The shift to the “family” has forced clubs to invest and become ultra-creative in providing facilities and amenities that appeal to everyone, young as well as older.
“The Times, They Are a-Changin’,” as Bob Dylan famously sang back in 1964. That truly resonates today in many facets of our lives. Dylan said it was “A song that was sung to represent an anthem of change; it’s what the people want to hear.” And we’re currently witnessing many changes with private and semi-private clubs, as well as with Club & Resort Business (C&RB).
Let me introduce myself: I’m the new Associate Publisher of C&RB. I am certainly not new to publishing, just to the club industry. I do, however, have some background that’s exposed me to many different “positions” that exist within the club market.
As a young lad, I was a caddy at Westwood Country Club in Rocky River, Ohio. I’ve also mowed lawns, bartended and managed a comedy club. All parts of a club, right? The comedy part being a reflection of my golf game!
Since that time, I’ve been a publishing executive with years of experience serving the construction, mining, and nightclub and bar industries. I am truly excited to have found my home with the club industry!
Since my start here in late August, I’ve learned about the many changes your clubs are going through. Since the fiscal cliff in 2008, the biggest shift started with the family orientation to the club. It is no longer dad’s or grandpa’s “golf” club. This shift to the “family” has forced clubs to invest and become ultra-creative in providing facilities and amenities that appeal to everyone, young as well as older. That’s prompted a wave of upgrades on club properties, ranging from smaller facelifts to multimillion-dollar overhauls.
Renovation is clearly one of the biggest trends happening now. In this issue, you’ll read about a major clubhouse renovation and expansion that was caused by an unfortunate fire. But many other clubs are renovating even when their buildings haven’t been affected by a catastrophe. What changes have you gone through to maintain and grow new members? Keeping up with the “Joneses” involves creativity and investment.
With 2019 right around the corner, technology investment is also a must to grow your brand. I recently attended the Golf Business TechCon show in Las Vegas. With the growth of connected devices and all the complexity of marketing channels, clubs have to manage an enormous amount of information. New digital platforms are available to create opportunities for reaching people and getting them engaged with your brand. The technology available today can now provide analytics to help drive revenue to your pro shop, food-and- beverage operations, tournaments and much more. And as another feature in this issue reports, the Topgolf phenomenon has also introduced a lot of new technology that clubs can adapt to inject new life and excitement into their golf programs as well.
These times are a-changin’, and as a magazine and online information source, we’re looking to enhance our brand as well. We are always looking for ways to improve our print and digital products to engage with readers and vendors alike. Please don’t be shy on “what you want to hear” in both our monthly publication and daily e-newsletter and website.
I am looking forward to meeting you all at trade shows and at your facilities. The one thing that won’t change with me is, I am always willing to learn and serve our readers and customers in the best way I can!