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The BoardRoom magazine

16 YEARS OF EDUCATING THE PRIVATE CLUB INDUSTRY Volume

XVI,

September/October

Volume XVI, September/October, 2012

PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE - 10 It’s the Intangibles That Make the Club!

GETTING YOUR BOARD ON BOARD - 52 How Does Your Board of Directors Measure Up? PLIGHTS AND INSIGHTS - 116 Texting and Driving… on the Golf Course

Tarun Kapoor’s Philosophy Leads To Lean, Mean Governing Machine - page 20

BoardRoom Institute Online Board Member Training & Orientation - page 21

ABACUS 21

CLUB CLUB SOFTWARE CLUBSOFT BENCHMARKING NORTH AMERICA

CLUBSYSTEMS GROUP

CLUBTEC

CULINARY SOFTWARE

DSG TAG SYSTEMS

FOOD-TRAK

JONAS CLUB MANAGEMENT

MEMBER NAME MEMBERSFIRST GAME

NORTHSTAR

PCS GROUP

SIGNERA

TAI CLUB MANAGEMENT

BoardRoom magazine Technology Feature - pages 60-87


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EDITOR’S NOTE

Education Is a Must So is BoardRoom Institute MANY BOARDROOM ARTICLES WE’VE PUBLISHED OVER THE YEARS HAVE FOCUSED ON EDUCATION FOR PRIVATE CLUB BOARDS OF DIRECTORS. THAT’S BEEN OUR MANTRA: TO EDUCATE AND INFORM.

Now it all comes into sharper focus in our cover package this issue with the launch of BoardRoom Institute, our online board member training and orientation program. This approach emphasizes “a comprehensive orientation that successfully prepares board members for their role in private club governance,” opines John Fornaro, BoardRoom’s CEO and publisher, and the main push behind BoardRoom Institute, along with Tarun Kapoor, the Institute’s dean of education. Collaborative governance holds the key to successful change and sustainability in a private club. It’s a concept Kapoor, an innovative thinker has been touting…boards of directors and club general managers must not only co-exist, but they must collaborate to govern private clubs effectively. The benefits of Institute’s Board Member Training & Orientation program are several, including: • Interactive education conducted by leading industry experts • Focuses on collaborative governance • Eliminates micromanagement • Tracks individual comprehension and course completion • Minimizes board member liability and nurtures taxexempt status • Creates a shared playbook. Board members may bring a wealth of their own education to their position as a director, but equally important is the fact they also need to be well educated about their roles and responsibilities as members of your club’s board. Fact is, today most aren’t and they need to be! Most private clubs (boards, members and management), to sustain themselves effectively and successfully, can’t leave their governance and daily operations to happenstance. It has to be effectively planned with role clarity, reinforcing the concept of the volunteer directors setting the club’s policy direction with the staff professionals in charge of managing the club. Anything less leads to chaos.

DAVE WHITE EDITOR, BOARDROOM

The breakthrough for this board training is founded in a web-based interactive training and communication platform developed in conjunction with LightSpeedVT, a Las Vegasbased company. Board members learn and train one-on-one with industry experts, on their own time, at their own pace via an easy-onthe-eyes interactive virtual technology platform. “It’s powerful, quick and easy, “ enthused Fornaro, “allowing board members to go through the learning and orientation process they need to be the best in the industry.” Educating your board members makes a difference, and you can do so by making BoardRoom Institute your club’s comprehensive resource of choice.

✯✯✯ Our annual Technology issue (September/October) takes a little different tact this year. Our contributors give us their opinions of what and where and why of today’s club technologies, including some by way of case studies. So rather than answering a couple of questions, they tell us where they think we’re headed in the future. It’s their opinions, and unquestionably, change continues to happen quickly for club technology. We think their viewpoints can cast some light on your discussions with your technology suppliers. And finally…we continue with more introductions of BoardRoom 21 Presidents of the Year, and our sincere apologies to Richard L. LaRocca, general manager of the Kirtland Country Club, Willoughby, OH, for our publishing an incorrect picture in our July/August issue. The correct picture is shown on page 58. Other top presidents in this issue include: Chet Kronenberg, President, The Mulholland Tennis Club, Los Angeles, CA; Robert Kummer, Jr., President, Birnam Wood Golf Club, Montecito, CA, and Arthur M. Scully, III, President, Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh, PA. B R Got a comment? Drop us a note: dave@boardroommagazine.com


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C O N T E N T S SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 Publisher/CEO John G. Fornaro

Editor/Co-publisher Dave White

Associate Editor/Creative Director/ Co-publisher Heather Arias de Cordoba

P U B L I S H E R ’ S P E R S P E C T I V E - B Y J O H N G. F O R N A R O

It’s the Intangibles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 That Make the Club!

Contributing Editor Jim Dunlap

C L U B FAC T S & F I G U R E S - B Y K E V I N R E I L LY

Featured Columnists Kevin Reilly Henry Delozier John G. Fornaro Kurt Kuebler Gregg Patterson

Robyn Nordin Stowell Charles D. Rumbarger Crystal Thomas Frank Vain Dave White

Contributing Writers Heather Arias Mark Bado Tony Baudanza Bob Bodman Bill Boothe Lisa M. L. Carroll Donna Coyne Rick Coyne Michael Crandal Ray Cronin Todd Dufek Jim Dunlap Barrett Eiselman Jim Fedigan David Fields Teri Finan Bob Garite

Terry W. Hackett Tim Heckler Shannon Herschbach Charlie Hoare Lee Hoke Bill Keys Brian Kench Jerry Kilby David W. Lacey Rick Ladendorf Lynne Lafond Deluca Claire Lanouette Adam Lawrence Butch Lesniak Nancy M.

Levenburg Susan Lyle Ray McDonald Steve Mona Donald Moro Ted Robinson Bill Schwartz Bob Silzer Charles Skipton Dana Soldati Nelson Scott Craig Smith Karen Sullivan Mike Talbot Brian Warren Ryan Yakel

APCD Executive Director

Social Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Members Use It - Clubs Will G E T T I N G YO U R B OA R D O N B OA R D - B Y F R A N K VA I N

Board Responsibilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Thinking Strategically - Better Operations C R Y S TA L C L E A R - B Y C R Y S TA L T H O M A S

Remodel, Restore, and Renovate . . . . 16 We Must Keep Up With the Times B OA R D R O O M B A S I C S A N D B E YO N D - B Y K U R T K U E B L E R

Lessons From the Book of ‘Job(s)’ . . . . 18 Steve Jobs, That Is!

Bill Thomas

Editorial & Marketing Director Dee Kaplan

Account Manager Dina Alleluia-Carr

Contact

www.BoardRoomMagazine.com | www.apcd.com (949) 376-8889 or (949) 273-1677

GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE - BY HENRY DELOZIER

Things You Don’t Know You Don’t Know . 32 …About Hosting Global Events

Subscriptions

www.BoardRoomMagazine.com (949) 273-1677

Endorsements, Strategic Partners and Allied Associations:

L AW & L E G I S L AT I O N - B Y R O B Y N N O R D I N S TOW E L L

Club Requirements For Accessibility . . . 40

G E T T I N G YO U R B OA R D O N B OA R D - B Y C H A R L E S D. R U M B A R G E R

How Does Your . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Board of Directors Measure Up? THE BOARDROOM magazine (USPS 022516, ISSN 15537684) is published bi-monthly by APCD, Inc., 200 La Pata, San Clemente, CA 92672. Periodical postage paid at Laguna Beach, Calif. and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE BOARDROOM magazine, P.O. Box 9455, Laguna Beach, Calif. 92652. Reach The BoardRoom magazine at (949) 376-8889 ext. 105 or fax (949) 376-6687, Email heather@apcd.com or johnf@apcd.com or visit the websites at www.BoardRoomMagazine.com or www.apcd.com.

R E F L E C T I O N S O N T H E C L U B E X P E R I E N C E - B Y G R E G G PAT T E R S O N

Celebrating Angst Thanks – But No Thanks . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130


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Technology Feature Abacus 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 Club Benchmarking. . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Club Software. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 ClubTec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63 ClubSoft North America. . . . . . . 64-65 clubsystems group . . . . . . . . . . . 66-67 ClubTec . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68-69 DSG Tag Systems. . . . . . . . . . . . . 70-71 FOOD-TRAK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72-73 Jonas Club Management . . . . . 74-75 MembersFirst . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76-77 Member Name Game . . . . . . . 78-79 Northstar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80-82 Signera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83 PCS Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84-85 TAI Club Management . . . . . . . . . . 86 Culinary Software. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87

Departments C O U R S E D E S I G N . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26 Growing Together Long-term Relationship With an Architect By Adam Lawrence

I N T E R N AT I O N A L . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Europe’s Premier Golf Resort Celebrates 40th Birthday By Jerry Kilby

T E C H N O L O G Y C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Getting the Cloud Off the Ground By Bill Boothe

M E M B E R S H I P C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50 Membership - A Process Or an Event? By Rick Coyne

Software Tools at Your Fingertips . 102 Clubster… . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103

E X E C U T I V E C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Social Media and the Private Club The Need and Their Use

Green Committee

E X E C U T I V E C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

Top 10 Course Takeaways . . . . . . 124 By Heather Arias de Cordoba

BoardRoom Top 20 Private Club Presidents of the Year By Dave White

GCSAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Technology Helps, By Sandy Queen

E X E C U T I V E C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88 Hiring A Good Membership Sales Professional - Part I By Donna Coyne

Green Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127 A Summer to Remember By Bruce R. Williams

E X E C U T I V E C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106 Golf and Fitness - An Integral Part of the Game By Bill Keys

Green Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128 Tale Of Two Golf Courses By Dave Doherty

T E N N I S C O M M I T T E E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110 Commitment Continues Providing Member Benefits Through Technology By Tim Heckler

Sections COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

FEATURED SUPPLIER . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . 112

Kapoor’s Philosophy

By Dan Denehy

By Barrett Eiselman

COVER STORY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

WORLD GOLF FOUNDATION . . . . . . . 92

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . 114

BoardRoom Institute Online By Dave White

By Steve Mona

By Lee Hoke, Brian Kench & Charles Skipton

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . 94

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . 115

MEMBERSHIP MARKETING . . . . . . . . 28

By Jim Dunlap

By Claire Lanouette

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . 96

PLIGHTS AND INSIGHTS . . . . . . . . . . 116

By Nelson Scott

By Nancy M. Levenburg

CLUB MARKETING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

FITNESS COMMITTEE . . . . . . . . . . . . 117

By Shannon Herschbach

By Karen Sullivan

CLUBHOUSE DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99

CLUBHOUSE DESIGN . . . . . . . . . . . . 118

By Craig Smith

By Ryan Yakel

CITY CLUB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100

HEALTH AND WELLNESS . . . . . . . . . . 119

By Jim Dunlap

By Rick Ladendorf

YACHT CLUB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104

CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . 120

By Annie Hellweg

By Mark Bado

TRADING IDEAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

CLUB SERVICE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

By Jim Dunlap

By Chris Boettcher

By Bob Bodman MEMBERSHIP MARKETING . . . . . . . . 30

By Bob Bodman HUMAN RESOURCES . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34

By David W. Lacey and Charlie Hoare CULINARY AND CATERING . . . . . . . . 38

By Lynne Lafond Deluca HEALTH AND WELLNESS . . . . . . . . . . . 42

By Heather Arias de Cordoba CLUB MANAGEMENT. . . . . . . . . . . . . 44

By Michael Crandal MEMBERSHIP MARKETING . . . . . . . . 46

By Ted Robinson LOCKER ROOM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90

By Todd Dufek

RESORTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108

By Jim Dunlap


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PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE

It’s the Intangibles That Make the Club! MANY PEOPLE JOIN PRIVATE CLUBS FOR THE ‘TANGIBLES’ THEY CAN EASILY SEE WHEN CONSIDERING A MEMBERSHIP…THE OPULENT CLUBHOUSE, THE TOP DESIGNER GOLF COURSE, TENNIS COURTS, SPA, AND AMENITIES OFFERED MEMBERS IN THE CLUBHOUSE.

But what keeps them there? Is it these tangibles, the easily seen amenities, or the ‘intangibles’…the friendships, the club’s culture and tradition, all those hidden factors that give the warm fuzzy feelings? You can go all over this country looking in on private clubs and you’ll see what Gregg Patterson, general manager of the Beach Club of Santa Monica calls, “stuff…high quality stuff.” We’re talking about ‘stuff ‘ like a brand new $70 million E.M. Pei-designed clubhouse. A Jack Nicklaus golf course.

JOHN G. FORNARO PUBLISHER, BOARDROOM PRESIDENT & CEO, APCD

crowded and always available when the ‘stuff ’s’ needed.” Indeed, another draw! But as a matter of fact, these amenities just aren’t enough to keep people as members of clubs…and that’s been a fact from the beginning of time for private clubs. Build them a clubhouse and they’ll come. They’ll stay for entirely different reasons…the intangibles. “A good beginning, but not enough. Every developer who’s delivered and failed will tell you as much,” Patterson related. Matt Guzik, general manager of The Stock Farm Club, near Hamilton, Montana seconds that notion. “Over the years, we’ve had many developers and club managers and boards of directors look at our club to get ideas or copy in other parts of the state or country,” outlined Guzik.

I’m a firm believer that the clubs that focus on the intangible benefits for their members will lead to increased usage, and greater member retention, meaning fewer memberships for sale. And these intangibles will also increase the value of a membership at your club. I don’t believe slashing initiation fees is the solution, or that your membership price is the reason why people aren’t joining. Price is usually ‘the excuse’ but rarely the reason. An Olympic-size swimming pool. A Thai-quality spa complex and/or a Michelin-rated restaurant. The tangibles, we’re very familiar with, and they stand for the amenities many of us want at our private club. And in many cases, these amenities have been enough to get someone to sign on the dotted line for a membership. And as Patterson suggests, “Not only do clubs offer ‘high quality stuff ’, they offer high quality ‘stuff ’ that’s never too

10 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

“They are always just looking at the log, stone, structures and layout and asked lots of questions. But never once did they ask the really important question as to why the Stock Farm Club is so successful, and that’s because of our club culture, our staff, or membership, a sense of community, camaraderie, and belonging…the intangibles.” SEE PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE - PAGE 136


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C L U B FA C T S

&

FIGURES

Social Media Members Use It - Clubs Will REMEMBER ALL THE EXCITEMENT WHEN FACEBOOK WENT PUBLIC AND THE SHARE PRICE WAS MORE THAN $40 PER SHARE.

More recently, it was below $20, Facebook reported record losses and key members of the management team continue to bail. So is this the end of the love affair with social media? Not a chance. People still communicate and at some point, someone will figure out how to make money on it. From 1.5 billion web users in 2009 to an expected 5.8 billion by 2016, the growth continues to be exponential. So how does the growth in social media impact clubs? It wasn’t that long ago that clubs were concerned about websites and whether to have one. The club industry wasn’t the quickest to adopt the use of websites to its business. Now, almost everybody has one. They are being used to correspond with members and the public at large. Members communicate at home, in business and in the community so why cannot clubs take advantage of another method to reach out to the public? The coverage in club publications on how to handle the explosion of social media in clubs has been extensive. But everyone is coming at it from a different direction. Premier Club Services has recently published a white paper on “Social Media and the Private Club.” It’s a good resource and should be reviewed by clubs contemplating the move to any of the social media outlets. However, while I believe that the use of social media by clubs is inevitable and in many ways should be encouraged, two issues, privacy and tax status, need to be highlighted in any discussions. By its very definition, a private club is a place not open to the public. It is a place where people with a common bond congregate for social and recreational purposes. Maintaining that private status is critical for a number of reasons including maintaining the right to select members and set its own policies. While privacy, rather than tax exemption may be the larger issue, tax-exempt private clubs may have more exposure. Prior to any examination, the IRS will review the public side of a club’s website to make sure the site reflects the exempt purpose for which it was formed. 12 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

KEVIN REILLY CPA PKF WITT MARES

No matter what a web development vendor may tell you, there is no such thing as a 501(c)(7) approved web or social media site. The IRS has no specific rules concerning electronic communication. However, it has commented on the use of print. It is only logical to assume the IRS would apply the same thought process to another form of communication. Using a restricted social media site to communicate with members generally should not be a problem but having it open to the public almost certainly is. With the economy recovering very slowly and members questioning whether they should belong to a club, there is a tendency to try and increase the amount of non-member business. Advertising the availability of your club for weddings, listing the reciprocal arrangements on the public side or mentioning the existence of catering or food-to-go could make the IRS look twice at you and put you into the realm public accommodation legislation. This should be a major concern of any club. Las Vegas has a saying, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But with the advent of smart phones, social media sites and other methods of communication, it should read ‘What happens in Vegas stays on YouTube, Facebook or the like.” Communication is instantaneous and viral. If you are going to use Facebook or another social media site, make sure you use it to communicate with members and limit its access. Establish a social media policy for both members and employees (as part of an employee manual). Note that you can be more restrictive on your member policy than on your employee policy. A member complaining about the club over drinks in the card room is not good but has a limited audience and shelf life. A member complaining through social media can reach the full membership and be very disruptive to the operation of the club. Check to see if there are any unauthorized sites established by members. You need to be very careful with these and make sure you are protecting the reputation of the club as well as any trademark or copyright the club may have. In a very unscientific study, I checked the existence of 10 clubs on Facebook. All were listed with only three official


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sites sponsored by the club, one of which was closed and available only to members. The others had sites established by specific groups within the clubs or “alumni” of the club. It is an exercise the club should do on a regular basis. Monitoring what is placed on official as well as unofficial sites is key. As a sidebar to this article, I have listed 10 of my favorite quotes relating to social media (found on the Internet of course). Social media is not going away so clubs should use common sense in establishing a policy, use it to communicate with members and not the general public and review any issues with your experts before establishing the site. Remember, the law in this area is constantly changing, and this article is not intended to be considered the provision of legal advice. You should make sure that local counsel reviews any potential issue in this area. B R Kevin F. Reilly, an attorney and a CPA, has been involved in the hospitality area, and clubs in particular, for more than 25 years. He is a member of the firm of Witt Mares, PLC. Mr. Reilly is located in the Fairfax, VA office. He may be reached at (703) 385-8809 or by email at kreilly@pkfwittmares.com.

TOP TEN QUOTES ON SOCIAL MEDIA THAT COULD APPLY TO CLUBS

1. “Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.” – Pete Cashmore, Mashable CEO 2. “Neither privacy nor publicity is dead, but technology will continue to make a mess of both.” – Danah Boyd, fellow at Harvard University 3. “The only way to put out a social-media fire is with social-media water.” – Ramon DeLeon, managing partner of six Domino’s stores in Chicago 4. “Social networks aren’t about websites. They’re about experiences.” – Mike DiLorenzo, NHL social media marketing director 5. “Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it.” – Erin Bury, Sprouter community manager 6. “Conversations among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.” – Seth Godin, Seth’s Blog 7. “This is no longer a gimmick. This is how the American people want to receive their news and want to hear from us.” – Nick Schaper, new media director for House Minority Leader John Boehner 8. “Innovation needs to be part of your culture. Consumers are transforming faster than we are, and if we don’t catch up, we’re in trouble.” – Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus 9. “Social media can be an enabler and an accelerator of existing core capabilities, values, attributes and plans. It can even be a catalyst for change. But it can’t magically create what doesn’t exist.” – Denise Zimmerman, president of NetPlus Marketing 10. “Social media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” – Matt Goulart

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM

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GETTING YOUR BOARD ON BOARD

Board Responsibilities Thinking Strategically Will Lead to Better Operations BEYOND THE OBVIOUS MEMBERSHIP AND FINANCIAL CHALLENGES, AN UNFORTUNATE BYPRODUCT OF THE GREAT RECESSION FOR THE PRIVATE CLUBS IS FURTHER BLURRING OF THE LINES BETWEEN GOVERNANCE AND MANAGEMENT.

In enacting emergency measures to deal with the unanticipated and surprisingly swift impacts of the 2008 downturn, boards understandably jumped into operating and financial restructuring efforts with both feet. Many clubs and managers were in uncharted waters, so tapping the board’s business acumen and wide-ranging experience to complete lineby-line expense analysis or to debate which programs and people to cut made great sense. Unfortunately, what was appropriate during the crisis is not a best long-term practice and the challenge for many boards since the economy stabilized sometime in 2009-10 has been to extract themselves from micromanagement practices. While still uncertain, we have entered a more stable economic environment and it is important for club boards and managers to return to their proper place – boards govern and managers manage. And while board members remain justifiably concerned about how efficiently and effectively the club is operating, they also need to realize that improved operations is a byproduct of their doing a better job identifying the club’s mission and direction. In fact, developing a strategic plan can lead to all sorts of operational improvements. Strategic initiatives, which increase membership, improve communication or develop a comprehensive financial plan provides the energy, activity and resources management needs to run the club at maximum efficiency. The primary way that strategic planning will improve operations, however, will be to provide management the clarity it requires to plan operations and programs. While there can be some level of inefficiency in any operating plan, more money is wasted and opportunities are missed from the lack of alignment between the club’s strategic and operating plans than from inefficiency or incompetence. 14 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

FRANK VAIN MCMAHON GROUP

Today’s certified professional club manager goes through rigorous training on-the-job and in the classroom before taking the reins of the club. Excellent managers can lead a club to do excellent things. Unfortunately, their skills are often undermined by the lack of a clarity and consistency about direction coming from the board. The primary function of a private club’s board of directors is to chart the future direction for the club. They are responsible for defining the mission and setting the vision. In order to succeed in this effort, they need to have access to the right information about the external and internal markets so they can be prepared to make effective, fact-based decisions. Once the club’s direction is defined, the board can identify the strategic issues the club faces and the things the board or their supporting committees/task forces should be focusing on. BOARD INPUT NEEDED

An effective board provides a foundation on which management can define programming, identify resource requirements and other functional needs. Without a strong board, a club is going to be subject to a series of annual agendas led by each new president and their colleagues each year. With input from the board, the management team can set about defining the objectives and action plans needed to run the club, accurately anticipate the quality level and required schedule, determine the resource requirements and fill out the organizational chart. There are three areas where boards can make a difference in their club: 1) Develop a strategic plan 2) Develop a facilities improvement plan, and 3) Manage a crisis. Let’s hope we’re beyond the major economic crisis and that club-specific crises are avoided throughout our readership. It is important to pull back from the temptations to “run the club” fed by the 2008 crash and get back to planning the big picture and putting place a long range plan to support it. With these pieces of the puzzle in place, a professional manager will be able to lead your club to new heights. B R Frank Vain is president, McMahon Group, St. Louis, MO. He can be reached via email: fvain@mcmahongroup.com


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C R Y S TA L C L E A R

Remodel, Restore, and Renovate We Must Keep Up With the Times TAKE AN OLD OLDSMOBILE THAT HAS 250,000 MILES ON IT. IT’S BEEN RUNNING ALONG OK, BUT THE INTERIOR, BODY, AND PAINT ARE BEYOND REPAIR. NOW, WE SPEND COUNTLESS THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS REPAIRING “OLD BETSY.”

What do you have? The answer: A worn out Oldsmobile that looks great!!! New Betsy looks good on the surface, but underneath she still has a tired, inefficient, worn out engine that quits working. Well, we have ended up with a car that doesn’t go anywhere and shows a poor or no return on investment. It should not be difficult to see where this is going. Take an existing club and do any renovation, install new furniture, replace the china and the silverware, and even put designer uniforms on the team members. What do you have? The same old club with a new look. It looks great on the surface, but like any good automobile restorer will tell you, you must work on the engine (infrastructure) first! CHANGE FOR THE BETTER

Everyone agrees that club renovations and décor changes are crucial for ambiance to stay current with member desires, and stay ahead of the competition in this market. Truly, the most important renovation consideration is making sure we have a well-tuned, superior functioning engine. Our club “restoration” plan must first consider that critical part of the organization that provides first-class outstanding service running at maximum efficiency. In other words, to really renovate your club, you must also renovate your team. Like “old Betsy”, a team can stop running smoothly after time. Training, direction and enthusiasm drop off, team members get lackadaisical, and your club loses that “spark” of superior service shown when the “engine” was first tuned and installed. Renovating, restoring, and remodeling the outside will never address the problem of service mediocrity. If we just do a cosmetic remodel, when the total renovation is complete 16 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

CRYSTAL THOMAS FOUNDER & CEO, CRYSTAL CLEAR CONCEPTS, INC.

club members will then notice and expect a great deal more than the new drapes and carpet. If we are investing time and money into the exterior surfaces, we must also consider rebuilding the “engine” as well. During any facility renovation is a great time to have team building seminars, training sessions and instill a team member performance management system to best manage labor and save time in administration. You may choose to do the training yourself or you may choose to outsource this fundamental task. There are tremendous tools available now to assist in your team renovation and forward growth of your club. A JOB FOR PROFESSIONALS

We would never expect to visit a club under renovation and find the management laying carpet and hanging drapes. It is understood that these are jobs for professional installers and that is a cost we expect to pay. Club personnel do not paint the walls, install new lighting, and rebuild serving stations and counters. Again, it is understood that professional labor is a necessary cost of the renovation. Then why consider and attempt retraining your team as a “Do-It-Yourself ” project? To return to our automobile analogy, years ago it was possible for an owner to work on their own engine to do a tune up or some simple repairs. Today, it is practically impossible given the complexity of electronically driven systems. Training for service excellence has evolved into a highly specialized field as well. Management is rarely able to devote the time to perform the kinds of training needed in the modern club situation. Even if management has been educated in training methods and procedures, it is unlikely that these people have the time to devote hours of training in addition to their other duties and additional responsibilities of overseeing a remodel. Just keeping abreast of the constant changes in the club field is tantamount to a full time job.


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Club team member training has become a very specialized field… Just like everything else. Every field today has become specialized from education to medicine. The days of the general practitioner are gone. Most major corporations and fortune 500 companies understand that outsourcing specialized training and services is absolutely the right thing to do, and consider it an excellent managerial decision. Training specialists not only spend hours in the classroom to get their credentials, they continue to keep up with innovations in their fields. They have mastered the skills to train for technological knowledge, inspiration, which creates the motivation, efficiency, and the latest trends in service excellence. Contrary to popular opinion, inspirational training is not cheerleading. A highly inspired team has developed truly professional work habits and a sense of owning their various responsibilities. The training specialist is equipped to guide the team toward that level of professionalism with ease and grace.

declaring what has always been done out of date and inefficient. Efficiency is not simply shaving a few seconds off service times. It involves a smooth and pleasant flow of operation that is satisfying to the team member and appreciated by the club member. Creating a service culture to meet and exceed member expectations can certainly be enhanced when services of a professional service training expert is sought. BEST TIME TO CHANGE

Now is the best time for a change. An ancient Chinese saying says, “The best time to have planted a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is right now!” When along with a new look we offer a new service experience, we have truly renovated our club. Cosmetics may beautify and please on the surface, but service reconstruction and improvement is the secret and solution for a true renovation of your club. So when you are considering any remodeling, restoration, or renovation of your facility, it is crucial to consider the same for your team.

Remember when selecting your remodeling projects and contractors, give equal or greater emphasis on finding your service training professional to develop, implement, and complete a real renovation. So remodel your engine, now is the time…“Old Betsy” will not only look good, but she will run great and show a tremendous return on investment! The training specialist also has the tremendous advantage of seeing from a different perspective. Many times we do not see what is right in front of us, because we are always looking at it and accept it (consciously or unconsciously) as being part of the norm. When the “elephant” has been in the room long enough, it is easy to overlook it when everyone is used to seeing it every day. The training specialist however, will notice it right away and get busy ushering it out. If the elephant is lackluster service and inefficiency, the training specialist will proceed to correct those areas of service. If the elephant is, “We’ve always done it that way,” the training specialist speaks with more authority when

Remember when selecting your remodeling projects and contractors, give equal or greater emphasis on finding your service training professional to develop, implement, and complete a real renovation. So remodel your engine, now is the time…“Old Betsy” will not only look good, but she will run great and show a tremendous return on investment! B R Crystal M. Thomas, MCM, CHE is the principal of Crystal Clear Concepts, Inc. Crystal is an in-demand club solutions expert, specializing in team training and operating efficiency. Her company, Crystal Clear Concepts, Inc. has developed a wide range of exceptional tools and services for private clubs to thrive. For more information, please phone (818) 237-5398.

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BOARDROOM BASICS...AND BEYOND

Lessons From the Book of ‘Job(s)’ Steve Jobs, That Is! I JUST FINISHED LISTENING TO STEVE JOBS’ BIOGRAPHY AND WAS STRUCK BY SO MANY THINGS IN THAT BOOK THAT RELATE, ON A MUCH SMALLER SCALE, TO WHAT WE SEE IN THE CLUB INDUSTRY TODAY! AND, NOT THE ONES ON HOW TO BE A PROVOCATIVE, INSENSITIVE JERK!

Getting past his sometimes self-absorbed, ‘reality distortion’ and vindictive personality, there is little debate that he has had a major hand in redefining the world, including our club world! The lessons from his biography have application toward every business, including the club industry…an industry we often think is so unique and distinctive from other businesses that many lose sight of the core fundamentals that Jobs’ was so good at identifying and obsessively focusing on! First and foremost (and this message is consistent in nearly every great book on business success over the past many years, especially those by Jim Collins) is to have relentless discipline and focus on the mission! Pretty consistent in the club world, and think about how many times this has happened in your boardroom, a well intended idea gets immediate support and a new initiative gets quickly adopted, causing yet another ‘change’ in course that sends out the wrong messaging. Those clubs and club leaders who seem to ‘get it’, typically don’t allow themselves to get distracted from the plan or mission, but pursue it with relentless zeal. Further on Jobs, consider, for example, whom among us in the club industry wouldn’t want to: • Obsessively attract and retain the best ‘talent’ in the business? Regardless of whether it be board members, general managers, executive chefs, golf professionals, superintendents, tennis professionals, controllers, servers, and so on! Why don’t more businesses, in this case clubs, make ‘talent’ recruitment the No. 1 goal of the organization? Jobs did an outstanding job of that! And of clubs that we see succeeding almost all do! • Obsessively focus on a few key top goals, and execute them better than anyone else? Fundamental to Jobs’ key business strategy was a keen recognition and ‘obsession’ with 18 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

KURT KUEBLER PARTNER, KOPPLIN & KUEBLER

making certain that the core business elements and strategies were done really well. Not rocket science in concept, but certainly something that most businesses, including clubs, don’t come close to matching in focus and intensity. Jobs did an outstanding job of that! Most club leaders we see know what the issues are, they simply don’t focus on the execution! Execution is the differentiator! •Obsessively commit to innovation and being a market leader? Even if you’re not an Apple enthusiast, who among us doesn’t get interested or excited about the unveiling of the ‘next’ new product from Apple? It’s because Jobs figured out that in today’s world, we’re constantly looking for new and exciting inputs, and we’re part of society that needs ‘new and different’ to keep us enthused. Even the most traditional of clubs, if they are successful in today’s world, seem to have taken this approach and are constantly reassessing what they provide their members, and have figured out a way to keep it ‘new and exciting.’ Jobs did an outstanding job of that! Most of the successful club leaders we see exude an innovative, exciting, ‘can’t wait to show you what new thing we’re working on now’ type mindset. • Obsessively control everything you can about the ‘experience’ you’re creating? One of the things that Jobs got hammered on in his early days was that he did not want Apple to license its software to others. He wanted to control integration from hardware to software, not rely on someone else to provide support systems (although that obviously worked well for Microsoft!). While it took awhile and he had to work through multiple criticisms, Jobs recognized that controlling the overall experience not only provided ‘power’, when done right, that exclusivity also allowed him to charge a significant premium for what he offered. It was the Apple experience ‘differentiator.’ He obsessed over nearly every single thing that his company did – from the smallest feature of a new product to the glass in new Apple stores, to the cultural environment in which associates were encouraged to challenge one another SEE BOARDROOM BASICS - PAGE 135


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COVER

STORY

20 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


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Tarun Kapoor KAPOOR’S PHILOSOPHY LEADS TO LE AN , MEA N G OV ERNI NG MACH IN E For Tarun Kapoor, a consultant, teacher and entrepreneur, and now

BoardRoom Institute Online

BoardRoom Institute’s dean of education, the private club industry

Board Member Training & Orientation a Key Focus

is an intriguing mix. Over the years, he has come to understand the unique nature of the club industry and the very unique challenges club general managers face when dealing with board of directors and committees. While becoming more familiar with the private club industry, it appeared to Kapoor that this is the only industry governed by two different entities (a volunteer board and paid managers) that have disparate needs, frame of reference and limitations. For example, the limitation of management is that managers often only see things from an operational perspective. Policy isn’t involved. So it’s logical if recognizing that this industry is unique that there might be a unique solution. Kapoor began searching…and thinking.

SEE COVER STORY - PAGE 22

By Dave White, Editor

The BoardRoom Institute! “No question…the resource of choice for private club boards! There’s no better way to begin a conversation,” exclaimed Tarun Kapoor. And that’s the introduction to BoardRoom Institute, a state-of-the-art, online board member training and orientation program for private club boards of directors. BoardRoom Institute brings together some of the industry’s top experts to pass along their specific knowledge in a variety of different areas, leading to a better understanding by board members of their roles and responsibilities. “Private club boards are not so different from any other board of directors, but as directors join the board, it’s essential that they have a comprehensive orientation that successfully prepares them for their role in private club governance. Thus BoardRoom Institute,” enthused BoardRoom’s CEO John Fornaro, the brainchild behind BoardRoom Institute with Tarun Kapoor. “It’s taken four years, a tremendous amount of time and money and we’ve got the most credible SEE BOARDROOM INSTITUTE - PAGE 23

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“Slowly, I started to develop my own philosophy on how to address these challenges,” he related. “Initially it was through strategic planning philosophy and how a general manager could lead in a club environment. But you can’t lead if you don’t lead both the board and staff.” Kapoor expanded his club governance thinking based on these leadership tenets, developing an impactful philosophy he calls ‘collaborative governance.’ In a nutshell collaborative governance means a lean, mean governing machine! It is, as the words suggest, an efficient way for these two parties (the volunteers and paid managers) to collaborate in governing the club. Collaborative governance is based on fundamental principles of 1) transparency: members who are owners as well as customers, need to understand, on a very timely basis, why and how decisions are made and by whom. 2) There must be role clarity. Volunteers must know their roles. The volunteer board of directors establishes the club’s policies and regulations, acts in an advisory capacity and as a resource to obtain member input. The same consideration must be given to a private club’s committees. A committee member’s specific role is to act in an advisory capacity to the board of directors. Management’s role is simple: Run, operate, manage and administer the club, based on policies and regulations established by the club’s board of directors. “Board members learning through BoardRoom magazine, my conversations with clients and general managers and people contacting me, John Fornaro and you (editor Dave White) at BoardRoom have been raising many private club governance issues. “What they’ve needed is a forum to educate boards in partnership with management! “Recognizing that you can’t help a club by only helping management, and not helping the board, isn’t a sustainable support system. Discussion about club governance has to be done in a continuous and proactive way...not just when problems arise. “It should be a normal sequence of operation. Responding to issues is reactive and not 22 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

sustainable, it doesn’t do anything for the long-term governance of a private club, so we’ve created BoardRoom Institute to help deal with these issues,” Kapoor explained. Kapoor, the Institute’s dean of education sees the institute’s comprehensive educational program as a boon for private club boards of directors. His interest in all this goes back many years, because Kapoor has long had affection for the hospitality industry. It started as a youngster while in high school, and hasn’t abated. The son of a general in the Indian Army, Tarun attended a hotel school in India for three years after graduation from high school…the rigorous European kind where he learned about hotels, hospitality operations and management. But, he wanted more. “I was a starry eyed kid seeking a higher education,” Kapoor related, and with that he chose United States to advance his education. Tarun earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin, a MBA from Michigan State University, and is recognized as Certified Hotel Administrator and Certified Hospitality Educator from the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Certified Hotel Owner from the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. “I could see myself as a general manager at a full service five star hotel and eventually becoming a senior executive,” Kapoor added. Actually, he harbored the position as the president of the Hilton as his dream in those days. It started quite differently…a year as a weekend maitre ‘d at the Minneapolis Athletic Club, then a major downtown club with 5,000 members. “I experienced it all at this club because it was a city club, an athletic club, a busy food and beverage operation and we also offered hotel rooms.” Several years later, Kapoor ended up at Cal Poly in Pomona, CA teaching the hospitality business. But not before he experienced the life as an entrepreneur operating two critically acclaimed restaurants, a gourmet deli and catering business in Minneapolis-St.Paul. But Kapoor’s entrepreneurial side kept pushing…“I wasn’t completely engaged with teaching. I enjoyed it but wanted a bigger challenge.” And so the transition began. And along the way through speaking engagements and consulting projects, he had a wide exposure to and among people in the hospitality industry. Then the Club Managers Association of America, (CMAA) came calling and asked if Cal Poly, Pomona had interest in offering a program as part of the CMAA’s new Business Management Institute. “We were one of four schools they visited and sure enough when the group came to campus, I took an active lead in talking to them and showing them around the campus.” That was the start of BMI II at Cal Poly. For Kapoor, it quickly started immersion into the private club world and understanding the industry, “because we were going to start training managers in a weeklong program.” The CMAA program developed, expanding from one BMI class a year to four. “Managers who wanted their Certified Club Manager status needed BMI II at Cal Poly, and so I got more and more connected with club industry.” In the early 1990s Tarun met John Fornaro (BoardRoom magazine’s CEO and publisher) at a CMAA annual conference. “John attended one my of sessions and liked it. Over the years we’ve built a mutual admiration society. My colleagues and I who had a consulting


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practice at the time were the focus of a BoardRoom feature, and then I started writing articles for BoardRoom, collaborating on other articles and offering expert opinions on certain topics,” he related. Kapoor became a regular contributor and also became much more aware of the challenges that we hear about from board members, the CMAA and managers. “The more I became aware of these challenges, the more my idea of collaborative governance seemed to make sense. We started to talk about how we could meet the needs of volunteers so they can better understand what they’re getting into, as members of the boards of directors or as committee members.” “We feel it most valuable that these volunteers really understand their roles and how their clubs operate. So who better is there to teach these volunteers about their roles as board and committee members than Boardroom and the BoardRoom Institute?” The result is a partnership between BoardRoom and Kapoor and Kapoor and Tarun “is committed as the institute’s dean of education to overseeing these educational programs and the BRI certification for private clubs. That’s where we are today. “Collaborative governance is the underpinning whereby the club’s volunteer board of directors collaborates with the club’s paid management in operating the club. There is clarity of roles. This certification process gives volunteers an orientation on how private clubs are governed and should be operated today.” “It’s about understanding your private club so you can be an effective board member or committee chair or member of the green committee. What better way is there for the board to tell its members that they are leading the club in a responsible manner by showing their commitment to board member training and orientation from an outside group, such as the BoardRoom Institute?” “This gives club volunteers, paid management and the members peace of mind that their club is being operated in the most efficient and effective manner, with consistency and continuity,” Kapoor explained. And that peace of mind is something much needed today. B R

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content providers. We had to take our time to ensure we’ve got it right,” added Fornaro. The benefits of Institute’s Board Member Training & Orientation program are several, including: · Interactive education conducted by leading industry experts · Focuses on collaborative governance · Eliminates micromanagement · Tracks individual comprehension and course completion · Minimizes board member liability and nurtures tax-exempt status · Creates a shared playbook. The breakthrough comes with its web-based interactive training and communication platform developed in conjunction with LightSpeedVT that’s used for all kinds of educational and training purposes. The technology “is the most advanced state-of-the-art system interactive virtual training system around and allows volunteers and management to do their learning on their own time, at their own pace,” says Brad Lea, president and CEO of the Las Vegas-based, LightspeedVT. “It allows clubs to ensure that all volunteers (board members) go through the orientation and learning process they need to achieve the club’s certification. “With new board members usually coming on a club’s board every year, this is online interactive systems offers a consistent, scalable solution,” emphasized Lea. Each board member can learn and train on their own time, at their own pace via an easy-on-the-eyes interactive virtual technology platform. Subject matter experts for the board member training and orientation modules include the Institute’s Dean of Education Tarun Kapoor, BoardRoom CEO and publisher John Fornaro, Gregg Patterson, general manager of the Beach Club of Santa Monica, attorney Randy Addison, green specialist Bruce Williams, PGA member Andy Thuney, Rick Coyne, Jim Singerling, CEO of the Club Managers Association of America, and Philip G. Newman of McGladrey. “Imagine it being possible for every board member to be trained oneon-one by the industry expert in any particular subject matter or on any curriculum deemed necessary to help that facility run at peak performance, not to mention with perfect compliance and consistency. “That’s powerful, and that’s the focus of BoardRoom Institute’s new interactive virtual training and communication platform,” Lea enthused. Through its intuitive testing and simulation features, a board member can be certified on the knowledge transfer and the club can have access to that real-time reporting data. There’s a presentation of the information in short modules, followed by a quick multiple-choice review. It’s quick and easy. “The traditional method of training and board member orientation means reading a booklet or manual. But there’s no way to know if a person actually has read and/or understood it. There’s no accountability,” explained Fornaro. “By completing the training and orientation online where participants have to review the material and answer some questions for each module, there’s now accountability. You know if your board member has actually SEE BOARDROOM INSTITUTE - PAGE 134 SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM

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B

BOARDROOM INSTITUTE (BRI),

THE “RESOURCE OF CHOICE” FOR PRIVATE CLUB BOARDS

CONTACT JOHN FORNARO (949) 376-8889 OR JOHNF@APCD.COM TARUN KAPOOR (626) 458-3200 OR TARUN@KAPOORANDKAPOOR.COM


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BEYOND THE BOARDROOM >>PROBLEM

Do your colleagues on the board understand their role and the role of the board ?

