carers’ tribute each Thursday at 8pm. By involving local charities, this also became a great focal point to shine a light on those that truly deserved it.
The result was a membership that felt involved, and that believed that the club they were both emotionally and financially invested in was doing what was right for the local community. Many immediately renewed their memberships, seeing that, they too, were playing a key part in helping the local community, or in some cases, even came down to drop additional donations for the NHS, or food parcels to the guests.
Many of The Nottinghamshire’s suppliers also dug deep, with many of the catering and food partners bringing regular supplies and gifts for the frontline workers.
The result being, as soon as the club was able to open, membership was booming and the club has cemented its place in the local community, winning new friends and fans in the process.
NEXT MONTH; How investing in the Ground Staff paid huge dividends…