by Dave White
What a difference a year makes…or for that matter, five years…10 years!
Technology, as it is in BoardRoom’s September/October issue, speaks to how things have changed over the last 10 years. The introduction of the iPhone, Blackberry and other smartphones really began to have an effect on private clubs, which then faced decisions of who could use what, where and when at their clubs. Yes, some things do change.
Today, barely a day goes by that there isn’t something new and wonderful on the market…and most people are embracing the changes happily because it’s made our lives easier…it’s simplified what we do and we do it more quickly, efficiently and effectively. That, of course, is the ‘good’ side of technology.
Yes, technology in earlier days was verboten at some clubs. But the only thing constant about change is change and that certainly applies to today’s private clubs. Technology really holds the key to success for many private clubs who are seeking a new generation of members, i.e. the Millenials…the generation that’s grown up with much of the technology they (and we) carry around with us today.
Technological change today is unceasing and happening with such mind-boggling speed and depth that we can only imagine where tomorrow takes us. Just think of what’s happened in the past year?
So how do clubs prepare for the future? What to do, because digital devices are how younger club members read, listen, search and generally communicate with their families, friends and work colleagues. How do clubs accommodate the requirements of the next generation? What decisions do board of directors face? Who leads the charge?
At the same time, technical innovation is also knocking down the doors of clubs themselves, particularly in administrative and management areas. In his Technical Perspective piece this issue, Bill Boothe explains how clubs can cut costs by adopting a couple of technologies, to the advantage of the club’s members.
Boothe also suggest implementation strategies to help club members make the leap to get on board. Some clubs of course are early adopters…not so with others who need more focused arguments of why change should happen. Boothe outlines these advantages, including the fact your club can save money.
Food and beverage technology that tracks inventories from start to finish is also pushing on, and contributor Chris Boettcher outlines how marketing and technology go hand-in-hand in meeting the demands of today’s members.
The golf course also benefits from changing technology, as Bruce Williams points out in his story on technologies your club should embrace.
Water issues including usage, affordability, availability and quality are in the forefront of one of the most important issues clubs face today. This of course has led to technological innovations that measures moisture, ensuring that water is applied only when needed, and which also track irrigation performance.
Apps that help in myriad ways are also finding their way on to the golf course, as well as other parts of the operation. Clubs should embrace technology and make it part of their operations, Williams recommends.
Certainly there is an appetite for advancing technology and that’s becoming even more evident in the private club industry. The next few years, as with the last few, will be exceedingly interesting.
And finally, we continue with our series on BoardRoom magazine’s top private club presidents with stories about Gale Pinckney, Commodore, Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Balboa, CA; Brian Spiller, President, Woodfield Country Club, Boca Raton, FL; Barry Swidler, President, Old Westbury Golf & Country Club, Old Westbury, NY.
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