>>SOLUTION

Become a Certified Private Club, an online certification for private club boards brought to you by the BoardRoom Institute.

WHERE EVERYONE SHARES THE VISION AND PLAYS FROM ONE PLAYBOOK


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COURSE DESIGN

Growing Together Long-term Relationship With an Architect Is a Smart Move. By Adam Lawrence GOLF, AS THE ‘MIND GAME’ COACH BOB ROTELLA TELLS US, IS NOT A GAME OF PERFECT.

What is true of the game is equally true of its courses: it is hard to imagine that there is a single golf course in the world that is entirely without flaws, and thus could not, at least in theory, be improved. Think of your favorite course and try to come up with ways in which it could be made better still. I bet you can come up with several ideas for any course in just a few minutes. But it’s a slippery slope. Sensitive, well thought out alterations – whether small or large – may improve even the finest course, but ill-planned changes can just as easily eliminate what little charm a poor track has. Golf courses do not, in general, change overnight. Thus this long-term approach, which is best manifested through a course master plan drawn up by the consulting architect and embodied in the club’s statutes thus preventing short-range fiddling by green committees, is the right fit for most. There is, of course, a long history of golf architects maintaining extended relationships with their courses and tweaking them over time. CB Macdonald, the father of American golf, continued to adjust his masterpiece, the National Golf Links of America, for much of his life, and ASGCA founder Donald Ross made repeated changes to Pinehurst Number Two. Who is better, after all, at spotting the flaws in a course than its original designer? A good example is the up market Wisley club south of London. Wisley, designed by ASGCA Past President Robert Trent Jones, Jr, and his then-associate, Kyle Phillips, ASGCA, opened in the early 1990s and has a demanding membership including many top European Tour professionals. Over several years, Jones, along with his design partner, ASGCA Past President Bruce Charlton are renovating Wisley’s three nine-hole loops, fixing some of the issues – especially related to turf conditions that have come about as a result of 20 years play, and helping make the club more sustainable in the process. A quick stroll on the Church nine before the project showed the need for the work. The irrigation sprinklers were 26 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

several inches below the level of the grass, a sure sign of a major thatch problem, and the holes had significant drainage issues as well. Testing revealed that the depth of thatch on the holes was more than two inches. After the renovation, this has been reduced to one quarter of an inch. Playing the newlook Church holes, it’s easy to see the impact of the renovation work. The fairway surfaces are impeccable and the switch to a traditional British fescue/bent grass mix means that head greenkeeper Steve Byrne should be able to embrace more sustainable maintenance methods, while still ensuring the high end conditions the club’s members expect. The trust that is built when people partner over an extended period of time is priceless. The development of the two giant Mission Hills resorts in China illustrates this clearly. Design firm Schmidt-Curley, run by Brian Curley, ASGCA and current ASGCA Secretary Lee Schmidt (and including several other ASGCA member architects) has been closely partnered with the Chu family, the owners of Mission Hills, for many years. The roles played by Schmidt and Curley in the growth of Mission Hills can’t be overstated. Curley, in particular, was central to the birth of the group’s second project, near the city of Haikou on Hainan Island. “When the chairman decided to go with Hainan, we took a big tour round the island. I think I’ve seen every piece of property there is round here,” Curley goes on. “Architects are always beefing about not being involved in site selection, but we were totally involved in this one. “For us, there were two main limiting factors. Lots of developers are happy to find enough property for 18 holes and some houses, but we had to find a much larger piece and one where someone was prepared to make a commitment to go ahead straight away.” B R Reprinted from the summer 2012 issue of “By Design” magazine. For more information, visit www.asgca.org.


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MEMBERSHIP MARKETING

Going Tactical - Part I Campaign Management THE CONCEPT OF A PROACTIVE AND MODERATELY AGGRESSIVE MARKETING CAMPAIGN TO MARKET MEMBERSHIPS FOR A PRIVATE CLUB IS NOT VERY COMMON.

At least it wasn’t until the latest economic and industry challenges became so critical. Such methods are very normal and effective in many other industries, but not so in the world of 501(c) organizations, such as private clubs. Assuming your club has members on a sell list, or needs to replace a relative high number of resigning or downgrading members each year, it is essential to develop a large list (database) of member prospects whom you can invite to membership. One method to accomplish this is called “Campaign Management.” The primary goal is to structure a membership offer that will build your database, but not to find a “silver bullet” program that will fill up the roster in one big push. If an offer

BOB BODMAN

themselves as a member and the more the membership director and committee has a chance to get to know them. The underlying fundamental involved in “campaign management” is not to “sell” a membership, but to develop a submarket of people to whom you can now make systematically more formidable offers. With each new offer/invitation, the club turns up the pressure at the same time as the prospect is that much more inclined to accept. Having already expressed interest, prospects represent a target group that will prove more productive than trying to project out to a large community or market with a “join now” message. Therefore, “campaign management” is really a patterned approach to “pre-disposing” prospects. Finding the right proposition is also another purpose of campaign management. The definition of marketing is to listen to what the market is saying, identify what it needs,

The underlying fundamental involved in “campaign management” is not to “sell” a membership, but to develop a sub-market of people to whom you can now make systematically more formidable offers. With each new offer/invitation, the club turns up the pressure at the same time as the prospect is that much more inclined to accept. actually results in a few new memberships, that is great, but the primary goal is to build the database into a sizable group, perhaps as many as a couple of hundred prospects. As one single campaign is not likely to have that kind of response, it will take several or a series of campaigns (offers), thus the term “campaign management.” This database-building approach should be viewed more like stepping stones or building blocks. Begin with something like a complimentary “open house and golf course tour,” “invitational 9 wine and wine,” or “short game golf clinic.” These types of invitations are non-threatening. They don’t try to race someone to “close.” But, they allow prospects to comfortably step inside the gate with the club’s permission. It’s all about experiences and relationship building. The more experiences a prospect has, the more they begin to view 28 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

and then find a way to fill that need. When you have a list of 200 prospects, you have had some time to talk with them and hopefully, learned from them about what they are looking for. You should now have a fighting chance of structuring an offer that will make sense to both the club and the prospect list. Campaign management is not a silver bullet or a quick fix. It is one method of membership marketing that builds incrementally and compounds into an effective, productive and constant source of new members. B R To learn more about campaign management, as well as our strategic membership marketing methods, contact Bob Bodman, president of Club Resources (800) 267-6758 or via email: Bob@ClubResources.com


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MEMBERSHIP MARKETING

Going Tactical - Part II Contract Membership Sales HAS YOUR MEMBER REFERRAL PROGRAM RUN DRY? ARE YOUR MEMBERS TAPPED OUT OF FRIENDS TO INVITE TO MEMBERSHIP?

Is your club struggling to find qualified and interested prospective members in the community? Is it taking a long time for prospects to make a decision to join? Is your board spending long hours trying to come up with new, creative ideas on how to attract new members to the club? Does the club have a hard time following up on prospects, responding to inquiries, creating new programs, managing multiple, strategic campaigns, or producing effective, analytical reports? Is the club staff too busy to handle the complexity of membership marketing and sales? Many questions, but what about answers? Specialized vendor services are an essential part of any private club’s operation. In today’s world of highly specialized services, private clubs have been turning to outside specialists. Clubs engage outside contractors for various specialties, not so much because they lack in house expertise, resources or energy, but rather because it simply make more sense in terms of effectiveness (quality, consistency and economics). There are employees within any club staff with ample expertise, experience, skill and desire to be able to re-roof the clubhouse, but that does not make it the most effective way to accomplish it. The same is true for many other services that are best left to specialists. When focusing on how clubs can be “tactical” and dynamic in their membership marketing and sales, the concept of third-party “Contract Membership Sales” can be very effective. And more so, if the club does not already include a dedicated membership sales professional. Even if it does, however, there are many ways a contract sales group can double or triple membership results inside of the first year of involvement. The reason is that there is a growing need for professional membership marketing and sales, primarily because this critical area is a very complex mix of fundamentals, strategies and tactics that incorporates such sills as: • Networking (in the community) • Programming (designing & implementing campaigns) • Contact management (building & maintaining a prospect database) • Selling (application of proven sales methods) 30 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

BOB BODMAN

• Advertising (designing ads, fliers, eblasts) • Communications (member internal & market external) • Targeting (identifying & focusing on the appropriate market segments) • Demographics (knowing the profile of your prospective member) • Member relations and referral (still the best way to grow membership) • Membership structuring (membership types, privileges, restrictions, pricing) • Orientation (proper assimilation of new members into the club) • Reporting (effective, analytical, timely), and • Analysis (analyzing trends, campaign effectiveness, projections, strategy tool) There are numerous contract membership sales approaches. First, there are companies that hire, recruit and train membership directors as a service. Second, there companies that simply structure and launch member referral programs, but have the club staff and members do the actual work internally. Third, there are contract membership sales firms who actually take over the entire membership function on behalf of the club. This type of service takes over the membership marketing, campaigning, sales and reporting functions and acts as the membership director or membership representative. If the club already has a membership director, then the system is structured more as a “team” with the new firm as team leader. Contract membership sales is a unique type of service. Although a third party, the firm’s marketing and sales representative plays a variety of roles, including being a virtual member of the club’s staff. Much of the work is done off-site including phone calls, emails, membership structuring, campaign development and launch and reporting. However, it also involves frequent visits to the club to attend meetings, make presentations, assist with tours and to meet with key membership prospects. The role of the club is to provide golf course and clubhouse tours, arrange for introductory rounds of golf, review applications, approve new members and to administrate the new memberships after they have been accepted. B R To learn more about contract membership sales, as well as our strategic membership marketing methods, contact Bob Bodman, president of Club Resources (800) 267-6758 or via email: Bob@ClubResources.com


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THE PERFECT FIT FOR YOUR CLUB

Specializing in middle management placement within the private club industry. Member Relations Director

Assistant General Manager

Providing a personalized service for the members and their guests on a daily basis, ensuring that each member and guest experience with the club is positive and memorable.

The GMs right hand; oversees all club operations inside and outside the clubhouse. Perform specific tasks as requested by the GM and oversee operations in their absence.

Head Golf Pro

Golf Course Superintendent

Manage all golf and golf-related activities and business. Plan, promote and direct all golf activities including budgets and operations.

Maintain golf course, all grounds and course maintenance equipment. Schedule, train, supervise and evaluate personnel.

PCPS understands the pain, stress, time, and money associated with posting ads, sorting through resumes, interviewing candidates, and making decisions to fill an opening among your team, which is why our placement experts are fully committed to making this transition as smooth as possible for you and your club.

www.PCPS4U.com


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GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

Things You Don’t Know that You Don’t Know …About Hosting Global Events BARRY GARRETT, THE ESTEEMED GENERAL MANAGER AT THE MEDINAH COUNTRY CLUB IN SUBURBAN CHICAGO, HAS INVESTED YEARS IN BUILDING A FOUNDATION OF UNPARALLELED KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERTISE IN LEADING HIGHLY COMPLEX PRIVATE CLUBS.

And all of that knowledge will be brought to bear as Barry and his management team was to play host to the 2012 Ryder Cup in late September. “It’s very exciting and a great honor to host the best players in the world battling for pride and country. When the entire golf world knocks on your door, it’s a defining moment for everyone involved and the experience will be a source of professional pride and joy that will last a lifetime.” How in the world does one prepare for an event of such proportion? ‘Preparation’ is the one-word answer that comes from those who have played host on the world stage. It’s a daunting task on many levels. How do you know what you don’t know? Barry does not hesitate to tell you that it is all about the team. “Hosting an event as massive as the Ryder Cup or any major event for that matter requires huge commitment, personal sacrifice and extraordinary leadership from the club membership, board and management staff, but this is only the beginning of what it takes to be a successful host. Everyone involved needs to be committed to being a part of something bigger than one’s self,” Garrett explained. Medinah is an exceptional venue because of the depth and breadth of its history. Since the 1920s, when the Medinah Temple of Chicago began the dream of creating a country retreat that would be “simply the best country club in America”, the 54-hole club has hosted three USGA Open Championships (1949, 1975 and 1990), two PGA Championships (1999 and 2006) and three Western Open Championships (1939, 1962 and 1966).

32 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

HENRY DELOZIER GLOBAL GOLF ADVISORS

Everything about Medinah is a balance of great tradition and heritage with always-growing leadership and accomplishment. In Barry’s opinion, “It’s very easy to get caught up in grand scale of everything. Quickly understanding your role in the big picture is helpful in simplifying the tasks at hand and managing the anxiety levels of your staff leading up to the event. As a manager you are going to have to delegate and place more trust and faith in your team - at every level - than ever before. It’s a true lesson in the art of planning, organization, delegation and follow-through.” There is immense focus on the golf course; in fact, the whole world will be looking and watching to experience the challenge before the players. Curtis Tyrell, Medinah’s golf course superintendent, is preparing the course like a great race horse. The course will be bold in its nature and refined with the subtleties that are required. In his late June media interviews, David Love III, the Captain of the U.S. squad, described what he expects of the No. 3 course, “Medinah is Medinah. We’ve played there twice. It’s going to be a big, hard, long golf course no matter what we do.” Barry adds, “Just about every local, city and state agency must work in tandem to insure the basic support and logistics are in place to handle the transportation, security, communication, medical, emergency and personal convenience needs for the spectators, volunteers and staff that will converge daily onto your property in a matter of only a few hours. “The onsite PGA team puts plans in motion well in excess of a year out and diligently begins coordinating and pulling everyone together at the host site to discuss these matters,” Garrett explained. “Communicating the event needs and expectations as well as crafting healthy working relationships between the leaders of the various law enforcement, medical, fire, safety, postal, transportation, communication, food service,


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utility, political and governmental agencies is key to a well-executed plan.” But away from the cameras and media attention are the countless details that combine to make the event a success. Among the several recurring best practices voiced by a small panel of general managers who are experienced in hosting the biggest events is this handful: 1. Engage and manage your club members. See that everyone knows schedules, access rights and limitations, guest programs, security standards and practices, and the special members-only events that make the occasion a special experience for them…as in ‘What’s in it for me?’ At Medinah, Barry observes, “I can’t begin to tell you the hard work, commitment and sacrifices required by the membership of the host club. It all starts with the member-based organizational structure led by the events appointed general chairman. These club leaders are responsible to manage,

4. Establish a communications platform from which all segments – players, members, event managers and vendors, guests and the visiting public – can easily obtain and access current information. The experts tell you that this is one of the biggest – and sometimes hardest – lessons learned. “Communicating and managing member expectations and facility access is challenging enough,” Barry explains. “However, managing the volunteer network becomes an enormous task with upwards of 4,000 volunteers needed to fulfill the duties during the event both inside and outside the ropes. The PGA’s guidance, leadership role and experience in this task are absolutely invaluable. However, it is the responsibility of the membership of the host site to step up in a big way to fill many, if not all, of these volunteer leadership roles. Medinah is very blessed and fortunate to have such a vast and talented membership pool willing and able to fulfill this responsibility.”

“Being involved in major sporting events is one the most invigorating experiences. The number of hours, sweat, stress and anxiety is worth every minute once the gates open to welcome the global golf community. After every tournament, I always say to myself, ‘one day I will look back and tell my children incredible stories of all the memorable moments I have experienced and all those legendary figures I have met.’” Patrick DeLozier, general manager Colonial Country Club, Texas coordinate, and facilitate communication between the board, the onsite PGA team, the club management team and the events detailed committee structure. 2. Develop a comprehensive event management plan. Integrate all of the many components required to host a successful event. The timeline for such plans usually begins 18 months in advance and extends at least three months after the event. Think of this plan as a condensed business plan for the event itself. 3. Assign and manage clear-cut lines of responsibility and accountability for staff, volunteers and visiting event experts. According to GM Garrett, most if not all of the basic management and organizational principles such as organizational communication, structure, leadership, logistical planning and delegation of duties become significantly more important when applied to such a massive project. Weaknesses in these areas are quickly exposed.

5. Prepare for the worst. Develop and have at the ready a crisis communications plan, an emergency evacuation and security plan, and ‘safe zones’ for people seeking refuge from storms and/or frightening events. In his decade-long tenure at the revered Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburg, Tom Wallace III hosted 2007 USGA Open Championship. In addition to the US Open, Tom hosted the 2003 Men’s Amateur and the 2010 USGA Women’s Open making Oakmont the first club in the modern era to host three major USGA championships in such a compressed timeframe. What does Tom advise colleagues who will host a big event? “First and foremost make sure your members completely understand the sacrifices and inconveniences that come with hosting a championship. Having a USGA Championship is an honor in which the benefits far outweigh the inconveniences, but make SEE GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE - PAGE 133

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HUMAN RESOURCES

Technology Assists With HR Objectives By David W. Lacey and Charlie Hoare TECHNOLOGY IN THE FORM OF RECRUITMENT WEBSITES, ELECTRONIC SURVEYS, CANDIDATE ASSESSMENT AND EASY-TO-USE PERFORMANCE REVIEW FORMATS HAS THE POTENTIAL OF INCREASING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DELIVERING HUMAN RESOURCE WORK.

From a private club’s perspective, the general manager and team can view technology with its varied human resource applications as a tool to accomplish employee-related objectives. A general manager normally adopts software applications (technology) for these two business reasons: 1) Organizational effectiveness – a club’s personnel programming is more targeted at the needs of employees and their responsible managers; and 2) Operating efficiency – the cost of delivering a result for the club is at a lower price point. We will use the dual criteria of organizational effectiveness

“three.” By using that technology you quickly reduce the number of applicants to those with the most relevant background and experience for your needs. Technology-based applications make job opportunities more visible and more accessible to a larger pool of people. Even so, there is no substitute for identifying candidates through your personal or professional network. When a club pairs a technology-based approach with a network, it is both effective and efficient. 2. Electronic member/Employee surveys – Clubs will use surveys for two dominant purposes: 1) To assess member satisfaction with the club’s program offerings and operations, and 2) To assess employee satisfaction with the club as a workplace and its retention programs. Both types of surveys provide a general manager with crit-

Quite often we can be seduced by technology or rely on it solely to accomplish business results. Technology alone is insufficient. The “game changer” for a general manager occurs when technology is paired with an energetic, thoughtful and enthusiastic user – a person! It is the person-technology pairing, which leads to higher levels of organizational effectiveness and operating efficiency. and operating efficiency to examine four different technology-based applications. 1. Recruitment Websites – It is very common for organizations to have an employment icon at their website, alerting candidates to job opportunities. Also, clubs may choose to post opportunities at these well-known websites: Monster, Hot Jobs, and Idealist. These various web-based applications may alert many potential candidates. For example, Patagonia receives an estimated 900 resumes for one of its job postings. Such a response can create a significant workload for staff. Therefore, we recommend that the three most critical job responsibilities be listed first and then use a software application to track words/phrases in the candidate’s cover e-mail and resume against the club’s critical 34 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

ical information which, when acted on, can lead to increases in member or employee satisfaction. Both types of electronic surveys are a well-established practice at many clubs. The key factor, when conducting a survey, is action by the general manager and their team on the priorities identified by members or employees. These action items can become an integral component of a GM’s annual goals. Again, survey results delivered to a club through technology, paired with actions by the general manager, leads to organizational effectiveness at a competitive price point. We recommend that clubs conduct employee and member surveys every two (2) years, allowing sufficient time for actions to be implemented and to be recognized as making a positive difference.


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3. Candidate assessment/Team effectiveness – More than ever, clubs are paying attention to the effectiveness of a team, be it food and beverage, golf operations, tennis, etc. Many factors can explain team success – technical know-how, capacity to achieve, and the motivation to be successful. In addition to measuring these characteristics, clubs can now use Teamability, which evaluates how new or current employees will work in a team setting. Developed by The Gabriel Institute, Teamability, an effective and efficient tool, is easily administered by a web portal at a very competitive price – $80. We recommend its use when assessing candidates who will work in a team setting or when a general manager seeks to improve the effectiveness of one of their teams. 4. Performance review format – Managers view frequently performance reviews as a burden. Today a technology-based tool, Review Snap reduces any perceived burden. Its design can be modified to suit the club’s review needs and provides the employee with work-related feedback from a boss, peers, direct reports and clients or customers. Review Snap is an excellent tool to enhance the performance review process from the perspectives of the employee and their manager. RS’s data becomes an excellent foundation to discuss each employee’s results versus goals, performance strengths and areas for development. Review Snap is worth using because it makes the performance review process

more effective and it reduces the manager’s time, thus being a more efficient tool. While these are four examples of how a club may apply technology to its human resource work and employee-related priorities, there are many more. In fact, a recent Human Resource Executive Magazine lists more than 40 different HR technology-based applications. Quite often we can be seduced by technology or rely on it solely to accomplish business results. Technology alone is insufficient. The “game changer” for a general manager occurs when technology is paired with an energetic, thoughtful and enthusiastic user – a person! It is the person-technology pairing, which leads to higher levels of organizational effectiveness and operating efficiency. B R David W. Lacey is a vice president and head of human resource business development for VIST Insurance based in Philadelphia. He serves on the board of governors at the Philadelphia Cricket Club and has formed a strategic alliance with GSI Executive Search. He can be reached at (215) 274-7430 or dlacey@vistfc.com. Charlie Hoare, CCM, is a principal of GSI Executive Search, Inc. and works out of the firm’s North Florida office. GSI also has offices in Tampa Bay, St. Louis and Philadelphia. Charlie can be reached at (850) 997-6979 or Charlie@gsiexecutivesearch.com.

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I N T E R N AT I O N A L

Europe’s Premier Golf Resort Celebrates 40th Birthday IN 1972, THE LA MANGA CLUB NEAR ALICANTE IN SPAIN OPENED ITS DOORS.

Now 40 years later, South African legend Gary Player has delivered his own personal message of congratulations to La Manga Club as part of the Spanish resort’s 40th anniversary celebrations. The 76-year-old was La Manga Club’s first director of golf when it opened in 1972 and played a key role in helping the resort establish itself during its early years. Set in an area three times the size of Monaco, the resort is renowned for its first-class range of facilities and has played host to some of the leading names in sport and leisure over the years. La Manga Club hosted the Spanish Open Golf Championship five years in a row from

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JERRY KILBY CEO, CLUB MANAGERS ASSOCIATION OF EUROPE

1973-77 and has gone on to become one of Europe’s leading sports and leisure destinations. American legend Arnold Palmer was victorious at La Manga Club in the Spanish Open during his prime, Seve Ballesteros made his European Tour debut there before becoming its touring pro and world number one Luke Donald cut his golfing teeth at the venue at the tender age of nine on his way to stardom. In addition, as well as offering a wide selection of sports academies to children, the resort has been hosting the Lee Westwood Golf Academy, Real Madrid Football Camp and Daley Thompson Athletics Academy this summer where budding sports stars of the future can improve their skills. La Manga Club has grown its membership over the years, in line with the development of residential properties on the complex – there are now over 2,100 homeowners and their families at La Manga, and many of these are club members, using the golf, tennis and other sports and leisure facilities on the complex. Homeowners are typically sports lovers from the major cities of Spain and from all over Europe, with large groups of UK, Swedish and Germans who either live on-site permanently or have holiday homes around the La Manga estate. La Manga Club is very popular with northern Europeans, who find the mild winters in this part of the Spanish Mediterranean very pleasant. The business model is as a semi-private club and resort, and although the club finds itself in challenging economic times right now, the resort


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and club facilities are busy year-round and are constantly being improved and maintained to the highest standards. La Manga Club boasts unrivalled facilities as a sport and leisure venue and is located between the low hills that separate the Mediterranean from the Mar Menor Sea, just 20 minutes from Murcia airport and an hour from Alicante. Set out over an area of some 560 hectares (approx. 1,400 acres), it enjoys a mild year-round Mediterranean climate and offers visitors a prestigious five-star hotel, luxury vacation apartments and extensive sports facilities, including three championship golf courses, a 28-court tennis centre and eight grass sports pitches. The resort is also home to innumerable leisure facilities, such as the 2,000m2 Spa La Manga Club with its 13 luxurious treatment rooms, comprehensive fitness centre and 25m indoor swimming pool; meeting, banqueting and incentive facilities, and more than 20 restaurants and bars. La Manga Club has hosted both Davis and Federation Cup tennis matches, the Spanish Open golf championship and regularly attracts professional and international football teams to the first-class year-round training facilities, which are also used by rugby and cricket sides. As a result of almost 40 years of continued investment, innovation and commitment to excellence, La Manga Club is widely recognized as Spain’s flagship resort and as one of the finest sports and lifestyle destinations in the world.

Numerous awards and accolades and its membership of the luxury Preferred Hotel Group is evidence of this. “We are very proud to be celebrating our 40th anniversary this year. It is thanks to the dedication of our staff and the loyalty of our customers - many of whom have returned to visit us year after year and, indeed, generation after generation - that La Manga Club has become the world-renowned resort that it is today. And, as the saying goes, ‘life begins at 40’ so we hope to continue to bring enjoyment to our clients for many years to come,” enthused Antonio Ros, La Manga Club general manager. La Manga Club was the region of Murcia’s candidate to bring the 2015 Solheim Cup to Spain. The resort has long been a staunch supporter of women’s golf. It is currently the official overseas resort partner of the English Women’s Golf Association and in the second year of a three-year agreement to host the Ladies European Tour (LET) Qualifying School. La Manga Club is also the venue for the Ladies Murcia Open, an LET Access Series event, and regularly hosts top women’s amateur events and teams. B R Jerry Kilby is chief executive officer, Club Managers Association of Europe, based in London, Eng. He can be reached via email: jerry.kilby@cmaeurope.plus.com www.cmaeurope.org

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C U L I N A R Y A N D C AT E R I N G

Maximizing the 2012 Holiday Season MOST CLUBS THAT ARE LOOKING TO ACHIEVE A CATERING FINANCIAL GOAL BY YEAR END REALIZE THAT WITHOUT “GOOD TO GREAT” REVENUES IN DECEMBER, THEY CANNOT HIT THAT GOAL.

Most of the catering and special events industry has caught on that starting your “prep” in July is the best way to avoid that last minute rush and to finish the year strong, but do not despair! Even if you are starting now, there are some great ways to make up much needed holiday revenue. Before launching into your holiday marketing, you must do an evaluation of where you stand. Here are some questions from which to springboard: 1. Check out your pricing and your competition’s pricing. Are you priced competitively for your market level? 2. How is your member networking and community awareness? Is it as strong and visible as it could be? How can you increase visibility? Start now! 3. Is what you offer and is your marketing position in alignment to current conditions? Are you being realistic? Do you offer fun, budget-aware ideas for events on a budget and do-it-yourself party ideas? 4. What up-sells and unique ideas can you build in that will satisfy the multiple needs of your clients in one booking? (Look to the latest trends for great up-sell ideas!) 5. Do you have new holiday menus prepared that take advantage of December’s freshest ingredients and also reflect holiday themes and trends? Another important factor to consider when creating or upselling your holiday offerings is the state of the corporate event market. Corporate events are one of the leading indicators to the type of holiday season we will have in the special events industry. If corporate events are on a positive trend, holiday events will likewise be strong and vice versa. The good news is that the corporate event market is in a full upswing trend and companies are spending more now than in the past four years.

38 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

LYNNE LAFOND DELUCA VICE PRESIDENT, BEVERLY CLARK HOSPITALITY TRAINING

Also, one of the biggest corporate initiatives right now in the decision to book an event is the return on investment (ROI) of that event. What will hosting that event ultimately mean to a company? Better client relations and therefore increased revenues? Better employee moral and training and therefore increased sales because of happier and well-trained employees? Our marketing messages for the holiday season need to be crafted around this philosophy of the ROI that an event will bring to a company. Anticipating the needs and outcomes of your event hosts will help to affirm their buying decision to host their event with you. Lastly, never forget about the up-sell opportunities that the holiday season brings! What’s hot this year and a “musthave” up-sell? • Candy stations are still so popular and the more themed the better! • Ice – bars, carvings, drinks luges, rented ice skating rinks brought right to your club! • Everything mini – hors d’oeuvres, deserts, late night snacks. . . • Bling, sparkle and shine! From linens, to LED lighted draping, napkin rings and décor, this holiday season needs a lot of sparkle! • Lighting – lighting is such a HUGE trend – LED, candles, hanging lanterns, chandeliers, up-lighting, lighting draped walls to change the color – the choices are endless! Consult with the best local lighting company for fabulous ideas on how to transform your club! Happy Holiday party planning! B R Lynne LaFond DeLuca is the executive director of the Association of Club Catering Professionals and the SVP of Education for Beverly Clark Hospitality Training. For information on the only association dedicated to the educational needs of catering professionals in the private club industry, please visit www.TheACCP.com


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L AW A N D L E G I S L AT I O N

Club Requirements For Accessibility MANY PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT, OR THE ADA.

Amended in 2010, and the majority of the facilities accessibility standards (the “2010 Standards”) are now in effect. Private clubs and religious organizations are specifically exempt from the ADA’s Title III requirements for public accommodations. However, clubs that are not “purely private” run the risk that they might find themselves on the wrong end of an ADA complaint. That’s another reason to guard carefully your private status if you are a private club. Some states have adopted their own state version of the ADA, or have a state or local law or ordinance that defines any club with over a certain number of members as a “public accommodation.” Whether the ADA currently applies to your facility, or some variation by state or local law applies, it is worth having some information about accessible facilities and the current ADA laws.

ROBYN NORDIN STOWELL PARTNER, STINSON, MORRISON, HECKER

more resources are expected to remove more barriers than businesses with fewer resources. Readily achievable barrier removal may include providing an accessible route from a parking lot to the main entrance, installing an entrance ramp, widening a doorway, and installing accessible door hardware. When removing barriers, businesses are required to comply with the 2010 Standards to the extent possible. Determining what is readily achievable will vary from business to business and sometimes from one year to the next. Changing economic conditions can be taken into consideration in determining what is readily achievable. Although clubs have faced economic challenges recently, many still arguably have resources to address some of these issues. In some instances, especially in older buildings, it may not be readily achievable to remove some architectural barriers. A building with several steps to its entrance may be unable

The 2010 Standards contain new requirements for elements in existing facilities that were not addressed in the original 1991 Standards. These include recreation facilities such as swimming pools, play areas, and exercise machines. Because these are new areas, clubs that must comply should be clear on these requirements before they make any renovations that could trigger compliance. Even if you are not required to comply, ADA information might give you some good ideas on how your facility can be more welcoming to your disabled members and their guests. The ADA tries to strike a balance between increasing access for people with disabilities and the financial constraints many businesses face. It requires businesses to improve accessibility without excessive expense to their resources. The ADA requires that businesses remove architectural barriers in existing facilities when it is “readily achievable” to do so. Readily achievable means “easily accomplishable without much difficulty or expense.” This requirement is based on the size and resources of a business. So, businesses with 40 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

to install a ramp or a lift at that location. If the main entrance cannot be made accessible, perhaps an alternate accessible entrance can be used. If a facility was built or altered in the past 20 years in compliance with the 1991 Standards, or removed barriers to specific elements in compliance with those standards, it does not now have to comply with the 2010 Standards. This provision is referred to as the “safe harbor.” If a business now chooses to alter elements that were in compliance with the 1991 Standards, the safe harbor no longer applies to those elements. For example, if a business restripes its parking lot, which is considered an alteration, it must meet the


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ratio of van accessible spaces in the 2010 Standards. A private club that is not mandated to do so could nonetheless consider these standards when restriping its parking lot if feasible to accommodate its members and guests. The 2010 Standards contain new requirements for elements in existing facilities that were not addressed in the original 1991 Standards. These include recreation facilities such as swimming pools, play areas, and exercise machines. Because these are new areas, clubs that must comply should be clear on these requirements before they make any renovations that could trigger compliance. As a gracious host, you might consider in advance how you would welcome a disabled member or guest to your club facilities, whether or not you are required to comply with ADA. B R Robyn Nordin Stowell is a partner in the law firm Stinson Morrison Hecker in Phoenix, Arizona. Robyn can be reached at (602) 2128682 or by e-mail at rstowell@stinson.com.

ADA INFORMATION RESOURCES ADA Website - http://www.ADA.gov/ ADA Information Line - (800) 514-0301 “Reaching Out to Customers with Disabilities” explains the ADA’s requirements for businesses in a short 10-lesson online course http://www.ada.gov/reachingout/intro1.htm Internal Revenue Service For information on the Disabled Access Tax Credit (Form 8826) and the Section 190 tax deduction (Publication 535 Business Expenses): (800) 829-3676 (Voice) | http://www.irs.gov/ The 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design can be found at: http://www.ada.gov/2010ADAstandards_index.htm The U.S. Access Board also produces a number of documents on a wide range of accessibility-related topics which can be found at: http://www.access-board.gov For example, check “Guide to Updated ADA Standards” at: http://www.access-board.gov/ada/guide.htm

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H E A LT H A N D W E L L N E S S

Passport to Wellness Program Works

LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET YOUR MEMBERS MOVING AND ENJOYING A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE? TRY A PASSPORT TO WELLNESS.

“Our Wellness Program is not just about weight loss or achieving fitness goals,” says Kristi Bonsack, director of wellness at Longboat Key Club & Resort in Sarasota, FL. “It’s about incorporating all aspects of wellness into your life on a daily basis and using the tools that we offer to help achieve personal health, wellness and spiritual goals.” Longboat Key Club & Resort rolled out their Passport to Wellness program earlier this year for club members, resort guests and associates looking to maintain a healthy, stimulating lifestyle through an inspirational approach to well-being. The member roll-out includes a “Biggest Winner Challenge” that features a series of challenges, including: beachside exercises and stretching, a healthy-eating cook-off and healthy outdoor activities set during a time-frame to keep individuals motivated. It ends with an awards ceremony. The associate program, which can easily be adopted to a member program for private clubs offers participants a “Passport to Wellness” that tracks their progress as they participate in various aspects of the wellness program. Incentives are earned by participating in various programs including: Snack & Learn presentations, health screenings, associate fitness classes, volunteering at wellness activities, membership at an off-site gym, blood donations and participation in a weight loss program. Fitness boot camps are also offered to keep associates on track with their New Year’s resolutions. With both the member and associate programs, health 42 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

HEATHER ARIAS DE CORDOBA ASSOCIATE EDITOR BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

and nutrition are a key focus as diabetes and other weight related illnesses are on the rise nationally. “I have spent many years in the hospitality industry and this program is one that I am extremely proud to be rolling out at Longboat Key Club & Resort,” says general manager Michael Welly. “There are a variety of choices we can make on any given day. As we move our lives forward and realize the value of health, well-being and living a balanced lifestyle, I realize that this program is a reflection of the essence of what hospitality stands for.” Other program highlights include a guest speaker series presented in a cocktail reception format featuring a host of medical, health and lifestyle


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experts discussing topics that encourage an individual to lead a healthy, balanced and active life. Informational dine-arounds are hosted at the resort’s restaurants, where participants can learn how to read a menu, select and request healthy choices when dining out. The team at Longboat Key Club & Resort also offers guidance and insights on the basics of nutrition that let individuals dine-out with confidence and pleasure. “We are very excited about our new program, and believe we are presenting a dynamic concept that will become commonplace in our industry in the future,” says wellness director Bonsack. “Longboat Key Club & Resort is proud to be at the forefront of this important trend toward wellness and we are thrilled to embrace it in a very meaningful way. “We will be instrumental to helping individuals establish a path of wellness that will last a lifetime. When you think

about it, that is at the core of what hospitality stands for, making people feel good about themselves and relaxed in their environment. We believe our tagline represents the essence of our program – Embrace Wellness – enjoy a longer, happier and more active life.” B R

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CLUB MANAGEMENT

You Are A Director! What now? CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING ASKED TO SERVE ON YOUR CLUB’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS! THIS IS AN HONOR JUST AS MUCH AS IT IS WORK.

