The McMahon Report December 2023

by Frank Vain - President CLUB LEADERSHIP ALL IANCE President’s Council Report McMahon explained the founding of the Club Leadership Alliance and its Mission of “creating relevant, enduring clubs.” And while this may seem to be a lofty goal, the three major club consulting firms are committed to guiding our industry and its clubs to higher success. For the last three years, the three firms have been working together to help the entire industry by also working with the CMAA and NCA. And we are happy to say, it is working. Industry data indicates clubs are performing better than ever, member satisfaction is higher than ever and Board members and managers are making an impact through their informed leadership. A brief report on the issues discussed at this President’s Council showed significant improvement in the governance and management of clubs. Today there is a far better understanding of the operating and capital finances of our clubs, as they have finally embraced the need to continually reinvest in their facilities. Clubs that have reinvested in facilities through proper maintenance and periodic aspirational improvements have performed extremely well in terms of membership usage and growth. Conversely, the T he Club Leadership Alliance (CLA) sponsored its second President’s Council of the year in Atlanta at the outstanding Cherokee Town & Country Club. General Manager/Chief Operating Officer Michael Wheeler and his team rolled out the red carpet for the presidents and general managers from thirty-two clubs representing all types, sizes and locations. The purpose of the Council was to bring together leading club presidents and their managers to discuss the state of the club industry, review the Best Practices for club success developed by the CLA team, learn new ideas and help each other provide the best clubs for their members. The three CLA founding firms of McMahon Group, Kopplin Kuebler &Wallace (KK&W) and Club Benchmarking had their principals moderate the day-long presentations, education and breakout group sessions to identify opportunities and challenges for clubs themselves and for the industry. John Schultz, Executive Director of CLA, and TomWallace of KK&W led the day of planning, with Frank Vain, Kurt Kuebler and Chris Barron hosting presentation sessions. Bill The McMahon Report® 5 clubs that have not properly maintained or added facilities continue to struggle, even in what is clearly one of the best-ever environments for the industry. The most surprising discovery at this President’s Council was the lack of clubs having and following a longrange strategic plan. Yes, clubs do strategic plans when approaching a major facility project, but just to clarify, a strategic plan covers all club issues, not just facilities. The greatest value of having a true, comprehensive strategic plan is understanding a club’s Mission/purpose/ culture. Once this is understood, the Board and manager can make sure all aspects of the club are in sync with the club’s Mission. A customized strategic plan for a club should have specific goals and action plans for governance, management, finances, facilities, communications and all operating departments. The CLA will continue to develop, refine and communicate industry Best Practices so club leaders can apply them at their clubs. Thanks to a convergence of positive trends in demographics, economics and values, the club industry is in a good place. These Best Practices are designed to help clubs extend this golden-age success into the future. McMahon’s Club Quality Rating System McMahon’s Club Quality Rating System is based on input from each club’s own membership with comparisons to McMahon’s national satisfaction and importance averages from the entire club industry. McMahon Group has been surveying and planning clubs for 40 years, helping managers and Boards provide their members with the best possible clubs. We have always wanted to provide a fair and objective way to identify club quality for clubs of all sizes, types and costs. We now have developed such a club quality rating system based on what is most important to members and their relative satisfaction with the most important activities, services and facilities. All comprehensive McMahon club surveys will now provide a club’s quality rating score at no additional cost. A special mini-club quality survey is also available for clubs wanting to determine their quality rating score - Call McMahon today to get more information. Mc MAHON’ S CLUB QUALI TY RATI NG SYSTEM MAHO G SYSTEM NEW