Strategically Planning Club Facilities – There is no substitute for it!
For clubs to get the maximum value out of the millions of dollars spent on facility improvement projects, they must have a strategic plan guiding them. The first thought from a club’s board when a facility deficiency surfaces is, just take care of the problem-at-hand. Take a club’s grill room for example. It is becoming crowded, so do we just expand it indoors, add more outdoor dining seating, have bigger capacity for banquets to make more money? But instead of jumping into an ill-conceived, quick fix project; a club should be looking at itself and its dining program through a strategic planning prism. The board and management should be determining what all members really want in dining, is the grill room the answer, should a very casual family dining area be done instead, is the kitchen large enough to handle additional dining capacity, should the club be expanding its banquet dining business for non-member usage? In other words, the board and manager needs to do some soul-searching, strategic planning before addressing its grill room capacity problems.
Then of course, strategically planned facilities are the most effective way for clubs to attract members.
If the right facilities are provided, they attract more members and/or more member usage. There has to be a strategic purpose behind each project built. The club’s board and manager have to lead the facility planning process. So when the pressure to improve facilities begins to heat up, it is time for the board and manager to refresh everyone on the club’s strategic plan. Study the mission statement and see if the club is living up to it. Look at all potential facility improvements through the eyes of achieving the club’s mission. Just as important as what to do is, when to do it. This gets to prioritizing the most important facility projects based on which improvements would be most effective in accomplishing the club’s mission.
The best way to approach facility improvements is to base them on, what the club’s strategic plan says is best for the overall club. This is the value of strategic planning before facility planning.
About Glen Selligman, AIA
Mr. Selligman joined McMahon Group in 1993, and since then has participated in the planning and design of more than 200 clubs. He directs all aspects of the clubhouse planning operations for club existing conditions reports, architectural plan reviews, facilities master plans, club improvement programs and golf course maintenance facilities. Glen takes a personal role in the design of every McMahon project and coordinates the work of our team of architects, engineers, designers and illustrators.
Glen is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of Architecture, is a licensed architect and a member of the American Institute of Architects.