The time you spend on the board should be enjoyable, as you work in concert with other volunteer members and professional management for the betterment of the entire club. Making decisions that are consistently in the best interests of the club, both presently and in laying a sound foundation for the future, should always be foremost in every deliberation. A director’s job is not always easy. Directors must maintain a balance between transparency with the membership and confidentiality within the boardroom. While there is never anything to “hide”, during early deliberations, before consensus being reached, conversations should appropriately be kept within the confines of the

MICHAEL CRANDAL, CNG

any reprimand should be administered by the board and not the club staff who will obviously handle any day-to-day isolated infractions. • Employ a GM/COO who has the talent to accept responsibility and authority for successfully operating the entire club and to whom all department heads report directly. • Utilize an annual written performance review with the GM/COO. The president and vice president should play the primary roles in working directly with the GM/COO after first seeking the confidential input of all other board members. • Examine, give input, and ultimately approve realistic operating and capital budgets that are prepared and presented by the GM/COO in tandem with your finance committee. • Establish initiation fees, dues and assessments that must

Your role is to help guide your club. To do this effectively, concern yourself with the major policy concerns facing the club — not so much on daily operations. Many times a vocal minority’s input (top and bottom 10 percent) on an issue...may not reflect the vast majority of the club that could very well be quite satisfied with the status quo, or with necessary changes in policy to better prepare the club for the future. Be wary of a proclivity of some seeking the tail to wag the dog! club’s leadership. It can be damaging to everyone if a sensitive pending matter is “leaked” or if a potentially divisive (yet ultimately necessary) decision is allowed to be poorly presented. Respecting confidentiality is important at times in our own homes, in business and in charitable organizations. Your own private club is no exception. BASIC RESPONSIBILITIES

• Be thoroughly familiar with the bylaws and club rules. • Make and enforce rules of conduct. Should serious or repetitive behavior by a member infringe on club policies, 44 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

seamlessly interface with the approved budgets. Never “back-in” to a desired level of dues. • Acknowledge that postponing needed major improvements, or deferring any needed dues increases for even a few years in a row predictably causes “everything needing to be fixed at once.” This places a heavy burden on the membership in the form of seemingly significant dues increases or assessments. Don’t “kick the can down the road.” Get done what needs to be done. APPROVING BUDGETS

• The operating budget must have sufficient dues income to provide the level and availability of services and facilities


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that are desired by the membership. Any cutbacks should be very carefully scrutinized if being considered necessary to “balance the budget.” • The capital budget must reflect sufficient initiation and transfer fees to fund itself. • The capital reserve fund must be in keeping with the ongoing needs of addressing depreciation and replacement of existing club assets — never to be applied to any new projects or to subsidize club operations. • Any approved major new projects beyond the scope of any of these must be funded by assessment and/or debt according to the club bylaws. SUPPORT OF MANAGEMENT

• The GM/COO has full charge and control of business operations and of all club personnel, subject to the bylaws and the policies established by the board. • The GM/COO attends all board meetings in their entirety and is expected to give a comprehensive opening report (Executive Summary) near the top of every agenda. (They also attend all committee meetings and in both cases, either takes or causes to be taken, accurate summarized minutes.) • Reports directly to the club president and works in tandem with the full board. • Management prepares the annual budgets and, after finance committee and ultimate board approval, manages and controls the operations to attain the overall desired net result. WORKING FOR MEMBERSHIP

• Listen to members. Keep things in perspective. Appreciate that their perspective is their reality. Know your facts before you speak. • Your role is to help guide your club. To do this effectively, concern yourself with the major policy concerns facing the club — not so much on daily operations. • Many times a vocal minority’s input (top and bottom 10 percent) on an issue (while being very well intended) may not reflect the vast majority of the club that could very well be quite satisfied with the status quo, or with necessary changes in policy to better prepare the club for the future. Be wary of a proclivity of some seeking the tail to wag the dog! • Directors should not act independently of the board. Criticism should be expressed in private. After thorough discussion and analysis – clear thinking always prevails – the board as a whole is then able to move forward with confidence after all input has been heard. Feel free to discuss any ideas with the GM/COO who is intimately familiar with the workings of the club. • “Vote as an informed membership would vote today.” However, the issues of the future membership (thus the club itself ) must also be considered. The very best overall interests of the club must prevail.

While working with your fellow board members You have two major roles: • As a director provide your own input, opinions and judgment (and ultimately your vote) on all matters that require formal board action. • As a committee chair keep your committee focused and productive. Should your committee feels strongly enough about any issue, request to be on the agenda to formally present any recommendations to the board. COMMITTEES

• If a potential issue falls within the scope of a committee you chair have thorough analysis and discussion at that level and if deemed warranted, request time on the next board meeting agenda to succinctly report and make a solid recommendation to the board. • If a potential issue falls within the scope of a fellow board member’s committee, they will appreciate hearing about it and then they will follow through with the same process. • The president is an ex officio member of all committees and is invited to all meetings. They may not have time to attend every meeting during the year, and therefore relies on committee minutes and reports. • The president appoints chairpersons subject to confirmation by the board. • Committees have no authority to direct club staff. The board has the authority to set club policy. The GM/COO then has the responsibility to manage the day-to-day activities of the club in keeping with board approved policies. Those who ask if the private country club industry is changing are way behind the curve. Why? Because it already has changed. And it may never return to what it was in the days where all the board had to do was make simplistic popular policy adjustments every so often, and all management had to do was to occasionally make “low hanging operational fruit” decisions. Those days are gone. But for those clubs resourceful enough to make the strategic policies (the board) and operational (management) decisions necessary to reflect the times, there can be plenty of good days ahead. This is particularly true – now that you are a director. B R By the way, just in case you were wondering, the letters after our author’s name Michael Crandal — CNG stand for: Certified Nice Guy. Self-certified, by the way. But, a nice guy nonetheless. Michael has a 30-plus year career in club management and can be reached at mjcatexmor@aol.com. He and his wife, Kim, live in La Quinta, CA. www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-crandal/12/794/b85

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MEMBERSHIP MARKETING

Approaching Your Prospective Members - Part III By Ted Robinson “WHAT IS WORTH DOING IS WORTH THE TROUBLE OF ASKING SOMEBODY TO DO IT.” AMBROSE BIERCE

How do you approach the membership prospects you have identified? It’s the next step in the search for private club members and one effective process is similar to college fraternity and sorority recruitment. Earlier in Part I (The Boardroom Magazine January/February 2012) we discussed the critical brand position statement – assuring your club (the product) matches the market’s demand and defining your points of differentiation, and Part II (The Boardroom Magazine May/June 2012) addressed finding prospective members – from referrals by current members and available technology. There are a variety of other techniques, but whichever you select must be filtered through your club’s brand position statement. Your goal is to get them hooked – to get the prospective member to recognize the quality of life enhancement provided by your club and to get the prospect physically to the club where you can have their undivided attention. Your first step must be in deciding whether or not your club should create a special incentive such as a payment plan, unique application gift, reduced initiation fee, etc. Next you have to determine whether or not your current members are willing to engage in the membership process - recognizing that personal member-to-prospect invitations are always the most effective. If you get member “buy- in”, your next step is matching up current members with your prospects – determining which members know or have an acquaintance with any prospects. A good way to do this is may be by forming a committee (call it a membership, host, ambassador or something similar) as motivating groups is easier than encouraging individuals. Creating fun events to review prospect lists (with willing members) builds camaraderie and generates effective results. However, if you have limited member participation, you and your fellow department managers will have to fill these members’ roles. 46 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

In either case the process begins with a personal telephone call, followed by a snail mail invitation (direct mail) to visit the club for a special club introduction event where the prospect can meet with others “who may have an interest in joining with us.” The style and quality of the invitation again depends upon your brand – ranging from a simple postcard to an engraved formal invitation - and certainly includes your conventional, web and social media addresses. The invitation has to be closely followed by another personal call and perhaps an offer to drive the prospect to the club introduction event, and email reminders. Your event must be carefully orchestrated using a room that makes the event appear crowded; shows off the club’s positives and has impressive refreshments, along with a welcome speech from the club president. Be certain multiple prospects will be there as well as more host members than prospects (ideally 2:1) along with key department heads (GM, chef, professionals, superintendent, fitness, and catering). Every prospect must be with a member at all times (just like a fraternity or sorority rush smoker…probably not a politically correct term – but they sure were fun!). When each event is over convene the attending members and assign at least one member to follow up with each prospect, inviting them to dinner, tennis, golf or wherever the prospects’ interests lie. Ideally, this process will be repeated bi- monthly or more. Following up the member assignments and staying with each prospect by the membership director is critical and this may be where the term “herding cats” originated. As intense as it can be, creating this member-to-member approach provides the highest probability of successful membership marketing. B R Ted Robinson is a partner with Private Club Associates and can be reached at (478) 741 7996 or via email: tcr@privateclubassociates.com


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TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

Getting the Cloud Off the Ground Are the benefits sufficient for club IT environments?

THE CLOUD BUZZ IS ALL AROUND US. CLOUD-BASED APPLICATIONS ARE POPPING UP DAILY. ORGANIZATIONS LARGE AND SMALL ARE RUNNING KEY PORTIONS OF THEIR BUSINESSES WITH HOSTED SOLUTIONS.

WHAT DRIVES THE CLOUD?

organizations, the cloud’s benefits are significant, and satisfy needs/solve problems in a convenient and costeffective way. Those benefits are: • Allows access from any PC connected to the Internet, which makes access from other locations or while traveling a snap. • Reduces costs by eliminating expensive local network servers, related backup and security gear, and IT support labor. • Simplifies software updates, with the updates done on a remote server. • Improves data security and recovery by having the host be responsible for firewall and anti-virus protection, data backups and restoration of the data.

Like any technology, customer demand drives the growth of cloud solutions for business. For many

But how applicable are those benefits to the private club industry?

Hospitality companies (hotels, restaurants, resorts) are in the mix with hosted PMS, POS, reservations, accounting, payroll, web site and other solutions that perform some or all of the core functionality needed. But for private club management solutions…not so much. In fact, none of the major software players offer a club management solution developed from the ground up to be hosted in the cloud.

48 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

BILL BOOTHE

It allows access from any PC connected to the Internet, which makes access from other locations or while traveling a snap. This is by far the strongest benefit of the cloud — the ability to allow quick and easy access to a central database/application for employees in different physical locations, or for mobile sales or service forces. However, the vast majority of private clubs have a single physical location, if not a single building (the clubhouse), accommodating all of the club’s employees that need to access the club management solutions. A number of clubs have separate golf, tennis, pool or admin/realty buildings, but most of those are connected with fiber optic cabling. In addition, the vast majority of private clubs don’t have a significant number of personnel needing offsite access to the club management solutions. At most, a handful of users need occasional access, which is normally accommodated with secure VPN remote access to the server. So the vast majority of clubs would derive no significant benefit from the cloud’s remote connectivity feature. It reduces costs by eliminating expensive local network servers, related backup and security gear, and IT support labor. This is a great concept for a large retail organization, since it eliminates the need for IT technicians to administer and maintain the systems onsite.


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However, most private clubs have only two network servers. Typically, the servers are backed up with a simple tape or disk system, with a secondary online backup service. IT support is most often provided by a local company that responds to trouble calls, applies network software updates, installs new equipment and generally acts as the club’s IT department. The cost for that service is generally modest, and the life expectancy for the servers and related gear is generally five to seven years. Of course, external hosting services aren’t free; there is a fee associated with providing the equipment and services needed to replace the local presence of a network server. From our experience with more than 300 clubs across North America, we’re not convinced that the potential cost savings will be greater than the additional cost associated with external hosting of the server. So a good majority of private clubs would derive no significant benefit from the cloud’s cost reduction feature. It simplifies software updates – they’re all done on a remote server. Here is a cloud feature that companies of all sizes and complexions can appreciate. Keeping the network software up-to-date is important to maintaining the latest security safeguards and operational features needed for secure and reliable operations. For most private clubs the local IT support company performs this task for network updates, and may not be done on a timely basis. For the club management software solutions, most clubs depend on the controller or another employee to apply the updates, although some software providers will remotely apply the needed updates as part of their support plan. In most cases, the update process would be more reliable and timely if it was the responsibility of a cloud provider. So the majority of clubs could derive a benefit from the cloud’s remote software updates feature. It improves data security and recovery by having the host be responsible for firewall and anti-virus protection, data backups and restoration of the data. Here is another cloud feature that should please most companies. For the typical private club, the firewall and anti-virus systems are managed by an outside IT company, and may not be maintained on a regular basis. The arrangement for data backups and storage of the club’s data is most often the responsibility of the controller or other club employee. We continue to be amazed at the lack of due diligence by many clubs in assuring that their critical data is backed up and properly secured. So the majority of clubs could derive a benefit from the cloud’s data security and recovery features. Are the benefits sufficient to drive the club industry to the cloud? Not so far.

As noted, the top two benefits, remote user access and cost reductions, are a non-factor for most private clubs. That leaves simplified software updates and data security and recovery to attract clubs to the cloud. But are those two benefits really only available from the cloud? Not at all. A qualified local IT provider can easily and inexpensively monitor the club’s local network servers and related equipment and remotely perform the services offered by a cloud provider. In addition, there is the proverbial “elephant in the room” that the cloud advocates fail to talk about — the Internet itself. With its inherent reliability problems, the Internet stands as a major roadblock to cloud viability for missioncritical club management operations such as food and beverage, point of sale, retail POS, tee time check-ins and hotel front desk operations. Clubs with anything less than near-perfect Internet uptime are likely to shy away from an online-hosted solution for these member-centric activities. STAY GROUNDED FOR NOW

At best, most private clubs would benefit from the cloud’s two least valuable features (both of which can be provided by a local IT source). At worst, the cloud would make clubs dependent upon an unreliable operations platform that is completely out of the control of the hosting company and the club. Hosted solutions are great for a number of club applications – payroll, tee times and dining reservations, web sites, even back office accounting. As long as the application doesn’t have a member or guest depending on its performance, the cloud makes some sense. But for mission-critical operations like POS, tee time check-in and front desk, the use of the cloud is problematic. To justify the cloud, you need a resilient solution (which doesn’t exist for clubs), and redundant Internet service with auto failover (which adds significantly to the expense). At the moment, the balance sheet doesn’t look good for wide acceptance of the cloud in the private club industry. That could change when (and if ) resiliency makes its way into mission critical club software applications. Until then, for most private clubs, the cloud is far off on the horizon. B R Bill Boothe (bboothe@boothegroup.com) is president of The Boothe Group, LLC that offers consulting advice expressly for the private club industry. Written for Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Learn more at www.hftp.org.

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MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE

Membership A Process Or an Event? IT’S PRETTY AMAZING THAT OVER THE YEARS PRIVATE CLUBS HAVE ESSENTIALLY “GROWN-UP” BELIEVING THAT SALES AND MARKETING CAN BE A PASSIVE PROCESS OR ANNUAL EVENT.

Too many clubs have evolved thinking that marketing was the purview of the membership committee or thinking that their golf course was so superior to the competition that potential members would simply “beat a path” to their front door. As recent articles suggest, and history has proven, this business model and way of thinking is misguided, it’s broken and it needs to be changed before it’s too late. As an example of process versus event, your grounds department has a process in which the staff knows exactly the time of year to apply pre-emergent, post-emergent, overseeding and any number of other applications to keep the grass and grounds green and playable. While the green committee might provide philosophical guidelines and maybe even specifications for the rough heights and speed of the greens, the committee does not do the scheduling and does not build the process of making it happen. And make no mistake…it is well thought out and planned process. Now let’s look at membership. Clearly the lifeblood of the club. At your club is it process driven or event driven? Do you consistently evaluate market conditions and react accordingly? Do you plan and execute pre-planned marketing activities to attract and demonstrate what the club lifestyle is all about? Does every staff member ‘touching’ a member or potential member understand their role and responsibility to the marketing process? Is there a system of accountability or evaluations of performance in this capacity? Unless you’re delusional, nine out of 10 clubs reading this question must answer no. Most mid-range clubs 50 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

RICK COYNE CEO, PCMA

today, and even higher end clubs without a plan are relying on the annual “deals” to replenish members lost to attrition. So, again in perspective, what if the grounds department only applied herbicides, pesticides or other applications once a year? It’s quite likely that the result would be as catastrophic as treating membership marketing as an annual or semi-annual event, but instead of loss of capital, loss of integrity and the other by-products of selling short, you’d likely lose your golf course. Do you have a “process” for communications that is preplanned and executed? Is there someone accountable? These questions are not so abstract as you might think. Every person on the grounds crew knows daily what they are supposed to do, each and every day, and without fail. The department head holds them accountable for their performance standards. In general, we would hope that similar standards are set up in accounting/administration, food and beverage and most of the other departments, but are they? Perhaps a larger question is this: Even if there are processes set up in each department, do they interconnect in any meaningful way, or are they acting as independent silos potentially even working at odds with one another? Who integrates systems’ capabilities? Are your systems aligned to benefit all of the departments in terms of management and communications? What is your business model? If like most clubs, you want a robust membership, member utilization, and the resulting revenues, is there any one department that can achieve this objective over another? Likely not…! If we look at other businesses, particularly service-oriented operations, we generally find that sales and marketing are the primary and foundational element of their existence. This of course, translates into high level and consistent customer SEE PCMA - PAGE 141


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GETTING YOUR BOARD ON BOARD

How Does Your Board of Directors Measure Up? HOW DOES YOUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEASURE UP WHEN COMPARED TO WIDELY ACCEPTED CRITERIA FOR EVALUATING THE MOST EFFECTIVE BOARDS OF DIRECTORS? THESE 14 CRITERIA ARE ALL “MUSTS” FOR TODAY’S CLUBS AND NEGLECTING EVEN ONE OF THEM CAN LIMIT YOUR CLUB’S SUCCESS.

1. Clarity of boards’ functions and responsibilities: Bylaws and individual position descriptions: If the complete and detailed functions and activities of your club’s directors are not clearly detailed in your club’s bylaws and/or a policy document available to every member, this is a serious breach of effective club governance, member empowerment and transparency. 2. Effective director selection/election procedures: Not all members are qualified, able or willing to serve as directors at any given time. Identifying the “most” qualified, able and willing to serve the current and ever changing and specific needs of the club is a serious and important task. 3. Effective director preparation/orientation program: Increasingly, individuals need specific training to comply with laws and regulations applicable to most clubs, club programs and club assets. Failure to orient the new/incoming directors and officers is among the most irresponsible and wasteful things we can do. 4. Reliable procedures for maintaining currency and completeness of club’s governance documents and records: Club bylaws, articles of incorporation, policy documents, budgets, strategic plans and related documents require perpetual maintenance just to be consistent with routine actions of boards and changes in laws affecting nonprofit organizations. Compliance failures of clubs to fulfill their obligations to even their own members can have dire consequences. 5. Effective and perpetually utilized methods for detecting and anticipating changes in member preferences, priorities and demographics: Being aware of changing member needs, wants and expectations has always been a challenge. But the frequency and speed of such change is increasing and clubs, which prosper give a high priority to perpetually detecting and adjusting to such change. 52 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

CHARLES D. RUMBARGER

6. Reliable procedures for promptly effecting change when a majority of members support change: As they age, many clubs are prone to preserve the past versus facilitate the future. The older the membership, especially the board of directors, the more likely the board is to “honor traditions” and “preserve what is special about the club.” While “traditions” and “specialness” have their place in clubs, care must be taken to assure clubs don’t become “ruled from the grave.” This known tendency combined with the equally usual tendency “to table it until the next meeting” can be a deadly formula for failing to act fast enough even when changes are noticed. 7. Formal and effective procedure for transitions from one administration to another without losing governance knowledge or program momentum: Frequent turnover of officers and directors is usual in most well managed clubs. And, frequent turnover has advantages such as maximizing member involvement and interest. However, for frequent leadership turnover to work, clubs must assure that ever-changing board members are properly oriented, integrated and prepared to function properly. “On the job training” and “surprise you are in charge” are not sufficient procedures to facilitate effective club leadership and governance. 8. Effective, broadly understood leadership development and renewal program: Capable, informed leaders of volunteer membership organizations don’t just create themselves and experience in business and other “chain of command” communities is often not helpful to prepare for club leadership. Developing an ongoing supply of individuals who can lead and govern without the authority to hire, fire or threaten followers must be a club priority, and adequate funds and effort has to be specifically allocated to the task. 9. Perpetual and reliable system for detecting forces and trends impacting the club and its members: The speed of change impacting organizations and their members is unprecedented. Clubs and other organizations, which once touted their permanency and predictability, have had to reorient themselves to become researchers, detectors, interpreters and facilitators of change.


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Keeping up with our members is not good enough. We have to get ahead of change and anticipate what members will want, need and expect in order to have programs in place and help them deal with what will be coming. If we don’t, for-profit enterprises in every sector will do it, at our expense. 10. Pervasive and perpetually reinforced commitment to membership satisfaction and retention: New member promotion is a perpetual challenge, but member retention yields a far superior cost-benefit ratio. 11. Effective, timely, multi-method, two-way communication program meeting the expectations of all club stakeholders: Effective communication is the “lubricant”, the delivery system, the invisible facilitator, the universal determinant of all of our successes and failures. 12. Individually and collectively act, govern and represent the club and its members in an exemplary manner: It may be an old fashioned notion, but research supports the fact that a club’s reputation is its most valuable asset. Many things contribute to and detract from a club’s reputation, but the performance of a club’s board of directors and other “agents” is among the most important. Having high standards for selection and performance of club leadership cannot be over-emphasized or over-valued. A lack of such standards or a failure to maintain such standards is a major failing.

13. Creation and utilization of a dues/costs distribution formula supported by a majority of members and adequately financing current club needs: Perceived cost fairness is the second most important and determinate ingredient in achieving desired membership retention rates in voluntary membership communities. 14. Build responsible reserves: A club’s durability and its capacity to take advantage of opportunities are dependent upon a board building assets over and above required operating expenses. At the same time, burdening current members with costs, which do not result in or translate into current member benefits can distort the members’ cost-benefit position to a degree that making and sustaining adequate current members impossible. Current members should not be taxed to bear the costs of future member benefits but over time exceptional problems and opportunities will confront every club. Responsible boards will build and maintain financial reserves as a basic and required obligation of directors. B R Charles D. Rumbarger CAE is president, Organization Guidance Group LLC and can be reached at (301) 294-6266 or via email: cdrumbarger@comcast.net

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Social Media and the Private Club The Need and Their Use FRIENDSTER, MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, YOUTUBE, LINKEDIN, FLICKR, FOURSQUARE, PINTEREST…

Over the past several years, a variety of social media platforms and tools have risen with fad-like fervor – and some have already fallen. But social media is no fad. The integration of social media and other digital technologies in the lives of individuals of all ages in every socio-economic class throughout the world is well-established, and their continued growth and expansion are inexorable. As these technologies continue to advance, organizations of all types – including social and professional clubs – are feeling increasing pressure to establish and manage

a presence in cyberspace, and engage in digital communication and collaboration activities that complement their traditional outreach and interaction approaches. It’s a brave new world – even if you want the old one back! The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA), through Premier Club Services, recently published a white paper on social media, which delves into the need for their use in private clubs; how to use them to enhance member engagement; how they impact legal, tax and private club status issues; and their use by employees. These white paper essays bring together the thoughts and perspectives of a range of professionals who are affiliated with the club industry, including attorneys, a tax expert, a club administrator, a graphic artist/designer and a consultant and thought leader. These essays address both challenges and opportunities and provide guidance for club managers to determine the best approaches to moving forward. Here’s a brief synopsis of each: • Private social networks: Why your club needs one and how to get started. Courtney Shelton Hunt, Ph.D., provides an overview of the risks associated with public platforms and describes how private social networks can reduce those risks while also enhancing communication and collaboration among members and staff. Different options are introduced for creating a private social network, and guidance is offered for evaluating the options and selecting the best solution. • Launching The Briar Club’s social media website. Casey Newman offers a case study that describes how The Briar Club integrated social technologies into its communication efforts, beginning with the development of a strategic communication plan. It includes specific tactics for developing both the public and private aspects of the club’s website. • Driving participation: New media marketing for member engagement. Beth S. Brodovsky offers specific recomSEE CMAA - PAGE 141

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BoardRoom magazine Recognizes 20 Private Club Presidents of the Year By Dave White, Editor, BoardRoom magazine

Private Club Presidents of the Year major sponsor Kopplin & Kuebler For the fourth year BoardRoom magazine is recognizing the top 20 club presidents and chairs as Private Club Presidents of the Year – 2011. These board presidents or chairs, who have served as their club’s volunteer leader, are being recognized for practicing what they preach – leadership for the betterment of their clubs. “The Private Club President of the Year nominations attracts some of the most outstanding club presidents and it behooves BoardRoom to give these club volunteers the recognition they have earned,” exclaimed BoardRoom publisher, John Fornaro. Private club board presidents play a huge role in the professional operations of their club as a volunteer working diligently with their board of directors and general managers, striving for well informed, but not emotional decisions. These outstanding presidents exemplify the focus on the leadership responsibilities, the accountability and the management of the board, providing a healthy respect for the club’s macromanagement. They understand the importance of working, effectively and efficiently, with their volunteer boards and the dedication that’s required from everyone with whom they work. Systems along do not insure a good board. Key elements include commitment, competence, diversity, collective decision making, openness, transparency, effective communication with management and the membership, fiscal responsibility, development and establishment of the club’s mission, vision and policy direction, especially through establishment of a strategic plan. A successful board president draws upon the expertise of other board members, the club’s institutional memory and stewardship of the club’s resources and ensures new board members receive the orientations they require to effectively perform as board members. In this continuing series, BoardRoom introduces another four of the top 20 presidents for 2011.

Four club president profiles on page 58 & 59

Ferry, Hayes & Allen

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POLAR


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Top Private Club President Who is your choice as the top private club board president? Many people and companies associated with the private club industry are given due recognition for their accomplishments, and now BoardRoom magazine is focusing on selection and recognition of the Private Club Board President of the Year. BoardRoom magazine, through a nomination and selection process, will honor 20 board president finalists worldwide and one prestigious Private Club Board President of the Year Award. Top Board President Selection Process The top 20 private club board president finalists will be selected by a BoardRoom committee comprised of industry experts and sponsors, who can make an expert judgment, who have an understanding of the industry, the structure of the board of directors, and the role and responsibilities of a club’s board of directors. A third party accounting firm will audit results. Special Section Announcement A special section published in BoardRoom magazine will be devoted to the announcement of the top regional club presidents and the “Private Club Board President of the Year.”

Entry and Deadline Visit www.boardroommagazine.com to download the criteria and application form. Entries must be submitted no later than Thursday, November 15, 2012. For further information contact John Fornaro (949) 376-8889 or johnf@apcd.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM

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MARK M. HILL, PRESIDENT | THE KIRTLAND COUNTRY CLUB | WILLOUGHBY, OH*

MARK HILL, PRESIDENT

RICHARD L. LAROCCA, GM*

* Our apologies to Mr. Richard L. LaRocca for running the wrong photo in the July/August 2012 issue of BoardRoom magazine. This bio is a reprint from last issue with the updated photo. As Kirtland Country Club’s President, Mark Hill has maintained strength through an economically tough time and as a result, the club has continued to flourish. Hill instituted the club’s strategic planning and has played a key role in memorializing the club’s mission, vision and core values. He also established a long-range plan to help strengthen the club’s capital base for future long-term projects. A member of Kirtland Country Club since 1989, Mark Hill has been on the board since 2004. He previously has been the membership chair, and vice president before assuming the presidency in 2010. “Mark Hill is the Kirtland Country Club’s biggest advocate; ask anyone in the Cleveland area,” commented the club’s general manager Richard L. LaRocca. “His energy and enthusiasm for the

club extend beyond its facilities and encompass the entire membership and staff communities. “His driving skill is his ability to build consensus and move the club forward, which is no easy task in the private club environment. He welcomes a ll opinions and considers them equally during the decision-making process. He has focused the club on the importance of following through on its overall mission. When we look back in 10 years, the success of Kirtland Country Club will be directly related to the foundation Mark strengthened during his presidency,” LaRocca added. “Mark has the ability to objectively listen to varied feedback on any numbe r of issues from members. His ability to compile this information and make subsequent informed and sensible decisions has been a valuable skill and part of his success as president,” added the club’s vice president Brian C. Zollar. “Mark Hill is the consummate representative of Kirtland,” said director Rex G. Mason, in commenting on Hill’s selection as one of BoardRoom’s top 20 top presidents. “He makes himself available to anyone in the club, easily considers new ideas, and engages with members, management, and all of the Kirtland employees. He brings an energy and willingness to confront issues that has set the club on new paths. And he does it all with a great sense of humor and good will that everyone at Kirtland appreciates.” A graduate of Gilmour Academy and Denison University, Hill is married with four children, and an avid golfer, tennis and paddle tennis player. Mark, vice president with the family-owned national firm, Gilbane Building Company, has been in the construction industry for 30. He is involved with numerous Cleveland area charities, including Cleveland Food Bank, Boys Hope, GoodWill, and ASPEA. B R

CHET KRONENBERG, PRESIDENT | MULHOLLAND TENNIS CLUB | LOS ANGELES, CA “Chet has served as president for two years and has done an exemplary job,” said David Geha, a Mulholland club member in nominating Kronenberg as one of BoardRoom magazine’s top private club presidents. Under Chet’s leadership, the club has grown significantly, is in excellent financial shape and has benefitted from Kronenberg’s ability as a consensus builder. These have included a review CHET KRONENBERG, PRESIDENT by Reid Consulting Group of the club’s operations, resulting in the board implementing recommended changes. Kronenberg enacted personnel changes, without significant outcry from the membership, allowing the board to focus on policy and guidelines, leaving the day-to-day operations to professional management. Mulholland Tennis Club has embarked on a number of capital improvements, including renovation of the tennis courts, pool, gym, locker rooms and parking lot…improvements that have been made without incurring debt, while maintaining adequate reserves.

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Programming, particularly for children, also expanded under Chet’s watch, including a swim team program, established for the first time. And the club has been working with the United States Tennis Association to ensure the club’s tennis pros are up to date on the USTA’s new 10 and under tennis program. “Chet has been a strong proponents of transparency,” Geha added. “ We now hold two general meetings a year rather than one and have open meetings to present new capital improvement projects.” Kronenberg is also a proponent of “enacting written rules, so there can be no claim of arbitrary decision making.” To this end, the club implemented a procedure whereby MTC’s rules are reviewed, amended as appropriate and circulated to the membership every six months. President Kronenberg has worked to increase the club’s profile both regionally and nationally, is chair of the legal committee of the Southern California Tennis Association and periodically writes articles for BoardRoom magazine. “Chet’s been a successful board president because he loves MTC,” Geha added. “He’s been accessible to members and always acts in the best interest of the club. His initiatives will serve the club well into the next decade.” And for these reasons, Chet Kronenberg is one of BoardRoom top private club presidents for 2011. B R


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ROBERT W. KUMMER, JR., PRESIDENT | BIRNAM WOOD GOLF CLUB | MONTECITO, CA

ROBERT W. KUMMER, JR., PRESIDENT

MICHAEL GARDNER, GM

Robert Kummer’s service as president arose because of a unique situation in late 2010. Within 60 days of the end of the fiscal year, the President-Elect removed himself from taking the reins of the presidency. Birnam Wood Golf Club, which constitutes a 142 home enclave in Montecito, California featuring a Robert Trent Jones golf course, cottages, tennis courts, croquet facilities and an historical societydesignated clubhouse, had to consider alternatives. Requesting Kummer’s return to the presidency became the best possible answer. He served as president in 2000-2002. With what was essentially a cold start in the midst of a crisis of leadership, President Kummer delivered the best year of governance, fiscal performance and leadership the club has experienced in years.

His hallmark accomplishments included a new member initiative with more than 50 new members joining the club, and an actual versus budget fiscal performance improvement of $420,000. Initiation fees for the year reached $1,900,000. Kummer spearheaded the member survey and subsequent development of the clubhouse renovation project that was completed within 60 days of his becoming president. His success in establishing member confidence in his vision was evidenced with bond offerings oversubscribed twofold. Kummer will not do the job of the management team. When approached by a member who is asking him to make an operational decision, his reply is: “No, that’s the job of management.” At the outset of his term, he established board consensus setting clear and realistic goals for the GM/COO. All goals were reviewed mid-year and at the conclusion of the fiscal year for the first time in the GM’s tenure. In addition to club goals, Kummer assured board support of the GM/COO’s personal goals. Member satisfaction has been the driving force President Kummer. This is a club president whose leadership style insists on transparency, a style very effective at Birnam Wood because the membership is a unique group of distinctly successful leaders; they know good leadership and will support any endeavor or organization that has a good leader. Making decisions based wholly on member satisfaction, allowing a group of professionals to manage the operations of the club, setting the foundation for continued expansion of the membership rolls and leaving office with rock-solid cash reserves and operating plans are all reasons why Robert Kummer is one of BoardRoom’s top private club presidents. B R

ARTHUR M. SCULLY, III, PRESIDENT | FOX CHAPEL GOLF CLUB | PITTSBURGH, PA

ARTHUR M. SCULLY, III, PRESIDENT

LAWRENCE ‘SKIP’ AVERY, GM/COO

After 11 years on the board of directors of Fox Chapel Golf Club, and Arthur Scully’s term of service expiring in December 2009, the club received word that the newly elected president was to be relocated. Without hesitation, Scully, a Fox Chapel member since 1988, agreed to extend his term and serve as president. He assessed the club’s challenges and opportunities and put together a list of priorities that he thought the board and club leadership needed to address to stay relevant in its Pittsburgh market. First, Scully felt the board should enhance communications with the membership. He recognized the club’s significant competition from other area clubs, and the need for retention of existing members and attraction of new members who had different perceptions about the place a club has or does not have in their lives. Early in his tenure, President Scully appointed a four person-board working group to comprehensively assess all aspects of membership, resulting in changes that have significantly enhanced retention

of existing members, attraction of new members and updated membership categories and admissions processes. He also focused on some of the club’s other challenges: 1. Engaging the full board in a dialogue regarding the club’s mission. 2. Identifying key strategic priorities, and 3. Taking the “journey” to achieve consensus regarding the GM/COO management model, now in place. The board’s call to action is described as “What…Not How”, the board develops strategies and management and staff professionals determine how to implement the strategies and objectives. Scully is also a strong believer of getting the ‘right people on the bus’ and wants to make sure that they have the tools to get the club done. He believes in professional development and ongoing training. “I’ve been in the club industry management for nearly 31 years, have worked at nine clubs and currently serve as president of the CMAA,” said general manager/COO Lawrence ‘Skip’ Avery. “I’ve seen many different types of presidents with very different skill sets, and believe that Mr. Scully is the one of the best president’s I have ever worked with.” President Scully has been able to lead the club based on his passion of making the Fox Chapel Golf Club the best it can be while upholding the club’s value and mission. He has also built the confidence in the membership. He leads the board by building a consensus. However, he never lets the debate and discussion take over the process; he is focused on the result. He also believes in educating the board, making sure that the board has the tools to lead. While this is not an easy or fast process for a club founded in 1923, President Scully thinks all the right pieces are in place, all of which should lead Fox Chapel to become a more relevant club with an exciting future. B R


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TECHNOLOGY

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ABACUS 21

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… Or so they say IT’S PROBABLY AN UNDERSTATEMENT WHEN IT COMES TO CLUB AND RESORT MANAGERS AND THEIR MEMBERS AND CUSTOMERS.

Today, club leadership has less and less time for details. They need to see the essence of the situation at a

glance… BUT, if it catches their fancy, or raises concerns, they want easy access to the details. Their Information should be OnDemand… and better yet, the information should be “pushed” to them. They should be notified personally of any significant happenings on the fly – so that they don’t have to “remember to check.” It’s kind of like being able to “have their cake… and eat it too”… without having to bother to order it in the first place. That’s why Abacus 21, a provider of systems for clubs, resorts and homeowner associations, is focusing on Dashboards, charts and email, text

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BUTCH LESNIAK

messages, or web feed notifications, that are “triggered” by managementmember preferences. We are providing more individuallystructured ‘collections’ of information (from various operational and financial areas of the business) presented in a pictorial, highlighted form, with drilldown to details upon request, and with provisions to push-or-seek these types of informational presentations to the web, smart phone, or tablet. Our quest is to give them a Pretty Picture, with a link to the Thousand Words of detail – all in the palm of their hands. B R


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TECHNOLOGY

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CLUB BENCHMARKING

Comprehensive Management Tool Confidently and Strategically Keeps Your Club on Track RAY CRONIN

DATA EQUALS CLARITY

Boards and club executives need data to effectively oversee and manage their clubs. Historically, data shared among clubs was done in an ad-hoc, redundant, and non-standardized manner. Now there’s a better way. Much like cell phones have changed the effectiveness and efficiency of our communications, Club Benchmarking has forever altered the way clubs share knowledge and best practices. Our online, industry-wide database of over 1,000 clubs gives you access to a standardized and comprehensive management tool delivering the critical data, ratios, and key performance indicators needed to confidently and strategically keep your club on track. Boardroom discussions are often deficient in one common, yet critical area - the lack of real facts and data. Unlike the business world experience of most board members, the club boardroom typically struggles with a lack of data. This gap is often filled with perception and opinion, leading to unproductive and frustrating discussions and a lack of alignment. The presence of validated, accurate and

graphical information shifts the dialogue to a very clear and precise understanding of a club’s operational and financial standing. All information is automatically and graphically presented relative to the best practices of the club industry. Strategic benchmarking goes beyond simply comparing financial or operational details. • Be strategic, not tactical - use critical ratios and key performance indicators • Be proactive, not reactive - understand where you are and where you are headed • Be confident in club decisions - data brings confidence and alignment • Insight - use the available cash model to illuminate your club’s business model Join the more than 1,000 clubs using Club Benchmarking to better understand and manage their club. B R Contact us at info@clubbenchmarking.com to learn more or schedule an online demo. www.clubbenchmarking.com

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TECHNOLOGY

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C L U B S O F T WA R E

Cloud Software and Co-location Hosting Takes a Huge Step Forward THIS YEAR, CLUB SOFTWARE INC. (CSI) LAUNCHED SEVERAL OF ITS SOFTWARE MODULES IN AN ALL-NEW CLOUD-BASED APPLICATION PACKAGE – A DIFFERENT DIRECTION THAN THE OLD MS CLIENT SERVER METHOD CURRENTLY USED BY MANY CLUBS.

Three major factors drive this The Cloud-based solution. • First, we wanted to cut down on the hassles and expense of installing a new PC. • Second, involves dealing with the wide skill set of the club’s technical support teams. Outside firms have no incentive to improve the club’s environment because it may cut down on their revenue. In-house employees don’t simplify for various reasons such as job security or a lack of vision. • The third factor is file server organization. We’ve taken control over the organization of the file server so there is uniformity with our clients. This saves time and money, in the form of capital expenditures and tech support fees. We now recommend a thin client solution versus a PC. This cuts a

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TERRY W. HACKETT

club’s capital expenditures for PCs by 50 percent or more. We also recommend MS’s terminal services formerly referred to as “Remote Desktop.” This allows club employees to work anywhere and their desktop will look the same as when they’re at the club. Since our software is Cloudbased, all POS and Timekeeping modules run in a standard browser environment – no MS licenses needed. CSI is the first company to release Cloud software that has been totally re-written from scratch. This means clubs can host their file server at our co-location facilities for a flat monthly fee. No more decisions when the file server needs updating, we handle that automatically for you every five years. And thanks to all the staff at the Piedmont Driving Club in Atlanta, GA for their cooperation during beta testing! B R Terry W. Hackett is president of Club Software Inc. based in Atlanta, GA and offices in Dallas, TX. Terry can be reached at (404) 815-4848 or at terry_hackett@clubsoftwareinc.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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CLUBTEC

At the Intersection of High Tech and High Touch By Teri Finan PRIVATE CLUBS WILL ALWAYS BE IN THE “HIGH TOUCH” BUSINESS OF PROVIDING PERSONAL SERVICE TO THEIR MEMBERS, BUT OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES TECHNOLOGY DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR PRIVATE CLUBS HAS CERTAINLY MADE IT A LOT EASIER TO KEEP THINGS RUNNING SMOOTHLY.

