Service Quality Perceptions’ Impact on Membership Renewal of Junior Executive Golf Memberships

Authors: Dr. Lorenda Prier

Corresponding Author:
Dr. Lorenda Prier
Consultant/Researcher, Prier Consulting
Online Sports Management Instructor, State University of New York at Canton
459 Juno Dunes Way
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Prierl@canton.edu

Dr. Lorenda Prier is a research consultant with sport industry, academic, and small business experience. Dr. Prier has conducted comprehensive research on age based marketing incentives and on the junior executive golf member segment.

Co-Author: Dr. Fred J. Cromartie

Fred J. Cromartie, Ed. D.
Director of Doctoral Studies
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, AL 36527
cromarti@ussa.edu

Dr. Fred J. Cromartie, is the Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy.

Co-Author: Dr. Stephen L. Butler

Stephen L. Butler, Ed. D.
Dean of Academic Affairs
United States Sports Academy
One Academy Drive
Daphne, AL 36527
sbutler@ussa.edu

Dr. Stephen L. Butler, is the Dean of Academic Affairs at the United States Sports Academy.

Service Quality Perceptions’ Impact on Membership Renewal of Junior Executive Golf Memberships

ABSTRACT
This research addresses age based price incentives in private golf courses in South Florida. These membership options are often termed junior executive memberships and provide initiation and annual membership dues discounting for members under a set age, often 45. The evaluation is a comparison of family and nonfamily subgroups within junior executive membership categories. Due to the newness of this marketing strategy, insight into member perceptions is desired for retention efforts.
A survey instrument developed by Prier (2016) was distributed to 25 golf courses with age based price incentives in the South Florida region. The components relating to service quality and behavior intentions are addressed in this research. The service quality components of the survey instrument were selected from the SERVQUAL scale for measuring customer perceptions of service quality (Parasuraman, Zeithaml, & Berry, 1988).

Survey respondents provided expectation levels and club evaluation levels on a 5 point Likert scale and a resultant gap was also utilized in analysis. Family respondents, those indicating a membership size of three or more, had higher expectations of service quality, lower club evaluations of service quality, and thus higher negative service quality gaps than nonfamily respondents (membership size of one or two).

Additionally, family respondents had a significantly lower proportion of likeliness to continue membership to the next membership tier, willingness to recommend, and intention to renew next year. The combination of more negative service quality evaluation and less favorable renewal intentions by family memberships provides an alert that managerial efforts to alleviate these perceptions is necessary. The significant differences between family and nonfamily membership perceptions supports the need for recognition of subgroups within the junior executive membership category. Service quality enhancement, specifically in employee behavior, provides an actionable strategy to enhance junior executive membership renewal.

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