We have to keep changing with the times, to make sure clubs are taking into account what families in their local communities desire in terms of a full range of amenities and recreation activities.
Living in the Midwest has its weather challenges during the six months of winter and so-called spring. But I have resisted the urge to place a “For Sale” sign in the front yard and seek warmer pastures. This year, it appears that rain has affected most of the United States from spring and into summer. So I’ll hold off again on that sign—for now.
We all try to remain optimistic that the weather will eventually dry up enough to play golf with family and friends. But when Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, clubs must adjust to these challenges (and many more) to stay engaged with their membership.
If you read C+RB’s special June Ideas issue, you saw how club and resort properties are continuing to find a variety of great new ways to meet those challenges. Members are now being attracted with fitness competitions for both kids and adults, “Kitchen Cocktail” parties where they get a behind-the-scenes look at the culinary team’s environment, specialized theme parties around the holidays, and much more.
We’ll continue to present many more of these ideas throughout the year, culminating with the Top Innovators Awards in our December issue. Make sure you get your entries in to let us know how your club, or others that you know about, are stepping up to create, and successfully implement, great new ideas in all parts of their operation.
All of this continued emphasis on ideas got me thinking—golf has been around for more than 500 years, and its evolution is ongoing. Same goes for what for a long time was just known as the “golf club.” We have to keep changing with the times, to make sure clubs are taking into account what families in their local communities desire in terms of a full range of amenities and recreation activities. A club’s Board of Directors, General Manager and staff must listen to these young families and react with relevant changes. If not, it could be a slippery slope.
Clubs have come a long way from the doom and gloom of 2008’s fiscal cliff. In the past 11 years, the industry has “right-sized” itself, or pretty close, with the number of golf courses now in existence. Before 2008, it seemed like a new course was opening every day of the week, to keep up with the explosive growth the game was seeing then.
As we take a closer look at Millennials in this issue, the thought of what young families now want, and what clubs are doing to attract and retain them, is never off the radar. With new facilities and programming—not only for golf, but also pools and outdoor pool bars, cabanas, outdoor grilling, tennis, fitness centers, outdoor trails, casual bars, wine rooms, snack bars, and much more—a strong investment is being made across the board for all types of recreation and leisure concepts. We’re seeing many clubs across the country invest in major design and renovation projects for every facet of the club, indoors and out.
Consumers have many choices today and for the most part, we face the same challenges that every sector of the economy endures. How do clubs differentiate themselves within the communities that each property serves? Clubs have so much local competition, but the evolution of the industry is changing for the long haul. There’s definitely a parting in the clouds, and the future appears clear.