Club websites, the point where members come into direct contact with that “high tech” aspect, may be one of the most important of those developments. For members, your website is a home base that gives them access to their club, 24/7 from anywhere on the Internet planet. For non-members, it is often their first impression of your club. In terms of look, feel and function, a visit to a private club’s website should be a direct reflection of what its members expect to experience when they walk through the front door of the clubhouse. Many of us have grown accustomed to technologies that help us manage our busy lives. It’s become second nature to order tickets, pay bills and check your calendar online. Don Williams, president of ClubTec said his company added a website product called WebTec to their existing club system offerings in 2005. “We added WebTec because our clients wanted a more complete, single-vendor solution – one that would utilize a single data base and integrate data from the ClubTec software into better information for members who access the WebTec platform, which is the club’s custom website. “As a simple example, they wanted to allow members to see their statements and charge details and they wanted members to be able manage their demographic information, all online.” Wayne Brown, director of WebTec and an experienced website developer said that websites have really become the “heart and soul” of member communication. “Newer technology such as social media is important, but it is only one piece of a much larger puzzle.” He said that while social media enhances the club’s online presence, it is should be used as a way to drive people to your website, not to replace it.

“On your website, you have complete control over the content and the look and it’s where you offer the tools members want,” he explained. “They appreciate things like access to the roster, being able to view their monthly statements or to make dining and event reservations.” Brown said websites should be given a fresh look every 12 to 18 months. “Like menus in your dining rooms, websites can become stale very quickly. The website is one of the easiest places to keep your image or brand up to date.” Whether he’s working on a new design or a makeover, Brown encourages his clients to constantly be looking for websites that have a look or functionality you would like to emulate. “That gives me a place to start. I provide several different looks based on those ideas and then we fine-tune it based on client feedback.” “Our clubs have also been very happy with some of our newer management tools,” Brown added. “Our content library lets you create html pages in advance and store them. You can schedule what date that content should appear on the website and when it should drop off, so it really simplifies managing the site.” Brown said the WebTec product also allows clubs to limit access to sections or pages to specific groups. “For instance, you can have a section for board minutes. If I’m logged in as a regular member, I only see the regular pages, but if I’m a board member, I see the regular pages plus all the pages in the board section. You can create an employee section where the staff can access schedules and other important documents.” The message from both ClubTec and WebTec seems quite clear. Keep as close an eye on how technology can enhance the “high touch” environment you wish to portray as you do all other aspects of your club. For the members, make it an enjoyable part of their club life and experience! B R Teri Finan is the editor of The Private Club Advisor, the leading business letter for private club executives. Contact Teri Finan at (972) 756-9200 or terifinan@privateclubadvisor.com. For more information visit www.privateclubadvisor.com.

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TECHNOLOGY

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CLUBSOFT NORTH AMERICA

Growing From Within Lessons Learned at The Club at Mediterra A YEAR AGO, THE CLUB AT MEDITERRA WAS AT A CROSSROADS.

If you are not familiar, The Club at Mediterra is a Platinum Club of America — a 5-star, member-owned, private enclave in North Naples, Florida, that has achieved national recognition as one of the top golf facilities in America. It’s been honored with the Environmental Leaders in Golf Award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and Golf Digest. GOLF magazine named Mediterra as one of the 50 Best Golf Communities in America, and Travel + Leisure Golf ranked it among the Top 100 golf Communities in America four consecutive years, LINKS magazine twice. It was the first 36-hole golf course to earn Audubon International’s Silver Signature Sanctuary status. In September 2011, The Club at Mediterra adapted the CEO form of governance because of the club’s transition to a member-owned status. Carl Dill, The Club at Mediterra’s board president, member number 001 and recipient of a Top Private Club President of the Year Award for 2011 from BoardRoom magazine, faced the challenge of finding the right team to lead his club into the next phase of membership recruitment, retention and growth. Hiring one of the most successful general managers in the private club industry was the first move the board made, and it has allowed Tom Wallace, the new CEO/GM to build the team around his leadership. Today the team of Rob McWilliams, director of support and development, Keith Hughes, chief financial officer, Carmen Mauceri, director of clubhouse operations, Rob Anderson, director of golf operations, and Max Passino, membership director work closely with Wallace. Wallace has forged a sterling industry reputation as a team builder. However, at The Club at Mediterra, he and his management team were tasked with the job of “Turnaround Specialist.” Like many private clubs, the team could have been distracted and started looking in all corners of the country for 64 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

RAY MCDONALD

new members, because it’s human nature to look for new ways to solve old problems. However, the leadership decided to first focus on their club and deliver the best membership experience possible. The first hurdle in the club’s transition was to convert the website from a static site to an ‘online community’, with an integrated reservation system - in just 60 days. The team went to work and today the results are nothing shy of phenomenal. They’ve seen their online participation jump to more than 7,000 reservations, a 20 percent increase in food and beverage sales and a full membership. The lesson that this club teaches us is one we know, but often forget. Don’t spend too much time looking “outside” the club, when the solutions to most of our struggles are the people who walk through your front door every day. Current members are a club’s best resource for recruiting new members and for generating excitement for our events and functions. Clubs need to give their members the tools and incentives to keep their club vibrant. These members teach us that club membership is unique, that we do not need to act like the restaurant down the street. Members pay dues to be a part of a club that offers something they cannot get in a public facility. That something may be different for each member and for each club, and that something may get redefined at every club, but it’s the leadership’s job to figure it out and deliver it to their members. But just because private club membership is unique, doesn’t mean we abandon common business practices or ignore how members interact outside the club. The private club industry has always lagged in adopting technology. You hear all the time …“our members don’t use computers or do anything online.” Well, if your club operates based on a principle like this, chances are you’re missing a great opportunity to empower your members to promote their club. Many clubs can repeat the success story that The Club at Mediterra has demonstrated. The opportunity is there, but it takes leadership — and a willingness to break old habits. B R


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TECHNOLOGY

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CLUBSYSTEMS GROUP

Time and Tide – and Technology – Wait for No Man WHEN ASKED ABOUT AN EVENT THAT TRIGGERED A CHANGE IN TECHNOLOGY AT HIS CLUB, RANDY RUDER, GENERAL MANGER OF BEACH POINT CLUB IN MAMARONECK, NY, RECALLS A BOARD MEETING WHERE SOMEONE SUGGESTED THAT IMPORTANT NEWS SHOULD BE COMMUNICATED TO THEIR MEMBERSHIP.

Little did they know, it had already been distributed – TWICE! The board members – people thought to be the most engaged at the club – were asked if they had viewed the direct mail piece, or read the related article in the club newsletter. With no positive response, Randy realized that it was time to rethink their member communication strategies. So, in the next club survey, members were asked how they wished to receive club news. An astonishing 66 percent requested some form of electronic communication! This feedback led the club to embrace clubbroadCast email marketing from clubsystems group, inc. as a complement to their normal mailings. “Besides the obvious cost savings of emails,” says Ruder, “the biggest benefit is the imme-

diate interaction with members. Weekend events could be communicated Tuesday afternoon, leaving a smaller chance for the event to be overlooked. Our members also wouldn’t have to approach staff for updates, as information is now shared via our club’s website, our emails, Facebook and Twitter.” However, Ruder does caution that maintaining a balance and not overloading the membership with electronic communication is an important consideration. “It took our members five years to embrace our website, and three years to be comfortable with our online roster. We do target specific members by interest, but limit general communications to once a week to avoid information overload. There is still some push back from members that have yet to embrace the newer processes,” he explained. “Members like the convenience of signing up for events whenever they choose, from wherever in the world they are, via whatever computing device they prefer. In addition, our staff updates all reservations using the exact same meth-

AT BEACH POINT CLUB, EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY IS AS INEVITABLE AS THE CHANGING TIDES.

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SUSAN LYLE

ods. This provides us all a common location to view all reservation details.” While this event registration process seems to please a majority of the membership, there are still members that have expressed dissatisfaction. “Most members expect technology from their club. Our goal at Beach Point Club is to embrace those technologies that will enhance the club, yet avoid those which may threaten to change it. We need to balance satisfying our younger members by blending in new concepts and processes as appropriately as possible.” Ruder has been with Beach Point Club for 20 years, and the general manager since 1998. “Since I have been at Beach Point, our technology vendor has been clubsystems group, inc. At the time I started, we only had their accounting and POS modules. We have since partnered with csg for other modules because of their ability to keep pace with advancing technologies which successfully lead us into the future.” As for how other clubs should embrace technology, Ruder summarizes “Don’t be afraid to try something new. As the world continues to change, it’s easier to take simple steps to embrace technology in a manner that best supports your club’s goals. And, having the support of a partner like clubsystems group, inc. has made the transition that much easier to manage.” B R Susan Lyle is president of clubsystems group based in Horsham, PA. clubsystems group specializes in innovative software solutions to improve member services in the club management industry. Contact Susan Lyle at (800) 356-4242 or via email at slyle@clubsys.com. www.clubsys.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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D S G TA G S Y S T E M S

The Industry’s Only Fully Modular Fleet Management System Pay For the Features You Need, Not the One’s You Don’t

BOB SILZER

BOARDROOM MAGAZINE’S PRODUCT OF THE YEAR 2011 - TAG CONTROL UNIT

The backbone of the DSG Fleet Management system is the TAG control unit. Discreet but very powerful, the TAG control unit gives you full tracking and control capabilities over golf cart fleets, turf and utility vehicles. With comprehensive reporting, anywhere/anytime web access and geo fencing protection, you instantly know the vital statistics of your operation. Every TAG system configuration features the control functionality and communication backbone. The TAG control can stand alone or be part of a more comprehensive solution. Inevitably it becomes one of your most valuable management tools. The TAG Control unit is designed to help you reduce costs, increase labor efficiencies, provide pro-active course protection and improve fleet maintenance. The features and functionality of the TAG system are the result of extensive research into

helping clubs improve profitability. The TAG system is an investment in your club that pays dividends on day one. Add Information and messaging to your System - TAG Text Your members want vital course information at their fingertips but you want to keep costs down. The TAG Text added to your TAG control system is the answer. TAG Text delivers key information such as yardage, pin position, and two way messaging between course operations and the golfer for just pennies a day. Accurate, rugged, affordable, TAG Text is the best value of fleet management and golfer information system in the industry. Your members demand the best and you want to give it to them - TAG Touch The TAG Touch added to your TAG control is the ultimate back end/front end system. TAG control gives you the key back-end information to run a profitable operation and TAG Touch gives your members a high-definition information experience with interactive conveniences such as food and beverage ordering and scorekeeping. Sleek but rugged design. No buttons to malfunction. Simple and intuitive menu operated by a single touch of a finger. Engineered to provide trouble free use, The TAG Touch withstands the elements and tough conditions of the golf environment while delivering vivid high-definition graphics to the golfer. B R Bob Silzer is the CEO of DSG Tag Systems Inc. based in Surrey, BC. DSG Tag Systems specializes in the golf fleet management solutions. For more information call (877) 589-8806 or visit www.tagwillfindit.com

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TECHNOLOGY

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FOOD-TRAK

Clubs Use the Cloud to Protect Members from the Drought

BILL SCHWARTZ

FOOD-TRAK® Cloud Service Helps Offset Skyrocketing Food Costs THE DROUGHT OF 2012 HAS STARTED TAKING ITS TOLL ON FOOD PRICES. CORN PRICES HAVE GONE UP NEARLY 50 PERCENT SINCE THE BEGINNING OF APRIL. WHEAT AND SOYBEANS HAVE ALSO SEEN SIGNIFICANT PRICE INCREASES.

“It’s a disaster,” said Rick Tolman, CEO of the National Corn Growers Association, who noted the drought is expected to cut production 20 percent or more – roughly three billion bushels less than normal. Experts are predicting wholesale food costs will rise at least five percent, with some predictions exceeding 30 percent for severely affected commodities! To keep from passing these increases on to members, many forward-thinking clubs have turned to the FOODTRAK Cloud Service, the club industry’s most sophisticated and complete food and beverage management system. The system allows vendors to competitively bid all items purchased by the club without any labor involved, these clubs save three to four percent on food prices immediately. In some cases, this reduction alone can offset the effects of the drought. The Yale Club of New York City recently implemented the FOOD-TRAK Cloud Service. According to Kevin J. O’Brien, CCM, director of food & beverage, “In addition to the benefits associated with vendor bidding, there were several reasons why we considered the FOOD-TRAK Cloud Service a viable option for the Yale Club. We also focused on saving time, money and improving network security. Personally, I enjoy the easy access wherever there is an Internet connection. I can access FOOD-TRAK on my train ride home, and any time after work.” With the FOOD-TRAK System’s Vendor Portal, vendors get their own secure web page where they enter their bids directly into the system! Prices are compared and purchase orders are created automatically using the best pricing. It’s possible to achieve 100 percent bidding with almost no additional club labor using this approach. The system’s many other features are used to order the correct amounts, reconcile invoices, identify ideal food costs and variances, cost 72 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

recipes and buffets and determine outlet food and beverage profitability in order to fine-tune offerings as prices change. It seems ironic that something called “the cloud” could be the answer to the drought, but using cloud technology reduces all types of costs associated with purchasing and operating in-house software, making it possible for smaller clubs to take advantage of the top-of-the-line FOOD-TRAK System, which may have previously been out of reach. With the cloud approach, there is no software, no hardware, no labor required for updates and backups and no overhead normally associated with IT functions. Long time user Olympia Fields Country Club near Chicago recently switched from in-house FOOD-TRAK software to the FOOD-TRAK Cloud Service for similar reasons. “We decided to move to the cloud primarily for the technology benefits,” says Roger Cole, chief financial officer. “We appreciate that we no longer have to be concerned with software updates or with our server being down, and I wish all of our club technology providers would offer cloud options.” QUIK-START Cloud Option: No hardware or software – Fully implemented and fighting drought effects in less than 30 days! With SCI’s new QUIK-START approach, start-up costs are minimized and clients are up and running in less than 30 days. It incorporates the hosted system’s low monthly fees and an accelerated, but complete implementation and training process that doesn’t require as much time on-site - saving additional expense billings. For more information, see the video at www.foodtrak.com/cloud or contact SCI’s club specialists at (800) 553-2438. B R Bill Schwartz, CHTP is CEO of System Concepts, Inc. (SCI). Based in Scottsdale, AZ, SCI specializes in helping clients control F&B costs, and is the developer of the FOOD-TRAK Food and Beverage Management System, which is widely used in clubs around the country. Bill can be reached at bills@foodtrak.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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JONAS CLUB MANAGEMENT

Technology to Enhance the Member Experience IT’S 7:15 A.M. AND AS ‘JOHN SMITH’ SITS AT HIS KITCHEN TABLE EATING BREAKFAST, HE LOOKS AT HIS PHONE AND SCROLLS THROUGH THE LISTING OF AVAILABLE TEE TIMES AT HIS CLUB.

Today he’s meeting an important client and has decided that a round of golf and lunch at the club should do the trick. Fast forward to 1:00 p.m., sitting on the club patio, John finishes his presentation, places his iPad down next to him, and discusses an upcoming trip to his new client’s home state of Colorado. He mentions that he can get them access to some of the finest private clubs in the state, simply because his club belongs to the Private Club Network. This scenario may sound too good to be true, but in fact is one, which is encouraged at Vermont National Country Club, a long time Jonas Club Management client just a few miles outside of Burlington, VT. With an 18-hole NicklausDesigned course, tennis courts, pools and an 18,000 square foot clubhouse, the property isn’t short on amenities. However, it’s the way in which the club approaches technology and member services that helps them stand out even more from the crowd. Chris Barron, general manager at Vermont National Country Club since 2009, sees enormous value in offering technology to their members, stating “At our club, it’s a balancing act between technology and personal touch. We use technology to attract new members, but also to enhance our existing members’ club experience.” One area is the club’s move to Online and Mobile tee time reservations, which are fully integrated with their Jonas Club Management system. “It’s been an absolute home run for us,” Barron said. “I’d have to say that the call volume to the pro shop has dropped by 50 percent since we’ve added these tools.” And it doesn’t stop there, in addition to adding these member facing features, Vermont National has also found innovative ways to incorporate staff into the mix. Barron, eager to point out, said “Even our starters now have iPads. They access the online Tee Sheet, and have up to the minute information to make sure they can greet players by name and get them out on time.” 74 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

JIM FEDIGAN

Addressing the club’s embrace of technology, Barron added, “Sometimes our own members are surprised by how tech friendly we are. We’ve installed WIFI throughout the club, so I’m happy to see someone sitting in our lounge on their iPad or Kindle. “We know that things like this are very important for any club looking to attract members in a younger demographic. The fact is, there are very few clubs in this business that can afford not to examine how they look at technology,” Barron explained. This forward thinking is on display in the way that the club uses tools like Twitter, Facebook and email marketing in order to better communicate with members. However, they also focus on increasing the value of membership through traditional services. Vermont National was one of the first clubs to join the Private Club Network (PCN) when it was introduced by Jonas Club Management in 2010. The service connects nearly 300 private clubs throughout North America and facilitates reciprocity between them. “Just last week, I had a member book rounds at two different courses in Colorado while he was travelling. His access to those clubs wouldn’t have been possible without the PCN,” Barron said, noting the impact that the PCN has had. “Our goal is to add value, and services like the PCN where every member is automatically included and can take advantage, do just that.” With an average age of membership in the 40s, and nearly 50 full members under the age of 33, Vermont National Country Club’s focus on productive technology and value added services seems to be paying off. Learn more about Vermont National Country Club by visiting www.vermontnational.com, and don’t forget to visit them on Twitter and Facebook as well. B R Jim Fedigan is president of Jonas Club Management based in Richmond Hill, Ontario Canada. Jonas Club Management provides fully integrated, customizable, enterprise management software solutions to the club industry. Contact Jonas Club Management by visiting www.jonasclub.com, emailing sales@jonasclub.com, or by calling (888) 789-9073.


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TECHNOLOGY

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MEMBERSFIRST

MembersFirst Sharing Resources and Online Experts WHEN WE FOUNDED MEMBERSFIRST OVER 12 YEARS AGO, WE SAW A SIGNIFICANT OPPORTUNITY TO USE TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE A PRIVATE CLUB’S OPERATIONS.

My partners and I were and are, members of a private club. Serving on the board of directors and chairing numerous committees for over a decade, I became very familiar with the inner workings of my club. Because of my technology background in ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), I saw firsthand how a company like MembersFirst could improve the experience for both the club staff and members, while creating efficiencies. As a result, MembersFirst has the industry’s most complete set of leading-edge, fully integrated, online tools available to assist clubs with their web-based needs. From our core platform, MRM™ (Member Relationship Management) to recently added product extensions like MembersFirst Tee Times™, MembersFirst Dining™, MembersFirst Reservations™ and the industry’s most innovative backoffice solution, MembersFirst Club Management™, we have the features and functions a club needs. However, we believe it isn’t just about the tools; it’s about the people using the tools. We know that most clubs don’t have the resources to devote a full-time employee to their online needs. We also know that keeping up with all the changes and trends in technology can be overwhelming. Club staff can’t be expected to be experts in web design, search engine optimization, social media, blogging, on-line member engagement, email marketing and all of the other skills required to maximize your clubs online success. It’s not what they do best and it distracts them from the job at hand – improving the member’s experience. A private club needs a technology partner who understands their needs. We often talk about how our products are built by club managers for club managers, and it’s true. The team at MembersFirst includes many former club managers from various roles and backgrounds who walked in your shoes and know the challenges and obstacles you face. It’s what makes us different from everybody else!

76 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

TONY BAUDANZA

Since 2003, MembersFirst has offered this expertise as MembersFirst Managed Service™, a shared services program. It provides clubs an opportunity to share resources, in this instance various subject matter experts at MembersFirst. This enables clubs to maximize their online opportunities while limiting the burden on existing club employees who may have neither the time nor expertise to get the most from the online tools they have available. We like to think of these individuals as virtual extensions of your club staff. Because you are able to share the resources with other clubs you get the best of both worlds - multiple online experts working on behalf of your club at a tremendous value. Here’s an example all clubs and their boards relate to…preparation for the annual meeting. The board was working on collecting proxies for the meeting to assure having both a quorum, but also the votes for passage of its recommendations. During an on-site meeting with the club, the club’s MembersFirst Account Manager understood the problem, and how to solve it using the online tools already at the club’s disposal. Through an email targeted to all voting members, referencing all relevant documents stored in the online document library, a proxy was created with a “click here” button, which submitted the proxy electronically. Using our survey tool all proxies were accounted for and tabulated within minutes. The board obtained the necessary proxies before the meeting, which went off without a hitch. A great example of why it’s not just the tools, but the time and expertise to use them. As you think about your club and the goals you set, make sure you have the right technology partner in place to help your club achieve those goals. Select a partner who not only has the right tools, but has the services, the people and the expertise to make your online tools work for you! B R Tony Baudanza is the president & CEO of MembersFirst, Inc. based in Wayland, MA. MembersFirst is an award winning web design, online marketing, communications, club management and managed service solutions provider serving member focused clubs, businesses and organizations. Contact Tony at (508) 3102307 or via email at abaudanza@membersfirst.com. www.membersfirst.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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MEMBER NAME GAME

Name Recognition that Pays for Itself

BRIAN WARREN

CAN A HIGH-TECH, NAME RECOGNITION TRAINING SYSTEM REALLY SAVE YOUR CLUB MONEY – WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, BOOST THE LEVEL OF MEMBER SERVICE? SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE – BUT MEMBER NAME GAME® MAKES THAT PROMISE – AND DELIVERS!

counsel before reserving pay increases only for those staff who can score above a specified performance threshold. When employees understand that their take-home pay is based on how well they know your members, they will call your members by name!

EMPLOYEE PERFORMANCE

Member Name Game® has been designed to help employees learn members’ names – and new members that are greeted by name within days of joining the club are not only more likely to use the club’s amenities, they are more likely to renew their membership. There’s only one thing better than having your staff call new members by name – that is, members calling members by name. It’s true, as put forth in the theme song from the hit TV show ‘Cheers’ – your members “want to go where everybody knows [their] name.” Member Name Game® can be customized to allow members to login to the system and learn the names of other members. Some clubs do an excellent job at recruiting the existing membership to know and welcome new members, and Member Name Game® can be a powerful tool to make that process easier. When a club’s survival is dependent on recruiting and retaining members, those clubs that master name recognition will be among the clubs that lead into the future. Member Name Game® can pay for itself – either by making employees earn higher wages and bonuses (and if they’re not learning your members, get rid of them – there’s plenty of people looking for jobs right now that WILL learn your members’ names); or, by increasing the probability that a member will renew their membership: most clubs will spend $1200/year to get a subscription to Member Name Game®. B R

How much does it cost to gather the entire food and beverage staff behind a projector, flipping through the membership photos, hoping that with one look, the name will stick with the face? You’ll be lucky if a few members’ names are remembered – but even more hardpressed to have the attention and interest of every staff person in the room, all of which are on the clock for the duration of the learning session. Or, how much would it cost to pay each staff person to flip through the member photo album? Again, it’s an expensive pursuit – but worse, you have no way to measure improvement in member name recognition. Member Name Game® provides your club with a means to measure and track an employee’s progress in learning your members’ names – by encouraging participation in contests and learning games. Certainly, people learn better when they’re having fun – and playing Member Name Game® is fun and effective! Your staff will use Member Name Game® because they want to: • Learn to win prizes • Learn to earn bonuses • Learn to earn higher wages When a club deploys Member Name Game® as part of their hiring and compensation programs, your staff will earn bonuses or raises by demonstrating proficiency knowing your members. Of course, a proficiency-based incentive program and its guidelines will need to be clearly communicated with your staff – and requirements may vary from state to state – so you will need to consult your HR Director and labor legal 78 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

MEMBER RETENTION

For more information on Member Name Game® or to get a free demo, please visit: www.membernamegame.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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N O R T H S TA R

KISS a Thinker and Make Him Happy

ARE YOU A THINKER OR A FEELER? DO YOU USE SENSING OR INTUITION WHEN MAKING DECISIONS?

My Myers Briggs test score shows that I am a thinker and a sensor, meaning that I like to have plenty of data in front of me before I make a decision. Although I have hunches about things, I like to back up my hunches with real numbers that prove me right. Do you have plenty of free time? It takes time to crunch the numbers, plot the data, and create the kinds of analyses required to justify decisions. I know I don’t have that kind of time. So, the ideal solution is one that provides me the information I need, without a lot of setup, configuration and data manipulation. When thinking about business intelligence, data dashboards, performance

metrics and management scorecards, I have found that the most satisfying solution is often the simplest one. Even better, I find that some solutions even anticipate my question before I ask it. For example, I may be interested in food and beverage sales, but the graph shows a disturbing trend in food spending per golf round. How does this happen? Perhaps the designers of the report listened to their focus group, asked their customers what they needed, or just had a deep understanding of the business. However arrived at, when seeing a screen full of useful data that I didn’t have to work hard to build, I’m happy. So as a member of the club software development community, I challenge my peers to evolve their thinking in how data is presented. Instead of providing the tools to analyze data, provide the analysis itself. Instead of presenting complex scenarios that only a statistician could understand, simplify so that the data and the trends within the data are easily visible with just one click of the mouse. And most importantly, if the data is scattered across multiple databases, do the work of joining those databases together so that a holistic view of the data can be presented. Dashboards are wonderful tools because they strive to present the most important data in meaningful ways. Data visualization is a new term that captures the real purpose of a dashboard. For example, when a dashboard

80 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

DONALD MORO

can summarize the key operating metrics that I need to know in a simple, understandable way, I can quickly assess the performance of my business and move on. In my perfect world, I would have a dashboard (on my smartphone, of course) that clearly shows me where I should be focusing my attention. If things are going well, the dashboard should be colored a cheerful green. If there are problems, I can drill down right from the dashboard. And why not push this data out to me rather than waiting for me to ask for it? Because alerts and notifications are such a common part of social media these days, I should be alerted when something is out of line in my organization. I subscribe to the KISS theory on data reporting: Keep It Simple, Stupid! Software developers, hear me: I want results, not data; trends, not history; and when possible charts, not tables. Alert me when something is wrong, show me where the problem is, and by displaying data outliers suggest a resolution. My thinking, sensing personality thanks you! B R Donald Moro is vice president of marketing at Northstar Club Management Software, based in Atlanta, GA. Northstar is a leading provider of integrated club management software to the private member club industry. Contact Donald Moro at (888) 240-3501 or via email at don.moro@globalnorthstar.com www.globalnorthstar.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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N O R T H S TA R

How Technology Can Revive Your Club YOU KNOW THE SCENARIO: NET MEMBERSHIPS ARE FLAT, DINING REVENUE IS DOWN, ROUNDS ARE DOWN, MAINTENANCE IS DEFERRED AND LABOR REDUCTIONS SAP MORALE. CAN TECHNOLOGY HELP? YES!

Here are four ways to take advantage of technology that will breathe life back into the organization: smart POS devices, spending and menu mix analyses, shared financials and targeted communications. SMART POS DEVICES

Unbelievably, POS devices can enhance member service. Mobile devices like Northstar’s Apple® iPad POS represent a perfect example because they change the dynamics of how food and beverage servers work the floor. Servers no longer have to hustle back to a congestion point (the stationary POS) and can instead enter orders on the go. And the device isn’t limited to F&B operations either.

DONALD MORO

SPENDING AND MENU ANALYSES

Someone once said, “Find out what they want so you can give them what they need.” Northstar’s reporting technology provides many ways to find out what they want. Two of the most useful reports are the spending analysis and the menu mix. The spending analysis determines the club’s most frequent and biggest spending customers. By analyzing the top spenders, learning their buying habits, and figuring out what they want to buy, the club can zero in on providing the goods and services members want. Northstar’s menu mix is a report that analyzes both the members’ favorite items and the most profitable items. Described in detail by Michael L. Kasavana (Boardroom Magazine, July/August 2012, “Menu Engineering Designed to Integrate with Management Systems”) the report ultimately classifies every menu item as a plow horse, a star, a puzzle, or a dog based on profitability and popularity. Using this information,

Using Northstar’s member-driven database, clubs can create newsletters tailored to the member’s interests. A social member does not have to read about the golf news if they don’t want to. Northstar’s interests’ database is completely customizable. Using this technology, members can select what they want to receive each month, and how they want to receive it. Golf Pros can check their schedules, bill for lessons, and make tee times on the device; starters can check people in quickly and efficiently. Not only does this device improve service to the member, it proudly demonstrates to the member that their club is on the leading edge of technology. A POS station can be so much more than just a fancy cash register. Northstar’s POS stations add extra value that empowers the club to better serve its members. For example, a member’s allergies can be prominently displayed when a check is begun. A member’s favorite drink can be quickly ordered with one touch, and check splitting is easy and effortless on the POS, allowing the members to pay however they want. When the POS facilitates better member service, members will notice and choose to visit the club more often. 82 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

the club can fine-tune its menu and give the members what they want while at the same time maximizing profitability. SHARED FINANCIALS

In troubled times, it’s natural to manage the business with frequent financial updates and weekly staff meetings. Northstar facilitates this activity by offering real-time financial statements to department managers online. At any time, a department manager can view their profit and loss report to compare the performance of the department against budget. The budgets themselves can be prorated to a daily basis so the manager knows in advance of month-end if the department will achieve its goals. SEE NORTHSTAR - PAGE 87


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TECHNOLOGY

DAVID FIELDS

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SIGNERA

Improve Club Experience With Digital Signs

DIGITAL SIGNS ARE BECOMING MORE PREVALENT IN THE CLUB ENVIRONMENT. THE OBVIOUS BENEFITS AND LOWER COSTS TO DEPLOY NOW JUSTIFY THE ROI.

Digital signs eliminate message board clutter and display more information in a smaller space, which is easier for viewers to consume. And the dynamic nature of digital signage is very compelling; weather content, news feeds, or live TV draw in viewers and present opportunities to deliver information that will enhance the overall club experience. By displaying member-focused content, digital signage helps your club maximize revenues by influencing member behavior at the club, where a decision is more likely to be made. Increase registrations to events and tournaments by displaying an active event calendar showing dates, times, locations and descriptions; or generate more dining and pro shop sales by displaying special offers. Digital signage helps you retain existing members by effectively informing them of all club activities, ensuring they feel confident and familiar with their club environment in addition. And digital signage helps attract new patrons by improving their overall experience.

Clubs increase efficiencies by eliminating the time and costs associated with maintaining letter-boards, printing and distributing posters. In addition, communication tasks are more efficiently managed with scheduled and automated content delivery, and permission-based content control. Now, you and your staff can easily create and manage actiondriven digital signs for your club. With a unique solution to controlling and formatting your digital sign content, Signera provides clubs with a flexible web-based system that is easy to deploy and use. The intuitive user-interface, professionally designed templates and club-specific content modules are the key features that make Signera the easy choice. Cost-effectively deploy and manage one sign or a network of thousands, instantly update and deliver your sign content from anywhere, and have your sign running out-of-the-box. Contact Signera. B R David Fields is president of Signera速 based in Hagerstown, MD. Signera速 specializes in Digital Sign Solutions for Private Clubs. Contact David Fields at (301) 714-0110 or via email at david.fields@signera.net | www.signera.net

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TECHNOLOGY

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PCS GROUP

Country Club Hardware.com Your Single Source Discount Online Shopping Center IT’S THE FIRST COMPREHENSIVE WEB SOURCE FOR COUNTRY CLUB HARDWARE INCLUDING POINT OF SALE, ACCOUNTING, MEMBER KIOSKS, DIGITAL SIGNAGE, PRINTERS, SUPPLIES, HAND HELDS, PRO SHOP INVENTORY EQUIPMENT AND MORE.

This marketplace launched just six months ago, is the first complete online source for supplies and hardware that exclusively services the unique demands of America’s country clubs. And today CountryClubHardware.com is buzzing as the industry’s definitive go-to source for club hardware. CountryClubHardware.com offers a wide range of products for front-of-thehouse and member services including

digital signage, all-in-one member kiosks, point-of-sale units, and leadingedge hand held devices. We also offer a wide range of supplies for your equipment including POS Receipt Paper and Ribbons at prices that can’t be beat. Looking for something more innovative for the club? Try our Kitchen Display Solution. Eliminate your order printers and have your chefs view a display screen for the tickets at the same time they are entered by your servers. So, whether you are currently paying too much for your purchases or simply looking to upgrade to newer equipment, look us up and browse the many options. We carry the newest technology and make sure that it’s compatible with your

84 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

BOB GARITE

existing club accounting and office software. With over 20 years experience in the club industry, CountryClub Hardware.com is the leading innovator and proven market leader in the field. We would love to speak with you about your requirements and guide you through your purchase. We promise it’ll be painfree and right the first time through always at the best possible price. B R Bob Garite is president of CountryClubHardware.com based in Valencia, CA. CCH offers several solutions for clubs looking for best pricing on hardware items. Please contact Bob at (888) 455-5080 or via email at sales@CountryClubHardware.com. Please visit our updated website at www.CountryClubHardware.com.


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TECHNOLOGY

BOB GARITE

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PCS GROUP

SaaS, HaaS and The Cloud – Affordable Club Solutions

COSTS OF HARDWARE, SOFTWARE, INTERNET AND STORAGE HAVE COME DOWN SIGNIFICANTLY.

related purchases. With HaaS, your club receives the full service you require and it’s all neatly packaged in easy monthly payments.

As a result, clubs now have many options available. You no longer have to invest in these products. Simply rent the services you want, and in most cases, there are no long-term contracts involved.

THE CLOUD Cloud computing is a term for delivering hosted services over the Internet. A cloud service has three distinct characteristics. First, it’s sold on demand, typically by time used. Second, it’s elastic – a user can have as much or as little as they want at any given time. And third, the service is fully managed by the provider. Your club needs nothing but a personal computer and Internet access.

SOFTWARE AS A SERVICE SaaS is an online delivery model where software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. Sometimes referred to as “on-demand software,” SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser. Clubs can conveniently rent or lease the software needed on a monthly basis. HARDWARE AS A SERVICE HaaS is a complete end-to-end managed service solution. This service provides your club with everything necessary to bring your network in step with today’s technology. Scope of service can include servers, desktops, POS Stations, and more. A managed service provider (MSP) remotely monitors and administers the HaaS model. This alleviates the financial strain that accompanies system-

WHY CHOOSE PCS GROUP? PCS provides customized solutions for the specific needs of our club clients. Innovation and technologies are only part of the solution. Cost effectiveness and customer service are the keys to our proven successful client relationships. B R Bob Garite is president of PCS Group based in Valencia, CA. PCS Group offers these solutions for clubs looking for affordable software and hardware options. Please contact Bob at (888) 455-5080 or via email at Bob@pcsgrp.com www.pcsgrp.com


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TECHNOLOGY

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TA I C L U B M A N A G E M E N T

Technology and Support Provide a Much Needed Solution SURVIVAL IN THESE ECONOMIC TIMES DEPENDS ON HOW WELL MANAGEMENT PERFORMS AND ADAPTS TO THE NEW BUSINESS MODEL OF CLUB MANAGEMENT. OVERSIMPLIFIED, THAT MODEL IS TO RUN THE CLUB MORE LIKE A BUSINESS.

For many clubs, this requires self-examination. Initially, clubs cut expenses. Spending freezes were imposed and often investment in technology and infrastructure, suspended. However, a few clubs determined that an investment in tech-

86 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

MIKE TALBOT

nology and application software would give management the tools necessary to operate their business at a profit. Our client, a prestigious mid-western club with a rich tradition of providing its members an atmosphere of classic excellence, made the investment. Focusing first on food and beverage management, the club determined that only TAI’s Club Management, Restaurant Manager™ offered a food and beverage system that met their needs for management reporting, controls, features and functionality. The product is designed by, and for, the food and beverage industry and is a fully integrated product with TAI. No longer does the pro shop’s POS have to adapt to serve the needs of the kitchen! That was only the first step. Traditional food and beverage POS uses terminals in a fixed location. Our client had a different vision - tablet PC technology. With tablets the station can be fixed or with the wait staff. In addition, tablets can be used on the golf course to handle the needs of the beverage cart. Technology is saving the club the cost of additional hardware for seldom-used stations and increasing employee effectiveness by eliminating manual procedures. Next, it was time to use the power of Restaurant Manager™. It’s a professionally designed system for food and beverage management with special features to cut costs and provide better service. For example, when a server is approaching overtime, the manager receives an immediate message. If a party orders a premium bottle of wine or their tab reaches a predetermined threshold, the manager is notified so they can personally attend to the party. Even if the manager has the evening off or the general manager wants to look at the evening’s business from home, that functionality exists in the web enabled manager’s portal. In addition to the technology, timely and accurate support and service was a key factor in their decision. By selecting TAI, they knew that they would be working with TAI’s food and beverage professionals and TAI’s certified club controller as their installation and support team. Where others sell a system, TAI provides a solution. For further information about the TAI Club Management Solution please contact Michael Talbot at (248) 723-9700 or via email at mtalbot@taiconsulting.com. B R


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N O RT H S TA R

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How does this technology help a struggling club? By empowering staff to manage their own business units with real-time information, the club will become more nimble and responsive to members’ needs. Dining rooms will become more properly staffed; specials can be more effectively used to drive business, and most importantly, managers can be held accountable for the performance of their departments. TARGETED COMMUNICATIONS

Many clubs are publishing their newsletters online and are seeing declining newsletter readership as a result. Why? It’s harder to skip over irrelevant information online than it is in a printed document. With a printed newsletter, the member can easily glance through the entire document, jumping quickly to articles of interest. Now, the member has to wade through many screens to see what they want. Technology to the rescue! Using Northstar’s member-driven database, clubs can create newsletters tailored to the member’s interests. For example, a social member does not have to read about the golf news if they don’t want to. Northstar’s interests’ database is completely customizable and, even better, maintained by the members online. Using this technology, members can select what they want to receive each month, and how they want to receive it.

TECHNOLOGY

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C U L I N A R Y S O F T WA R E

Keep your F&B Margins on Par! CULINARY SOFTWARE SERVICES, THE LEADER IN BACK-OF-THEHOUSE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, HAS INSTALLATIONS IN HUNDREDS OF CLUBS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD, INCLUDING MANY OF THE TPC PROPERTIES.

ChefTec Software offers specific features and functions that are essential to the complex operations of today’s dynamic country club enterprise. • Multiple profit centers in ChefTec allow you to track inventory, costs, sales and more for various revenue centers. • Costing out complicated banquets and events is fast and easy with ChefTec’s powerful recipe and menu costing features. • Use ChefTec’s sophisticated Production Management features to keep production schedules tight and precise. • Interface with POS systems (Jonas, Aloha, etc.). • Interface with major vendors’ online ordering systems (Sysco, US Foodservice, etc.) for seamless integration of orders and invoices. B R Call (800) 447-1466 today so we can help you find relief from rising food costs. Save time and cut waste with ChefTec software.

