Recent events have presented an opportunity for private clubs to continue advancing and investing in technology. This trend will gather further momentum as “next-gen” board and committee members anticipate technology being utilised to enhance their experiences, both as club members and as volunteer leaders, and as club managers demand more technology-based tools to help them and their staff deliver on those expectations.


Clubs that persist in a mindset of being “too traditional” regarding technology will continue to lag behind, but now at an accelerated pace. The ongoing shift towards embracing a high-tech operation is a means of establishing the foundation for an elevated and high-touch club environment. In the past, new technology took the form of physical equipment and techniques, such as security cameras or member profiles and preferences on the point-of-sale system. However, members didn’t necessarily need to see it, and there were times when you preferred members not to know it existed. Nowadays, members don’t mind encountering technology or having to use it themselves. The top priority is ensuring seamless engagement with the club by harnessing high-tech solutions to create a high-touch experience characterised by extensive customisation, convenience, faster service, improved accessibility, and members feeling they have greater control over their user experience.

These technological features that were not in use a decade ago have become commonplace in clubs today:

  • QR codes for menus, events, and club information.
  • iPads for ordering, displaying wine lists, and booking tee times or lessons.
  • Member apps for interacting with the club and accessing club-related information.
  • App-based/interactive security cameras.
  • Staff scheduling software.
  • Video training modules for employees, boards, and committees.


Top candidates for key positions that clubs are recruiting for assess the technological tools in place to support their success and that of their teams. Clubs that do not invest in technology for their operations and amenities will struggle to attract and retain top talent. In today’s private club landscape, club executives and department heads simply cannot thrive without a proactive technology budget and plan.

Top job candidates prioritise private clubs that embrace technology when considering their next career opportunities. Questions often revolve around the tools, resources, and amenities available. Candidates also inquire about the sophistication of existing online security measures and the types of cybersecurity protections in place. Communication platforms and technological solutions that enhance club facilities’ compliance with regulations for members and employees are also of growing importance.

Other high-tech aspects that candidates now seek include:

  • Access to industry trends, data, and analytics.
  • Human resources and performance-review software.
  • Communication platforms for members and boards/committees.
  • Survey and feedback collection platforms.
  • Progressive member amenities, such as:
    • Off-course golf entertainment
    • Wearable fitness/wellness features
    • On-demand/virtual fitness/wellness classes
    • Health data collection for progress tracking
    • Flexible office features like wireless printing, high-speed internet, and other conveniences enabling remote work


Using technology to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of their governance model leads to positive outcomes for clubs. Technology in club governance enables boards and committees to be better informed, resulting in increased productivity. Embracing technology from a governance perspective also reduces the burden on volunteer leadership, thus providing an overall better service experience.

Here are some examples of how technology is now being applied to club governance:

Club managers can easily distribute articles, podcasts, and other relevant media to ensure board and committee members are well-informed about the industry as a whole, rather than solely focusing on club-specific matters. Access to industry insight equips board and committee members to make more informed, educated, and well-rounded decisions.

Secure portals with dashboards displaying key performance indicators and other critical data offer real-time insights on progress. Leading clubs now use key performance indicators at three levels: board, committee, and per operational department. This enhanced reporting is more accessible, enabling board and committee members to be better informed, leading to more efficient meetings.

Secure and live communication platforms help boards proactively address problems as they arise, rather than waiting for meetings to resolve challenges. Real-time messaging is a more personal approach to addressing member and staff issues, allowing prompt resolution. In addition to improving communication, technology also enables club leaders to track feedback and situations, document plans, and close the loop, making it more comfortable and consistent for members and staff to handle difficult situations.

Access to board and committee training materials is the way forward. The era of large binders and paper packets is behind us. Virtual onboarding and training for roles and responsibilities save time and provide volunteer leaders with the convenience of reviewing instructions on-demand. This ensures that live retreats are more efficient when participants come prepared and offers accountability tracking for the club. This is particularly advantageous from a legal-verification standpoint and allows for a review of each individual’s commitment to the club’s best practices.


In general, clubs will need to increasingly adopt high-tech solutions in the future to provide the high-touch member experiences that members enjoy and expect. Here is a list of technological features that we believe most clubs will need to integrate within the next decade or even sooner:

  • Online voting.
  • Beacon technology.
  • Geofencing.
  • Two-way text message communication.
  • Platforms for instant member feedback about their club experiences.
  • Advanced software for data analytics and reporting to collect, track, and analyse data for decision-making support.
  • HR/management and performance review software.
  • Advanced security cameras offering easy-to-access footage, the ability to search for specific objects or individuals, and immediate breach notifications of security parameters.
  • Staff recruitment software allowing applicants to communicate via text and instant messaging.
  • Kitchen display systems replacing printed tickets and tracking performance statistics.
  • Mobile point of sale.

Technology is a critical element that significantly influences both member and employee experiences. While it must be unobtrusive and non-restrictive, technology is the key to caring for members and creating exceptional experiences for all.

Contributed by Richard Kopplin, Kurt D. Kuebler, CCM & Thomas B. Wallace Ill, CCM, CCE, ECM