How is your golf club tackling succession planning!



I like to keep an eye on what is happening across the ‘pond’ as in my experience if its happens in the States, sometime or other we experience it here. One of my current favourites is the team at www.clubbenchmarking.com.


The American County Club is a different set up to the average private members club here, with ‘dues’ in the tens of thousands of pounds. But there is a lot to learn from how they run their private clubs. The challenges are the same no matter the size of the turnover.

They have just completed their 2021 Club Survey and it makes for some fascinating reading. I was struck by the ‘numerous deficiencies in the nominating process’ and reading the list I can see so many similarities to clubs over here:

  • Lack of transparency with process or criteria not well known to the membership

  • Decisions are controlled by a few, aka the “old boys club” syndrome

  • The process is not independent

  • Necessary skill sets have not been identified

  • Committee experience is not (but should be) a prerequisite

  • Future leadership needs are not considered

  • Nominating committee and candidates are not representative of the membership

  • Candidates are chosen due to popularity

  • Nominating process is too short

This all links to a great ‘In Conversation with’ interview with two industry body CEOs Tom Brooke (Golf Club Management) and Jim Croxton (Greenkeepers Association).


It all starts at the top. The recruitment process for any employee role is crucial-and so it should be for the volunteer directors. Its tough but there are clubs already leading the way.

Take look at the full article and download the white paper. There is some terrific advice for any club either side of the pond. https://www.clubbenchmarking.com/blog/succession-planning


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