COMBINED TECHNOLOGIES WORKING TOGETHER

Considered individually, each of these ideas can help a struggling club. But when combined, the power of technology becomes more apparent: Efficiently managed departments can now better understand what their members want to buy, promote the club’s offering to those most interested in hearing about it, and serve the members with a level of personalization not possible in a regular restaurant. Members choose their club because the club promised a more personal, customized service. Technology can help fulfill that promise. B R Donald Moro is vice president of marketing at Northstar Club Management Software, based in Atlanta, GA. Northstar is a leading provider of integrated club management software to the private member club industry. Contact Donald Moro at (888) 240-3501 or via email at don.moro@globalnorthstar.com www.globalnorthstar.com SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM

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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Hiring A Good Membership Sales Professional - Part I WHEN HIRING A MEMBERSHIP PROFESSIONAL, WHO TYPICALLY SERVES AS THE MEMBERSHIP SALES PROFESSIONAL WITHIN A PRIVATE CLUB, WHAT EMPHASIS SHOULD BE PUT ON THE INDIVIDUAL BEING PROFICIENT IN SALES?

How might one interview determines if this proficiency exists in the best candidate interviewed? Before having the ability to make the best decision about the candidates a few things have to be understood. Most managers do not understand the real sales process in membership sales, although most feel it is not a process but something that just happens with an interested prospect. The second being far less obvious, but far more onerous: each club manager or interviewing team may use a flawed interviewing and assessment process. This typically consists of a quick decision made in a few minutes or less, based largely on presentation skills (sales people must make good first impressions) and in some cases, equivalent industry experience. This is then followed up with a series of questions that were clearly asked to gather information to confirm the manager’s or interviewing teams’ initial biased decision. Finally, everyone provides a yes/no vote before sharing information or debating the candidates’ merits, with one no vote frequently eliminating strong candidates who didn’t have exactly the correct experience or wasn’t immediately favorable. Surprisingly, many individuals who participate in the interviewing process only use behavioral techniques when they want to prove a candidate was unacceptable, but used more emotional and intuitive approaches when describing candidates they liked. Following are some things you need to do to achieve the best results when hiring a membership sales professional: 1. You the interviewer(s) should know the sales process from beginning to end before ever interviewing your potential candidates. Whether the sales cycle is 30 minutes long or months long, there are some typical steps that ultimately determine 88 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

DONNA COYNE CEO PROFESSINAL CLUB PLACEMENT SERVICES

how successful the membership sales professional will be. Breaking your club’s sales process into these steps enables the general manager or recruiter to identify the critical drivers and then assess the candidate’s past performance against these. At a broad level most sales processes can be categorized into these segments: • Prospecting and lead generation • Qualifying the lead and conducting needs analysis • Proving your club’s worth in comparison to the potential member’s needs • Preparing some type of presentation rather it being strictly vocal or extending an opportunity to experience the club • Knowing when to ask for the close and when to just be quiet. Of course, there are multiple variations to this depending on the culture of the club, the prospective member’s individual needs, the complexity of the approval process, the specific type of prospective member involved and how the buying decision is made, the dollars involved, economic conditions and competitive positioning, to name just a few. Before interviewing develop a performance profile which summarizes the details in a series of prioritized performance objectives. These include a candidate’s specific results and time frames to be achieved within a certain time period of starting their new position. The candidate should share this information during the interview. For example, a initial performance objective for the new hire may be “within 15 days develop a summary of all benefits associated with being a part of the club, including the staff make up, the amenities, the culture of the club, etc. Then within the following 30 days prepare a detailed external market analysis including target markets to consider with an existing member outreach plan to encourage prospective member referrals to the club.” Another performance profile objective might be, “within 30 days of launching a member initiative develop a database


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that allows you to complete 35 follow up calls a day in an effort to matriculate new members.” Once these performance objectives have been determined put them into priority order. The top two tend to become the critical success drivers. From the perspective of all sales positions the ability to conduct needs analysis with a decision-maker might sound relatively easy, however the real key to being successful in membership sales is having the ability to present the club in such a manner that the decision-maker can identify that their needs will be met. It is essential that the members of the hiring team understand these critical success drivers and then hone in on them during the interview. From what I’ve seen, lack of understanding of real job needs is the primary cause of poor hiring decisions, not only in sales, but most likely for all jobs. Step 2: Use two basic questions to match the membership sales candidates to the critical success factors that you want to achieve. Once you have the basic sales process mapped out with the critical success drivers defined, it only takes two sales related questions to determine if the candidate is both competent and motivated to do the work. But of course all the compatibility factors need to be considered during the interview process as well.

Then compare these to the success drivers identified earlier. Now consider hiring only those individuals who show great tenacity or strong hints of it, in the areas where you must have great tenacity. The second question takes the understanding of performance to another level. It reveals problem solving, insight, intelligence, potential, vision, and leadership. The question is: “If you were to get this job, how would you go about solving this (major/typical) issue?” For a membership sales professional you may consider wording the question, “If you were to get this job, how would you go about involving each department in the sales process, so everyone feels a part of the success?” I’ve used something similar during a director of human resources search: “If you were to get this job, how long would it take you to prepare an action plan to ensure the department was meeting all its critical objectives?” These questions are about thinking, planning, and strategizing. It gets at an important aspect of top performers. The “how would you” part of the question deals with the planning and visualization aspect of every successful accomplishment. A lack of planning and visualization skills is one of the key reasons projections come up short, budgets are overrun, implementation is slow or problems go unresolved. Allow the candidate to ask you questions to gain more insight into

The second question takes the understanding of performance to another level. It reveals problem solving, insight, intelligence, potential, vision, and leadership. For a membership sales professional you may consider wording the question, “If you were to get this job, how would you go about involving each department in the sales process, so everyone feels a part of the success?” The first one involves asking the candidate to describe their greatest sales success, understand that you may be interviewing individuals who have never been in the private club industry. The follow-up is the critical part of this question. You need to find out how the lead, i.e. prospective member was generated, how the customer/prospective member was initially contacted, how needs were understood, how the product/club was presented, how long it took to close the sale, what support the person had in presenting and closing the sale, what the big challenges and objections were and how these were handled, and finally, what recognition the person received for doing such a great job. Great sales people always get recognition, so this is important confirmation. Specifically look at the situations where the person excelled or went the extra mile.

the specific task or issue under discussion. “What’s the budget, the time frame, the staff, the resources?” are all great questions. They provide the interviewer another dimension to assess the candidate’s competency and fit. When you try this question, imagine that you’re turning off the spotlights and that you’re just going to have a giveand-take discussion about real job needs and problems. This is no longer an interview; it’s just how you’d be talking with the person if they were to get the job. Part II of this series will deal with the Steps three and four of the hiring process. B R Donna Coyne is CEO/Placement Specialist, Professional Club Placement Services (PCPS). She can be reached at Donna@pcps4u.com

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LOCKER ROOM

Should Managers Do Business with Members? IS IT A GOOD IDEA FOR LOCKER ROOM MANAGERS TO DO BUSINESS WITH MEMBERS?

The cautious locker room manager that was hesitant to join an association, bring innovative products into his locker room, use anything other than a traditional shoe care approach and or create a policy and procedure manual for his department has, surprisingly, no problem doing business with the members at his club. “I see nothing wrong with it if it saves my facility money. In fact, when I meet a new member for the first time I usually ask what business they’re in. If the member, for example, has a firm that manufactures products like body wash, conditioner and shampoo I’ll tell the person what we pay for it and ask on the spot if they can do better for the club,” explained our cautious locker room manager. Well, I couldn’t disagree more. Members come to a club to get away from their businesses, play golf and enjoy the amenities. Of course, members do join golf or country clubs with the intention of making deals that benefit their companies…with other members, not staff.

TODD DUFEK PRESIDENT, LOCKER ROOM MANAGERS ASSOCIATION

Everything went well until the member was unable to deliver a second shipment of towels when the inventory got low. The manager eventually had to end the business relationship. As a result there was a feeling of awkwardness between the manager and member every time they saw each other. There’s only one circumstance that would justify doing business with a member to save a club money, where it would be okay for a manager to make a business agreement with a member, and that is if they offer the amenity to the facility. However, on the flip side, if the club has a bylaw or a policy that does not allow the club to do business with members, then doing so would be prohibited. The details can be worked out with the involvement of the head professional, clubhouse or general manager. Contacting the Better Business Bureau to check on the status of the company should be part of the process. Though there are some positive relationships with members and their business interests that can save a club money, they should be entered into with caution, only if a member offers it and with expectations clearly spelled out in writing

Though there are some positive relationships with members and their business interests that can save a club money, they should be entered into with caution, only if a member offers it and with expectations clearly spelled out in writing. Another example: “If a member owns a business that manufactures paper towels, they cost less, the quality is as good as what we currently use and he can get them to me in a timely manner, why not? In a situation like that everyone wins: I save the club money, lose nothing in the level of quality and the member makes money too. What could be better?” queries our cautious locker room manager. Well, not all examples are good examples. Here’s one that really happened: A locker room manager decided to buy his shower towels from a member because his prices were considerably cheaper. They agreed on the type, color and size and the member delivered the first shipment. 90 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

(of course, if a club has a policy against it, a business agreement with a member should not be pursued). And management should be in on the process from the start. Not doing so can lead to conflict, misunderstandings and ongoing feelings of embarrassment. B R Todd Dufek is the CEO of LRMA Consulting and president of the Locker Room Managers Association (named the “2009 Association of the Year”) with 400 - 500 members at 200+ clubs nationwide (www.yourlrma.com). He is the locker room manager at The Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona. Todd can be reached at tdufek@ccdcranch.com and (602) 466-4189.


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F E AT U R E D S U P P L I E R

The Power of Equilibrium Structuring pay for performance plans to achieve and exceed goals and expectations ATTRACTING, RETAINING AND NURTURING TOP TALENT TO LEAD A PRIVATE CLUB IS THE MOST CRITICAL FUNCTION AND RESPONSIBILITY OF A CLUB’S BOARD AND A STANDARD IN THE NON-PROFIT ENVIRONMENT.

Once the right candidate has been identified, the board must develop a competitive compensation package that is aligned with the club’s financial goals, titrated to the market and generally aligned with the executive’s expectations. A critical step in the process is to apply financial metrics with the motivational factors that will drive performance for both the individual and the club. This is the “The Power of Equilibrium” – the point where a proper ratio of current compensation is at risk versus the base salary. The private club industry centers in the 20 percent range of potential performance bonus to base salary. For clubs that struggle with developing meaningful performance plans, this can be an aggressive percentage.

DENEHY Club Thinking Partners has assessed and structured compensation packages and performance plans for top club executives and their staff at the best clubs in the country. As experts in mediating and structuring compensation plans, we create a pay for performance construct for all parties to work together towards the same goals and objectives. The output of this exercise is clear and measurable goals and expectations that are agreed upon to establish trust and motivation between the general manager and the board. When done effectively, an explicit pay for performance construct forces excellent communication between the general manager and the board and ultimately helps club management achieve their goals and objectives. B R Dan Denehy is president of DENEHY Club Thinking Partners, an executive search and consulting firm serving the private club and boutique resort industries. Dan can be reached at (203) 3198228 or via email dan@denehyctp.com.

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W O R L D G O L F F O U N D AT I O N

WE ARE GOLF An Advocate for the Industry THREE YEARS AGO, THE LEADERS OF THE GOLF INDUSTRY JOINTLY DECIDED THAT GOLF WAS IN NEED OF COLLECTIVE REPRESENTATION IN WASHINGTON D.C.

For years, the various golf organizations advocated on behalf of their own interests with Congress and various regulatory bodies but golf never had a collective, unified voice with our nation’s lawmakers and regulators. A series of incidents, including the exclusion of golf from disaster relief bills that were passed by Congress in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the floods in the Midwest, ultimately stimulated the golf industry into forming a coalition to represent the sport and business of golf – thus, WE ARE GOLF was created in 2009. The Club Managers Association of America, the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, the National Golf Course Owners Association and the PGA of America are the four founding organizations of the WE ARE GOLF coalition Now the World Golf Foundation and the U.S. Golf Manufacturers Council also have representatives on the WE ARE GOLF board. The main focus of WE ARE GOLF is to communicate to federal lawmakers and regulators about the economic, charitable and environmental impact of golf, so that laws and regulations impacting the golf industry are equitable towards golf. One of the annual cornerstone events WE ARE GOLF stages is National Golf Day, held in mid-April in Washington D.C. It brings together leaders from the golf industry for a day on Capitol Hill, during which time Members of Congress are educated by representatives of the golf industry and asked to support key legislation of interest to the golf industry. Earlier this year, approximately 90 leaders of the golf industry participated in National Golf Day, which also featured The First Tee Congressional Breakfast, bringing together lawmakers with leaders of The First Tee in order to inform Members of Congress about the impact of The First Tee on our nation’s youth. The WE ARE GOLF coalition also sponsors the annual Congressional Golf Caucus meeting, bringing together 92 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

STEVE MONA WORLD GOLF FOUNDATION

Members of Congress with leaders of the golf industry, in conjunction with a professional golf tournament in the D.C. area. In 2011, the meeting happened during the U.S. Open, played at Congressional Country Club and earlier this year the event happened during the AT&T National, also at Congressional Country Club. This meeting offers an opportunity to interact with Members of Congress in a more relaxed environment and gives members an opportunity for a behind the scenes look at the golf industry. With 2012 being an election year, the WE ARE GOLF coalition is being represented at the Republican National Convention in late August in Tampa, FL, and at the Democratic National Convention in early September in Charlotte, NC. The WE ARE GOLF coalition will participate in a golf tournament early in the week that will raise money for important military charities. These events also give representatives of WE ARE GOLF an opportunity to interact with Members of Congress, and other leaders, in a more informal setting. Participation in these events is focused on developing and building relationships with Members of Congress and, also, to advocate on behalf of legislation of importance to the golf industry. For example, the WE ARE GOLF coalition supports legislation to create a National Disaster Relief Fund that would include golf among those businesses eligible for disaster relief. Golf has been specifically excluded from this legislation in the past and WE ARE GOLF seeks to change this provision. For those interested in learning more about WE ARE GOLF or supporting its objectives, please visit the WE ARE GOLF website at www.wearegolf.org. Please also consider making other private club leaders aware of these efforts, which have a direct impact on the business of golf at private clubs nationwide. B R Steve Mona is chief executive officer, World Golf Foundation, and can be reached at (904) 940-4000 or via email: smona@worldgolffoundation.org.


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CLUB MANAGEMENT

Today’s Clubs Need to Adapt ...Need to Find Ways for Current Members and New, Younger Members to Co-exist TROON GOLF CEO DANA GARMANY HAS SEEN PLENTY OF CHANGE IN BOTH SOCIETY AND THE GOLF INDUSTRY SINCE FOUNDING THE COMPANY WITH THE PURCHASE OF TROON NORTH GOLF CLUB IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. 22 YEARS AGO.

As the economy slowly improves, Garmany says the biggest challenge facing private clubs today is adapting to changing attitudes among the post-Baby Boomer generations, whose club membership decisions will determine whether many of today’s clubs survive and thrive in the years to come. “In terms of golf, the best way to put it is, if you look at the demographics, resort and daily fee golf are dependent upon the economy,” Garmany said, “but private club members have a different vision of what they want. “Today, if your average member age is 68, you’ve probably got everyone in your area who’s going to join already, so the key is how do you get younger families involved? They’re not really into formal dining and all the rules, so you have to provide programming and an environment that they’re comfortable with. The trick is to do that without alienating your older members.” Garmany and his team have built Troon into the world’s largest golf course operator, with approximately 185 courses worldwide operating today and another 20 or so in development. Once a major course owner, the company has gradually shed its course equity stakes and now operates primarily as a third-party manager. The majority of its managed private club, daily fee and resort portfolio fall into the high end of the golf property spectrum. CHANGING PATTERNS

Although Garmany is in his 60s, and has struggled with cancer in the past four years including a surgery in May of this year [he says he’s fine now], he is keenly aware of the changing behavior patterns in today’s younger generations. 94 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

JIM DUNLAP CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

“We’ve changed at the majority of our clubs,” Garmany said. “Mobile devices on the golf course, dress codes, an open bar with a different dress code…those kinds of things. Two-thirds of our clubs have gone to blue jeans dining and a more casual menu. If you look at dress codes at restaurants in most of our cities, especially in the West, you’ll see the same thing. In the Phoenix area, I can’t think of a restaurant where jeans aren’t allowed. “There are a lot of things to consider,” Garmany continued. “Most younger members are dual-income families, and they’re not able to play golf during the week. There are only 24 weekends or so during the average summer season, and if you have [golf ] events or tournaments on 11 of those, that doesn’t give those families much chance to use the course. What we’re seeing is that a lot of those younger members aren’t interested in playing tournaments, keeping a handicap, playing strictly by the rules of golf, etc. They want to play with their family or their friends and just have fun. “To accommodate that, at a lot of our clubs we’ve changed the events to weekdays, or made it only a half-day event on weekends so everyone can use the golf course,” Garmany said. FAMILY DECISIONS

The reasons for making sure your club is appealing to young members and their families is simple, according to Garmany, who said that “90-plus percent” of club membership decisions are a family decision today, and families weigh the value carefully. “You’ve got to make sure your offerings make sense,” Garmany said. “Our studies show that when somebody does join a club today, they are VERY active, and that’s how they judge their decision to join. Am I and my family going to use the club enough to justify the expense?” From Garmany’s perspective, it isn’t just younger potential members whose viewpoints have changed regarding club membership. Many current members who have felt the


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recent economic pinch are doing some of their own campaigning for change. “One of the biggest changes that we’ve seen in private clubs over the last 10 or 12 years is that dues were previously thought of by members as an offset to club operations,” Garmany said. “Now, people want lower dues. Their thinking is that if something at the club isn’t making money, we don’t do it. If you only have four guys eating breakfast in the dining room on Tuesdays before golf, with the kitchen open and four or five people on the clock to serve them, the members are paying for that. They’re telling us to close the dining room and let those guys grab something at the snack bar. “Same thing with outings,” Garmany continued. “If we can book some outings for public play on Mondays, most members are all for it if it keeps their dues down. A lot of our

that wouldn’t pass the dress code. They don’t want to hear they’re going to have to change the way they dress to play golf, which is already hard enough to learn. Same with handicaps. A lot of younger players don’t care about having a handicap, or posting a score. They’ll say ‘I’ve already hit it 6 times, so I’m in my pocket and I’m moving on.’” Course policies may also have to change in ways other than the dress code, Garmany said. “We’ll let people go out early and play nine holes on the back if that’s all they have time for,” he said. “There are a lot of what we call ‘spa golfers’ out there. They’ve got three hours to give to golf before a meeting or something they have to do, and they want to know what can I do in that time? The answer to that too often is ‘Nothing,’ because golf is a 4 or 5-hour round.”

“We’ve got to make the game more welcoming. The old thinking that someone is not a golfer if they don’t play by all the rules has got to change. Our generation was brought up to play by the rules, but the younger generation is different. Let’s face it, on the day we’re training them to play golf for the first time, they’re frequently wearing things that wouldn’t pass the dress code. They don’t want to hear they’re going to have to change the way they dress to play golf, which is already hard enough to learn.” Dana Garmany, Troon Golf CEO clubs are changing their accompanied guest policies – if a member wants to send a few of his friends out to play golf but can’t join them, so what, as long as it adds to the bottom line. Clubs are getting looser on weddings and events, too – people other than a member can book them. Anything that helps keep dues down.” Given that most Troon-managed clubs, daily fee courses and resorts are on the pricey side, and would seem to cater to golfers serious enough about the game to pay the tab, it may seem ironic to some that Garmany is a staunch proponent of relaxing the game’s rules, traditions and established ways of doing business. DIFFERENT GENERATIONS

“We’ve got to make the game more welcoming,” he said. “The old thinking that someone is not a golfer if they don’t play by all the rules has got to change. Our generation was brought up to play by the rules, but the younger generation is different. “Let’s face it, on the day we’re training them to play golf for the first time, they’re frequently wearing things

PLANNING NEEDED

As to the overall health of private clubs, Garmany said, “I think you’ll see that the established legacy clubs in our primary cities will be OK. Where you really have carnage today is with the real estate clubs who don’t have any history. Where we’re seeing the most stress is at the newer clubs – development clubs that turned into equity clubs. “At those, especially, you have to have new membership types to stay afloat. Of course, the healthiest clubs are ones where you buy a house with the membership included and if they don’t pay their dues, you put a lien on their house,” he added with a laugh. “At some point, you’ve got to have a sustainable plan to keep the club viable. The clubs that do OK are the ones that do something before the death spiral sets in – before the resignation list is six pages long and it’s too late,” Garmany concluded. With Garmany at the helm, it seems unlikely that a similarly fatal maneuver will befall Troon Golf any time soon. B R

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CLUB MANAGEMENT

What Is Your Club’s Energy Strategy? CLUBS ARE ENERGY HOGS!

Lights on up to 18 hours a day, enormous amounts of air conditioning, heating and high amounts of commercial equipment use. The average club utility bill will top $150,000 a year in electricity alone, and be much higher on the east and west coasts where electricity rates are 30 percent higher than the national average. Clubs can reduce this expense up to 55 percent by implementing technology available today for lighting, HVAC controls, thermal equalization, capacitors and staged high-efficiency boilers. So why don’t clubs reduce their monthly bill by retrofitting systems with available technology? Most cite the initial capital costs in retrofitting existing clubhouses and facilities. However, this argument is diminished because clubs can finance the projects utilizing capital leases and the utility savings created by implementing technologies far exceeds the monthly lease payment. From a finance committee perspective, this finance mechanism creates an asset on the balance sheet, positive cash flow from operations and a significant reduction of expenses on the monthly profit and loss statement. LED lighting technolog y: It’s the biggest bang for the buck. LED technology, quality and costs have evolved into a powerful and 96 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

NELSON A. SCOTT

useful energy savings mechanism for the private club. Run times are 100,000+, require no maintenance, put off almost no heat and are a higher quality of light than fluorescent technologies. The return on investment for retrofitting LED is less than two years and can be incorporated throughout the club facility reducing lighting costs up to 85 percent. Here’s an example of the savings the club can expect. HVAC: Energy reduction using thermal equalizers, energy controllers and capacitors. Grand clubhouses with high ceilings create inefficiencies and long run times for HVAC units. This graphic shows the delta created by high ceiling heights. With the use of thermal equalizers, clubs can SEE CLUB MANAGEMENT - PAGE 132


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2012 BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

E X C E L L E N C E I N A C H I E V E M E N T AWA R D S

The BoardRoom magazine is now accepting entries for its 2012 "Excellence in Achievement" awards. The awards recognize both vendors and educators for their impact, achievements and contributions to the club industry. All award entries and nominations must provide supporting materials to be reviewed by an independent panel of industry experts representing various aspects of course and club operations. Winners are selected for overall excellence in their respective fields, innovation, vision for future growth and continued impact on private club operations. Winners in each category will be featured in an issue of The BoardRoom magazine in 2013. For additional requirements and information, call (949) 376-8889 or email John Fornaro at johnf@apcd.com. All entries must be received by 12/31/2012. GOLF COURSE: Course Architect (new course), Course Architect (renovation), Course Contractor/Developer, Irrigation Company, Course Equipment Manufacturer, Course Maintenance Company, Golf Cart Company, Turf and Ornamental Product CLUBHOUSE: Clubhouse Architect, Clubhouse Builder, Clubhouse Interior Design, Fitness Consultant, Fitness Equipment, Furniture Manufacturer, Kitchen Equipment Manufacturer, Food & Beverage, Pro Shop Interior Design TAX, LAW, HR & FINANCE: Executive Search, Finance Company, Insurance Provider, Law, Strategic Planning, Tax Consultant TECHNOLOGY: Software Developer, Technology Product, Website Design MARKETING & MEMBERSHIP: Advertising, Marketing or PR, Membership Marketing, Photographer OTHER: Apparel Company, Association Program, Club Management Company, Club Services Association, Developer, Golf Club Manufacturer, New Product, Purchasing Services Group, The Jay Diepietro Vendor, Winery

Category:__________________________________

Company: __________________________________

Address: ____________________________________________________________________________________ Phone: __________________ Fax: ____________________ E-mail: ______________________________ Nominating (if different from above):______________________________________ Include the following supporting materials: 1) A one-page explanation of why the product/service/ company is the best in 2012 and deserves to win its category, 2) media kits, 3) press releases, 4) testimonials and 5) marketing materials. Mail entry form, supporting materials and $50 processing fee per entry to: The BoardRoom magazine “2012 Excellence in Achievement Awards� PO Box 9455, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

949.376.8889

W W W. A P C D . C O M

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W W W. B O A R D R O O M M A G A Z I N E . C O M

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JOHNF@APCD.COM


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CLUB MARKETING

Developing a Marketing Touch Point Strategy By Shannon Herschbach THE COMMON IMPRESSION AMONG CLUBS IS THAT MARKETING IS SIMPLY ADVERTISING. THE REALITY IS, MARKETING IS EVERYTHING THAT TOUCHES A CLUB’S MEMBERS AND ITS PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS.

Savvy operators understand that relationships with prospective members can no longer be considered exclusively the domains of a membership director because no one person controls all of the touch points. It is the organization, from top to bottom, which truly creates the membership experience and is responsible for assisting in both the member recruitment and retention efforts. Every touch point creates a perception of your club in the mind of the prospective member. The messaging of each touch point and all items taken together, should be as cohesive as possible. When well-conceived, these touch points not only carry the strategic marketing strategy but also provide the structure of truly experiential brand messaging and can help define a club’s overall values and culture by providing a clear understanding to the entire organization of what is expected of them each day, with each encounter. Therefore, it is important to develop a strategy for identifying each touch point and how it is to be used to clearly communicate your club’s message. The goal of identifying and mapping touch points is to optimize every opportunity to build confidence and satisfaction. Identifying the sequence of touch points, and then understanding how to effectively engage action and create a next step is the key to a successful touch point strategy. Consider the following items when identifying touch points and the effect they have on the perception of your club and your overall marketing strategy: • Employees – An organization is as good as the impression provided by its employees. Does your human resources policy advance your intended brand messaging? Do employees understand your club’s message? Are employees actively engaging with membership prospects as well as existing

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members? Are outside representatives (suppliers and vendors) aware of your club’s message? • Telephone and email – Is an effective protocol in place for answering phone calls consistently and professionally? Email signatures should be consistent throughout the organization and contain contact information and links to websites and social media. • Curb appeal and office presence – Starting with the driveway, valet stand, lobby or greeting area and the people assigned to it, what image is being presented? Are there weeds in the flowerbeds around the front door? • Online presence – Do the photos and information on your website represent your club (e.g., friendly, exclusive, family-oriented, etc.)? Is your website properly optimized to increase your appearance in search results? Is your club information listed consistently and accurately on online maps and local search listings? • Social media – The majority of major purchases are researched using social media more than anywhere else. This is true for private clubs as well. Social network profiles and postings should be relevant, professional, and tightly integrated with your brand message. • Printed collateral materials – A well designed, well thought-out marketing brochure or folder is a great takeaway piece. Ensure that yours is consistently branded and clearly conveys your message. Refrain from potentially creating silent objections by including all the rules and regulations, requirements and other application materials. The time for that is during the sales process when they can be properly explained and after prospective members have emotionally purchased. • Direct experiential marketing – Although everything a club does, through all its touch points, can be considered “experiential”, there are some activities that are the traditional experiential marketing foundation – local community relations, charity events and outings, open houses and prospecting and awareness events are all crucial to your marketing strategy. SEE CLUB MARKETING - PAGE 132


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CLUBHOUSE DESIGN

An Emerging Trend CRAIG SMITH

Strategy-based Design

AS A CLUBHOUSE DESIGNER AND STYLIST, I ALWAYS ENJOY DISCOVERING SUBSTANTIVE NEW APPROACHES TO ASSIGNMENTS THAT CAN AID MY CLIENTS, AND STRATEGY-BASED DESIGN IS ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING AND UNIVERSALLY EMBRACED EMERGING TRENDS IN CLUBHOUSE DESIGN THAT WE’VE SEEN COME OUR WAY.

It’s become a welcomed primer for implementing positive change at a private golf, tennis and yacht clubs. The concept evolved out of the recent downturn, where most aesthetic and infrastructure related upgrades were put on hold because of a lack of funding and other challenges. Today, club governances and management teams want to ensure that capital is spent wisely and in a timely and strategic manner. Whether it is a well tuned club operation, one that has fallen on hard times, or even an emerging clubhouse in the early stages of development, strategy-based design can be the common thread that links a new model of thinking when positioning a club property for long term success. Strategy-based design is “a global approach to the normal artistry of clubhouse design and general club stewardship in which each design strategy and facility upgrade is considered in context with the club’s unique brand, market demographic and overall long range planning strategies.” This approach has become an emerging trend because of its universally adaptability to any club operation, location, member demographic, or membership value proposition. It maximizes efficiencies across the board – from expenditures to operations – as part of smart budgeting and capital expense. KEY BENEFITS

Here are seven key benefits. 1. Systematic: This approach provides strategic long term planning, which enables you to identify, vet, and support every property change that your team is considering to implement. When it comes to implementing change, you should only consider changes that will reflect your brand and what your members love most about your club.

2. Unique: It provides design solutions that exude your particular club’s brand, ensuring any improvements stay in line with your club’s core essence. Capture what makes your club special or unique by clarifying and confirming your club’s personality and story. This is a combination of your geographic location and the region’s historical legacy, the particular architectural style, etc. 3. Timely: It offers a structured means for implementing regulatory mandates and code compliance, essentially serving as your road map to keeping up to date with implementation timelines. This will support your club well into the future. 4. Customized: This approach moderates the integration of technology, ensuring you strategically weigh which trends are right for your property and guest demographic (both current and envisioned). This takes a targeted approach to be sure you stay in line with the exact range of guest expectations. 5. Smart: This maximizes the use of and returns on capital expenditures, start to finish. Considering the various effects from the down economy reduced access to capital, deferred maintenance, décor and FFE, upgrades have forced managers to justify expenditures more than ever. A strategy-based approach will establish a covenant between your club’s governance and the management team to grow your clubhouse operation in a positive cost-effective way. 6. Competitive: This is the key to any operation, having a plan that allows you to continue to implement positive enhancements despite periods of limited resources, so you can stay competitive as a club in today’s “Age of the Customer.” SEE CLUBHOUSE DESIGN - PAGE 132

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CITY CLUB

San Diego, Seattle Clubs ‘Reinvent’ Themselves Relevance Holds the Key To Younger Membership Growth RELEVANCE, AUTHENTICITY AND INTENGIBLES: THESE THREE WORDS SUM UP THE KEY COMPONENTS OF THE MAJOR CHANGES OVERSEEN PREVIOUSLY BY GENERAL MANAGER TOMMY TRAUSE AT THE UNIVERSITY CLUB IN SAN DIEGO AND CURRENTLY AT THE COLUMBIA TOWER CLUB IN SEATTLE.

All three play significant roles in what the clubs’ owner, Dallas-based ClubCorp, is touting as a “reinvention” of the private club model across many of its industrylargest portfolio of private club properties, and Trause is fully onboard. “Relevance was the key to what we did at the University Club,” Trause said. “We used to be a very specialization event-focused club there, but we found out that the members wanted to

make it more everyday event-focused. If we had just tried to provide more access to our existing member events, it would have just been a band-aid and it wouldn’t have cured the problem. “Instead,” Trause continued, “we proceeded on two parallel tracks. We renovated the clubhouse usage as a means of renovating the facility. We installed flexible furniture, for use for either business or social events, or large or small groups. That way, we created a very dynamic clubhouse, but we didn’t put the old back into the new. If we had done that, it would have fallen flat six months later.” One of the keys to making the University Club’s “reinvention” relevant was the club-within-a-club concept, Trause said.

JIM DUNLAP CONTRIBUTING EDITOR BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

“You have to have a robust programming calendar, with a unique selling point for each program,” he said. “You have to figure out what the formula is for getting people to come in. “One thing we believe in is that handshakes are the new currency in the club industry. When you see members walking in and shaking hands with other members, you know you have happy members who are likely to stay members.” The tangible improvements made at the University Club included a media room featuring some of the largest TV sets available, but by combining intangible elements with authenticity, the club added dimensions to the room and its member experience that made all the difference.

PHOTOS ON PAGES 100 AND 101 UNIVERSITY CLUB IN SAN DIEGO

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“If we’d just done that (installing the new TVs), it would have fallen flat,” Trause said. “Instead, we reached out to the San Diego Padres, who play right around the corner, and asked them to partner with us. “They provided some classic bats and we put on tailgate events before and after home games. We also reached out to Taylor Guitars, a famous local guitar maker, and they provided us with two guitars that flanked the big TV screen. The only stipulation Mr. Taylor made was that his guitars were meant to be played, so our members were encouraged to take them down and play them whenever they wanted, and they absolutely loved that.” Keeping with the authenticity theme, the club bar partnered with a popular San Diego craft beer brewer, Stones Beer of Stone Pale Ale fame, to not only stock the bar but to write the bar’s beer menu, exclusively featuring San Diego area beers. Continuing a ClubCorp theme of branding the club’s communal table, the University Club honored San Diego’s surfing traditions with a table designed as a surfing longboard. The changes paid off across the board. Although ClubCorp’s status as a publicly traded company would not allow Trause to cite specific figures in print, he said, “We had a significant increase in membership under the age of 40, but it did not slow our member growth in the over-50 category. “We were just looking for like-minded members, no matter what age. As a matter of fact, in San Diego our youngest member was 22, and our oldest was 102, and they both used the club!” The “reinvention” of the Columbia Tower Club in Seattle, which occupies the 75th and 76th floors of the downtown Columbia Center, is still in the construction phase, but the relevance, intangibles and authenticity themes will be much in evidence upon completion. There is a particular emphasis on going contemporary to ramp up the relevance factor for prospective younger members, while still main-

taining the comfort levels of current members. The communal table will be designed in the shape of a guitar pick to honor Seattle’s contemporary music tradition, and the redesigned club will offer a 14-foot shuffleboard table, but plans also include barista coffee service, an enomatic wine dispenser providing wine by the glass and wine lockers. “The private club industry is at a turning point, in my opinion,” Trause said. “I think it’s so very possible to transition new members into the existing framework of clubs, but you have to commit to that.

“We had a motto in San Diego that I’ve brought here, which is basically ‘We’re either going to succeed triumphantly or fail gallantly.’ If you’re creating a theme, it has to reek of authenticity. It’s the same as being green – you have to be all in, not just put a toe in, to really move the needle.” At both the University Club in San Diego and the Columbia Tower Club in Seattle, ClubCorp and Trause have definitely taken the plunge, and in this event at least, making a splash is a good thing. BR

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TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

Software Tools at Your Fingertips LISA M. L. CARROLL

RARELY DO WE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ALL OF THE SOFTWARE FEATURES INSTALLED ON OUR COMPUTERS. MICROSOFT OFFICE, FOR EXAMPLE, HAS SO MANY POWERFUL AND HANDY FEATURES AND YET, IF WE DON’T KNOW THESE FEATURES ARE AVAILABLE, WE CAN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM.

Here are some of my favorite Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint tips to help you and your team take advantage of these handy features. OUTLOOK

Outlook has several features that are useful in the private club world. Here are a few of my favorites. Calendar Events: Create events for items that you want to display on your calendar but don’t want to block off time for. For example, create an event for a wedding or golf tournament so you can see that they are taking place at the club although you may not actually be actively “working” the event. Just click the New appointment button to create a new appointment, and then check the “All day event” box in the appointment form.

(if necessary), the time, and change the subject. You can additionally change the appointment to an event (see instructions above for Events) or a meeting (by inviting attendees). Display more months at a glance: The Outlook Calendar folder, by default, displays only one month at a time on the left side of the Outlook window. Also, for some reason, the month is displayed on the left side of the window when all the other folders display the month on the right side. I recommend moving the month-at-aglance to the right side of the window and then adding additional months so you can view dates in the future more quickly. To change this view, click View, then To-Do Bar and finally click Normal. Now the To-Do Bar and the Date Navigator appear on the right side of the appointment section. To display additional months at a glance, hover the mouse over the left border of the Date Navigator. A double-headed arrow displays. Next, drag the mouse to the left so that it is wide enough to permit another month to display. Finally, click To-Do Bar under the View ribbon and then click Options. Change the Number of month rows to 2. CONTACTS

Drag emails to the Calendar or Tasks folder: Turn email messages into what they really are – tasks and appointments – by dragging them from the Inbox into the Calendar or Tasks folder. If you have Outlook 2007 or 2010 you can even drag them to a specific day. Once you have dragged the message, the appointment form will open and you can set the date 102 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

Activities: Each contact in your Contacts folder has an Activities view, regardless of the version of Outlook you are using. The Activities view displays all incoming and outgoing email messages, meetings, etc., for that particular contact. Open a contact in the Outlook Contacts folder and then click the Activities tab (if you are using Outlook 2007 or prior) or the Activities button on the Contact Ribbon (if you are using Outlook 2010). Photos: When you double-click to open a contact in your Contacts folder, a picture placeholder displays in the form. Click the placeholder icon and then point to a photo of the contact that you have stored on your hard drive or network location. This is great tool to help remember member names/faces. If you have an Exchange Server SEE TECHNOLOGY - PAGE 113


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TECHNOLOGY COMMITTEE

Clubster… A “Game Changer” For The Club Industry! By Dave White

PRIVATE CLUB SOCIAL MEDIA USE IS GROWING. CLUB MEMBERS TODAY COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY THAN THEY DID 10 YEARS AGO. WALK INTO ANY 19TH HOLE, DINING ROOM, OR EVEN POOLSIDE AND YOU’LL SEE SMART PHONES, TABLETS AND LAPTOPS.

They want the latest in technology and one that is growing rapidly in the private club industry is Clubster. Clubster, an exclusive private social network, makes club communications more flexible, more effective, and helps increase the reach of a club’s website, emails and newsletters. There is no need to spend money on expensive social media website features or custom smart phone apps. Each and every club on Clubster will always have the latest social media technology available to its members. “The usage of Clubster is growing every day and once implemented, about 20 percent of each clubs members log into it immediately,” exclaimed Donald N. Williams, president of ClubTec and Clubster. “Clubster is not an industry vendor, but better described as the industry’s social media platform. It is free to use by both the club and their member.” Once members begin using it, they have real time digital access to club news, events and promotions as well as the ability to communicate socially with fellow members who are individual friends or groups of friends, such as their golf group, tennis partners, or supper club buddies. One of the most important features of Clubster is its privacy. As recently noted by the IRS, public social media plat-

forms can be problematic for private clubs. “Under the IRS code, 501 (c) (7) clubs must be very cautious about using social media sites designed for use by the general public as they very easily could jeopardize a club’s privacy status. With Clubster, only members may use it and they must be invited by the club to even have access to it. That meets the requirements of privacy relative to a social media platform,” Williams said. There are several other reasons why Clubster is so valuable to a private club. • It enhances the member’s experience, even when they cannot physically be at the club •The club and the club members have instant two-way digital communication, which builds and strengthens the overall club community, and • It drives revenue. Private clubs, as we well know, are essentially one large group held together by many smaller groups functioning within that club. And the influence of technology, i.e. private networks, in maintaining these groups has been increasing rapidly. Clubster provides individual clubs with an effective and efficient solution to maintaining contact with its members, between members themselves and between specific groups of members. This is digital community building and members are becoming addicted to it. Clubster is hosted on a ‘Cloud’ network and is a push-notification platform. “Simply put, you are able to frequently ‘tap your members on the shoulder’ and drive them where you want them to go, such as your club website, photos they would enjoy seeing, a video lesson from the golf pro, a special recipe from the chef, and an endless list of communications possibilities,” Williams said. Clubster plays a huge role in the overall member experience and member retention, as it builds additional revenue for your club. Clubs like it because it keeps their members involved and in-touch with club events and activities. No question, social media has hit the private club industry…there’s no turning back. Clubs must use every possible method of communication with their members and Clubster seems like the most powerful one that exists for this unique niche market. B R

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YA C H T C L U B

Sarasota Yacht Club

Hook It and Cook It By Annie Hellweg AS YACHT CLUBS ACROSS THE COUNTRY HONE IN ON NEW APPROACHES THAT PROVIDE GREATER APPEAL TO THEIR MEMBERS, SARASOTA YACHT CLUB IN SARASOTA, FL HAS FOUND INNOVATIVE WAYS TO DIFFERENTIATE ITSELF.

