What improvements should golf club managers focus on in 2024?

By: March 22, 2024

Given that Joe Mendez, CCM, CCE, has been elected as the 2024 CMAA Chairman, I believe gaining insight into his perspective on the challenges that golf club managers and leaders could potentially encounter in 2024.

This inquiry could provide valuable insights into the matter.

To what extent are golf club leaders equipped to handle today’s business challenges?

Leaders in Private Club Management (including Golf, Country, City clubs, and others) are more prepared than ever to manage in today’s business climate.

In partnership with the Club Management Association of America (CMAA), General Managers and Club Leaders are educated at a higher level than they have ever been.

2024 CMAA Chairman Joe Mendez CCM CCE golf club manager

We have the opportunity to be involved in strategy, business planning, data analytics, legal and legislative issues, HR management, and so much more.

Gone are the days when Club Management learned on the job without formal education and ascended to the highest positions without formal training through universities and/or CMAA.

To what degree are golf club leaders equipped to manage business challenges, and what are the areas where they need to catch up?

If there is anything we continue to learn and develop, it is the area of IT and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The industry has been traditionally slower to adapt and adopt, but that is changing rapidly. As the next generation of leaders takes their places at the top of clubs, they bring lifelong technology experience and adaptability.

CMAA_WC_Vegas_2024_Day3 Club Business Expo golf club managers

How can golf clubs leverage the popularity of off-course golf to increase membership? 

Clubs have installed simulators for practice, play, and opportunities during winter months or poor weather. Additionally, clubs are increasingly installing Toptracer Ranges at the club for their members.

The opportunity, with relatively modest investment, to have full club ranges on less real estate, with more functionality and data, will only continue to drive the members’ experience and interest in the game.


What innovative products were showcased at the Club Business Expo, and how does CMAA support startup companies?

This year, CMAA created a New Product Showcase featuring new and innovative items from 25 companies—everything from software companies displaying new technology they offer to newly designed championship tournament flags to newly launched furniture lines.

CMAA welcomed 62 first-time exhibitors this year. We highlight all new companies in our Club Management magazine’s Conference and Expo issue, distributed prior to the event, and ask our National Board and Committee members to visit their booths on-site to welcome them and thank them for participating.

CMAA_WC_Vegas_2024_Day3-Club Business Expo golf club manager

What does CMAA need to support its members better?

We need to continue showcasing CMAA’s value to club boards and ensure support for ongoing education for club management.

Further, we need more synchronicity with all Chapters and the ability to provide support to smaller Chapters, ensuring a seamless member experience.

We must also continue to expand our footprint to all professionals within the club management industry and help provide more resources to benefit all.

Of course, we have a fantastic team of professionals and tremendous volunteers working at the National Headquarters.

CMAA golf club manager title CCM_resized

How will you advance the club management profession and the greater industry?

It is my hope to shine a light on the issues of mental health and wellness, along with Alcoholism and Addiction.

While these issues have been present in our industry for some time, shedding light on them and working to destigmatize them will help our members and their clubs provide the support needed to those who are challenged with the issues.

Opening up about challenges, normalizing them, and providing resources are the first steps in allowing our members to be at their best and giving them the tools to help their teams be their best as well.

We will address mental health through various National Committees and initiatives outlined in our recently released 2024-2028 strategic plan, focusing on areas such as DEI, governance, and student outreach.

Diversity and inclusivity are paramount, and we must ensure equal opportunities for all individuals within our industry. Expanding our presence in universities and promoting diverse career paths within clubs is essential to cultivating the next generation of industry leaders.

We must engage with counselors and career development offices to highlight the opportunities within our field.

CMAA Club Business Expo 2024 entrance