Conducting a Survey – Membership Satisfaction Surveys


Membership surveys can be a big help in understanding your members better but are also useful tools in terms of planning. Whilst they may not give you 100% definitive results they should provide good guidance regarding what is important to the members, what is working well and what isn’t.

Most clubs will get a lot of ad hoc feedback from members through a conversation in the bar or a chat out on the course. This anecdotal feedback is useful but when looking at the direction of the club it is important to work with specific data which can be benchmarked against.

When undertaking a survey it is important to consider key elements such as:

  • Planning – including content and objectives
  • Creation – online? paper based?
  • Distribution
  • Timescales and
  • Communication

Our downloadable guide to Conducting a Survey.

In addition to the downloadable guide we also have a timeline to highlight when things should be done.


Once you have your survey all sorted the next step is to get it out to your members. Email is recommended for this. It should not simply be one email but a series that are designed to get the maximum response rates. This includes one once the survey has closed to thank people for their participation.

Not everyone likes to be online, so it is also important to provide a paper based version that members can collect and fill in.

Type of Survey

New members? Existing members? Women? Juniors? Leavers? There are loads of surveys which can be of use to a golf club. Identify which are right for you so you can get the most out of them. We have a selection of surveys that you can use but these are purely guides. It is important to ask the right questions to achieve the objectives specific to your club.

The Results

Once you have all the surveys collected you must analyse the results. Identify trends, find common themes and look for opportunities. Ask yourself some key questions.

  • Did you achieve your objectives?
  • What did you learn?
  • What are you going to do as a result?
  • What is possible?
  • What is possible but will need additional money?
  • What cannot be achieved?

Once you have the analysis and have answers these questions, most clubs will be required to present findings and an action plan to the committee. As with all plans, there should be timescales assigned to each item and clarity on who is responsible for delivering it.


Once the committee has approved the plan then it is important to feedback to the members. Failure to do so will only build distrust. If they feel they are not being listened to then members will be become disengaged.

It may not always be possible to give them the answers that they want but if the plan based on the feedback is communicated with explanations as to why certain aspects cannot be achieved then it ensures a continuing dialogue. You can’t do everything but never be afraid of saying that. Explain what you can do and members will respect that their feedback is helping to guide the club.