The club has become synonymous with modern day luxury as well as leadership in the industry by providing unique programming and services that reach both traditional and new members of all ages. The management team has expanded the club’s membership base and strengthened the club’s finances – particularly important in a time when many clubs are suffering financially – by increasing service offerings and elevating the club experience. Situated on Sarasota Bay in a city with rapidly evolving demographics, Sarasota Yacht Club has tapped into a new membership base with a modern rebuild, a new business membership program and programming options that are second to none in the yacht club industry. One offering is Sarasota Yacht Club’s ‘Hook It and Cook It’ program, which provides members with an opportunity to catch their own fish and then have the club’s chef teach them to prepare it. “We love the idea of providing a multifaceted experience that showcases our fishing resources as well as our chef, to offer a fun and educational experience to our members,” says Bernhard Kloppenburg, general manager of Sarasota Yacht Club. “The program provides members with a unique experience they can tell their friends about and keeps our members engaged and excited.” Members plan two to three days in advance with the club’s chef, making a reservation that details the time of day, number of people 104 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


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attending and side dishes they would like prepared to accompany the fish they catch. They can select either one of the club’s standard side dishes or bring in other foods they would like to have prepared. They can also choose either a formal or casual setting for their meal. The meals are set up outside and the chef, if not on the boat with the members, greets them as they return and prepares the fish on the outdoor grill. While members observe, the chef explains how to grill their fish and discusses options for sauces and sides, as well as wine pairings. “The ‘Hook It and Cook It’ program epitomizes the level of personalized service and programming that Sarasota Yacht Club is known for now,” says Kloppenburg. “It is part cooking demonstration, part dinner party and all fun, and members who participate are always thrilled with their experience.” The club boasts a seasonal menu featuring local ingredients year round. Yachting members can spend the day on the water, stop in for a workout, dinner and drinks, and even have the dockside concierge service deliver catered meals directly to member’s boats. The ‘Hook It and Cook It’ program evolved out of the dining options, as members were eager to learn how to prepare their catch immediately, but with the benefit of a chef ’s touch. The club’s new look and feel have attracted individuals from across the country to the club as seasonal, social or yachting members, with more than 100 new members joining in the past year alone. It is clear that the club has been successful in its appeal to an upscale demographic interested in innovative offerings and a family-friendly atmosphere. B R To learn more about Sarasota Yacht Club or for membership information, please contact Dana Soldati at (941) 363-0161 or email her at dana.soldati@sarasotayachtclub.org. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 105


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EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Golf and Fitness An Integral Part of the Game AS A PGA EMPLOYMENT CONSULTANT, I HAVE ASSISTED A LOT OF PRIVATE CLUBS IN HIRING MANAGEMENT-LEVEL PROFESSIONALS.

In recent years, almost every club I’ve worked with has identified member growth and retention among their highest priorities and has included them as a measure of success for their new head professional or general manager. A key objective of the Golf 2.0 mission of growing the game of golf is to retain and strengthen core golfers. This is important to the game and to all facility types, but to private clubs it’s critical! With the pace and changing priorities of today’s lifestyles, most families have to review their disposable income, the amount of spare time they have, and the value of their club membership. To remain viable, it is not enough for a club to offer a great clubhouse, a friendly staff, and an enjoyable “championship” golf course.

BILL KEYS PGA OF AMERICA

Imagine being able to identify members who played more than 20 times last year but have not posted a score or rented a cart in the last three months. With CRM you could develop a strategy of contacting them by email or by phone to let them know they have been missed and invite them out for a round this week. Another idea is a personalized email from your PGA golf professional to tennis or social members inviting them to a Get Golf Ready lesson series. After the series, offer them an incentive to upgrade their membership. CRM applications can be customized and integrated with other programs like Microsoft Outlook. It’s possible one could be integrated with your club’s current software package. For more information, go to www.Golf20.net and download the “Know Your Customer 101” brochure. There are also the more detailed “Know Your Customer Playbook” and the “Know Your Customer Facility Plan” template for your club.

Another idea is a personalized email from your PGA golf professional to tennis or social members inviting them to a Get Golf Ready lesson series. After the series, offer them an incentive to upgrade their membership. These days, the club has to “know” the membership and aggressively reach out to get them involved, especially with other club members. This takes a coordinated and concentrated effort of the board, the committees, club management and staff. In recent years, many savvy clubs have found customer relations management (CRM) applications extremely valuable in developing a comprehensive member database and automating the process of “knowing” and communicating with the members. They use CRM to market and promoting directly to segments of the membership based on their interests, age, gender, spending habits, etc. When used properly, an effective member relations management (MRM) strategy will increase the members’ involvement and enjoyment of the club. That’s what a club is all about! 106 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

Most PGA professionals know about Golf 2.0. Yours should play a key role in planning and implementing your CRM program. Keep in mind that this process is a marathon, not a sprint! The main thing is to get committed and take those first steps! B R Bill Keys, PGA is one of twelve PGA of America Regional Employment Consultants. You can find contact information for the PGA Employment Consultant in your area at www.pga.com/employment. Founded in 1916, The PGA of America is a not-for-profit organization composed of more than 28,000 men and women professionals who are dedicated to growing the game of golf.


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iPad apps and Concierge Plus These two programs may not have come from the “Plus 1” suggestion concept at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park, CA, but general manager and COO Rick Sussman is proud of them as well. The iPad program, originally set up for use by the club’s catering director and sales staff, provides immediate access during sales appointments to space availabilities, photos of rooms and diagrams for room set-up, and menu options. The application won a first place award at the Club Managers Association of America’s Idea Fair earlier this year. Sharon Heights also offers a comprehensive member service, which they call Concierge Plus. In addition to providing information about club activities, events and amenities, the

JIM DUNLAP BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

concierge service offers member discounts on event tickets, trips, skiing and other activities, which can be purchased at the club and put on the member’s account. The club also provides postage, UPS or FedEx services which can be charged, and has paid for staff members to become licensed notary publics. It’s a service provided to members at no cost. “It’s really convenient for members,” Sussman says. It’s also worth noting that it provides members with another reason to visit the club, where they may take advantage of the time they saved to have a bite to eat or otherwise use the facilities. And that, like free notary service, is a good thing. B R

Movie Club Based on a recommendation from an inhouse committee, the Desert Highlands Club in Scottsdale, AZ held a “Movie Club” meeting one Sunday evening during the winter months this year. Interested members arrived for a generally inexpensive 6 p.m. dinner, which they paid for, and the club paid for dessert and a discussion of one or two contemporary movies by respected local movie critic Ed Everroad. Members were notified in advance of the movies to be discussed, so they could watch the movies on their own, and, if the movie was based on a book, read that as well. If one or both of the movies being discussed that night had a particular theme, the club attempted to put together a menu that would tie into the theme. General manager Terra Waldron said the program has been very wel l received, with an average of around 75 members turning out. B R SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 107


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RESORT

La Costa Resort

Their Unique ‘Marshal Plan’ By Jim Dunlap

THE GOLF SQUAD TURNS PACE OF PLAY INTO A PLEASURABLE EXPERIENCE

We, or most of us, have all been there! We’re enjoying a pleasant round of golf, moving along steadily, when a stray tee shot or two requires some search and rescue time, or the group suffers an attack of 3-putt-itis on the same hole. All of a sudden the group ahead of us is nowhere in sight. And, naturally, that’s when the dreaded specter of the course marshal drifts into sight, bearing down on us with what is bound to be a stern admonition to pick up the pace. No matter how gently it’s delivered, there is an inherent threat of further harassment if we don’t speed it up, and the ambience of a relaxing day on the links is gone for the rest of the round. The staff at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., has decided that it doesn’t have to be that way. While pace of play on La Costa’s two 18-hole championship courses is just as important as other places, La Costa has designed a subtle carrot to help people keep moving, rather than a stick. They call it The Golf Squad, and its members are about as far from the average golfer’s perception of the stereotypical course marshal as you can imagine. La Costa typically assigns one of the nine Golf Squad members to the starter’s post, and one member to each of the resort’s two courses. Attired in a distinctive green caddie bib, the on-course squad members monitor the course flow, stopping frequently to ask players if they’re having a good day, or provide some helpful hints about the best way to play the hole they’re on, distance to the pin, etc. 108 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

The real difference in The Golf Squad and more typical course marshals, rangers or so-called player assistants takes place when a group seems to be falling behind. “Most people see me and they say, ‘What did we do wrong?’” said Golf Squad member Steve Long. “I tell them ‘Absolutely nothing, you’re fine,’ and then I explain The Golf Squad and introduce myself, and tell them they can consider me a free caddie for a while. “I’ll stay with the group for a hole or a couple of holes, give them yardages, rake the traps, pull the pins, fix ball marks and mark their balls on the green. All of a sudden, they’re caught up without me having to say anything. Sometimes I’ll even give them a little quick swing tip, and they love that. A lot of them ask if I can stay with them, and I have to say no because I’ve got the rest of the course to check.” The architect of The Golf Squad is La Costa’s Assistant Director of Golf James Hochrine, who developed a similar program in his former position with the private Gainey Ranch club in Scottsdale, Ariz. He implemented the program with the full support of La Costa Vice President/General Manager Paul McCormick, who says, “After we redesigned the Champions Course, we decided we wanted a fresh approach. “Our marshals and starters are our golf guests’ first point of contact, and we took a different approach to the [pace of play] process. We wanted it to be more interactive and less threatening. The customer response has been great – they really appreciate The Golf Squad experience.” Unlike many courses, where marshals


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are retired or semi-retired individuals who are there primarily for the free golf privileges, The Golf Squad members are trained to function as full-time employees and ambassadors for the resort. The pay is basically minimum wage, albeit full-time in some cases, but most Golf Squad members are avid golfers who either don’t need a large income or who find a day on the golf course much more stimulating than an office job. In Long’s case, he is pursuing his PGA certification, after spending much of his early working career as a customer service specialist for Ford Motor Co. His comment is fairly typical of Golf Squad members’ feelings, saying “I absolutely love it. This is my office,”pointing at La Costa’s manicured layout. Long’s genuine love for his job has paid unexpected dividends as well. According to Hochrine, Long has personally been responsible for three new membership sales to people he met out on the course. Finding people with the right stuff to realize his vision at La Costa has been no easy task for Hochrine, who had used the club’s assistant professionals to run the program during his tenure at Gainey Ranch. “We had 250 applicants when we first ran the ad, and none of them were right,” he said. “Most of them wanted to work a day or two for golf privileges, and that

wasn’t the type of person we were looking for. It’s a whole culture change we’re looking for.” La Costa misses few chances to add a unique element to the guest experience. Employees in every resort capacity are encouraged to engage guests and find out information that the resort can use to make the guest’s stay more memorable. Golf Squad members, for instance, are frequently fore-armed with information about players on the course, and score points by greeting them with “Happy Birthday,” “Happy Anniversary,” congratulations on their recent wedding, etc. They’ve been known to deliver cupcakes or other treats to golfing guests to celebrate those events. Hochrine said that Golf Squad members also have full license to initiate fun games such as a closest to the pin contest on a par-3 for a foursome with a free drink coupon for the winner, or to provide similar rewards for groups who play particularly quickly. The bottom line is that a visit from a member of The Golf Squad generally turns out to be a positive aspect of the day’s round rather than a negative one, and isn’t that a difference maker from a guest experience standpoint? B R

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TENNIS COMMITTEE

Commitment Continues Providing Member Benefits Through Technology THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT WE NOW LIVE IN A TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN SOCIETY THAT THRIVES UPON INSTANT GRATIFICATION, AND THE TENNIS INDUSTRY IS NO DIFFERENT.

The USPTA strives to continue to offer benefits through technology that allow the association to stay on the cutting edge, and keep its members on the cutting edge. Tennisresources.com, USPTA’s premier online tennis resource library, is a resource created by the USPTA that caters to that sense of immediacy and provides tennis-teaching professionals with a comprehensive tennis resource that meets any and all of their needs. It is a search engine through which viewers can find exclusive educational and instructional videos, audio seminars, articles and drill diagrams related to all levels and aspects of tennis. Tennisresources.com offers thousands of high-quality educational tennis materials, including technical, tactical and strategic instruction, tips on physical and mental development of players and information on business and facil-

110 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

TIM HECKLER CEO, USPTA

ity management. The site provides teaching professionals with all the tools they need to enhance their lessons and programs from the convenience of their own homes/offices, whether they teach competitive juniors and adults or children. It allows teaching professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills and stay on top of teaching methods, drills and techniques. Tennis players will also find the site useful with access to numerous instructional videos, one-minute video tips and drills from top tennisteaching professionals to help improve their game. While it’s understandable that not all organizations will have a search engine of resources/tools/tips readily available, it is something that is accessible and feasible to any type of organization/club. While it may take time to gather/compile all the resources and create an online library pertinent to your specific business or club needs, it is worth it, and there is no time like the present to create such expansive benefits through technology. With thousands of video clips and counting, and more than 2,000 other types of media, Tennisresources.com is a searchable database that includes: • Slow-motion video footage of professional players’ strokes


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• One-minute video tips by USPTA Professionals and Master Professionals • Drills that will improve your game • Interviews with the world’s top professional coaches • Tennis seminars from past USPTA World Conferences • Hundreds of informative teaching articles • Hundreds of audio seminars • Ready-to-use drill diagrams • Templates for draws, match charts, drills and more. All of these elements can be built with resources you already have and by utilizing a competent staff videographer and small camera at your annual conferences, educational offerings, etc. Unlike a regular library, tennisresources.com grows every day as staff cuts and edits video and audio from conferences, TV shoots, and interviews, and the world’s best teachers and coaches contribute editorial content, drills, and tips. The site also offers lesson plan resources, including templates and drill diagrams that can be printed and easily transported to the court. Tennisresources.com is an invaluable online resource that is iPhone, iPad and Android-compatible, so tennis-teaching professionals have instant access to it on court. USPTA’s goal is to provide education and resources to benefit tennis-teaching professionals and help enhance their careers and make their lives easier, and TennisResources.com helps the USPTA continue to do that. Visit tennisresources.com today for more information and to view sample clips. B R

BRINGING THE FAMILY BACK TO YOUR CLUB!

Looking to offer a children’s summer camp at your club? Choose KECAMPS, the nationwide leader in operating country club day camps! Provide a wonderful member value service and let KECAMPS do the work. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR A PROPOSAL FOR YOUR CLUB, PLEASE CONTACT US:

877.671.CAMP (2267) OR NEILW@KECAMPS.COM

Tim Heckler is CEO of the United States Professional Tennis Association. Founded in 1927, the USPTA is the world’s oldest and largest association of tennis-teaching professionals. With more than 15,000 members, the USPTA strives to raise the standards of the tennis profession while promoting participation and lifetime enthusiasm for tennis. For more information, visit www.uspta.com or call (800) 877-8248. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 111


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CLUB MANAGEMENT

Cultivate Your Network of Experts Not Just Your Golf Course PROFESSIONAL GOLFERS COMPETE WITH A VENGEANCE EACH WEEK, BUT WHEN THEY GET THE CHANCE TO TEAM UP FOR EVENTS SUCH AS THE RYDER CUP AND SOLHEIM CUP, THAT’S WHEN THE GOLF COMMUNITY FLOURISHES.

Players support each other, learn from one another and for one exciting week, put their country and their team ahead of their individual needs. As we prepared to watch one of the greatest events in professional golf at Medinah CC, I get the sense that this same type of competition-to-collaboration strategy will benefit the private club world. Challenging times provide an opportunity for teamwork, and a chance to rethink business as usual. As we navigate the obstacles, we need to learn to collaborate to move the industry forward and strengthen our own business. Every club thinks their problems are unique. Most times, however, they’re not. Today, I see three common challenges prevalent in the private club industry regardless of ownership. 1. Managing the wait-to-sell list. With less disposable income and limited free time, an increasing number of members are being added to the list to terminate their club memberships. Membership sales are suffering and the wait-to-sell list is rising. What can we do to manage this imbalance? 2. Prospecting. Getting people to visit your club is much more difficult today. Young couples and families are more involved in their children’s activities, and a visit to your club is not a priority. What’s the best way to reach these influential prospective members? 3. Encouraging member spending. There’s a shift in revenue from guest rounds to member rounds. While your total rounds may not have decreased, guest rounds have declined dramatically. Members are playing more golf with other members, entertaining fewer guests and spending less in merchandise and food and beverage. What can we do to help influence member spending habits? While most clubs may be facing these challenges, we can all share strategies to improve the industry and find solutions 112 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

BARRETT EISELMAN

for our own club. I encourage you to consider the following three simple ideas to foster collaboration. 1. Cultivate your network. Reach out on a consistent basis and expand your network beyond local peers and general managers. Utilize social media and make connections across specialties. Connect with marketing and sales directors, food and beverage professionals, agronomy teams, vendors and industry consultants for advice and recommendations. 2. Step up engagement – nationally, regionally and locally. Participate in regional chapters of CMAA and other professional industry groups. Volunteer and contribute to local and regional committees to meet new leaders and encourage information sharing across the industry. Think beyond educational credits, get active and utilize the industry resources that are offered. 3. Share and compare. Many clubs are limited to internal results and budgets to measure their financial performance. Professional software and industry resources are available to let you compare your club’s operating efficiency against other facilities with similar demographics – securely and confidentially. Consider industry tools to measure the effectiveness of your operations by department. Better data leads to better results. As a senior executive at KemperSports, I encourage collaboration with my colleagues and friends, and still reach out to other industry experts for insight and advice. We feel there’s value to collaborating and sharing information. Often times, it validates that you’re not alone in the challenges we’re facing as an industry, especially in the private club world. Get to know your club and the clubs around you. Learn from each other, embrace your differences and for a few times a year, join forces for the good of the game. B R As senior vice president of KemperSports, Barrett Eiselman oversees the company’s private club division, KemperCollection. KemperCollection was developed in 2012 to formalize and grow KemperSports’ private club portfolio. Eiselman has more than 20 years experience in the private club industry.


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[

TECHNOLOGY

] - 102

as your mail server at the club, you can create a Member Contacts folder to share with your team that stores photos, names, spouse names, birthdates, food allergies, etc. EXCEL

Export data from back-of-the-house software to an XLS or XLSX (Excel), CSV (Comma-Separated Value), or even TXT format. Once you have imported the data into Excel, you can use several powerful tools to analyze the data. I’ve listed two of my favorites here. Lists/Tables: The Lists (Excel 2003) and Tables (Excel 2007/2010) features allow you to easily sort and, more importantly, filter data by criteria. The data needs to have no blank columns or rows and it is easiest if the first row of data contains the headers or field names. All you need to do is click somewhere inside the data (just one cell) and then select the List or Format as Table icon on the Home ribbon to enable it.

DATA BEFORE USING THE TABLE COMMAND

DATA AFTER USING THE TABLE COMMAND

The Format as Table feature not only provides formatting options, but more importantly, displays down arrows next to each heading that you use to filter your data. Add a Total Row to sum, average, or count the data that matches the criteria specified. Total Row is a check box on the Table Tools Design ribbon. Once you’ve added the Total Row click in the row and select your preferred function (sum, average, count, etc.). PivotTables: PivotTables allow you to rearrange and summarize data (count, sum, average, etc.). PivotTables are invaluable for analyzing survey data. Excel allows you to take a large amount of data (think survey questions and demographics) and then analyze and filter the data into useful information. For information on creating and

using PivotTables, run Excel, press the F1 function key, and then type PivotTables in the search box. There is also a lot of PivotTable information online if you search using your favorite search engine. POWERPOINT

Slide Master View: The PowerPoint Slide Master view enables you to make changes to slides that affect all the slides in your presentation. For example, add your club logo to all the slides in your presentation by adding it to the Slide

Master of the file. The logo will display on all slides in that presentation. The Slide Master View option is located on the View menu bar (PowerPoint 2003) or on the View ribbon (PowerPoint 2007 and 2010). Presenter View: PowerPoint 2007 and 2010 offer an invaluable view for anyone presenting in front of a group of people. While the audience is watching your slide show on the screen, you can view the slides with additional information on your computer simultaneously. In PowerPoint, click the View tab and then select Use Presenter View on the ribbon. This view is only available if you have a second monitor (a projector or another monitor) connected to your computer. The view includes: • Thumbnails of slides • Slide numbers • Elapsed time in hours and minutes since the start of the slide show • Current time • Speaker notes • Up Next area indicates what will appear on the screen next • Forward and Backward buttons to navigate Turn learn more about the Presenter View, visit office.microsoft.com and search for Presenter View. These are just a few of the many timesaving and productivity improving features of Microsoft Office. A reminder of how much is packed into the software that is available at our fingertips. B R Lisa Carroll, with Carroll Quality Alliance and Kopplin & Kuebler, performs executive search services and facilitates CMI workshops and education sessions for CMAA chapters and club staff. She can be reached at lisa@carrollquality.com and (561) 596-1123. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 113


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CLUB MANAGEMENT

The “Real” Problem with Mandatory Membership By Lee Hoke, Brian Kench and Charles Skipton

MILTON FRIEDMAN, IN HIS BOOK “FREEDOM TO CHOOSE” DETAILED THE FOUR WAYS TO SPEND MONEY:

1. You spend your own money on yourself. 2. You spend your own money on someone else. 3. You spend someone else’s money on yourself. 4. You spend someone else’s money on someone else. Friedman explains that when you spend your money on yourself (1) you are very careful to be sure you get something you that really want and that the price is as low as possible. When you spend your money on someone else (2) you are careful not to spend too much but you pay less attention to what you are getting. When you spend someone else’s money on yourself (3) you focus on what you are getting but pay little attention to how much you are paying. And finally (4) when you spend someone else’s money on someone else you pay little attention to what you are getting or how much you pay for it. Clearly Friedman’s point is that only when an individual is spending their money on themself can we be sure that a decision is made with the most prudence. When persons spend others’ money on themselves or on others, then their decisions are likely to be less prudent and thus some money will be poorly spent. All club board members make type (3) and (4) and decisions. Consider how the resolution of a poorly managed clubcommunity is likely to be different between the mandatory membership and non-mandatory clubs forms: • When a non-mandatory membership club is poorly managed, business declines, members quit, and in the worst-case scenario a bankruptcy claim is made. The costs of poor decision making are borne in their entirety by the individual members who possess concentrated interests.In bankruptcy, creditors take over and the property, resources 114 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

and decision rights are transferred to a new private owner. In this case, future benefits will depend on sound decision-making by the new owner – as will any costs that follow poor decision-making. • However, when a mandatory membership club is poorly managed, rather than file a bankruptcy claim, the board places a lien on each member’s home. As the costs of poor decision-making rise, fees and assessments are imposed and housing values fall. The extent of the potential financial damage is only limited by the real estate value of the community as a whole. In this case, the costs of poor decision-making by a mandatory membership board are borne by (and so distributed among) the larger community of homeowners. Not all mandatory membership club boards are malfeasant. Many boards are both effective and efficient. Here we simply highlight that the mandatory membership structure generates lousy incentives for management by eliminating the powerful incentives the threat of bankruptcy creates. Further, the mandatory membership structure gives the board the ability to shift the financial burden of poor decision-making from a smaller group of active club participants (member-owners) to a larger community of homeowners – essentially moving from ‘spending one’s own money on one’s self ’ to ‘spending others money on one’s self ’ and, predictably, perverting the prudence of the decision-making process as a result. Many may argue that mandatory membership is needed to solve the free rider problem that is alive and well in golf course communities. The open space, drainage, increased property values, etc. created by the course benefit everyone, and those who do not pay dues receive a value without paying for it. SEE CLUB MANAGEMENT - PAGE 122


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CLUB MANAGEMENT

Outsourcing CLAIRE LANOUETTE

A Viable Tool to Better Manage Club Operations

MANY PRIVATE CLUBS TODAY FACE THE QUESTION OF WHETHER TO OUTSOURCE SOME OF THEIR CLUB OPERATING PROCESSES OR TO HIRE ADDITIONAL IN-HOUSE PERSONNEL.

The need to find experienced employees while controlling costs is forcing club managers to think outside the box when making this type of decision. The conventional thinking is that internal supervision can provide the greatest amount of management control over club operations. However, new competitive pressures are compelling clubs to rethink their former strategies of building up internal organizations. By outsourcing some of the club business functions, club executives can simply act as project managers and avoid being distracted from their primary mission – serving the needs of their members – all the while increasing productivity. Business processes are typically categorized into two categories: back office processes (which includes functions such as human resources, or finance and accounting) and front office processes (which includes member-related services such as communications and membership management). Before deciding what to outsource, a club should first evaluate each business function based on productivity and efficiency, and more importantly, consider its strategic value to the club. The club can then outsource those services not integral to its primary mission. Here are some specific reasons why your private club should consider outsourcing: Reduce or control operating costs. The most compelling reason for outsourcing is to transform fixed costs into variable costs. By accessing an outside provider’s lower cost structure (which may be the result of a greater economy of scale or other advantage based on specialization), a club can improve its overall financial performance.

Acquire resources not available internally. Private clubs often outsource because they do not have access to the required resources within the club. Outsourcing is a viable alternative to building the needed capability from the ground up. Free resources for other purposes. Every organization has limits on the resources available to it. Outsourcing allows club management to redirect its personnel resources from non-core or administrative activities towards greater valueadding activities. People whose energies are currently SEE LANOUETTE - PAGE 122

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PLIGHTS AND INSIGHTS

Texting and Driving… on the Golf Course IN A 2004 BLOOMBERG POST DAN BRIODY WROTE, “GOLF AND TECHNOLOGY HAVE ALWAYS MADE STRANGE BEDFELLOWS, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE MOST VENERABLE OF GOLF INSTITUTIONS, THE COUNTRY CLUB.”

Here we are eight years later, in 2012. My utility bill is paid via a smooth and seamless automatic, electronic deduction from my checking account. Same thing with my AMEX. The knowledgeable (though bossy) voice on my iPhone’s Mapquest app gives me turn-by-turn directions to get me to wherever I want to go. I can bid on a new TaylorMade R11S Driver on eBay from the touchpad convenience of a tablet computer. And I can Skype simultaneously with my next-door neighbor and a colleague in India. When I put gas in my car, the pump asks me if I want a paper receipt. While I’m not a tree-hugger, I like to think I’m a Sustainability Good Do-Bee. So, I always press “no.” I basically think using technology is cool. Yet, I’ve been on the receiving end of looks more piercing than a Kershaw Shun chef ’s knife – and words, when I’ve inadvertently forgotten to turn off my cell phone on the golf course. “What IDIOT brought the cell phone? Would you PLEASE turn off that rotten thing!?!” Its BRRRIIINNNGGG seemed to boomerang across the fairways faster than a Jamie Sadlowski drive. Caught in the act…I was guilty as all get-out of the telltale sign of 4G connectivity. So, under what circumstances – and where – might it be appropriate to use a cell phone? I decided to investigate cell phone policies at private clubs and golf resorts. It was tee-off time for the MacBook Pro. EMERGENCIES

While most private clubs prohibit or restrict the use of cell phones and other forms of electronic communications inside the clubhouse, they are often expressly permitted in cases of 116 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

NANCY M. LEVENBURG ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR, SEIDMAN COLLEGE OF BUSINESS

medical emergencies (which is a good thing). For example, see the cell phone policies at Cherokee Town and Country Club, Atlanta, Georgia at https://www.cherokeetcc.org/ or Mount Kisco Country Club, Mount Kisco, New York at http://www.mountkiscocc.org/. In some cases, clubs encourage making/receiving emergency calls in designated areas. As one example, The Country Club of Virginia’s policy (Richmond, Virginia) states, “If a member or guest is required to make or accept an emergency call, he or she is expected to retire to a private area of the club, away from the activity areas (such as a parked car or in the vicinity of one of the club’s installed phones), where the call can be completed.” OTHER SPECIFIC OCCASIONS/AREAS

Some private clubs permit verbal cell phone use in selected areas. For example, Boulder Country Club, Boulder, Colorado allows its use in six designated areas (e.g., the lower hall lounge area of the clubhouse and the board room, when vacant). Lansing Country Club, Lansing, Michigan has specified areas where members should place or receive calls (e.g., main and south lobby areas, locker rooms). And, The Riviera Country Club, Pacific Palisades, California also specifies areas where cell phone use is acceptable (e.g., men’s and Ladies locker rooms). However, its cell phone policy also states, “As a courtesy to others, when using cellular phones in these areas, ringers must be turned off and only outgoing calls will be permitted.” Wellesley Country Club, Wellesley, Massachusetts prohibits laptops, tablet computers, and the audible use of cell phones on the golf course, except by professional staff for medical emergencies and to monitor play. It permits “silent discreet use of cell phones (such as texting, emailing and retrieval of voice messages)… on the golf course and practice facilities, as long as it does not have an effect on pace of play or enjoyment of the practice facilities.” SEE PLIGHTS AND INSIGHTS - PAGE 123


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FITNESS COMMITTEE

KAREN SULLIVAN

Who will use your Wellness Center?? …You May Be Surprised!

adamantly against adding the Wellness Center! Some thought that only the “young and super fit” members would use the wellness center and that it was a waste of money. And now…many of the members who fought so hard against adding the wellness center are regular and happy users of the facility! So let’s get to the reasons why this is true, and how we can program to not just reach out to our senior members, but to keep them coming back! STAFF

THESE THREE GENTLEMEN HAVE BEEN USING OUR WELLNESS CENTER AND EXERCISING TOGETHER WITH A TRAINER FOR THE LAST SIX YEARS.

They first came to their trainer wanting to improve their golf game. We had just added the TPI (Titleist Performance Institute) golf fitness program, and like many golfers they were game to try anything to improve their golf! I am sure they made improvements to their golf game, but what their trainer was more excited about, was that they get up and down off the ground with more ease, they have better balance, they sleep better and yes, they are stronger and healthier overall! What I ask myself about these gentleman is “Would they be exercising regularly if they did not have a wellness center at their private club?” And I have to say that I don’t think so. I do not see them at the mega club down the street, nor do I find them the type that would have a personal trainer come to their home. But at their private club they feel comfortable and welcomed. They can workout with their friends and it is convenient. But here is the little secret…like many of our senior membership, these three were somewhere between lukewarm to

Your staff is the number one attracter to your facility. New high tech equipment means little if it goes unused because it overwhelms a new exerciser or a senior exerciser. You can have a beautiful facility with all the latest and greatest equipment, but without an educated, kind, empathetic staff person to teach and motivate, you just may find your fitness center empty! Think about it…unless you are an avid exerciser, walking into a fitness center can be intimidating! Seniors and newbies are afraid of looking foolish, doing exercises incorrectly and worst of all getting injured. It does not take much of an obstacle to get these folks running for the door never to return. A lost opportunity to change a life! It takes a special person to make these folks feel not just welcomed, but taken care of! SOCIAL

Everyone likes to make new friends and spend time with friends!! Seniors and newbies alike enjoy being social and spending time with like minded people. A great staff can help foster this by introducing fellow members to each other and encouraging them to attend classes together. Group exercise is especially important to this population! A group that they belong to (a club within a club) and a time to show up, gives them a sense of purpose and accountability. SEE SULLIVAN - PAGE 122

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CLUBHOUSE DESIGN

Watch your Step Patios in the Sky

IMAGINE WALKING OUT ON THE CLUB’S PATIO FOR DRINKS OR COFFEE AFTER DINNER, REALLY NOT THAT UNUSUAL YOU SAY.

But what if you’re on the 32nd floor of a high rise – suicidal…not so at The Summit, a member-owned city club in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Summit occupies three floors of a unique 1960s building and they recently remodeled their upper floor into an a la carte dining and bar lounge space, “The Penthouse at The Summit.” So, how can you walk outside of this high-rise building? Well, it involved utilizing a portion of the floor’s wrap around planter, which had long been off limits to club members and filled with decorative stone. By removing the planter, adding floor drains, a tile floor, a glass guardrail system, and exterior lounge furniture, The Terrace was created. The Terrace, located adjacent to the club’s bar lounge, has proven to be very successful. It adds that unique touch that no one in town has to offer. The Terrace overlooks the Arkansas River and a multitude of Tulsa’s oil refineries. Maybe a view of refineries is not your cup of tea, but in Tulsa, its money – “Black Gold, that is.” For the Petroleum Club of Ft. Worth, adding an exterior space was more of a challenge. The club is located in a 1980s glass skyscraper and adding a patio meant blowing a 20 by 12 foot hole into the side of the building. Essentially all new con118 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

RYAN YAKEL

struction, the space was part of their extensive 20,000 square foot remodel of the club. The Petroleum Club space presented a challenge for CCI. First it required talking the Downtown Ft. Worth Design Review Board into allowing the club to alter the building’s façade. Renderings and views from surrounding high-rise structures were presented as exhibits and the review board was enthralled with the unique concept. The idea for the patio started with the club’s long-time general manager Patrick Hebrard-Bopp, who from his office watched as other downtown high rises were rebuilt following the tragic tornado on March 28, 2000. GM Hebrard-Bopp asked that a space be created within the club’s main dining room, so members can enjoy a drink or take in the view “al fresco.” The patio is an engineering feat of some undertaking. High-rise curtain wall engineers designed the additional steel structure allowing a hole to be cut in the side of the building. Waterproofing experts were employed to make sure not only the club would stay dry, but so too would the tenant floors below the club. Again a glass guardrail was installed to keep the view intact; tile SEE CLUBHOUSE DESIGN - PAGE 121


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H E A LT H A N D W E L L N E S S

Technology in the Wellness Age RICK LADENDORF

INCREASING TECHNOLOGY IS BEING USED TO REDUCE HEALTH CARE COSTS AND INCREASE REVENUE

Smart phones, pedometers, calorie counters, BMI calculators, challenges, incentives, meal planning, health risk assessments are just a few of the online fitness and nutritional tools designed to help staff and members manage their personal health and wellness. The question is, how can the club industry implement wellness technology to reduce health care costs and or create sustainable increases in revenue? CONTROLLING HEALTH CARE COSTS

U.S. employers can expect to see health care costs rise by 8.5 percent in 2012, compared with an increase of 8 percent in 2011, according to an annual survey of medical cost trends by PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Health Research Institute. For a club employing 50 full time employees with annual salaries of $1.5 million, the increase would be nearly $127,500. And this number does not reflect losses because of absenteeism, presenteeism and lost productivity. To offset the increase in costs, clubs will need to increase dues, membership revenue or sell more memberships. As part of the 2011 survey, PwC asked employers about changes they are making in their benefits plans, particularly in light of health care reform. The survey found 89 percent likely would increase their health and wellness efforts. “Technology is the great enabler and allows our members to set goals, log physical activity, count calories, create shopping lists and record progress”, says Tom Tegler, president of WellworksForYou, an international workplace wellness solution provider. He said, “95 percent of our employer clients subscribe to the web portal with an initial adoption rate of over 90 percent, contributing to a one to three percent reduction in premiums.” “The Congressional Country Club has saved $440,000 over the last three year by implementing preventative wellness programs for our staff,” said Michael Leemhuis, COO for the Congressional Club, and “we expect to see a 12 percent decrease in our 2012 health care costs when the rest of the industry is anticipating a 21 percent increase.” MEMBER WELLNESS

costs are imminent and private clubs should be evaluating online technology, in conjunction with on-site services to help increase revenues as a way to offset increased health care costs. People need people too. Take for example, a pedometer on its own, can track how many steps a person has walked and calculate the calories burned. Effective for some, but by and large, people need other people to make exercise sustainable, fun and effective. Clubster, a social networking site for the private club industry, has developed an online solution which connects private club members with mutual interests i.e. walking, weight-loss and cooking “clubs within the club.” The club’s role is that of an administrator to set up groups and invite members to participate. To help leverage the technology and increase usage, clubs can create weight loss challenges, provide pedometers to participants, invite like-minded members to join groups, integrate the fitness center, offer healthy menu options and host monthly nutritional and wellness seminars, classes and workshops. Implementing a wellness program for staff and members has been proven to reduce employer funded health care costs while simultaneously creating sustainable increases in member revenues through greater participation. The early adopters and innovators have proven the model works, now it’s time for the rest of the industry to come along. Five suggestions to help reduce health care costs and increase revenue 1. Implement a web-based wellness platform and offer it to staff and members 2. Create challenges, incentives and wellness programs to engage members 3. Form groups and invite like-minded members to join 4. Offer nutritional and fitness workshops, seminars and classes 5. Provide the necessary training and support to keep members engaged. B R Rick Ladendorf is the founder of Prevo Health Solutions and can be reached at (949) 933-5470 or via email at rladendorf@prevohealth.com

While it is not clear how much of the savings are attributed to technology, it is it is safe to say that increases in health care SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 119


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CLUB MANAGEMENT

Integrated Approach Unifies A Club’s Management Team AS PRIVATE CLUBS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND ATTEMPT TO ATTRACT AN INCREASINGLY SELECTIVE “BUYER”, AN INTEGRATED APPROACH UNIFIES THE MANAGEMENT TEAM TO REPRESENT A CLUB DESTINATION IN ITS ENTIRETY, NOT JUST DEPARTMENT BY DEPARTMENT.

