Dear Club Executive,
INNOVATE TO THRIVE… In the 21st century, those who are successful are the innovators. While the club industry by its nature is slow to change, clubs must change or they will eventually die. “Clubs must repackage themselves to attract the next generation,” said Bill McMahon, Sr, of club facilities planning firm The McMahon Group.
“Clubs are all about people, community and interaction. There are not many places left in our world where these qualities exist,” he wrote in a recent issue of the firm’s publication The McMahon Report. McMahon urges clubs to be innovators and change with the times. “Clubs cannot keep offering the same golf experience, food, dress code, restrictive rules, recreational offerings and tired missions of service,” he said.
McMahon deemed innovation as not just creating a special place at your club but an everyday place. The club of the future will be one that is an “in-place” for the whole family where special experiences become the norm for members and prospective members. “Clubs living in the past will soon be part of it,” he concluded.
McMahon suggests innovation be applied in the following ways:
•Relaxed dress codes—some areas of the club must allow denim.
•Accepting technology — allowing nonvoice use of cell phones is becoming the norm.
•“Third place” facilities—expanding recreational areas in the clubhouse beyond just dining. The third placeis a reference to the club’s position in the lives of members after home and work.
•Year-round recreation—year-round programming with non traditional offerings is expected.
•Casual dining—allowing casual dress while offering trendy and healthy food and beverage options. Bars/lounges are becoming their own spaces as the center of social activity at the club.
•Practicing golf—putting more focus on expansive golf practice facilities with digital games and socialization aspects similar to Topgolf (see page 2 of December 2016 PCA).
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