Private Country Clubs: Are You Ready for Change?

by Mr Business Golf on May 24, 2011

Business Man in Golf Cart In case you haven’t noticed, time is changing everything, including private country club’s way of thinking.  Country Clubs are now finally starting to realize the weak economy is real and it is time to rethink their club’s future’s needs which is new younger members.  

Time has not only changed the old traditional country clubs it also has changed the way the next generation thinks about the country club.  It is these two changes in the leisure and golf markets that give hope for both to succeed.

Here Comes the Next Generation

Finally, the next generation of country club golfers are forcing the gates of private country clubs open.  Country Clubs are starting to recon with the realities that society has changed.  What I say to this is..It’s about friggin time.

The most interesting aspect of the private country club mindset is the fact they are changing.  The change of anything in this older portion of society was simply unheard of…it was literally considered blasphemy for any member to ask the board of governors of a private country club for a change.  Change to them was just something they were not going to do.   Now, with the old guards dying off, the deficits of operations funds is facing  many of the iconic institutions of snobbery around the country.   This is forcing them to actually changing the way they think.  Is it out of necessity?..more than likely. 

Reality Check

Private Country Clubs are finally realizing their memberships are getting older..much older. On the most part a country club member’s average age is over 60 yrs old.  Now these clubs are dealing with the children, grandchildren and, in some cases, great grandchildren of members who think and act differently than their ancestors.

The next generation lives in a very fast paced world created by their parents.  Unfortunately, somewhere during the hustling to soccer practice, then to guitar lessons, and then back home to do home work, these young adults never got to see or learn the value of a leisure lifestyle.  What they got out of the hustle and bustle of a fast pace childhood was thinking that way of life was the way to Live.

Fortunately, leisure time is a requirement for good health and sanity. The lack of any leisure time is now catching up to the now approaching 30 year olds.  They are asking themselves..why am I so tired all the time? 

The need for downtime is forcing these young people to slow down and look for things to do that will allow them to step off the fast track for a bit before they have to get back on it.  This limited leisure time is spent socializing. 

Young people are much more social than the Donna Reed era culture many country club covet.  The under 35 crowd have grown up being around people like themselves. They are now looking at the social environment of a company before they go to work for them.  As a result the businesses this age group work for now have to allow for a more social atmosphere in the workplace.  This makes everything the next generation does in their life more Social.  This social lifestyle is back but with a twist.

More Variety Needed

Variety is also a requirement young adults demand in their life.  As is typically shown in their resumes, most young professional only stay at a position or business for less than two years.  This frequent mobility also is reflective of their social lives.  Most of the Gen Z’ers will socialize randomly throughout their community since going to the same place or being loyal to one social hub is deemed boring.  Private Clubs will need to take this under consideration and build in social networking for members of their club.

It is this new state of mind the stuffy class oriented private clubs have to consider changing if they intent to lure in these social butterflies.  New more modern looks, ability to have access to more than one club within a community along with ‘Happy Hour’ pricing for membership fees are just a few things country clubs need to consider.  Those clubs who continue down the narrowing path to taking a ‘we can’t afford a new look’ attitude or say ‘we will wait until these kids reach their senses’ will find themselves on the losing side of these arguments since the next generation can, and will, wait these clubs out.  It will be the clubs that Open the Gates to embrace change who will get the next generation to become a member.  And when they come..they bring their friends with them.

Lets hope more clubs start thinking this way.  Change can also be good.  Let me know how I can help.

Mr Business Golf

Scot Duke, aka Mr Business Golf Located in Addison, Tx, the capital of North Dallas. CEO/President of Innovative Business Golf Solutions Founder of the: -Business Golf Country Club -Business Golf Advisory Group -ClamBake Cafe Author of: How to Play Business Golf

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