Private Club Management
A private club is simply defined as any club that is not open to
the general public. Generally, new members are accepted by the
club's board after being "sponsored" or recommended by
other member. The new member usually pays an initiation fee in
addition to monthly membership dues.
Within the club management industry, clubs are predominately
country, golf, athletic, city and yacht clubs. Within these
categories are sub-sets that may include seasonal operations or
cater to a specific culture or ethnicity.
Typical career path
There is no typical career path. Some transition from Kitchen and
Bar management into ull managers. Individuals with strong formal
and practical backgrounds with an emphasis on food and beverage
seem to excel. Fewer managers seem to transition from the
Depending on your background you might start as an Assistant
Banquet or Dining Room Manager. The next step might be Catering
Manager or Assistant Clubhouse Manager.
Four to six years as a Catering Manager in a club grossing $1.5
million plus in food and beverages alone would probably make you a
contender for a Club House Manager spot or a Manager in a small
club. A lot will depend on the quality of your mentoring.
In many respects the successful manager is a chameleon. He or
she takes on the persona of the club. Casual, formal, discrete or
visible members of the local community. It just depends on the
The successful manager also remembers that he and his family
are not members. Many successful club managers have fallen
into the trap of acting like members and attempting to become the
social equal of the folks who provide the paycheck. When the chips
are down, the members stick together and the manager gets to look
for opportunities elsewhere.
Five to six days per week, usually 10 hour days. In actuality you
schedule yourself to the activities of the club. If it's quiet,
you leave. There is no such thing as regular hours for most Club
High quality environments and facilities abound. Club management
can afford you a professional income and many opportunities for
advancement to larger clubs and facilities around the world.
Private clubs are most often directed by boards and operated by
managers. Boards have high levels of turnover (usually 1/3 of the
directors' turn each year). Members get elected to boards. You
could be faced with an incoming President whose son you kicked out
of the pool 5 years earlier.
Perks and benefits
In addition to base compensation, most managers receive some type
of performance bonus ranging from 5 -15% of their base and many
receive a holiday bonus also.
Other perks can include:
- Usage of the facilities, meals, and tremendous working
- Budgets for continuing professional development.
- Annual conferences with peers via the Club Manager's
Association of America