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How to Make new Members Feel Welcome

Green Valley Country Club wants to know “How does your club make new members to your 18 Hole Women’s Group feel welcome and get them out playing?  Do you have special events, an orientation program, mentors, help arrange foursomes, etc?”
Judy Miller

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There were 41 responses.

Almost all of the clubs had a formal program that consisted of an Orientation packet or letter, and helping to partner with foursomes on play days. A few clubs had pictures and/or bios of the new members posted in their locker rooms. Also, quite a few clubs had a mentor or “big sis” program.
Since there were so many good ideas, I am going to list a lot of the clubs responses to the question. It will make a long document, but I think there is a lot of good information:

Sequoyah Country Club’s Membership Chairman contacts new members of Sequoyah and invites them to play an introductory round of golf and lunch.  She introduces her to our members and acquaints her with our activities.  There is no special event or orientation program.  We are a small group of 67 members.  If she joins our group, the membership chairman helps her arrange foursomes, explains our golf days and tournaments  and sees to it that she feels welcome. Sometimes she asks someone to be a mentor for the new member.   She also acts as our liaison with our Nine Hole Golf Group. – Noel Murray.

At Silver Creek Valley Country Club new members receive a welcome letter or email and member directory. On play days they are paired with either the Chairman or membership director to ensure they are properly introduced to the other members. – Baiba Scott

The current policy at River View Golf and Country Club:  Our Co-Captain  sends a letter inviting all new woman golf members to join our 18 hole Women’s Group.  At our monthly meeting she announces how many letters were sent that month.  When a woman joins her name is announced at the  next general meeting and everyone is encouraged to make her feel welcome. ( Call or invite her to play a round with your group).  Also an email goes out to all RWGA members with her contact information so they can add her to their membership directory.  Twice a month we have a draw on our day’s play roster.  This really helps new members become acquainted with other members. -Gayle Simpson-Callender

At Round Hill, we take pictures of all of the new members and post them in the locker room so that the rest of us will know who they are.  – Debbie Keener
At Fountaingrove, our Membership Chair emails a welcome and bio to all WGL members and posts their photo and bio in the locker room. – Liz Houser
The Castlewood 18 Holers have an Orientation Meeting for new members to go over our play day procedures, Open Days, Guest Days, Invitationals, posting scores, answer any questions, and then hopefully play some golf after the meeting. We try to pair up our new members with Board Members as well as other 18 holers and also arrange foursomes for them.  – Canossa Sue

At Mira Vista, the membership chair of the women’s group assigns a Big Sister to a new member.  The Big Sister arranges foursomes, introduces the new member, makes sure the new member has orientation information, and answers questions.   The new member is generally introduced at lunch the first time she plays with the group. -Sandy Westall

Discovery Bay takes a picture of the new member with a short write up about them and posts it in our locker room.   They play with a board member the first time to help answer any questions they may have and to assure they have an enjoyable, hopefully not stressful round of golf.  They are then introduced to the members at our lunch after we finish our round.  All our ladies are very good at bringing new members into different groups as our play days continue week after week. -Joanne  Leete

At Saddle Creek, new members to our club are given a member roster, a logo golf ball and an invitation to play with the various ladies groups that play through the week as well as our monthly play dates. The new members names are given to the individuals who organize the various groups that meet during the week and they then receive an email weekly inviting them to sign up to play. -Jeanette Alton

To welcome a new member to Palo Alto Hills 18-hole ladies group, we provide her with an orientation packet which includes a copy of the by-laws and standing rules at PAH.  Also included is a step by step procedure of how to log on and use the system to sign up for the weekly games.  In addition, we arrange the first four games for her and recruit a “big sister” who will guide her along, introducing her to other members as the opportunity arises.  At the same time, we notify the board, particularly the treasurer, handicap director, the 18-hole membership as well as the pro shop. – Joan Barram

At Half Moon Bay we have a lovely New Member’s Luncheon at a private home along with an orientation meeting in January each year. -Danta Eustice

Valley Hi has a New Member Director on the Board every year.  She contacts the new member and meets with her to discuss any questions.  At this time she takes the new member around the club house showing her the Ladies Locker Room and explains where things are located and the 18-hole ladies bulletin board that has all pertinent information.  The new member receives a letter highlighting activities and procedures.  She receives a member roster which includes a yearly calendar, complete member list with contact information and by-laws.  The director tries to play with the new member her first day of golf with the group and introduces her to other members during lunch.  The goal is to make her feel welcome, comfortable and excited to play every week. -Norene Bokan

At El Macero, we have a member whose job is to welcome and inform new members of our group procedures.  She sets up games for the new member.  She contacts current members who she believes would enjoy playing together with the new member.  She makes herself available to the new member to answer any questions.  -Dinnie Holloway

