Yardley Country Club

Situation

Opened for play in 1928 – Yardley Country Club had been a fixture of Philadelphia golf for decades. with high membership rolls and a waiting list. When a high end municipal daily fee in the immediate market threatened the future of the Club, membership attrition began to mount and recapitalization projects were deferred. Our team was retained by the multicourse lease holder to evaluate the situation and make recommendations.

Challenge

As operators of clubs ourselves, we knew how important it was to look inward and make the objective and sometimes unpopular decisions required to save the historic club. We had to identify the inefficiencies that plagued the suffering operation and create a new business model.

Solution

A massive evaluation and reorganization of key personnel and benefits brought labor under control and within industry benchmarks for similar properties.

Long term agronomic programs were established to restore the greens, fairways, and bunkers to improve quality of playing conditions.

Savings were identified through labor reduction, insurance, payroll taxes, utilities, and various administrative charges not necessary under the new business model.

The food and beverage operation was scaled to the interest of the membership majority as opposed to the expense of running a full service dining room. An aggressive marketing campaign across multiple print and social platforms documented the progress at the club and created awareness amongst departed members as well as new prospects looking for a better golf experience.

Results

Following a challenging first summer, the fruits of labor became apparent on the course as well as in the marketplace. With its Fall Fore Free Membership Program, Yardley added nearly 200 new members.

This growth fueled continued reinvestment in the club with the addition of new maintenance equipment, a fleet of new golf carts, and Alexander’s Pub in honor of course designer Alexander Findlay. Each small success spurred excitement and the formerly tired club turned an annual net loss of $200,000 into a positive net operating income of $517,000 in 18 months.