DO YOU RECOGNIZE
ANY OF THIS?
TELL ME ABOUT
YOUR PRIVATE GOLF CLUB
Ive had an
about the plight of many private golf clubs (likely hundreds). There
seems to be a common series of events leading to the classic eleventh-hour
Save our Club meeting.
Based on my article,
I received Email message from every corner of the country, wondering
if it was based on their clubs state of affairs. One member even
asked me where I obtained the information about his private golf club,
because my article described his clubs situation quite accurately.
Most have followed
about fifteen years ago when they expanded the clubhouse
for more fine dining, added a swimming pool, tennis courts,
and a fitness center.
the membership is aging and shrinking due to natural attrition. New
members are becoming harder to recruit, partly because the old crowd
is somewhat unappealing to the under-50 set - like dancing to Tommy
Dorsey at the New Years Party.
the monster clubhouse is no longer the center of the community. Thousands
of square feet of building lie empty for days and weeks while expenses
upon expenses pile up on very little income. The kitchen is out of
date, cooks and chefs are almost impossible to keep, and Outback Steakhouse
serves a better steak anyway. Ive seen gas stoves burning fuel
day after day serving no more than a handful of cheeseburgers.
maintenance facility is equipped with worn out old machinery that
waste more time on blocks than on the job. The superintendent spends
most of his time begging for chemicals, fertilizers, grease cartridges,
help, etc. Meanwhile, the membership complains the superintendent
is falling down on the job.
leases are due.
pool has a $40,000 leak!
tennis surfaces need a $15,000 refurbishing!
bridges are unsafe. Budget $25,000!
on ceiling tiles a new roof is due! Budget $40,000.
are cracking apart from tree roots. Budget $100,000.
new rooftops are causing serious drainage problems. A thunderstorm
makes the course unplayable for days. It didnt happen thirty
years ago. Budget $100,000 minimum to correct drainage.
course is more than twenty years old and the irrigation system is
ready to crash (if not already). A $1 million replacement looms. I
interviewed a superintendent who told me his repair costs were in
the thousands monthly not to mention browned-out areas here
and there. Budget up to $1 million!
and playability of the golf course lags behind newer competition.
Many members that didnt die off jumped ship to join more modern,
more hip golf clubs.
as the finances are, the membership will not allow the ways-and-means
committee authority to allow some form of outside play on the course
to supplement a falling monthly dues line. This is a private
golf club. Let in the riffraff and Ill resign!
Anyway, If your
club is in a similar condition, write to me about it. You dont
have to name the club.
I truly believe
all the clubs can be rescued. It might help your club just knowing their
plight is so similar to others. If the board recognizes many of their
problems are very common in the private club world, they might become
more innovative in their thinking.
They might even
consider bulldozing 80% of the clubhouse, filling in the pool, grassing
over the tennis courts and return the club to a pure golf club. In my
opinion, thats exactly what many dying private clubs need to do!
Write: email@example.com, or order
a Site Review and Analysis
Sincere thanks if
Mike Kahn (941)