As a tax consultant to the Private Club Industry, I am called upon to answer a variety of questions regarding what a Private Club can and can not do if it is a 501(c)(7) tax-exempt.Â It is amazing to me how many Club Board of Governors’ only solution to this economic downturn is to pursue having an influx of “nonmembers” come into the Club to make-up any financial short falls that may exist.Â I explain tax law as it applies to their specific question and then, as a businessman, I usually ask permission to pose a few questions of my own to the Club representatives.Â You see, I happen to believe that Clubs have little to offer a Member.Â Clubs often fail to provide exceptional service to their best customer.Â If a Golf Club has a golf course, it is quite possible that the Club’s best customer may actually be the “Full Equity Golf Member.”
See if you may agree by taking my short three question test:
- Who pays the highest joining fee at a Private Golf Club?
- Who pays the highest monthly or annual dues?
- Who uses the profitable services, such as: cart fees; guest fees; trail fees; buying Pro V1’s and lose at least one by the third hole; eat at the snack bar; and drink afterwards?
Answer to all of the above?Â The Full Equity Golf Member?
If it is “All about Golf” at your Club, you should score extremely well on this checklist below.Â If not, why not?
CHECKLIST FOR A GUEST VISIT
Remember a guest is almost always a prospective Member and your current Member’s pride in their Club is at stake.
Instructions: Please rate each item below from 1 – 5 (5 as highest) then add them up.Â A range will be provided at the end of the form that will give you a rating for the men’s locker room that you visited.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager offered you an enthusiastic greeting (in English and clearly understandable) when you came through the locker room doors or when you were in sight of his service counter.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager was smartly dressed in a clean, pressed uniform and was appropriately groomed.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager asked if there was anything he could help you with.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager asked you if you were a guest and if you needed a guest locker to store your personal items.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager took you straight to a guest locker in the same locker bay as your Member friend or closest available locker.
- ____Â Guest locker was filled with amenities like Advil, Tylenol, band-aids, shoe horn, etc.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager asked you if this was your first time at the Club.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager oriented you to the locker room, explaining where sunscreen, bathroom, showers, magazines, television, etc. were located.
- ____Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager asked you if your golf shoes needed attention and if they did, restored them promptly and returned them to you looking brand new.
- ____Â Â Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager asked if he could do your street shoes while you were out playing.
- ____Â Â Â Magazines, newspapers, towels, trophies, etc. in locker room were neatly arranged and organized.
- ____Â Â Â Locker room floor was free of stains, snack debris, etc.
- ____Â Â Â Guest shoes shined and left on floor are set under bench or up against locker side by side, toes pointed toward lockers.
- ____Â Â Â There were no dirty golf shoes on the floor that needed to be picked up, cleaned and put in member or guest lockers.
- ____Â Â Â Amenities and their dispensers on sinks and in showers matched the interior decoration of bathroom and rest of clubhouse.
- ____Â Â Â All amenities were provided that you needed to shower, shave and prepare for life after golf.
- ____Â Â Â All amenities provided were neatly arranged and had all labels facing out for easy identification.
- ____Â Â Â All amenities such as hand soap, shampoo, conditioner and body wash were near full or topped off.
- ____Â Â Â Trash cans were empty or near empty and floors were clear of debris in sink and shower areas.
- ____Â Â Â Shoe room was neat and clean with polishes, daubers etc. within easy reach and shoes done via systematic approach.
- ____Â Â Â Shoe room offered golf cleats in all four fastening systems in at least two cleat brands.
- ____Â Â Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager greeted me enthusiastically when you returned to the locker room after the round and/or asked how my round of golf went.
- ____Â Â Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager did your golf shoes after your round and put them back in your guest locker or exactly where you left them on the floor before I left.
- ____Â Â Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager put plastic shoe bag in one of your golf shoes.
- ____Â Â Â Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager said goodbye enthusiastically.
5 points: If Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager offered course conditions that saved you a stroke or two.
5 points: If Attendant(s) or Locker Room Manager offered a bottle of water or non-alcoholic beverage “for the road.”
MEN’S LOCKER ROOM LEVEL OF SERVICE
135 PERFECT Locker Room Services
110 – 134 EXCELLENT Locker Room Services
85 – 109 GOOD Locker Room Services
Below 85 POOR Locker Room Services
A thank you goes to Todd Dufek, President of “The Locker Room Managers Association of America” for this list of 25 questions.Â Send your results by e-mail to email@example.com as Mitch will add your numbers to his analysis of the Club Industry.
Mitchell L. Stump, CPA, ClubTax
Mitchell is a consultant to the Private Club Industry.Â The author of Club Tax Book; Club Sales & Use Tax Book â€“ FL; and Club â€œItâ€™s All About Golfâ€ Book, Mitch brings a unique perspective to the Private Club Industry.Â Insuring that Clubs remain Private and keep themselves out of trouble with the IRS, Clubs would be wise to pay attention to Mitch and his writings.
Thanks and have a great day!
This weekly blog comments on and discusses the club industry and its challenges. From time to time, we will feature guest bloggers â€” those managers and industry experts who have something of interest to say to all of us. We also welcome feedback and comment upon the blog, hoping that it will become a useful sounding board for what’s on the minds of hardworking club managers throughout the country and around the world.
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