Understanding Your Club Facilities Is Key

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The most successful clubs are constantly evolving so they remain relevant to not only their existing members but to the next generation of members looking for a club experience. At the core of this experience is your facilities. 

Some initial questions you and your leadership must consider about your facilities as you start planning include:

  When was the last time your facilities were updated? Are you offering facilities members want?

  What is the condition of the existing mechanical, infrastructure and structural systems?

  Take a step back and look at how the private club world is evolving and take stock of how you are maintaining your relevancy.

Coming to grips with these issues will springboard the discussion about your facilities. 


St. Andrews Country Club


Before you plan

It will be critical for clubs to look at facilities strategically to ensure success. Below are some checklist items to keep you ahead of the game. 

1) Is the leadership aligned on the Club’s purpose when making decisions, especially with regard to facilities? This is critical for success. Don’t just add an amenity because your neighbor does. Look at it strategically and decide what amenities are most important to your club’s success and follow your club’s mission.

2) Constantly stay abreast of what trends are affecting members’ lives and how your club can capture this. Some of the facility trends blossoming around the club world include: 

   a) Year-round offerings,

   b) Indoor golf centers,

   c) Resort-style pool complexes, and

   d) Fun outdoor spaces.

3) Reach out to your members and get their feedback on what issues are affecting their happiness with the Club from facilities to programming. Listen to your members and develop a plan to provide what is most important to them. 

4) A thorough asset reserve study and existing conditions report is a great way to get a full understanding on the useful lives of many of your mechanical and kitchen systems as well as prioritizing the areas that need immediate improvement.  

Clubs must continually go through a renewal or rejuvenation about every ten years to remain relevant in today’s day and age. Things have rapidly changed in our society and members are putting a lot of stock in value. In most cases, gone are the days where just being a member was enough. People today want to make sure they are getting the best bang for their buck in their club. 

Maintaining and updating facilities is one of the most important factors in attracting and retaining members. Keep your leadership abreast of the condition and trends in our industry and plan your facilities strategically.   

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About Bill McMahon

Bill is a private club planner providing strategic planning, member research analysis and facility planning services for private clubs across North America. Bill joined McMahon Group in 1999 and has worked with over 200 clubs helping to solve their strategic and facility needs.

Bill is Co-Editor of Club Trends, a quarterly report published with the National Club Association (NCA). He has written for many private club publications like The BoardRoom Magazine, Club Director and more, and has been a featured speaker at national conferences, local chapters and other associations serving the private club industry. He is also on the NCA’s Communications Committee.

Bill has been instrumental in developing and enhancing the McMahon Group online presence. He created and runs Clubtopia® (www.clubtopia.com) – an online business directory of firms and companies serving the club industry.

Bill’s club memberships have included Bellerive Country Club (St. Louis), Glen Echo Country Club (St. Louis) and the Missouri Athletic Club (St. Louis). He proudly serves on the Board of Cinema St. Louis (www.cinemastlouis.org) and is Second Vice President on the Board of the Tennessee Society of St. Louis.


More articles by Bill McMahon