Club & Spa

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Private club dining types

As the private club product evolved overtime, the type of club service offerings changed in direct accordance to member wishes. In particular, one area of the private clubs industry that has witnessed the most dramatic change in member desires is that of foodservice operations. In particular, the type of dining facilities has evolved from a formal dining experience to that of an informal dining experience. This is not to say that all private clubs have disbanded a formal dining experience, instead the switch has been in offering both formal and informal dining experiences.

Private club advisor organization

The Private Club Advisor (PCA), established in 1990, produces timely information that is specific to the private club industry that can be found in the publications of (a) The Private Club Advisor and (b) PCA Plus. The Private Club Advisor (PCA) has a circulation of 16,000 readers that comprise private club chief operating officers (general managers), club officers, private club owners, and club members.

Club types

The private club industry is stratified by facilities that cater to unique user needs surrounding social, recreational, and financial needs. In answering these needs, most cases private clubs are logically located in an area where people choose to recreate, socialize, or conduct business. The following are brief definitions that delineate the different club types.

Club reciprocity

One of the most unique benefits associated with being a member in the private club industry is that of reciprocity. When private clubs enter into a reciprocity agreement the respective members have the right to use the facilities and services of a reciprocal club while traveling in the area. This is especially unique in that reciprocal agreements can be made at the local, national, or international perspective. When planning to exercise their reciprocal usage rights the member must notify management of the receiving club of the time and duration of their travel plans.

Club professionals

The skills required to run a private club correspond directly to the complexity of services offered through the club's departments. The common departments found in a private country club include the clubhouse and the recreational divisions of aquatics, tennis, and golf. In addition to these recreational departments a private club also requires professionals in the areas of grounds and within the executive office.      

Club officers

The governing body of a private club is composed of a group of club officers that preside over the club's operation. This policy making function is clearly delineated within the club's charter as recorded with the state in question. In form with this policy making function there are certain functions that are position specific. The president performs the function of directing the club officers within their policy making capacity for the club.

Club membership process

The club industry consists of all private clubs, both equity and non-equity, that provide services and amenities to individuals with similar interests and desires for social and recreational purposes. Access to a private club is restricted to members, their immediate families, and guests of the members. To join a club a candidate for member ship must be sponsored by a current member. In addition, the applicant has to provide letters of recommendations from other members that are in good standing.

Club membership nomination

In general, the initial step in gaining membership is to submit a formal application to the club. Before an application will be considered the prospective member must be sponsored by a club member. The role of this member sponsor is critical to the receipt and acceptance of this enquiry given the selective nature of the application process. The sponsoring member ensures that all the necessary information in contained in the application and then forwards the application to club management or to the membership committee.

Club membership categories

By the very nature of the private club industry, membership within any given private club is a very coveted title. Due to the popularity of being a member of a private club, existing members give great detail to protect the overall composition of their club. In short, the existing members view their existing club as an exclusive community that mirrors a common value system. It should be understood that the following definitions apply to an equity club type of operation versus that of a non-equity club.

Club management

Club management is a profession that involves managing all of the different areas and departments in a club. A club manager generally super vises the following departments and/or staff: accountant/comptroller, upscale dining, casual dining, banquets, lounge/bar, maintenance, locker rooms, kitchen, membership, aquatics, and tennis. If the manager is a general manager then the golf program/golf professional and golf course maintenance/golf course superintendent also report to the general manager.