What is Club Management?

Club management in North America is an exciting and growing profession.  Club managers are the general managers, chief executive officers, chief operating officers and senior staff of a variety of private and semi-private clubs.  In Canada, private clubs have had a long history with a few longstanding clubs dating back to 1870. Today, clubs include golf clubs and/or country clubs, city clubs, recreation and leisure clubs, and a variety of sports, fitness, curling and other types of clubs.
Over the past few decades there has been heightened awareness in the Canadian private club industry sector with respect to the complexity and scope of private club operations.  Clubs from coast to coast play a huge role in the Canadian economy and face multiple challenges in modern society.  Issues such as taxation, governance, labour and corporate law, financial planning, reporting and control, integrated maintenance programs, food and beverage operations, environmental issues and a wide variety of complex organizational challenges are at the core of most club operations.

Boards of clubs are constantly faced with questions of leadership and have increasingly recognized that there is a need for a precise, energetic, clearly defined professional approach to club management.  It is imperative that clubs establish a leadership model that provides members with visionary, responsible, accountable governance through a single individual who acts as the chief operations officer, the general manager.

Club management is a continuum of constant building and honing of skills and competencies. The General Manager of clubs today is responsible for three major areas: operations, assets/investments, and club culture, working in partnership with their respective Boards and members.

The  PDF files below illustrates examples of important points a graduate or club executive should keep in mind when considering a new position.  The files were generously provided by the Club Managers Association of America:

Download Club Management Competency Areas for the General Manager/Chief Operating Officer (PDF)

Download CMAA Management to Leadership Model (PDF)

Download CMAA's Position on the Chief Operating Officer/General Manager (PDF)

Download Sample GM/COO Job Description (PDF)

Download Suggested GM/COO Contract (PDF)