Clubs are a business.
That may sound self-evident, but many clubs, particularly many great private clubs, still don’t approach them as one.
Yet, more and more are realizing that they no longer can afford the overspending, arbitrary and ever-changing agendas, and a lack of focus on the bottom line.
Professional management began when Bob Dedman created ClubCorp in the 1950’s. Dedman, who became a billionaire, was famous for saying, “The club business is nobody's business because it's nobody's business.” At many clubs, it rings just as true today as it did then.
The consensus is professional club management is expected to double in the next ten to fifteen years as more owners and boards seek the benefits of experience, established management systems, a wealth of expertise, economies of scale, cost containment, and reciprocal use –all resulting in happier customers and members while considerably improving the bottom line.
Historically, many people and boards associated management companies with a slash and burn mentality, poor service, and not so highly regarded properties. For an elite club, hiring a management company seemed inconsistent with their image and often felt like an admission of failure on the board’s or owner’s part.
This has changed as management companies now operate at some of the most highly reputable and ranked properties. You may recognize some of them: Bandon Dunes, Turnberry in Scotland, Kapalua, Streamsong, Princeville, Ballenisles, Palmilla, The Boulders and PGA West, to name a few. These companies are specialists, bringing a host of resources, tools and expertise to a client.
Similarly, forward-thinking owners recognize that a great General Manager powered by the substantial resources of a management company is much more effective than just a General Manager working alone. However, together, the two can be a substantial force in changing the performance and enjoyment of a club – and making the board’s or owner’s life so much easier.
Bobby Jones Links: now a great partner for elite clubs too.
The principals of Bobby Jones Links own the company - we are not driven by investor expectations and pressures. Our balance sheet is strong.
As a result, we don’t leverage our operational leadership across too many clubs. And unlike many companies in our business, we don’t require long term management agreements with large breakup fees. If you like what we do, you’ll keep us. For more than two decades our clients have renewed our management services more than any other company.