A flurry of recent reports involving Canadian clubs could bear watching, to see if they might have any “trickle down” effect.
The initial scoffing and scorn about the TopGolf concept has clearly been replaced by scrambling to find ways to get as much a piece of it as possible—and to expand it beyond golf to other popular sports as well.
Just as with “staycations,” clubs may be in one of the best positions to try to capitalize on the trend for combining business and leisure, if it does indeed take hold.
Being unprepared for what can go wrong with “ordinary” club activities can be just as disastrous as an infectious outbreak or a suddenly overloaded golf course or dining room.
As membership numbers continue to grow, having a proactive and creative Membership Director, and supporting department, has become a much more critical aspect of effective club management.
There’s no disputing that staffing issues need to be taken more seriously than ever in the club industry. But the time has also never been better to promote the advantages of working in clubs.
What was especially noteworthy as we combed the possibilities for this year’s Ideas Issue were clubs’ descriptions of how their staffs sat down, took a deep breath, and collectively agreed, “We can find ways to beat this.”
The new challenge for many clubs is to get construction underway to maximize their future appeal, while minimizing the disruption or annoyance factor for all those who now want to use the club.
It wasn’t that long ago that it was tough to get anyone interested in acquiring any golf or club property. Now there’s a fast-emerging seller’s market, and it doesn’t matter if your club’s doing well or sucking wind.
Clubs are now being viewed as destinations in their own right and ones that people and families don’t have to go very far to experience, or be limited in how often they can be visited.
The club industry has traveled “The Road Back” well enough that it’s now time to move on to “The Road Ahead.”
Clubs and their management teams have quickly bounced back from the initial blows that blindsided their properties last March to not only learn how to operate successfully under restricted conditions, but also position themselves to take advantage of new opportunities that have emerged.
The best news to emerge from clubs’ innovative responses to the challenges that this year posed is how they stand to have a permanent and positive effect on operational and strategic approaches going forward.
The drumbeat for decisions about whether a club should look into selling all or part of its property to developers only promises to get louder as buyers search hungrily for available land.
The club business is certainly not immune to scrutiny, and legitimate criticism, surrounding the renewed focus on eliminating offensive images and practices from America’s social fabric. But that doesn’t mean tradition can’t still be defended.