Barbados - Green Monkey Panoramic View from Hole 9 -AB
March 2017 Industry Report

This year has started out on a strong note for the industry.

 

 Most private clubs are reporting slight upticks in membership and the trend seems to be increasing initiation fees on an average of 10%. As the northern 70% of the country comes out of hibernation, let’s hope the upswing continues.

 

Did you know?

The median age in America is 37.2 years old. Live television viewing was down 13 % last year for all ages except for viewers 55 years and older. What is taking up the eyeball time? An increase in social media.

 

One of the best social media ideas I have read: post a picture of sunset each evening. It has a positive, calming reaction and keeps your membership engaged.

 

Content is king

As I research content for my articles, all too often, I come across clichés that provide little information. Although it’s a crass term, I like to refer to these clichés as “verbal diarrhea.”

 

We know consumers’ attention span is shortening. The critical first impression is ever more important.

 

So, if you have one paragraph to describe your facilities, why use puffy adjectives? Informative content will be more effective.

 

Avoid saying:

 

Golf Course: “playable for all skill levels” or “use every club in your bag” or “tournament caliber playing conditions”

Fitness Facilities: “state of the art”

Social: “family friendly”

Food: “world class dining”

Location: “centrally located”

 

Consider:

 

Golf Course: be descriptive as if you were explaining what the course looks like to a blind person.

Fitness Facilities: detail what brand of equipment you carry…describe the views (if any) while on the treadmill…describe fitness classes.

Social: every club now touts themselves as family friendly. Explain how your club’s culture and physical infrastructure is family oriented.

Food: describe where your food is sourced from. Explain the value of dining at the club. Highlight your chef’s credentials.

Location: pinpoint where the closest airport(s), hospitals, stadiums, universities, shopping centers, and movie theaters are.

 

Operational ideas to increase your bottom line:

“We moved our clubhouse bar out of the middle of the formal dining room.  Members are continuing to lean towards a more casual atmosphere. Since the move, we have seen an increase in food and beverage sales.” – Shatana Pole, general manager at The Club at Black Rock in Idaho

 

“We created a yearlong match play bracket event, similar to March Madness. The interest was so strong we had a waiting list to enter. We also installed a smaller counter in the golf shop that eliminated separation of staff and members and created a more engaging atmosphere.” – Clark Spratlin, director of golf at Currahee Club in Georgia