This blog features information and advice from industry professionals on relevant club topics and issues. A companion to CMAA's Research Archives, this resource is updated biweekly.

Submissions should be sent to Kyle.Jennings@cmaa.org for consideration.

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Appreciating Your Staff Makes Good Business Sense

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link


Every good hospitality manager knows that their club experience is only as good as the employees that run it. The time and other resources it takes to help qualified employees feel appreciated for their contributions is significant; however, the payoff is worth it and it’s not as hard as one would think. Read more...

Do You Really Need Technology to Run Your Restaurant More Efficiently?

(Accounting and Finance, Food and Beverage, Technology) Permanent link

5_25_15_175wThis may seem like a strange question coming from a technology provider, but it’s a valid one. Does your restaurant, country club or food service operation really need to rely on technology to run more efficiently and productively?  Haven’t restaurants been around for decades before the emergence of POS systems, online reservations, menu boards and accounting software to track sales and expenses? Read more...

What Did You Get?

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05_19_15 Gift GivingAt the end of our Extraordinary Leader lesson calls and coaching gyms we ask people "What did you get?" People know that they will be asked this question and begin the call with the intention of getting something that is going to help them move toward their goals. Declaring what they got helps to reinforce the learning but very often helps others to gain an awareness that they might not have received for themselves.

After attending a conference like the World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo, it is a wonderful time to record what you got. I have been a coach for the past 15 years, but when I was a club manager I would return home with a report that I gave to my board, reflecting on what I got. Read more...

Not Just Golf; How Tennis Fits Into Your Club

(Sport and Recreation) Permanent link

05_14_15 Tennis Court 175One of the top priorities of the USPTA over the last two years has been to be more closely aligned with our allied organizations. After the CMAA World Conference on Club Management and Business Expo in San Antonio in March, I am even more convinced of the need for our industry brethren to come together.

Many of the challenges facing the club and golf industries are parallel to those affecting tennis: constrained resources, increasing value to professionals, improving the member experience and increasing participation in the sport. While golf is important, it cannot be the singular focus as it may have been in the past at many facilities. Clubs need to be more holistic. Golf can't and should not be the only amenity anymore, and that's where tennis fits in. Read more...

Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Environmental Management

(Sustainability) Permanent link

05_12_15 Golf Course_175This past winter I was asked to participate at a golf association chapter meeting discussing the value of third party environmental management programs in golf. After the joint session with Audubon International Executive Director Doug Bechtel, and Golf Course Superintendents at Rockland Country Club in New York (Matt Ceplo, CGCS) and TPC Jasna Polana in New Jersey (Tim Connelly), a member of the audience approached me. During the session, I had spent some time talking about how Environmental Management Systems (specifically ISO 14001-compliant versions) have been successful in many other industries to manage environmental issues, and were starting to take off with golf businesses as well. (It's standard practice in countries like Australia, present in over thirty countries, and growing here in the US.) My eager listener said to me, "it would seem that we’re in the midst of an EMS revolution then?"  Read more...

Engaging Social Media for Catering and Member Events

(Social Media) Permanent link

5_7_15_175wWays of engaging members are definitely changing. Trends show that in 2014, an investment in social media moved from "should have" to "must have" and the use of video will continue to increase rapidly. In the area of private and member events, this could not be more important, as it is such a visually engaging department and there are so many incredible images that we can share via social media to connect with our members and their entertaining lifestyles. Read more...

The Changing World of Country Clubs

(Membership, Spa and Fitness, Sport and Recreation) Permanent link

According to National Golf Foundation (NGF) statistics, both the number of people playing golf and the frequency with which they played stabilized in 2012-2014. This is followed a long period of decline. The number of golfers peaked at 30 million around 2003 and rounds have declined almost every year since 1999. So while this is good news in one sense, the long term outlook for golf remains bleak. Read more...

Keep Communication Cool at Your Clubs – Avoid the Fire Terms!

(Interpersonal Skills) Permanent link

04_28_15_175wBeing angry makes you human. Being prepared makes you a professional. At your clubs, your staff and especially your members have a different level of freedom to express aggravation.

During moments of striving to resolve miscommunications at your club; certain words are said that can be fuel to an already potentially volatile situation. These words can be harmless in their intention. If emotions are high, when our logic is low, these words can increase defensiveness. These words are called “fire terms,” because they ignite and caused heated emotional stress.

I have had the privilege of working with club professionals for 19 years. Here are some of the fire terms I have heard and the suggestions recommended to avoid them.  Read more...

This information is provided for informational purposes only. The contents are presented with no warranty, either expressed or implied by the Club Managers Association of America. No legal responsibility is assumed for the outcome of decisions, commitments or obligations made on the basis of this information. If your club is faced with a question concerning legal issues, you should contact the club’s legal counsel for the specific application of the law to your situation.