The Pellucid Perspective - June 2015 - (Page 8)

private club trends Reinventing vs. Reinvesting By Tom Bennison, ClubCorp, Senior Vice President, New Business Development EDITOR'S NOTE: As a new service to our readers, The Pellucid Perspective will periodically provide articles and insights from respected golf industry thought leaders. ClubCorp SVP Tom Bennison certainly qualifies, and we hope you enjoy his insight into some of the reasons for ClubCorp's continued success. G olf, lunch and cards in the men's locker room and dressy family dinners in the formal dining room were all staples of a private country club when Robert H. Dedman founded ClubCorp in 1957 and created the modern private club industry. Today, 58 years later, ClubCorp is in the process of reinventing the club industry - one club at a time. Through more than $1 million in research and focus groups, we've learned that today's private club member doesn't want stuffy, they want stylish and they want high energy. In a world where social media rules, people still have a desire to connect with one another face to face on a level that harkens back to the country club of the past, but in a setting that gives every member of the family a reason to belong. Since 2007, ClubCorp has spent $480 million in capital investments, giving members even more reasons to belong. We are reinventing and adding amenities that didn't exist 50, 30, even 20 years ago - media lounges where members can gather to watch the latest sporting events, upscale bars and grilles, private meeting rooms with TVs and Wi-Fi, casual family dining spaces, dine-in wine cellars, expanded outdoor patios with fire pits and cabana seating and innovative new menus. We're focusing more on families with resort-style pool amenities that include cabanas and water slides, enhanced kids' club playrooms and, in some cases, tween lounges and even a miniature golf course. In addition to offering clubs with golf, tennis and swimming, our clubs are now venues for dining, entertaining and socializing. ClubCorp's central purpose though continues to be Building Relationships and Enriching Lives® and programming remains an integral part of the success quotient. With the addition of the new amenities, our clubs also can now offer more robust calendars of events and activities - Friday night outdoor grills on the patio, trivia game nights, craft beer and wine tastings and even family campouts on the fairways - that keep the clubs vibrant, relevant and 8 The Pellucid PersPecTive centerpieces in communities where people can really connect with one another. Once the reinventions are complete, the extra amenities have been added, and the programming - although always fluid to reflect cultural trends, current events and members' interests - is in place, the key is getting the value equation correct in dues. ClubCorp's unique O.N.E. (Optimal Network Experiences) offering provides participating members 50 percent off a la carte dining at their home club, access to and preferred rates at ClubCorp-owned clubs within a 50-mile radius and two free rounds of golf per golf and country club when traveling throughout the ClubCorp Network. We are now offering access to more than 300 private clubs and special offerings or discounts at more than 1,000 hotels, resorts and entertainment venues. Demand for O.N.E. is high - especially in our newly acquired clubs where nearly half of our members have enrolled in O.N.E. or a similar upgrade offering. We want our clubs to be the first place members go not only to play golf, tennis or swim but the first place they want to go out to eat, watch the big game, meet friends for drinks, get in a workout, and spend the day with their family - all of which results in an increase in revenue and retention. And beyond their home clubs, we want members to take advantage of the ClubCorp network in their communities and throughout the U.S. and the world. As I said, ClubCorp has spent hundreds of millions investing in reinventions, but it is important to point out that there is a huge difference between reinvestment and reinvention. So many clubs out there today have undergone significant reinvestment yet missed the mark because of the absence of reinvention. Reinvention is getting the visual piece right and the value proposition right. And that is what ClubCorp, The World Leader in Private Clubs®, is doing - reinventing the industry by creating clubs that fit the lifestyle of today's private club member. In the past year, ClubCorp has acquired several single store clubs, one large portfolio of clubs with the Sequoia Golf acquisition and another portfolio of six properties - and with every new acquisition comes the opportunity for reinvention. For me, the good news is the acquisition pipeline remains robust and the exceptional platform that ClubCorp ofbennison fers makes my job that much easier. n June 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - June 2015

PGA Tour/EZLinks-backed site challenges GolfNow
Municipal golf property tax exemption affirmed by Ohio Supreme Court
California course owners adapt to new water cutbacks
Reinventing vs. Reinvesting
Golf participation in 2020: Two “educated guesses,” you pick
What’s right with golf?
May golf weather impact: Starting the full season in “neutral”
Dallas: Room for improvement in Big D P&L
NGCOA facing a critical leadership decision

The Pellucid Perspective - June 2015