Trend Three: The Ladies of the Club

Ladies Sitting by the Pool in Tennis Club attire

Recommending that your club increase membership and participation by women might be as simple as saying, “It’s the right thing to do.” These modern times demand nothing less; but, in case more ammunition is needed, here are a few compelling stats for your consideration:

    • According to the National Golf Foundation (NGF), in response to a question on the likelihood to remain a member of their club over the next five-year period, member households where both husband and wife play golf had a commitment level to membership that was four times greater than that of member households with a single golfer. That is powerful stuff!
    • The Millennial generation is the largest in US history. They are about to enter their peak spending years (ages 25 to 45) and their peak club joining years (ages 35 to 45). They have come of age in a different time and they place much higher value on gender and racial equality than prior generations of Americans. They are known to reject organizations that discriminate out-of-hand and support those that don’t.
    • Fully, 75% of Millennials live in dual-income households and in some 38% of these households, the women are the primary breadwinners. In a world where club membership is a personal choice, not something funded by a corporation for business purposes, do you think these households are more likely to spend money on something that benefits only one or both?
    • According to CNBC, female golfers account for 40% of the over 8 million Millennial visitors to off-course facilities such as Topgolf. In addition, women make up over one-third of the 3 million junior golfers in the US.

We might just say it’s the right thing to do.

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About Frank Vain


Mr. Vain provides consulting and planning services to private clubs throughout North America and Asia. Through use of specialized services including membership surveys, strategic planning, operational analysis and facility long range planning, Frank assists clubs in developing individualized strategies for their unique situations.

Mr. Vain joined McMahon Group in 1988 and has more than forty years of experience in the management and development of hospitality properties including private clubs, athletic clubs, resorts and restaurants. Frank is a Past President of The Country Club of St. Albans, an 800-member, 36-hole country club located in Missouri and he is the former owner of Concord Sports Club, a 1,700-member family athletic club in St. Louis. Frank was elected to the Board of the National Club Association in 2011 and served as Chairman in 2018-19.

Mr. Vain is a native of Philadelphia and a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. He is a featured speaker at the annual Club Managers Association of America World Conference, National Club Association National and Regional Conferences, Major Golf Associations and at regional chapter meetings of club managers and leaders.

He has written numerous articles that have been published in Club ManagementClub Director andBoardRoom magazines. Frank was named the Gary Player Club Educator of the Year for 2012 and 2015 by BoardRoom magazine. He is the co-author of McMahon’s Club Trends®, a recognized industry benchmark on the trends and issues affecting private clubs.

More articles by Frank Vain