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How do we know if our facilities are losing their relevance?

One of the biggest drivers to membership retention and growth is to continually evolve as a club. In today’s world, it is important to stay ahead of what the next generation of members is looking for in a club experience. Facilities are at the core of this experience.

Clubs that continually evaluate their offerings maintain relevancy. When assessing facilities, important questions to consider include:

  • Are your club’s facilities up to date?
  • What is the condition of the existing mechanical and infrastructure systems?
  • How is the private club community evolving and is your club following suit?

Answering the above questions will springboard the discussion about your facilities.

Facility Checklist

To ensure you are staying ahead of the curve with your facilities:

  1. Stay abreast of the trends that affect members’ lives and how your club can reap its benefits. Read great publications like Club TrendsClub DirectorThe McMahon Report® and other industry publications. Some of the facility trends blossoming around the club world include:
    • Year-round offerings
    • Indoor golf centers
    • Resort-style pool complexes
    • Fun outdoor spaces
  1. Conduct a thorough asset reserve study and existing conditions report to get a full understanding on the useful life of many of your mechanical and kitchen systems as well as prioritizing the areas that need immediate improvement.
  2. Ensure the leadership is aligned on the club’s purpose when making decisions, especially with regards to facilities. This is critical for success. Don’t just add an amenity because your neighbor does. Be strategic and decide what amenities are most important to your club’s success and follow your club’s mission.
  3. Reach out to your members for feedback on the issues that affect their happiness with the club, from facilities to programming. Listen to your members and develop a plan to provide what is most important to them.

Clubs should go through a renewal or rejuvenation about every 10 years to remain relevant. In most cases, gone are the days where just being a member was enough—people want value from their club. This includes convivial gathering areas, friendly bars, resort-like pools and welcoming spaces and activities for all members and their families and guests.

Clubs will be successful when they regularly upgrade their offerings and evolve to new activities and amenities. A good example of evolving amenities is with golf. The National Golf Foundation now tracks off-course golf play (driving range, Topgolf-like facilities, simulators, etc.) in their reports, suggesting that this growing trend of a traditional club offering is gaining momentum—and that today’s private clubs should consider providing these golf activities to stay current with member demand.

Membership Boost

Maintaining and updating facilities is one of the most important factors in attracting and retaining members. Keep your leadership abreast of the club’s condition and the trends in our industry, and plan your facilities strategically.

Bill McMahon, Jr., is vice president of McMahon Group, a full-service private club consulting firm that has served over 2,000 private clubs around the world. He can be reached at [email protected] or visit