Skip links

What’s the Pulse on Branding?

Earlier this spring, McMahon Group conducted a Pulse Survey of our industry to learn more from club leaders about the issue of branding. This targeted survey received 314 responses from clubs all across the world. Below are some key takeaways from the results:

Strategic Planning

61% have a Strategic Plan that was developed within the last five years. Meaning 39% do not have a Strategic Plan. This “60/40 split” has been consistent over the years.

  • 89% have a Mission Statement

o   97% state they are adhering to the Mission

  • 73% have a Vision Statement

o   93% state they are adhering to the Vision

  • 70% have a set of Core Values

o   94% state they are adhering to the Core Values

Iconic Club Brands 

When asked to list iconic club names, the top country/golf clubs and nongolf clubs listed were:

Country/Golf Clubs

1.       Augusta National Golf Club (182)

2.       Congressional Country Club (53)

3.       Pebble Beach Golf Links (47)

4.       The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (44)

5.      Pine Valley Golf Club (42)

6.      Cypress Point Club (34)

7.      Medinah Country Club (17)

8.      Winged Foot Golf Club (17)

9.      Cherokee Town & Country Club (16)

10.   The Country Club (Brookline) (16)

11.   Baltusrol Golf Club (15)

12.   Oakmont Country Club (14)

13.   Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (14)

14.   The Olympic Club (13)

15.   Merion Golf Club (12)

16.   Boca West Country Club (10)

NOTE: There was a total of 130 different clubs listed, the clubs listed at least 10 times are shown.

Nongolf Clubs

1.       The Union League of Philadelphia (80)

2.       New York Athletic Club (45)

3.       Jonathan Club (38)

4.       Detroit Athletic Club (23)

5.       Union League Club of Chicago (19)

6.       Bohemian Club (18)

7.       Duquesne Club (16)

8.       St. Francis Yacht Club (16)

9.       The Olympic Club (13)

10.   New York Yacht Club (12)

11.   The University Club New York (12)

12.   The California Club (11)

13.   The Beach Club (10)

NOTE: There was a total of 97 different clubs listed, the clubs listed at least 10 times are shown.


How would you rate the strength of your club’s brand/image?

33% – Excellent

49% – Good

17% – Fair

1% – Poor

Only 41% of respondents stated they have an internal Copywriting and Style Manual for all communications.

Do your members have a unified view of your club’s brand?

55% – Yes

21% – No

24% – Uncertain


To get your copy of the full report, please visit to order. Please note, the full report is available at no cost to any one who completed the survey. Be on the lookout for future Pulse Surveys from McMahon Group. 

Club Trends Spring 2019