At PGCC  our WGA has a Big/Little Sister program in place.  New members are assigned a ” Big Sister”  and given a packet with pertinent information about the group and a roster containing the names of all in the members and a calendar of events.  The Big Sister introduces her “Little Sister” to the membership.  The big sister helps her little sister with arranging games and encouraging attending clinics and participating in all events and answering any questions her little sister has regarding the group.   We have found that the big/little sister arrangement greatly helps a new member to feel welcome. -Sue Corsetti

La Rinconada gives the new member a copy of the Bylaws and Standing Policies and Roster.  We have recently started a New Member Mentor Program to better communicate the policies and guidelines, to help the new member feel comfortable and to encourage them to fully participate in the golf activities of the Group.  This includes playing with the new member the first few play days, explaining the importance of fast play, the time constraints on a round, how to know whether you are timely and tips on how to play more quickly.  The Mentor makes sure the new member knows the sign up and cancellation procedures, posting requirements, and familiarizes the new member with the typical and special Group golf events during the year, encourages participation and is available to answer questions as they come up. -Pat Yates

At Lincoln Hills Golf Club, we have a new member liaison who contacts them personally by phone and welcomes the new member to the LHLGXVIII.   She then helps them navigate the website and explain how it works. They are also emailed a welcome letter from the new member liaison with additional information about the club and how the website operates.  The first day of play they are introduced to the club members and are teamed up with the captain, the new member liaison or another board member.  We also welcome the new member with a goodie bag and have a small balloon on their cart so that the other LHLGXVIII members can identify and welcome them personally. The new member is encouraged to come and enjoy lunch after play. Also pictures are taken and posted on the LHLGXVIII board outside the pro shop. -Edda Ashe

At Sierra View, our focus is to welcome new members as soon as they join. We have a membership chair board position and Big Sister’s. Both are one year commitments.
Membership Chair is responsible for-
A) getting to know the new member – maybe 9 holes and lunch
B) assigning a “Big Sister” that has similar interests and things in common ie. Empty nesters, recently retired, children at home, past employment or current
C) once a Big Sister is assigned, then the membership chair follows up and stays in touch to make sure the new member is settling in

Big Sister is responsible for –
A) teaching the ropes of the club-ie. When lunch is included, when we have a special tournament, how to sign up for tournaments, lunch, guest days etc…
B) asking the new member and spouse (if applicable)  to join for club functions i.e. Dinner, twilight
C) encourage the new member to play in our major tournaments
D) educate on WGANC events-tournaments and open days
E) keep the new member involved by setting up foursomes with different people on ladies day
– Dawn Colli

At Timber Creek, we have a Big Sister program. A current member is paired with a new member and will play a couple of rounds with her. During that time the new member will learn rules and regs, web site, tournaments, payouts, and other club info. – Lois Habein

At Winchester Country Club, we have one or two ladies that greet the new lady and tell them all about the group. They cover how to get a handicap if they don’t have one and the normal procedures of the group. They give her the roster and procedure book. They then encourage the lady to come out and play by letting the tournament chair know about them. They are introduced on the driving range and the first playing group may be selected with experienced players to help in the first round. – Tracey Prim

At Blackhawk, in February, we have an orientation for any new members from the past year. (This is on the same day as our Board Meeting in a different room) That way if the new members have any specific questions, we can call in the Committee head she can answer them. Our membership ladies play with new members for the first few times, if they want, and shows them how things work, on 3 of our Thursday play days, our Pro randomly puts together our foursomes, the other week we can make our own foursome. That way we are always mixed up. -Mary Maag

At Del Rio Country Club, many new members who are new to the Club and do not know many members are given a big sister who helps them learn and introduced them to all the members.  If it is someone who knows many of the members they are just paired the first few times with someone who will advise them of our policies. -Saralee Moorad

At Brookside Country Club we have a mentor for this new member for a few play days.  We then pair her up with other members so she can get to know everyone.  Our Pro Shop does all the pairings. -Sylvia Bachman

At Pasatiempo, the Captain welcomes new member and explains the rules and benefits of joining the 18-Hole Women’s Group.  The Captain makes every effort to play in the same foursome as the new member on her first play day, have lunch with her and introduce her to the members present.  The Captain also sends out an email to all members welcoming the new member to the group. -Diana Sworakowski

At Oakmont we have a members’ meet and greet, usually in March to meet all the new comers. When a new member joins, the membership chair plays with her first, sometimes  with another Board member. Then after golf during our social hour, the new member is introduced to all that played that day. Usually, a group of members will ask the new member to join them the following week. -Kris Peters

At Yolo Fliers, we plan several activities to support new members:
· an annual play day/lunch for potential members
· an orientation pamphlet
· introductions before play days
· pairings with veteran members to provide support during play days, and answer questions during the round
· annual rules clinic
· informal check ins with the new members
-Sheila Johnston