To create this unified destination experience, many clubs are implementing integrated management to bring all the parts of a private club’s management team together to unify their operations, their purpose, and their mission. To properly implement, integrated management relies on the following principles: • Teamwork • Communication • Accountability/Commitment • Visibility TEAMWORK

Andrew Carnegie remarked, “Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.” Tools to help foster this sense of unity include the mission statement and the strategic plan. A mission statement serves as the guiding purpose for the team’s operations. It’s a broad statement regarding the club’s vision, essence, and mission. To succeed, it must be reviewed and revised and be broad enough to allow for growth yet specific enough to provide guidance, direction, and purpose without limiting creativity. Like mission statements, strategic plans look to the future goals of the club and help the integrated team with the attainment of these goals. While department managers may have had input to specific areas of the strategic plan, the final product approved by the board of directors should be shared with them in order to make this an effective tool of integrated team. This transparency of the plan’s details and the involvement of the staff in its implementation create a commitment to meeting the plan’s design. A stronger “team” can be attained if club leaders understand that every person is more than a name. They have a history, personal interests, hobbies and a 120 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

MARK BADO

life outside of the club that impacts all their thoughts and actions when at work. For the good of the team, ego must be checked at the door. Self-serving goals are not equivalent to the team goals as expressed in a club’s mission statement. Each member of the team still can attain the success that everyone desires if the team is successful. COMMUNICATION

The second element of integrated management, communication, allows everyone to know what is happening throughout the entire club operations. Because you can’t manage a secret, communication tools such as employee handbooks, management team manuals, all-inclusive calendars, and staff/ interdepartmental meetings are vital tools for effective, efficient communication among team members. To supplement these tools, listening is equally essential to the communication formula. Hearing is distinctly different from listening. Hearing indicates that one is aware of a sound, but this does not mean that the receiver is necessarily able or willing to process the information being transmitted. Listening implies not only that one hears what is being said but also that they are making a conscious effort to understand, organize and process the information being shared by the other party. Benefits of communication include accurate budgeting/short term planning/forecasting, as well as furthering the sense of team. While it is easy to get together and share information during the good times, the integrated team relies heavily on its practiced communication skills when weathering the challenges as well. With a solid base of trust, familiarity and openness built through frequent and open communication, the team is much more likely to offer constructive criticism rather than personal attacks during a period of conflicting ideas or obstacles. ACCOUNTABILITY/COMMITMENT

Without commitment to the goals and accountability for their actions, the integrated team members will fail to get


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past their egotism and individual goals. Creating individual and team goals and involving managers in the goal-setting process helps foster a sense of commitment and accountability among the integrated team. Goals should cover three areas: (1) Financial performance by department and by overall club operations, (2) member experience, and (3) attainment of personal goals that tie directly to the mission statement. Aside from documenting the performance of a team member, measurable rewards can be offered in addition to the normal “year-end performance bonus.” These additional incentives come in a variety of forms – a plaque and public recognition for an “Employee of the Month”; an annual employee picnic or holiday party; and a heartfelt “thank you for a job well done.” By providing them with the tools to better perform their jobs, the team member’s commitment and accountability also can be strengthened. The world in which the private club operates, and even the private club itself, is ever-changing and ever-evolving. To stay current, relevant, and effective, team members must avail themselves of classes, lectures, articles or any other medium that relates to the purpose of the integrated team’s mission for the club. VISIBILITY

It is not enough for a GM to say that they support the mission statement, listen to other’s ideas, complete performance reviews, or trust them to do the assigned task. The GM must act in a way that supports what has been said without micromanaging the team.

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floor and walls were installed and a clear butt-glazed glass wall at the end of the main dining room installed, with an uninterrupted view into the patio and beyond.

In return, they will be committed and diligent in the efforts they make on behalf of the team. An open door policy is essential to allowing the team to feel comfortable approaching the general manager with questions or issues. To help cultivate this culture of access and assistance, it is helpful to venture outside of the office and outside of the clubhouse walls to see how the rest of the team lives. Part of the “visibility” concept entails remembering that the GM is always on the job. There are always eyes upon the general manager – it is called a ‘conscience.’ Effective leaders hoping to inspire commitment, teamwork and trust operate with a clear conscience. A leader of an integrated team cannot command respect and loyalty; it must be inspired and earned through actions, emotions, posture, and voice. Nothing worthwhile comes easily and integrated management is no different. Once this system is in place, however, the club’s operations run more smoothly because the communication and teamwork help address “issues” before they become “problems.” The GM who acts as the catalyst has the tools needed to create a strong, vibrant, and effective team that will continually raise the bar when it comes to quality service and membership satisfaction. B R Mark A. Bado, MCM, CCE is general manager/COO, The Kansas City Country, Mission Hills, KS. He can be reached via email: mbado@kccc.com

The Petroleum Club’s patio is more of an outdoor room than the feel of the Summit’s Terrace. CCI designed amenities into the space as a gas fireplace, an exterior flat screen TV, and outdoor lounge furniture to give the space a comfortable patio feel.

These unique successful additions to each club’s remodeling programs gives them an important edge, that unusual quality that sets them apart, attracts younger members, and makes existing members proud of a club they can show off to their guests. B R Ryan Yakel, AIA, is the EVP/COO of CCI Club Design located in Irving, Texas. CCI has designed clubhouses that work for over 35 years and provides master planning, architecture, interior design, membership surveys, and food service design throughout the US. More on CCI’s services and projects can be viewed at www.cciclubdesign.com or by contacting CCI directly at (972) 253-3583.

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magazine. He can be reached at Lhoke@UT.EDU or at (813) 253-6221 X3437.

Yet, the open question is this: Do the benefits of eliminating a community’s free rider problem exceed the costs generated by mandatory membership’s weak decision-making incentives? In many mandatory membership communities the answer is: NO. B R

Chuck Skipton served as a staff economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Senate in 1999 and 2000 and has written in the areas of social security reform and economic freedom, trade and growth.

Dr(s) Hoke, Kench and Skipton are each micro economists who teach in the Department of Economics, Sykes College of Business, University of Tampa.

Brian T. Kench has built his career around the specialties behavioral and experimental economics, microeconomics and the economics of organization. Kench is editor of The Tampa Bay Economy, a biannual publication of the Sykes College of Business.

Lee Hoke is a three-time past president of Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club and a frequent contributor to BoardRoom

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focused internally can now be focused externally – on the members. Improve management focus. Outsourcing can eliminate problems associated with hiring, training and scheduling staff and the cost of benefits associated with those employees. Outsourcing does not mean abdication of management responsibility. On the contrary, outsourcing gives management the opportunity to concentrate on problem areas while maintaining overall control of the operation. Increase flexibility. Increasing financial pressures require a continuous quest for efficiency improvements. Outsourcing can enhance a club’s organizational flexibility by accessing specialized resources that can increase the response time to the demands placed on the organization during busy seasons at a price point that can be compelling.

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A class with music and friends is more like a party and the right instructor leading the class, will act as the host of the party by making sure everyone knows each other, is having a good time, and takes an interest in them. A DEAL!

Everyone likes a deal! Why not offer your new exercisers a complimentary jumpstart package? A couple of sessions that your director or one of your top fitness staff can spend quality time getting them acquainted to the facility. Usually these “orientations” are done in a hurried and one size fits all fashion. I recommend that this is not treated as a typical orientation, but as a buddy system to integrate the member into the facility and introduce them to fellow

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By outsourcing, club administrators can gain access to expert support with superior technical and management capabilities. And by choosing service providers specializing in the private club industry, they can rely on a partner readily familiar with the private club culture. Outsourcing is a tool that can enable management to focus on what is most important: delivering a great member experience. Given the potential effectiveness of outsourcing, why would a club choose not to avail itself of this viable tool to better manage its operations? As the famed management guru Tom Peters once said: “Do what you do best, and outsource the rest.” B R Claire Lanouette is owner of CML Associates, which offers a wide range of specialized business support services to the private club industry. For a complete list of services, please go to http://www.cmlassociates.ca. She can also be reached at 1 (647) 381-0391 or at claire@cmlassociates.ca.

members. Staff can invite them to take class or to walk on the treadmill with them. This means so much! How about a class for members over 70-years for no charge? Just once a week for only 30 minutes can do the trick and is truly appreciated! Programming for all populations is important, but especially so for the seniors and the new exercisers. They can be easily lost in the shuffle, and can be “turned off ” to fitness and wellness if not given the proper welcome and introduction. When you have the chance to improve the health and wellbeing of your member, you are not just creating a moment of magic, but a lifetime of magic! B R Karen Sullivan is the director of fitness and wellness at The Kansas City Country Club and is a self-proclaimed programming freak! You can reach her at karens@kccc.com


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Lansing Country Club’s policy reflects similar concerns for quiet and the pace of play; it stipulates that cell phones should be set on the vibrate mode in all areas of the clubhouse and golf course and that their usage should not delay the pace of play. Boulder Country Club permits cell phone use if all members in a playing group “agree to its use and pace of play is not affected.” While cell phones must be maintained in the vibrate or silent mode, they “may be used for text messages, email or Internet access anywhere at BCC so long as no sound is emitted.” These policies seem to reflect a changing culture: that the next generation of club members (Generation X) is more “wired” than their predecessors. They also seem respectful of and consistent with the USGA’s etiquette statements regarding Consideration For Other Players, namely: • Players should always show consideration for other players on the course and should not disturb their play by moving, talking or making any unnecessary noise. • Players should ensure that any electronic device taken onto the course does not distract other players.

Other clubs appear to be offering iPhone and iPad apps as well: Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Sawgrass Country Club, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Oxmoor Country Club and Glenmary Country Club, both in Louisville, Kentucky, Menifee Lakes Country Club, Menifee, California, and Hollytree Country Club in Tyler, Texas. After I read a review that Hollytree’s was “A wicked cool app!!!!”, I decided to download it and check it out. Sure enough… it’s pretty cool with news (and links to Facebook), events, hole-by-hole maps (including descriptions of each hole and key distances), and an email-able scorecard. Still, I wondered… has cell phone connectivity gone too far? Some have suggested that a new (35th) Rule of Golf ought to be written: Thou Shalt Not Bring Thy Cell

Phone on the Golf Course. The logic? You are there to play golf – not to use your cell phone. If we can live without a cell phone on a four-hour flight, or while watching a two-hour movie in a theatre, is it possible to get through a round of golf without talking, texting or tweeting? Hmmmm! B R Nancy Levenburg, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the Seidman College of Business at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has published numerous articles in business and professional journals, and has assisted over 200 organizations with strategic planning, marketing strategy, and improving operations. She is the President of Edgewater Consulting, and is a member of Spring Lake Country Club in Spring Lake, Michigan. For more information, contact her at: levenbun@gvsu.edu or 616-331-7475.

EMBRACING TECHNOLOGY

Some clubs are extending their arms in even more tech-friendly ways. For example, The Waterfront Golf & Country Club, Moneta, Virginia advertises that it has wireless Internet available for members to use with their laptop computers. Vermont National Country Club, South Burlington, Vermont also boasts wireless Internet access in its clubhouse, electronic billing and statement delivery, and iPhone and iPad apps. SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 123


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T O P T E N C O U R S E TA K E AWAY S

Cutting Maintenance Costs And Maintaining the Experience GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENTS ARE A VERY DEDICATED AND HARD WORKING MEMBER OF THE MANAGEMENT TEAM AND AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE OVERALL MEMBER EXPERIENCE AT A CLUB.

More often than not, when provided a challenge such as finding a way to cut maintenance costs, their response is seldom, no this can’t be done. In today’s downturned economy, course expectations are the same but superintendents are asked to accomplish that, with less and less each year, all while trying to minimize the impact on playing conditions. Here are some ideas to help bring down the course maintenance costs without impacting the playing conditions or the member experience (too much!) 1. Reduce equipment spending. It’s a challenge for superintendents to make their equipment last longer than initially planned or expected. Reduced equipment spending can help, but the downside can affect the club’s bottom line with increases in parts, repairs and hours spent on maintenance. If a new purchase is necessary, try creative leasing, buying used equipment (which can mean selling your used equipment) or financing. If you do choose to buy, negotiate an extended warranty (for example four years instead of three) this will cover an extra year of life on the back end of your equipment, which could stave off new battery purchases for an entire fleet. If you do plan to keep your equipment, hire a qualified fleet manager who cannot only maintain equipment, but who can also manage inventory, control parts and develop a preventative maintenance program. Cost savings could very easily make up their extra salary over two to three years. 2. Defer capital projects. Is a course renovation on the books? Can it be put it on hold for a year or two? Can you revisit your club’s strategic plan and re-define the plan for capital projects? 124 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

HEATHER ARIAS DE CORDOBA ASSOCIATE EDITOR BOARDROOM MAGAZINE

3. Calibrate sprayers and check/replace nozzles. If your nozzles are worn or not working properly, you may be overspraying by as much as 10 percent, which is a 10 percent increase on your cost. Even worse, a failed spray because of poor calibration means you may have to spray again. 4. Encourage staff suggestions. For example, an employee at Aurora Golf suggested adjusting the fairway-mowing schedule. The employee noted that fairways grew at different rates in different areas of the golf course, and grew at different rates during different times of the year. Since the goal is to provide great fairway playing surfaces all the time, the fairway mower operator was put in charge of the fairway-mowing schedule. How often fairways got mowed was determined by this employee and based on the rate the fairway turf was growing at that particular time. 5. Reduce water usage. In arid parts of the country, irrigation can very easily be the most expensive part of your budget. Manage your water by looking at how much you are putting out and where it’s necessary. Strong consideration should be given to reduction of turfgrass or water-dependent landscaping. Replacing expensive turfgrass and landscaping with natural or drought tolerant vegetation or hardscaping (all rock landscaping) can save thousands in unnecessary water bills. Several water districts in California and Nevada have offered turf buy backs to take acreage out of club irrigation. Clubs can use wood chips, decomposed granite or hardscaping and reap the long-term benefits…less water, less cost; now and in the future. 6. Use test plots before committing. If you’ve chosen to landscape with natural vegetation, drought tolerant plants or hardscaping, select a hole or two to redesign based on your choices and ask the membership to vote on which they prefer. This keeps the membership happy and will ultimately


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reduce your overall water and maintenance bill. Remember to keep member expectations inline with what you can deliver financially. 7. Labor. Reduce seasonal labor, allow non-salaried employees to go home on rainy days and employ less fulltime and more part-time maintenance staff. Shift your thinking, i.e. extra staff to mow in the early morning or late afternoon hours and minimum staff during peak club hours. Or gap maintenance every day…clear the tee sheets between 11 and 12 and send the mowers out during those times, they are more efficient when no one is on the course. Bare in mind, you can only reduce your work force so much before it begins to have a negative impact on your course and its playability. Be cautioned that you can cut the fat out of the budget – but eventually you may start cutting into the bone. 8. Reduce energy costs. Managing fuel costs is difficult and normally out of a superintendent’s control. However, opting for items such as electric-powered equipment, turning your maintenance shed into a solar charging station for your electric golf carts may be cost-effective ways to save in the long run. Other alternatives such as charging your carts during off-peak hours with a watt miser from Club Car or running water pumps overnight can save the club thousands.

9. Communicate. One of the most important things when it comes to cutting costs is to make sure you have a strong and open communication path with your board of directors and general manager/COO, or owner. Anytime you make cuts in your budget, it’s going to effect golf course conditions in some way. It’s just a matter of how it’s communicated to your members so that their expectations are in line with the budget cuts. Times have changed and we need to manage things differently. If everyone involved is on the same page, then any budget cut is less noticeable and more acceptable. 10. Remain optimistic. We’ve seen slow improvements over the past few years and are optimistic these trends will continue. The key to remaining optimistic is to adjust management and member expectations to match the finished product. B R A special thank you to Bruce Williams, CGCS, principal of Bruce Williams Golf Consulting and Executive Golf Search; Dennis Lyon, CGCS, retired, Aurora, CO; Todd Bohn, CGCS, Wolf Creek Golf Links, Olathe, KS; Andrew Morris, CGCS, Country Club Of Peoria, IL If you have an idea for a top 10 takeaway, contact Heather Arias de Cordoba at heather@apcd.com

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GREEN COMMITTEE

Technology Helps, But Mother Nature Holds the Cards By Sandy Queen THE FOCUS IS ON TECHNOLOGY AND ITS IMPACT ON GOLF IN THIS ISSUE OF THE BOARDROOM MAGAZINE.

There is not one aspect of the game that has not been affected by these developments – mostly for the positive. From my perspective as a golf course manager, I marvel at the advancements I’ve witnessed in mowing, irrigation, seed, fertilizer, chemistry, golf cars/utility vehicles, drainage and other aspects of maintenance and construction. While golf course superintendents and facilities have benefited from this, the golfer has reaped the rewards as well. Not only are conditions better – leading to a more enjoyable experience – but golf courses can operate more efficiently. We’ve been able to document that natural resources are conserved, the environment is better protected, down

time from weather issues is reduced, projects take fewer labor hours and communication is enhanced. But for all the good that has been gained, I think we tend to lose sight of the fact that Mother Nature ultimately holds the cards when it comes to golf course conditioning. This has been painfully obvious over the past three years as extreme weather patterns have plagued much of the U.S. The facts speak for themselves. From July 2011 to June 2012, the U.S. experienced its warmest 12 month period since recordkeeping began in 1895. The span of days from July 2-8, 2012 saw 2,116 record highs tied or set in communities across the nation. We are currently in the throes of the worst drought in 25 years. Regardless of all the advancements in technology, there

is nothing in our arsenal to combat these extreme conditions without suffering some level of damage. I’m not saying technology has not helped us weather the storm – pun intended. Without the advances, much of the nation likely would have been playing on bare soil by the end of May this year. But golf course turf is much like the human body. Regardless of all the preventative measures that are implemented, after a while, the plant breaks down from excessive heat, lack of rainfall, disease, traffic, etc. To extend the life of turf, superintendents have implemented a variety of management practices to keep the turfgrass alive and still playable: • reducing green speeds by raising cutting heights • reducing mowing and rolling frequency • restricting cart traffic • increased hand watering, and • reducing or postponing routine activities such as verticutting, topdressing and aerifying. For golfers, it is important to recognize these tactics will influence course conditions as the weather persists. Certainly greens might be slower, the roughs thinner, cart path only rules could exist and you might have to pause on approach shots as we syringe putting greens. The strategy is to miniSEE GCSAA - PAGE 129

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GREEN COMMITTEE

A Summer to Remember BRUCE R. WILLIAMS

THE YEAR 2012 WILL GO DOWN WITH A ‘SUMMER TO REMEMBER’, ONE VERY SIMILAR TO THE SUMMER OF 1995. MANY REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY ARE EXPERIENCING SOME OF THE WARMEST TEMPERATURES IN OVER A DECADE AND ADDED TO THE EXCESSIVE DROUGHT, IT ALL OF THAT MAKES FOR A TOUGH TIME KEEPING TURFGRASS ALIVE.

By the end of July, Chicago has seen close to 40 days with temperatures above 90 degrees and a few of those days over 100. High humidity and lots of stress create the prime opportunity for turf disease in Chicago, and many other cool season parts of the country. Adding drought to the equation makes a lot of things start happening – making for the perfect storm for turfgrass decline. Suffice it to say that most every superintendent is working harder and longer hours to keep things alive. That’s what superintendents do. So I suggest that rather than any focus on the two percent of the turf that may not have made it through the summer, consider the weather and give the superintendent and his team the benefit of the doubt for using all their management skills in motivating their team to work long days to keep things playable and having the ability to make it through the summer. GOLF COURSE CONDITIONS

After the decline in the economy we have seen many changes in golf course maintenance and conditioning. Most budgets declined while the cost of water, gasoline, fertilizer and many other supplies continued to increase at five percent or greater levels annually. It has not been uncommon to see the number of full time employees decrease by 25 percent over the same time period. Superintendents have been masters at doing more with less! However, there is a point of diminishing returns. I do believe that most clubs have cut out any and all fat and perhaps have started cutting into the bone. However, throughout 2012 has had Mother Nature throwing, curve balls, fast balls, sinkers, sliders and even few knuckle balls for good measure.

Over the years a number of peers have been using their own blend of agriculture grade fertilizers and pesticides, showing savings and fairly good results. But 2012 has been no year to experiment or save a buck at the risk of losing grass. Not all products are created equal and tough summers tend to separate both good products and good companies from those that market as getting more for less. I have always felt that you get what you pay for and it is never more evident than in a stressful year. WATER MANAGEMENT

The application and removal of water is likely the most important factor to having superb turfgrass conditions. My first mentors in the business always said the three most important things at a golf course are: drainage, drainage and drainage. I surely agree and having seen my former course flood annually I can tell you that removing the water has been as important as applying it via an irrigation system. Wet years were always good years to sell drainage projects and cultural practices like sand topdressing of fairways. Fewer days of closure and more days with golf car usage result in greater annual revenues for the golf course. Most of the costs associated with long term drainage management and firming of fairways can be evaluated for a return on investment in an average rainfall year. Often I’m told that golf courses cannot afford to replace old and poorly functioning irrigation systems. The general rule of thumb is that any system over 20 years old really needs to be evaluated thoroughly through an irrigation audit and also total evaluation of the pumping plant and such. Extremely well maintained systems can last longer than 20 years but likely they will have seen new nozzles, pump house overhauls, well rehabilitation, etc. Average rainfall years will not be a good judge of distribution of uniformity but years like 2012 will show most all deficiencies in any irrigation system. Systems that are designed and installed today should have over 90 percent distribution uniformity. SEE GREEN COMMITTEE - PAGE 129

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GREEN COMMITTEE

Tale Of Two Golf Courses …In Good Times SPRING 2012, CAME EARLY AND WAS A WELCOME RELIEF FOR MOST GOLF COURSES IN NORTH AMERICA.

Throughout the Midwest, the northern states, the east coast and Canada, most courses budget zero income for January and February. However this year with spring arriving four to six weeks early most courses experienced very good revenues, especially those courses that because of good agronomic practices last year came alive with the good weather, and for the most part were ready for play. However, there was a down side, in that most courses didn’t have enough maintenance staff to service the needs of the growing grasses and the daily prepping of the course for play. I know of courses where the superintendent and some of the maintenance staff slept on cots in the maintenance facility to keep up with the work. (My father used to call this “pride in your work.”) So this is the tale of two golf course facilities and how they handled the record revenues from this year’s spring conditions. Facility A is a 36-hole facility consisting of an 18-hole private course and an 18-hole public course. Facility B is an 18-hole private/public facility. Both facilities came out of winter in excellent playing condition. While touring facility A in late May with the owner, his two superintendents and the ISTRC field representative the owner mentioned that he had added money to each of the courses’ budgets to enable an increase in staff and that they had also acquired a rather expensive new piece of equipment, which they had needed to take the two courses to the next level. My reaction was ‘speechless.’ After realizing what the owner had just said in a very nonchalant manner, I mentioned what a wonderful act I thought he had made. His response? The golf facility is his most treasured asset and that he had to take care of it. Upon arriving at facility B on mid-July day around 5:30 p.m., I couldn’t help but notice that the parking lot was filled

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DAVE DOHERTY PRESIDENT/CEO/FOUNDER INTERNATIONAL SPORTS TURF RESEARCH CENTER, INC.

and cars were also parked along the shoulder of the road leading up to the club house and bag drop. I queried the superintendent, and asked if there was a tournament going on. He said, “There’s no tournament”, and that the cars had become the norm and that it was difficult to get a tee time. We toured the property and then retired to the clubhouse…all of the eating and beverage areas were packed and we had to wait for a place to sit. Facility B was recording record revenues in every department, and had been since they opened in early spring. I was shocked when I learned that the owners had just cut budgets and staff and was in the process of reducing each even further. The owners of Facility B decided that now would be the ideal time to sell the property and recoup their investment. By reducing the budgets and staff I assume their thinking was to make the books look more inviting to potential purchasers. What I witnessed was the loss of morale and many of the quality staff that had worked so hard to bring the facility to the level that it is today. Can this high level of product and service that has brought in record revenues continue with loss of staff and reduced budgets? Not a chance! It is not my place to judge the decisions of others – question yes, judge no. However I do know that without an ongoing investment in our properties we will not be able to prosper in the future. I also know that if we continue to invest in our future, the chances of the outcome being more to our expectations will be greatly enhanced. B R Dave Doherty is CEO and founder of the International Sports Turf Research Center, Inc. (ISTRC) and holds three patents regarding the testing of sand and soil- based greens. He can be reached at (913) 706-6635 or via email: daveistrc@hotmail.com


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mize the damage as much as possible and to not push the course at the expense of its long-term health. The campaign the federal government conducted years ago to enhance safety on the nation’s highways is applicable to golf courses – “Speed Kills.” Our insistence on fast green speeds not only puts the health of the greens in peril, especially when stressed by weather, but is a cause of slow play and drives up the cost of maintenance. As we’ve seen in the past and are seeing this year with fall on our doorstep, the cost of repairs can be significant when damage occurs during these weather patterns. It naturally begs the question: Why do some courses in the same locale survive, while others suffer? Golf courses are like snowflakes as no two are alike. Thus, they react to the weather conditions differently, even if they are on the same block. Turf varieties, soil conditions, water quality, tree coverage and budgets are variables that influence the impact of weather damage. Drawing simple conclusions can be misleading and costly. One of the most costly actions I have witnessed is to make a change in the leadership of maintenance activities. I have yet to see grass instantly start growing as a result of a change in superintendents. I am being a bit facetious and certainly understand that sometimes change is necessary. But golf course management is not a plug and play profession. Over time the golf course superintendent gains an intimate knowledge of their course unlike any other person. They come to know every nook and cranny, every characteristic from drainage to shade coverage to airflow to weather patterns. To make a change for change sake is being pennywise and pound foolish.

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It is highly likely that number will only go down over time and I have visited many a golf course with a 20 year old system that is lucky to have 60 percent distribution of uniformity. Without getting into a lot of mathematical equations I can tell you that some golf courses spend $300,000 and up to $600,000 for irrigation water in a year. Imagine if you had a car that was getting 30 miles to the gallon and 20 years later the cost of gas had quadrupled and your mileage was down to 10 miles to the gallon. Bottom line: It surely puts some pressure on your wallet. So, if we look at $2 million for a new irrigation system and figure that cost would be close to $100,000 per year, it might make strong economic sense to invest the money to save that much money or more on irrigation costs. The end of this year is an excellent time to review what worked and what didn’t. What resources were deficient and

Having been in the business for nearly 40 years, I’ve came to realize that the most valuable resource for a golf course manager is not the greens mower, irrigation system, aerator or fertilizer. It is the art and structure of two-way communication. I have always wondered why a particular golf facility – where the most major asset is the golf course – would not engage its leadership and golf patrons in communications with the person who manages it. I still see too many situations where golf course superintendents are directed to communicate through another individual or in a written report. Those avenues are fine as complementary means to reinforce a message. But in order to facilitate clear communications and share relevant information for the purpose of making the best decisions, a structure must exist for the superintendent to enter into direct dialogue with key constituent groups: leadership, management, golfers, etc. Returning to this month’s theme of technology, we have seen how it can be a blessing and a curse when it comes to communications. It is difficult to interpret tone through email. Sending a tweet of 140 characters doesn’t always get it done. To be effective, communications must include an element of face-to-face dialogue with a complete loop for interaction by all parties. Communications will not solve all the ills regarding golf course maintenance, but when it occurs upfront, the consequences are generally not so dire. In most cases an ounce of prevention is certainly less costly than a pound of cure. B R Sandy Queen is a certified golf course superintendent and manager of golf operations for the City of Overland Park (Kan.). This year he is serving as president of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.

could have made the difference between success and failure? Did you do all you could at your course to protect the most valuable asset – the golf course? And finally have you thanked your superintendent and his staff today? For anyone who wonders what the golf course superintendent has done for you lately, I can assure you it been everything in their power to give you the best golf course possible during a very difficult year. B R Bruce R. Williams, CGCS is the principal of Bruce Williams Golf Consulting as well as Executive Golf Search. Executive Golf Search, Inc. specializes in headhunting for golf course superintendents and industry positions (www.EGSinc.net). Consulting includes working with golf facilities on agronomic plans, development of written standards, and fiscal management for golf course operations. Bruce may be contacted at Bruce@WilliamsGolfConsulting.com or (310) 991-9176.

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REFLECTIONS ON THE CLUB EXPERIENCE

Celebrating Angst Thanks – But No Thanks THANKS – BUT NO THANKS???

Mr. Born to Money (AKA – Mr. BTM!), the club president, walks into the GM’s office wearing a smile as big and wide as the state of California, “delivers” a high five and the knuckles to Manager Joe, then plops down in The Presidential Chair. “Manager Joe, you’ve been The Big Cheese, our G.M. Extraordinaire, here at The High and Mighty Country Club for 30 fabulous, beyond fabulous, years. It’s been a Love Fest!!! You’ve kept the dues low, the services high and the bridge players glowing. You’ve been a dancing monkey when we’ve needed a dancing monkey, the M.C. when we’ve needed an M.C. and “Reverend Joe” when we’ve needed some marrying or burying. From all of us who’ve experienced The Love, thanks for delivering The Buzz!!!” Mr. BTM breathes deep, cracks his knuckles, crosses his knees, leans back in his chair and smiles another wide-asCalifornia smile. “At last evening’s executive session…” Mr. BTM stops mid-sentence, gives Manager Joe another wide-as-California smile and laughs, “bet we made you nervous with that one, eh?!!?” Mr. BTM smiles the smile, delivers a big wink and a loud guffaw, and continues. “The board voted unanimously, and enthusiastically, to throw you a Thirty Years and Still Going Strong, All Members and Their Kids Invited, No Expense Spared Anniversary Party, the first ever for a manager in the 127-year history of The High and Mighty. There’ll be good champagne (not that embarrassingly cheap stuff you serve on Mother’s Day!) and real caviar (that is, real Washington State Salmon Roe caviar!), a 47-piece orchestra, open bar (top shelf only!), food and more food and dessert after all the food has been served. You’ll arrive in a helicopter! You’ll be carried in on the shoulders of the board! There’ll be speeches and slide shows and roasts and booze, food and more food! You’ll love it! We’ll love it! 130 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

GREGG PATTERSON GENERAL MANAGER, THE BEACH CLUB

And the members, and the members and managers of every other club within 2,000 miles of The High and Mighty, will be talking for decades about your Thank-Youfor-Thirty-Great-Years Anniversary Party!!!” The President is glowing. Beaming. All teeth. Slapping his knee. Laughing. Rocking back and forth in his chair. “What do you think of them apples, Joe???” Joe is smiling, laughing, relieved that the executive session was about keeping – not releasing. He responds. “Thanks, Mr. BTM, but no thanks.” The Prez laughs. “Just like you! Life’s a joke! Always wild and crazy! What a hoot!” Joe laughs and smiles and shakes his head. “No, seriously. Thanks, but no thanks.” The Prez frowns. “Are you serious? We want to show you that we care, that you’re one of us, a hero to our children, a comfort to old people, and an energizer bunny, The Big Cheese who’s made our club bubble and prosper for 30 years. How can you possibly say, “no” to such an outpouring of love and affection and party spirit???” “Because………….” The Prez sags into his chair, deflated, depressed, head in his hands, moaning lightly, suddenly “buzz-less”. WHY NOT

Manager Joe leans forward and looks Mr. BTM right in the eye. “The thought of a party likes this makes me sweat. Gives me The Twitch. You and the board deserve to know WHY.” Joe takes a sip from his triple shot, high octane High and Mighty Uber Latte, cracks his knuckles and begins to explain. “Although I’m pleased and flattered that the club would consider a ‘celebration of longevity’ for an old geeker like me, I’m concerned that something as big, as public and as expensive as this will create more controversy than goodwill…for both me and the board. “The last thing I want in my ‘twilight years’ is to stimulate ‘nattering nay-saying’ amongst members and staff, to become the butt of jokes, an object of derision, the spark


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that ignites our Nattering Nay-Sayers of Negativity. I can already hear them yapping like mad dogs, arming themselves for the rhetorical assault, swords drawn, knives sharpened, ready to attack, to cut me at the knees, to darken my reputation and to leave my ego bruised. “I can hear the Nattering Nay Saying Members say, ‘The High and Mighty Country Club is about THE MEMBERS and spending the big bucks on a gala to celebrate a staffer is flat out WRONG. There’s a line between members and staff and this celebration is CROSSING THE LINE!!! ‘What’s so special about HIM? He’s just a club manager, for goodness sakes! He’s nothing more than a smooth talking, over dressed, sweet smelling glad hander who arrives late, leaves early, talks endlessly and does nothing whatsoever as far as I and my drinking buddies can tell! ‘The Board should be throwing parties for 30 year members not 30 year staff. After all, we’ve paid this character the big bucks for 30 years, and I’ve been paying dues for 40 or more! He’s not one of us, he’s not a member, never been processed, can’t vote, can’t drink at the Bar and he’s never paid dues or assessments or squeezed the piggy bank to pay for burgers! ‘Manager Joe has had it TOO GOOD for 30 years. He’s eaten for free, golfed for free, used the gym for free, drunk his triple shot, high octane High and Mighty Uber Lattes for

“I can hear the Nattering Nay Saying Staffers say, ‘I’ve been here for 40 years, busting my derriere for peanuts, working 16 hour days, eight days a week, and they’re giving HIM a party! ‘You mean The High and Mighty can find money for HIS PARTY but can’t find the bucks to give us, The Working People, a raise??” Joe takes a double gulp from his High and Mighty low fat latte, and continues. “I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but I am sensitive to the fact that this is a member club, focused on the members, with us – the employee team – playing a supporting role. “Staff is staff. Age doesn’t matter. Status doesn’t matter. Longevity doesn’t matter. Fact is, staff get paid. They’re not members. Close to everyone – yes. Energizer bunnies – yes. But members they’re not. “There’s a line between members and staff that can’t be erased. I’m conscious of THE LINE, respect THE LINE and am absolutely convinced that a major celebration, focusing on a staffer, is “over the line.” The Prez stares. Manager Joe stares. The Prez blinks. Earn It, And Say, “NO.” Joe pauses. Nods his head slowly. Drinks deep from his Triple Grande.

The board voted unanimously, and enthusiastically, to throw you a Thirty Years and Still Going Strong, All Members and Their Kids Invited, No Expense Spared Anniversary Party, the first ever for a manager in the 127-year history of The High and Mighty...You’ll love it! We’ll love it! The President is glowing. Beaming. All teeth. “What do you think of them apples, Joe???” Joe is smiling, laughing, relieved that the executive session was about keeping – not releasing. He responds. “Thanks, Mr. BTM, but no thanks.” free, and this Free For All No Expense Spared Thirtieth Celebration Party is just one more example of THEM STAFFERS getting more freebies than US MEMBERS here at The High and Mighty! ‘My favorite employee Joe Bartender has been here 30 years and the board’s not throwing HIM a 30 year party, and he’s more deserving of a celebration than That Big Blowhard Manager Joe! ‘We THE MEMBERS are struggling in tough times, dues going up, bar prices going up, food prices going up and that out-of-date, complacent, fiscally confused employee is the reason we members are suffering, paying more and getting less! We should fire him and recall the board – HIS PUPPETS!!! – for endorsing this boondoggle!

“Great to hear that the board and membership care. But I know in my heart that it’s best to decline, and respectfully say, ‘NO.’” Mr. BTM falls silent, shakes his head, stands, walks out the door and exits, hunched over, beaten down, defeated in his mission to “do good” by Manager Joe. Joe watches The Prez exit…and ponders THE LESSON. Do good. For decades. Earn the accolades. Stay on the Staff Side of The Line! And enjoy the journey——— B R Gregg Patterson is general manager of The Beach Club of Santa Monica, CA and a regular contributor to BoardRoom magazine.

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reduce the thermal in-balance and reduce the run times on their HVAC units. With large facilities requiring rooftop air conditioning units throughout the property, utility

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CLUB MARKETING

companies are able to maximize their billing because these units require a surge of energy when the units kick on allowing them to maximize the demand rates they charge. Capacitor units can be installed on roof-top units that store energy to start up the unit and improve the power factor for the units allowing them to run cooler and last longer. Typically, these units will pay back in less than three years and save the club 15 percent of energy usage dedicated to HVAC units. Staged, high-efficiency boilers: Boiler technology has advanced to record levels of heating efficiency reducing the amount of natural gas required to heat potable water. With pools, spas, dishwashers and locker rooms, clubs are required to have appropriate systems in place. Would premature replacement of old, cast-iron boiler technology be prudent for your club? The answer is most likely yes. Cast iron technology is 65 percent efficient. Stainless steel, staged boiler systems operate at 98 percent efficiency. With the availability of capital leasing opportunities, there really is no excuse not to reduce your club’s power bill. The utility savings are always larger than the lease payment giving the club the opportunity to re-direct the savings to the private club experience and member service. B R Nelson Scott is chief operating officer of Strategic Energy Systems and can be reached at nelson@strategicenergyusa.com or by phone at 303785-6063.

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• Marketing calendar – A rolling one-year plan that identifies all aspects of touch point marketing is a useful tool and forces thinking about holiday and special event participation for a club. After successfully identifying your touch points and developing a strategy for using each of them as tool for engaging

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7. Targeted: It’s about identifying clear design solutions and clubhouse enhancements that match your club’s particular features, current needs, and member demographics. This goes beyond just implementing current trends in color, décor, furnishings, and member services. The entire process begins by identifying your core identity as a club and how you want to be distinguishable from other clubs. Then you can develop a multi-phased plan that will achieve your goals at a pace and within a budget that you can realistically implement. 132 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

action and creating a next step and a way to positively reinforce your club’s message, it’s time to implement your strategy as a vital part of your overall marketing plan. B R Shannon Herschbach is president, Pipeline Marketing Group and can be reached at (888)360-7473 ext. 101 or via email: shannon@pipelinegolfmarketing.com

So no matter what your club’s size or location, the strategy-based design approach could be the key to your successful future, from both an operational and member satisfaction perspective. B R Craig J. Smith is a founding partner/director of design and sustainability, C2 Limited Design Associates, LLC. He is an award winning clubhouse designer and resort development stylist providing creative project visioning, strategic planning and design concepts along with ongoing property stewardship guidance for a diverse portfolio of private clubs and resorts. He can be reached via email: csmith@c2limited.com


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your membership know well in advance what the inconveniences will be.” Tom identifies six mission-critical checkpoints: 1. Develop organization charts for each area of activity before, during and after the championship. 2. Review and revisit all contracts with vendors, partners, media outlets and the championship team. 3. Establish, confirm and reconfirm all of the financial expectations and assumptions. 4. Confirm and follow-up on remediation responsibilities, exactly what is covered and who is responsible for what. 5. Know who will be staying over from the championship team and for how long. 6. See that your membership is completely informed of all of the above. The enormity of the event and the many layers of complex activities and services require constant review and confirmation, according to Wallace, who is now the GM/CEO at The Club at Mediterra near Naples, Fla. “There are tens of thousands of people on our property every day during the championship, and every one of the couple thousand employees and volunteers that represent your club and tournament make all the difference. Making sure everyone understands the importance of their individual role and that they are all delivering the same message from the same play book, is critical to your success.” Tom DeLozier, general manager at the Quail Hollow Club near Charlotte, emphasizes. hip, which is a recurring event on the PGA Tour schedule, Quail Hollow is preparing to host the 2017 PGA Championship. “Attention to detail truly does matter and all those small details make a tremendous positive impact on your guests’ experience. Develop systems and processes to ensure consistency through every patron touch point. Then meticulously study these systems and practices in recap sessions as you prepare for the following year. “Even though we have had this current tour stop for 10 years, all of those involved meet on a weekly basis to brainstorm on ways we can continue to get better,” DeLozier explained. “Do your homework. Benchmark best practices from other successful golf tournaments or other large sporting venues.”

