By Peter Cafaro
What is an expert?
The dictionary says: Noun: a person having, involving, or displaying special skill or knowledge derived from training or experience.
If you found out that you needed a joint replacement or were diagnosed with even a simple illness, how likely are you to consider a doctor who is “trying to get a foothold in this sort of thing?” More likely you’ll search out the best and the brightest and the Doc who has done this over and over again until it has become automatic.
So, shouldn’t this same practice apply to planning, architecture and interior design in the private club industry. Our industry is blessed with individuals and companies that know club operations and design inside and out. People who can anticipate and address issues before they even arise. People who have literally, “written the book” on clubhouse planning and design. They understand the “quirks” of dealing with volunteer boards and varying membership demographics.
Clubs of every type throughout the country are faced with a changing face of membership and the resultant need for adjusting facilities to meet current and future member expectations. Many experts say we are at a crossroads where most clubs – those who understand the future and prepare for it – will flourish while others who stubbornly dig in their heels and cling to the attitude that “it’s worked since we opened, it will continue to work just fine”, will not be so fortunate.
There has never been a time when reviewing and adapting your current non-golf course facilities has been so critical. Much of a club’s future rides on the success – or failure – of a capital plan. Should it not then be automatic that clubs seek out be best and the brightest in the field to guide them to success.
Club boards are composed of highly successful, savvy and driven individuals, all of whom have developed myriad relationships throughout their personal and professional life. It is not a stretch that an architect or two might be among those relationships.
We all want to do business with our friends, or a fellow member, but in the case of developing a vision for the future of your club, would you prefer to trust a friend or put your faith in a proven, experienced professional – an expert?
I am fortunate to find myself in front of boards and committees practically every day. They are regularly asking my opinions on the state of our industry and the hottest items being introduced into today’s clubhouses. Naturally there is no shortage of discussion topics and I love engaging them, sometimes for hours on a variety of subjects.
When all the subjects are talked out though, my final leave behind is always something like this: “I would love for the club to hire my company for your project. But, should you chose not to, please hire someone like us. A company with deep club specific experience and a proven track record of success and creativity who will get the job done right” – An expert. BR
Peter Cafaro is the senior vice president of Judd Brown Designs with responsibility for marketing, business development and member communications. He can be reached at (401) 721-0977, ext. 203 or via email: Pcafaro@jbd.cc