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  • Writer's pictureRCA

Something every club member needs to consider...

The global demand for golf subsequent to the onset of COVID-19 has undoubtedly been good for the industry at large. However, a noticeable bi-product of this increase in demand has been the pressure which golf clubs now face to accommodate a cross-section of member expectations.

The typical member base of most golf clubs represents a reasonably wide base of golfers all bringing with them different preferences and expectations. The most challenging reality of this dynamic is not necessarily the diversity of the member base but rather the fact that members often don't bear in mind that their set of expectations and preferences need to be balanced against those of their fellow peers. In some cases, the desire of said member to get their preference over the line will see said member joining the committee, not to serve the greater good of the club but actually to ensure that certain decisions favour their best interests.

These types of agendas and MO's make life for the management of the club a complete nightmare because while they are trying to deliver a value proposition that speaks to as many members as possible, certain factions are doing whatever they can to align decision-making to their preferences.

It is imperative that every golf club implements a rigorous committee selection process or even better, moves from a committee to board structure where more executive power is bestowed upon the management ultimately creating a dynamic where they can be held fully accountable for the club's performance.

There is also an increasing number of club members who deem it their right to treat club staff with an appallingly low degree of respect (certainly not all but some). At the same time, these members seek to create animosity when they do not get their way or are not prioritised. This is not to say that members are not entitled to have high expectations of their club's management and that the operation should not be seeking to add optimum value to their members. The tipping point here is unfortunately when the intention behind the antagonistic behaviour is not to serve the greater good of the club (and be constructive) but rather to serve their own best interests.

When one dips into the psychology of it all, certain members want to be regarded as the alpha and when they feel like this is not the case, will use conflict as a way to sway consciousness in their direction from management. In reality, it is actually rather desperate and pathetic. It is up to the member base to put individuals such as these in line and marginalise them if need be. Unfortunately, management is trained to do whatever is necessary to keep the members happy but sometimes, the member just deserves the opposite. The irony of it all is if you want to get treated in the best way by those who serve you, best practice is often to lead with kindness yourself and more often than not, the equivalent level of behaviour is reciprocated.

Perhaps with the onset of more waiting lists, certain members will become a little more appreciative of what they have at their clubs, not just in terms of the infrastructure but also the human capital.

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