One more point, Tom DeLozier adds, “It is very important to have a comprehensive safety plan and conduct on-going risk assessments.” At the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth, Patrick DeLozier, Tom’s brother, looks after The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, the famed ‘Hogan’s Alley’ course in Texas. Before the Colonial, Patrick worked at six Masters Invitational tournaments as an assistant to Jim James at AGNC. “The amount of detailed planning you exercise and how well you are able to execute will determine the success of your event. Not only must you possess an inordinate amount of self-motivated planning, but you must also have the canny ability to inspire thousands of employees and volunteers as well. “Your communication model must be extremely finetuned in all aspects of your organization. Throughout the entire year, you will be constantly communicating with golf officials, sponsors, government officials, volunteers, employees, vendors and most importantly with your members,” he commented. With all of the pressure to perform well and with the enormity of the event weighing down on the shoulders of these club executives, what is the upside? Tom DeLozier remembers the people with whom he works, “Enjoy this experience that is very different from regular club operations; find ways to make the tournament fun and enjoyable for your membership and staff.” Tom Wallace summarizes his big-event experiences, “I can honestly say some of my closest friends now are USGA staff that partnered with me for a championship. When you share such an exciting, yet stressful, experience, you can’t help but get close and have the utmost respect for one another.” “Being involved in major sporting events is one the most invigorating experiences,” summarized Patrick DeLozier on his view of hosting big-events. “The number of hours, sweat, stress and anxiety is worth every minute once the gates open to welcome the global golf community. After every tournament, I always say to myself, ‘one day I will look back and tell my children incredible stories of all the memorable moments I have experienced and all those legendary figures I have met.’” B R Henry DeLozier (hdelozier@globalgolfadvisors.com) is a principal in Global Golf Advisors (www.globalgolfadvisors.com) the international consulting firm that specializes in the businesses of golf with strategic planning, financial and feasibility analysis and operational evaluation.

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stand the importance of ethics and accountability issues that impact their nonprofit clubs. The assets of the club are entrusted to the oversight of its board members who have a legal duty to ensure that the club uses those assets to fulfill its mission,” Kapoor added. “Today, more than ever, you hear of board members micromanaging their management, incidents of sexual harassment, senior discrimination, employee lawsuits, environmental lawsuits, misappropriation of funds, theft and consumption of food, and so on,” explained Fornaro. “A clear understanding of ‘for what’ a board member is responsible and ‘to whom’ – their fiduciary responsibilities – will not only help avoid lawsuits and liability, but will make your board function more effectively,” he explained. BRAD LEA, PRESIDENT/CEO LIGHTSPEEDVT

JOHN FORNARO, CEO BOARDROOM

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completed the training and orientation, and understands what it says and means. “This should help reduce potential liabilities, problems that arise from misunderstandings, and help board members better understand their fiduciary responsibilities,” Fornaro added. And most importantly, it allows the club to ensure that all volunteers go through the orientation and learning process they need to be the absolute best in the industry, and provide the club’s certification. TRAINING AND ORIENTATION

“In club governance, Accountability is key for every private club board member…accountability to the board and of course, accountability to the club’s members. And a major part of accountability comes from board members understanding their roles and responsibilities. “Today how do you, as a club member, know if each board member understands their board role and responsibilities?” Fornaro queried. “We’ve created BoardRoom Institute based collaborative governance, along with identifying the needs and requirements of a club’s board. “For example, there are still club boards, members and management today that don’t under134 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

THREE PHASES

The BoardRoom Institute’s program comes in three phases. First, there’s the board member training and orientation, which basically focuses on club governance and certifies the club can govern itself in an industry-accepted way. “As an outside agency, we can make sure all volunteers and management are playing off the same play book,” Kapoor explained. “Clubs will have different committees and boards and each club may have different expectations between committees, intra-committee and intra board; management and the board, and management and committees. Under collaborative governance we want them all to the have the same expectations and clarity, guidelines and parameters…” “The training and orientation, and collaborative governance is in keeping with industry norms, standards and expectation…we’ve just packaged it in a comprehensive way that a club’s board of directors can easily access,” Kapoor continued. Phase two will allow specialized topics for the different stakeholders within a club, for example, programs for helping the green committee, or the long range planning, governance and bylaw, or membership committees. Phase three will provide a customized program and services for individual clubs. “If an established blueblood club needs specific assistance, or if an inner city club has some special requirements, we will provide customized services,” Kapoor outlined. As Jim Singerling, CEO of the Club Managers Association of America outlines in his online BoardRoom Institute presentation, “CMAA is comprehensive resource for club managers,” and every private club manager can benefit from this resource. Now BoardRoom Institute is the comprehensive resource of choice for the club’s board of directors. And ultimately it enables a club’s general manager to lead the board in a more consistent manner from year to year, making for a much more effective and efficient club governance. B R For further information on how to participate in the BoardRoom Institute program contact John Fornaro at: (949) 376-8889, ext 2, or via email: john@apcd.com


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to constantly improve what they were working on, and to reach heights they might not otherwise have aspired to. Most successful clubs we visit seem to be led by individuals who have recognized that they must obsess over all aspects of a member or guest experience…from the way they are greeted at the gatehouse or front door, to the myriad daily interactions that occur during each visit. They seem to leave as little as possible to chance! • Obsessively focus on ‘clean and beautiful’ and ‘ease of use’? In Jobs’ case, this typically meant breaking down various elements of design and/or use, and making sure that they were as ‘user friendly’ as possible. My best takeaway was how strongly he focused on making certain that an Apple product was as intuitive as possible, which made using the product something that wasn’t nearly as frustrating as other non-Apple techie devices, and caused you to quickly become ‘connected’ to your Apple device. Jobs did an outstanding job of that!

Certainly, we all know that ‘bully’, Steve Jobs-type personality who seems to have little patience for anything that does not go their way. Many of them cause major frustration, poor morale and high turnover in their organizations. On the other hand, I’ve had the great fortune to see highly successful, and sometimes ‘bullying’ people in the club industry who mimic some of Jobs’ behavior, but who also share his absolute obsession with doing things exceptionally well with the ultimate goal of simply being the ‘best’ in their genre of clubs. Some of these folks are managers; others are club presidents or influential board members. In the end, however, they are successful because they are clear on their mission and goals, and while perhaps stepping on toes and hurting feelings along the way, they don’t lose sight of that clearly defined ‘mission critical.’ Checking the latest Apple stock position a while back, it appears that legacy, however difficult he might have been on many fronts, is a continuing recognition of Apple’s leadership in all of these areas. It would be great if others were focused on their own legacies.

Most successful clubs we visit seem to be led by individuals who have recognized that they must obsess over all aspects of a member or guest experience…from the way they are greeted at the gatehouse or front door, to the myriad daily interactions that occur during each visit. They seem to leave as little as possible to chance! To contrast that thinking to the club world and many of the dysfunctional clubs we visit, it almost seems that they go out of their way to make doing business (enjoying the club) harder! They find it best to keep annoying or no longer relevant rules in place, have non-motivated or non-user-friendly staff in high touch positions, or simply haven’t focused on the obvious needs to keep the club in good working/cleanliness order. Again, like Jobs and his obsessions, when you find one of the successful, high membership satisfaction clubs out there, they’ve likely covered the ‘clean and beautiful’ and ‘ease of use’ issues in spades!! Their leaders take little for granted and they are worried about the execution of the plan. Many of the dysfunctional ones can show us these great training guides, or have rules and ‘standards’ written down, so they expect it’s being done, but haven’t really determined whether or not they actually execute to those well-intended standards.

Would the majority best interests of the club (your ‘business’) be able to carry on and prosper without you? And, at an even higher level? Interesting to consider…interesting, too, how the ‘new’ Book of Job(s) has relevance to today and tomorrow’s world. On our much smaller scale universes, wouldn’t this basic strategy, if actually executed, rather than just being discussed, work? B R Kurt D. Kuebler, CCM and Richard M. Kopplin are partners with Kopplin & Kuebler, specializing in the national placement of general managers/chief operating officers, directors of golf and golf course superintendents. Kurt’s office is in Jupiter, FL and Dick’s is in Scottsdale, AZ. They may be reached at (407) 8646798 or (480) 443-9102, or through the website at www.kopplinandkuebler.com.

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The Stock Farm Club located in Montana’s Bitterroot Mountains draws its members from all across the country – people who, if they’ve had to pick, have chosen The Stock Farm Club. “Beyond amenities and aesthetics, the intangibles are the lifeblood of the Stock Farm Club experience. The sense of belonging each time you walk through the door, the way the staff anticipates your needs and wants, the way other members welcome your presence and the enduring relationships forged along the way. “These attributes make Stock Farm Club a comfortable, private member haven. “It’s because of the many intangible benefits here that they have chosen to continue as a member here while dropping their membership at other clubs,” Guzik suggested. “Intangible benefits have always been, and will continue to be important,” commented Steve Skinner, CEO of KemperSports. “Joining a club is an emotional purchase. People want a place where they can feel welcomed and comfortable, and the intangible benefits help deliver this type of experience and culture. “You’ve got to continue to invest in club facilities and programming, but it’s the personal connection to the club that will increase your retention of members,” Skinner opined.

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“There’s a positive correlation between intangible benefits and membership sales. Younger couples and families now have less free time and disposable income than in years past. “It’s essential to introduce them to the intangible benefits of your club to show additional value for your membership beyond the traditional and physical amenities,” Skinner suggested. Certainly in recent years, as many clubs have become more family-centric, the decision to join a private club has shifted from being a male-dominated decision to one made more jointly in the family, often now with the woman of the family making the decision. The intangibles, in some sense of the word, become even more valuable because families, not just a male in the family, seek that emotional stuff, the camaraderie for Dad, Mom and all the kids. If that’s where their friends are, that’s where they want to be. And while the intangibles may vary somewhat from club to club, the nuts and bolts remain the same for every club. And in reality it’s both the tangibles and the intangibles that keep them there. “People join, use and stay at great clubs because they ‘deliver the goods members want’… the tangibles and the intangibles. Consistently. Predictably. Reliably,” Patterson explains. Doesn’t matter where you go…the story’s the same, as with this one from Frank Gore of Gore Golf, and the chief analyst for BoardRoom’s Distinguished Club program. “When first introducing the concept, I explained it in the following way to a small group at The Columbia Tower Club in Seattle, Washington, on the 74th and 75th floor of the largest building west of the Mississippi. “The view out one side of the club is the view of the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Juan De Fuca. Out another side is Mount Rainier, snow capped 365 days a year. On yet another side the view peers at downtown Seattle and the space needle several floors below, built for the World’s Fair many years ago. “The views are magnificent from every private room and dining area of the club. The women’s restroom is famous and the subject of many media stories, because when ladies take their seat in the restroom stall they have a floor to ceiling view of the Pacific Ocean. “The walls of the club are covered with African mahogany; the furnishings are plush. “And Microsoft’s Bill Gates is a member of the Columbia Tower Club,” he explained. “I told the audience that day if I was the membership director I’d give a prospective member the tour of the private rooms, the view, and the ladies’ restroom. And I’d add:


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‘We have a legend, probably not true, but the legend has it that one day from table 32 Bill Gates was so inspired by the view he came up with the word ‘WINDOWS’ for his software,’ Gore added. “The point is this: If a new member prospect joined the club they would go home and not necessarily brag about the views but about the fact that they were members of the same club as Bill Gates. “That elevates their personal image. They envision themselves someday on the elevator to the club with Bill or perhaps at a cocktail party with him etc.,” Gore explained. “That’s IQ…the intangible quotient that includes things like famous events that have taken place, or famous people and celebrities who have shown up at the club. The club’s part in history or its role in shaping a city are part of the club IQ.” Succinctly stated, influential members and the club’s unique member roster are all part of IQ, something that’s more important than tangibles because ‘intangibles’ are unique and memorable. “Great clubs address the deep seated emotional needs of their members – the ‘non-stuff ’ side of the club equation, the intangibles,” Patterson related. “Great clubs fill a member’s ‘emotional self ’ with things they can’t touch but desperately need. And they’ll (the members) give their loyalty to those clubs who deliver. “In a day and age when ‘stuff ’ can be bought with a wagon load of debt and ‘social media’ is a pseudonym for ‘loneliness’, the intangibles – the Cheers Factor where everyone knows your name – are more important than ever in attracting and retaining members. “People are looking for the human connection more than ever. More will join clubs if they know ‘what we sell’ is more than a golf course, swimming pool, cheeseburger or beer. The intangible ‘non-stuff ’ they can’t get in the larger community. “Winning means going ‘back to the future’…selling tangibles filled to overflowing with the intangibles, acknowledging that the big bucks ain’t enough,” said Patterson. When it comes right down to it, four points enumerate the intangibles, explained Keith Jarrett, president of BoardRoom’s Distinguished Club program. 1. Personalized and timely service with frontline staff and management recognizing and knowing individual members wants and needs and their names 2. Not only having, but promoting and displaying the club’s unique tradition/history 3. Universal member usage – a club that’s active and supplying the types of services and events that members enjoy and use, and 4. Fun or productive – ensuring the club is a fun place to be or serves a productive need like a city business club does.

PUBLISHER’S FINAL THOUGHTS

No question, the intangibles are the meat with the potatoes (the tangibles). I’m a firm believer that the clubs that focus on the intangible benefits for their members will lead to increased usage, and greater member retention, meaning fewer memberships for sale. And these intangibles will also increase the value of a membership at your club. I don’t believe slashing initiation fees is the solution, or that your membership price is the reason why people aren’t joining. Price is usually ‘the excuse’ but rarely the reason. Today, more than ever, members and prospective members are looking for value, not necessarily something ‘cheap’, but they want to be able to justify what they are spending. So a club’s intangible experiences can give your members what they’re seeking in a private club and also can increase the value of a membership equal to what a new club house or great golf course might increase the value of a membership. Club boards and management should be asking themselves daily, ‘Are we creating real value for our members or merely claiming to create value?’ SEE PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE - PAGE 138

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It’s a whole lot easier to claim value than actually create it, and part of the disconnect in the club industry is: Who defines the value…your board, management or staff? And generally what members or potential members perceive as value is probably different. A beautiful clubhouse and great golf course are the products but value is what our members get out of them. It’s really simple…as long as your members believe that the benefits they receive outweigh the dues they are paying, they will consider they have received value. This is why when we raise dues and don’t increase the members’ benefits that some members become dissatisfied and decide to quit the club. Our target should be member satisfaction not just membership service. Satisfaction is the emotional state of feeling good when our needs are met, and the intangibles will get you there. Many clubs do not spend the time or resources to connect members with other members, especially new members. All too often, new members are left to fend for themselves. One of the most important benefits (intangible) for members is enjoying the club with their friends, friends who are the fellow club members. My friend and colleague Frank Gore sums up best what the intangibles mean to every member of a private club: “I believe the intangibles are an attractive reason to join a club and an equally powerful retention tool. The club’s a haven of refuge. “I see a person walking down the street struggling to move forward as the wind and blowing snow swirls around. “Then in the distance they see the big wooden door of the club. They open it and are welcomed ‘home’ by the staff, calling them be name and ushering them to an overstuffed chair next to a roaring fire and a piping hot cup of coffee. “Yes I believe a private club has great value in this cold world of ours.” At least that’s the way I see it!

BR

John G. Fornaro, publisher If you have comments on this article or suggestions for other topics, please contact John Fornaro at (949) 376-8889 or via email: johnf@apcd.com

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BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 140

C L U B S E RV I C E

Internship Success Stories I’VE BEEN LUCKY AND BLESSED TO HAVE WORKED WITH SOME GREAT CLUB MANAGERS IN MY TIME. THEY’VE ALL TAUGHT ME VALUABLE LESSONS ON OPERATIONS, LEADERSHIP AND COMMONSENSE CLUB MANAGEMENT.

Reinhard Danger, now at the Metropolitan Club in Washington DC. gave me the first opportunity to see a viable internship program in action. He gave me a real awareness of what being a mentor in this business is all about. Although I didn’t appreciate it at the time, his internship programming was exceptional. He would bring in one student from a top hospitality school and challenge them through real-life experiences at the club. They were rotated around but he never wasted any resources creating jobs. They were effective at what they did in the short summers they were with us because they had a passion for what they were doing. In my early years within the hotels hospitality industry, I never experienced true internship programming. When I entered the club industry in 1996, Reinhard hired a young man, Peter Schaub, to work the season at Twin Orchard Country Club (TOCC). It was my first year as an assistant general manager so I was too busy trying to find out where the spoons were, much less paying attention to what was going on with Peter and his mentor for the season. As it unfolded, I saw the work Peter was assigned and the reports and essays he had to create and write. This was not ordinary summer worker but an individual challenged with an experience-based learning program. Long story short, Peter Schaub CCM, went on to become a very successful manager, going through other mentoring programming like the “assistant manager in development” (AMID) process created by William A. Schultz, MCM, CCE, now residing at Houston Country Club. Peter, by the way, is now the successful general manager of the Californian Club in Los Angeles. James Cardamon CCM is another veteran of the intern programming at TOCC. Jim came to the program out of a 140 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

CHRISTOPHER BOETTCHER GENERAL MANAGER, MILWAUKEE COUNTRY CLUB

top school and has grown to become a leader in the industry having worked at great clubs and earning association accolades. He has served on chapter committees and as the Greater Chicago Chapter President. He runs Northmoor, a very successful club on the north side of Chicago, famous for its parties and busy dining services. I moved on from TOCC as did the managers who created and fostered the intern programming but there are some great ones still out there. Charlotte Country Club, The Stock Farm Club in Montana, The Tuxedo Club in New York, and the list goes on. The best place to see them all is at the Career Opportunity Showcase at the National CMAA conference. This three to four hour event is an open showcase of clubs recruiting the brightest and best interns and entry level managers. The collection of clubs that take advantage of this talent are top-notch leaders in mentoring and fostering our future. I suggest managers go there and glean information from these clubs on the intern programming. Take a look at the Guide to Internship Program templates on the CMAA website for how-to information, as well as sample programming and evaluation forms. I have found these very helpful in our intern programming and look to improve our processes every year. I’ve had the honor to work with a number of interns in the past few years who have gone on to management positions in great clubs, for example Chelsie Sanchez now at Charlotte Country Club; Isaac Storandt who is assistant manager at Shore and Country Club; Bailey Miller and Riley Benner both of whom are assistant managers at the Tuxedo Club; Kayla Simpson at Baltimore Country Club and last year’s grad of our manager-intraining program, Kelly Woodworth, is joining the MidAmerica Club in Chicago. I urge each and every club to start an internship program. You do not need any special facilities – many managers complain that students are looking for housing.


BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 141

Although a plus, you can find students who live locally if you recruit carefully. It only takes a little time and effort. The benefits far outweigh that effort, especially if you look for seasonal helpers who bring a passion for the industry to their job every day. They are the future club managers who need the opportunity to become leaders. Let’s all help them lead on!

[

PCMA

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service that is understood and represented by every member of the staff, no matter the position, no matter the pay grade. The point is this. If you are relying on a committee or solely on a membership person or department to drive your perceptions, member satisfaction, retention and membership growth, your model may need to become more process driven and inclusive. If marketing at your club is more like an annual discounting event than an ongoing process driven by the entire staff, your business model may not even be sustainable.

[

CMAA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

] - 54

mendations for creating, sharing and re-sharing content to promote clubs and their activities. • Integrating new media with club traditions. Beth S. Brodovsky identifies three approaches clubs typically take toward social media – prohibition, abdication and facilitation – and provides high-level guidance for club managers to determine the best strategy and tactics to employ. • Use of social media at The Westmoor Club. General Manager J. Brent Tartamella, CCM, CCE, recounts how the adoption of social media and their creative applications has forged stronger bonds between its stakeholders and increased the value of membership at the Nantucket, MA, club. • Can a club’s use of social media affect its tax status? Mitchell L. Stump, CPA, examines one of the legal issues identified by Robyn Stowell: a club’s non-exempt tax status. He addresses the gray areas in current law with respect to the impact of digital communications on a club’s 501(c)7 status, identifies some of the potential risks and offers considerations for club managers who want to protect their taxexempt status.

If you would like any help in creating or learning about internship mentoring or programming, please call on me. I look forward to helping you. B R Chris Boettcher, CCM, CCE is general manager of the Milwaukee Country Club, a member of the Honor Society of The Club Manager’s Association of America, and a member of the Club Leadership Master Mind Group. He can be reached at chris@boettcher.com or www.clubleadershipmastermindgroup.com

Membership is a process. Look to engagement with the entire team in that process. Create a culture of relevance. Price and time are the two most critical elements in deciding to become a member today. Whether its golf, dining, tennis or any other activity, know your changing demographic; program to meet their needs and reap the long range benefits of planning your work and working your plan. Very simply, it’s a process… B R Rick Coyne is president and CEO, Club Mark Corporation and CEO of Professional Club Marketing Association. He can be reached via email rick@clubmark.com

• Legal issues in the use of social media by clubs. Robyn Nordin Stowell describes a variety of legal consideration for clubs and provides process guidelines for club managers to address them. • Employee social media use in today’s workplace. Ted Boehm and Tex McIver take a close look at some of the legal issues related to social media by examining employment law considerations. Specifically, they address considerations driven by the National Labor Relations Act, the personal use of social media during work hours and the review of social media activity during the hiring process. Taken together, these essays and case studies introduce the technology-savvy club manager – who may be a social media novice – to valuable technical and nontechnical considerations that can enhance their effectiveness as digital era leaders and club management professionals. Use this resource to expand your club and professional horizons. The complete resource is available to CMAA members at www.cmaa.org/PcsTemplate.aspx?id=35618. The resource is available to non-members through www.cmaa.org/marketplace. B R This article contains excerpts from the Premier Club Services’ white paper, Social Media and the Private Club. Copyright 2012 CMAA.

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 141


BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 142

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BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 143

ABC SOLUTIONS P.O. Box 1980 Morro Bay, CA 92443

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POOL, BEACH AND PATIO FURNITURE

Steve Berlin (954) 614-1505 xhibtz1@bellsouth.net www.xhibtz.com


BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 144

APCD ASSOCIATE SSOCIATE MEMBERS EMBERS & SPONSORS PONSORS Advertising/Printing

Club Services

Course Architects

EG Communications 3740 Park Central Blvd. N Pompano Beach, FL 33433 Tel: (954) 971-6604 Fax: (954) 977-9078 Website: www.eurographics.com Email: martin@eurographics.com Contact: Martin Marinov, president

HFTP 11709 Boulder Lane, STE 110 Austin, TX 78726-1832 Tel: (512) 249-5333 Fax: (512) 249-1533 Website: www.hftp.org Email: Laura.Huffman@hftp.org Contact: Laura Huffman

George Golf Design, Inc. 609 Twin Ridge Lane Richmond, VA 23235 Tel: (804) 272-4700 Fax: (804) 272-4771 Website: www.georgegolfdesign.com Contact: Lester George, course architect

Attorneys Addison Law Firm 14901 Quorum Drive, Ste. 650 Dallas, TX 75254 Tel: (972) 960-8677 Fax: (972) 960-7719 Website: www.addisonlaw.com Email: clublaw@addisonlaw.com Contact: Randolph Addison, president Stinon Morrison Hecker LLP 1850 N. Central Avenue, Suite 2100 Phoenix, AZ 85004-4584 Tel: (602) 212-8682 Fax: (602) 586-5288 Website: www.stinson.com Email: rstowell@stinson.com Contact: Robyn Nordin Stowell

Banquet Equipment Sterno Group 999 East Touhy Avenue, #450 Des Plaines, IL 06618 Tel: (847) 795-5823 Fax: (847) 294-0947 Website: www.sterno.com Email: siscott@sterno.com Contact: Stephanie Scott

Carpet Burtco Enterprises, Inc. 441 Virgil Drive Dalton, GA 30721 Tel: (800) 241-4019 Fax: (706) 226-4318 Website: www.burtcocarpet.com Email: burtco@alltel.net Contact: Bob Kokoszka

Cleaning Jani-King International, Inc. 16885 No. Dallas Parkway Addison TX 75001 Tel: (800) 552-5264 Fax: (972) 267-4625 Website: www.janiking.com www.facebook.com/janiking Contact: Gil Sanchez E-Mail: gsanchez@janiking.com

Club Advisory Services Club Consultants LLC 5121 Castello Drive, Suite 1 Naples, FL 34103 Tel: (239) 643-7800 Fax: (239) 643-7803 Website: www.clubconsultants.com Contact: Bill Wernersback, sr. mng. dir.

Club Neckties, Scarves, Emblems Stratton-Crooke Enterprises Inc. P. O. Box 215-H Scarsdale, NY 10583 Tel: (800) 732-9719 Fax: (914) 725-5196 Website: www.strattoncrooke.com Email: StrattonCrooke@aol.com Contact: Nancy & Jim Crooke

Clubhouse Design CCI Club Design 100 Decker Drive, Suite 140 Irving, TX 75062 Tel: (972) 253-3583 Fax: (972) 259-9664 Website: cciclubdesign.com Email:lchris@cciclubdesign.com Contact: Lisa Chris-Tietjen Chambers 1800 Washington Blvd., Suite 111 Baltimore, MD 21230 Tel: (410) 727-4535 Fax: (410) 727-6982 Website: www.chambersusa.com Email: jsnellinger@chambersusa.com Contact: John R. Snellinger Peacock & Lewis Architects 11770 US Hwy One, Ste. 402 North Palm Beach, FL 33408 Tel: (561) 626-9704 Fax: (561) 626-9719 Website: www.peacocklewis.com Email: Brian@peacocklewis.com Contact: Brian Idle

Clubhouse Furniture Eustis Chair P.O. Box 842 Ashburnham, MA 01430 Tel: (978) 827-3103 Fax: (978) 827-3040 Web site: www.eustischair.com E-Mail: fred@eustischair.com Contact: Fred Eustis Gasser Chairs 4136 Logan Way Youngstown, OH 44505 Tel: (330) 759-2234 Fax: (330) 759-9844 Web site: www.gasserchair.com Email: ksmith@gasserchair.com Contact: Kevin Smith Global Allies 625 DuBois Street, #A San Rafael, CA 94901 Tel: (877) 208-7185 Fax: (415) 453-6042 Web site: www.globalallies.com Contact: David Cline

Construction Centerre Construction 5445 DTC Parkway #730 Greenwood Village, CO 80111 Tel: (303) 220-9400 Contact: Stephen Hritz KAST Construction 1601 Forum Place, Suite 805 West Palm Beach, FL 33401 Tel: (561) 689-2910 Fax: (561) 689-2911 Website: www.kastbuild.com Email: rvail@kastbuild.com Contact: Robert Vail Weitz Golf International 11780 U.S. Highway One, Suite 302 North Palm Beach, FL. 33408 Tel: (561)799-7800 Fax: (561)799-7850 Email: Matt.Blackburn@weitzgolf.com Contact: Matt Blackburn, Dir. of Preconstruction

144 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012

Course Maintenance International Golf Maintenance, Inc. (IGM) 8390 Champions Gate Blvd #200 Champions Gate, FL 33896 Tel: (800) 413-5500 FAX: (407)589-7223 Website: www.igminc.net Email: gregp@igminc.net Contact: Greg A. Plotner CGCS, EVP Rain Bird Corporation Golf Division 6991 E. Southpoint Tucson, AZ 85706 Tel: (520) 741-6592 Fax: (520) 741-6522 Email: dbehrmann@rainbird.com Website: www.rainbird.com Contact: Mr. David Behrmann, Global Mrktg. Mgr. The Toro® Company 8111 Lyndale Ave S Bloomington, MN 55343 Tel: (800) 803-8676 Fax: (952) 887-8693 Website: www.toro.com Email: Turfequipment@toro.com

Executive Search Firms GSI Executive Search, Inc. Tampa Bay Office P.O. Box 55877 St. Petersburg, FL 33732 Tel: (727) 525-6562 Cell: (727) 366-0487 Website: www.gsiexecutivesearch.com Email: dick@gsiexecutivesearch.com Contact: Dick Farrell, Principal GSI Executive Search, Inc. North Florida Office 649 Waukeenah Plantation Road Monticello, FL 32344 Tel: (850) 997-6979 Cell: (850) 294-9333 Website: www.gsiexecutivesearch.com Email: charlie@gsiexecutivesearch.com Contact: Charlie Hoare, CCM, Principal GSI Executive Search, Inc. Midwest Office 231 S. Bemiston Ave. Suite 800 St.Louis, MO 63105 Tel: (314) 854-1321 Cell: (314) 452-8848 Website: www.gsiexecutivesearch.com Email: scott@gsiexecutivesearch.com Contact: Scott McNett, Principal GolfQuest Executive Recruiting 1512 Melrose Place Birmingham, Alabama 35209 Tel: (205) 422-1514 Fax: (205) 870-3303 Website: www.GolfQuestRecruiting.com Email: scottsawyer@golfquestrecruting.com Contact: Scott Sawyer Kopplin & Kuebler Southwest Office 7349 Via Paseo Del Sur, Ste. 202 Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Tel: (480) 443-9102 Fax: (480) 443-9642 Website: www.kopplinandkuebler.com Email: dick@kopplinandkuebler.com Contact: Dick Kopplin, partner

Kopplin & Kuebler East Coast Office 132 Tulip Tree Jupiter, FL 33458 Tel/Fax: (561) 747-5213 Cell: (407) 864-6798 Website: www.kopplinandkuebler.com Email: kurt@kopplinandkuebler.com Contact: Kurt Kubler, CCM, partner

Financial Services Reserve Advisors, Inc. 205 E. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202 Phone: (414) 272-2002 Fax: (414) 272-3663 Website: www.reserveadvisors.com Contact: Nik Clark

Fitness Center and Operations WTS International 12501 Prosperity Dr., Suite 460 Silver Spring, MD 20904 Tel: (301) 625-2000 Fax: (301) 622-3373 E mail: info@wtsintl.com Contact: Gary Henkin, president

Food & Beverage Software FOOD-TRAK®/System Concepts, Inc. 15900 N. 78th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Tel: (480) 951-8011 x 8026 Fax: 480-951-2807 Email: nancys@foodtrak.com Website: www.foodtrak.com Contact: Nancy Shina, director of marketing

Interior/Architectural Design C2 Limited Design Associates 95 Reef Road Fairfield, CT 06824 Tel: (203) 259-2555 Fax: (203) 259-2565 Website: www.c2limited.com Email: csmith@c2limited.com Contact: Craig J. Smith Ferry, Hayes & Allen Designers, Inc. 1100 Spring Street, Suite 600 Atlanta, GA 30309 Tel: (404) 874-4411 Fax: (404) 874-1099 Website: www.fhadesigners.com Email: jbarret@fhadesigners.com Contact: Jeff Barrett, executive vice president Image Design, Inc. 3330 Cumberland Blvd. Atlanta, GA 30339 Tel: (770) 952-7171 Fax: (770) 933-9093 Website: www.imagedesign.com Email: mfleming@imagedesign.com Contact: Meredith Fleming

Locker Room Suppliers Sports Solutions, Inc. 2536 Manana Drive Dallas, TX 75220 Tel: (800) 969-8008 Fax: (214) 351-2609 Website: www.sportssolutionsinc.com Email: sales@sportssolutionsinc.com Contact: Laurie Schmidt

Lockers Legacy Lockers 4433 Bronze Way Dallas, TX 75236 Tel: (866) 937-1088 Fax: (214) 466-1789 Website: www.legacylockers.com Email: jeffreedy@legacylockers.com


BR 09 10 2012_BR 01-02 2005 9/19/12 10:35 AM Page 145

APCD ASSOCIATE M EMBERS & S PONSORS Salsbury Industries - Lockers.com 1010 East 62nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90001 Tel: (800) LOCKERS Fax: (800) 562-5399 Website: www.Lockers.com Email: Salsbury@Lockers.com Contact: Ricardo Alva

Marketing/Newsletters BoardRoom Connexions Laguna Beach, CA 92651 Te: (949) 365-6966 Website: www.BoardRoommagazine.com Email: heather@apcd.com Studo del Mar San Clemente, CA 92673 Tel: (949) 273-1677 Website: www.studiodelmar.net Email: info@studiodelmar.net

Menus & Binders Impact Enterprises, Inc. 6550 South Pecos Road Las Vegas, NV 89120 Corporate Headquarters

Warwick, NY 10990 Tel: (845) 988-1900 Website: www.impactenterprises.com Email: rsalisbury@impactenterprises.com

Outdoor Furniture Xhibtz Contract Furnishing 11071 Indian Lake Circle Boynton Beach, FL 33437 Tel: (954) 614-1505 Fax: (888) 880-9124 Website: www.xhibtz.com Email: xhibtz1@bellsouth.net

Software Developers FOOD-TRAK®/System Concepts, Inc. 15900 N. 78th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 Tel: (480) 951-8011 x 8026 Fax: 480-951-2807 Email: nancys@foodtrak.com Website: www.foodtrak.com Contact: Nancy Shina, director of marketing

TAI Consulting 30400 Telegraph Rd. #479 Bingham Farms, MI 48025 Tel: (248) 723-9700 Fax: (248) 723-9660 Website: www.TAIConsulting.com Email: MTalbot@TAIConsulting.com Contact: Mike Talbot

Steelite International USA Inc 154 Keystone Drive New Castle, PA 16105 Tel: (800) 367 3493 Fax: (724) 856-7924 Website: www.steelite.com Email: usa@steelite.com Contact: Alison Clingensmith

Swimming Pools

Walco Stainless/Utica Cutlery 820 Noyes St. Utica, NY 13503 Tel: (800) 879-2526 Fax: (315) 798-3757 Email: susan@uticacutlery.com Website: www.uticacutlery.com Contact: Susan Martin

Renosys Corp 2825 East 55 Place Indianapolis, IN 46220 Tel: (800) 783-7005 Fax: (317) 251-0360 Wb site: www.renosys.com Email: renosys@aol.com Contact: Bryan Towse

Tableware/Menus

Polar 2046 Castor Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19134 Tel: (800) 831-7823 Fax: (215) 535-6971 Website: www.the-polar.com Email: bradk@the-polar.com Contact: Brad Karasik

Website Design PrivateGolfCourses.com P.O. Box 73132, San Clemente, CA 92673 Tel: (949) 388-3050 Fax: (949) 492-9630 Website: www.privategolfcourses.com Contact: Tom McGilligan

BOARDROOM MAGAZINE ADVERTISING INDEX Abacus 21 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60 ACCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138 Addison Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 BoardRoom Awards. . . . . . . . . 97 BoardRoom Connexions. . . . . . 93 BoardRoom Institute . . . . . . 24-25 BoardRoom Subscriptions . . . . 139 BoardRoom Top President. . . . . 57 Boothe Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 137 CCI Club Design . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Chambers USA . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Club Benchmarking . . . . . . . . . 61 Club Software. . . . . . . . . . . . . 62 ClubSoft North America . . . 64-65 Club Resources . . . . . . . . . . . 136 clubsystems group . . . . . . . 66-67

ClubTec . . . . . . . . . . . . 63, 68-69 Clubwise . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 CMAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Crown Verity. . . . . . . . . . . . . 146 Culinary Software . . . . . . . . . . 87 Denehy Club Thinking . . . . . . . 91 DSG Tag Systems . . . . . . . . 70-71 Eustis Chair . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Executive Golf Search . . . . . . 138 Ferry, Hayes & Allen . . . . . . . . 47 FEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 FOOD-TRAK. . . . . . . . . . . . 72-73 Gasser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 GCSAA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147 Grigg Bros. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Hilda Allen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

iClubMarketing . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 IGM. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Jani-King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Jonas Club Management . . . 74-75 KE Camps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111 Kopplin Kuebler . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Legacy Lockers . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 McGladrey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101 McMahon Group . . . . . . . . . 115 MembersFirst . . . . . . . . . . . 76-77 Member Name Game . . . . 78-79 Mity-Lite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 MTS Seating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Northstar. . . . . . . . . 80-82 & 148 Parkway Construction . . . . . . 105 PCS Group . . . . . . . . . . . . 84-85

Peacock + Lewis . . . . . . . . . PGA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Polar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Professional Club Placement Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salsbury. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sequoia Golf Group . . . . . . Signera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Slimfold Grills . . . . . . . . . . . Spring USA . . . . . . . . . . . . Strahl . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . TAI Club Management . . . . . USPTA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Virtual Shaping . . . . . . . . . . Xhibtz Contract Furnishing . .

. . 53 . . 19 . . 55 . . . . . . . . . . .

. 31 146 ..8 . 83 . 55 ..2 146 . 86 146 . 11 . 47

BOARDROOM MAGAZINE COUNTRY CLUB INDEX Lawrence (Skip) Avery, CCM, CCE, GM/COO, Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh, PA Mark A. Bado, MCM, CCE, general manager/COO, The Kansas City Country, Mission Hills, KS Chris Boettcher, GM, Milwaukee Country Club, Milwaukee, WI Todd Bohn, CGCS, Wolf Creek Golf Links, Olathe, KS Kristi Bonsack, director of wellness, Longboat Key Club & Resort, Sarasota, FL Riley Benner, The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, NY James Cardamon CCM, Northmoor Country Club, Chicago, IL Patrick DeLozier, Colonial Country Club, Fort Worth, TX Tom DeLozier, GM, Quail Hollow Club near Charlotte, NC Todd Dufek, Locker Room Manager, The Country Club at DC Ranch in Scottsdale, AZ

Chet A. Kronenberg, president, Mulholland Tennis Club, Los Angeles, CA Robert W. Kummer, Jr., President, Birnam Wood Golf Club, Montecito, CA David W. Lacey, the board of governors, Philadelphia Cricket Club Nancy Levenberg, member, Spring Lake Country Club, Spring Lake, MI Dennis Lyon, CGCS, retired, Aurora, CO Bailey Miller The Tuxedo Club, Tuxedo Park, NY Andrew Morris, CGCS, Country Club Of Peoria, IL Gregg Patterson, GM, The Beach Club of Santa Monica, CA Chelsie Sanchez, Charlotte Country Club, Charlotte, NC Peter Schaub CCM, Californian Club, Los Angeles, CA William A. Schultz, MCM, CCE, Houston Country Club, TX Kayla Simpson, Baltimore Country Club, Lutherville-Timonium, MD

Michael Gardner, GM, Birnam Wood Golf Club, Montecito, CA

Isaac Storandt, Shore and Country Club, Norwalk, CT

Barry Garrett, GM Medinah Country Club, Chicago, IL

Tom Wallace III, former GM, Oakmont Country Club near Pittsburg now GM/CEO at The Club at Mediterra near Naples, FL

Lee Hoke, three-time past president of Buckhorn Springs Golf and Country Club, Valrico, FL Bernhard Kloppenburg, GM, Sarasota Yacht Club, Sarasota, FL Dr. Bonnie Knutson, the Country Club of Lansing and the Michigan Athletic Club

Michael Welly, GM, Longboat Key Club & Resort, Sarasota, FL Kelly Woodworth, Mid-America Club, Chicago, IL SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012 • THE BOARDROOM 145


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MARKETPLACE

146 THE BOARDROOM • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2012


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The BoardRoom magazine

16 YEARS OF EDUCATING THE PRIVATE CLUB INDUSTRY Volume

XVI,

September/October

Volume XVI, September/October, 2012

PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE - 10 It’s the Intangibles That Make the Club!

GETTING YOUR BOARD ON BOARD - 52 How Does Your Board of Directors Measure Up? PLIGHTS AND INSIGHTS - 116 Texting and Driving… on the Golf Course

Tarun Kapoor’s Philosophy Leads To Lean, Mean Governing Machine - page 20

BoardRoom Institute Online Board Member Training & Orientation - page 21

ABACUS 21

CLUB CLUB SOFTWARE CLUBSOFT BENCHMARKING NORTH AMERICA

CLUBSYSTEMS GROUP

CLUBTEC

CULINARY SOFTWARE

DSG TAG SYSTEMS

FOOD-TRAK

JONAS CLUB MANAGEMENT

MEMBER NAME MEMBERSFIRST GAME

NORTHSTAR

PCS GROUP

SIGNERA

TAI CLUB MANAGEMENT

BoardRoom magazine Technology Feature - pages 60-87


BoardRoom magazine September/October 2012