Keep It Simple

When it comes to board policies, board decisions and club bylaws, it can be complicated to keep track of everything. For the club executive to be as effective and efficient as the position requires, simplifying governance should be a priority.

Waialae Country Club, Honolulu, HI, compiled board policies with an easy-to-search table of contents. The document details all policies established since 2015 and includes the date the policies were implemented, the purpose, background and supporting information for the policy.

For example: the club’s Golf Group Play Policy was established in 2016 and can be found on page 19 of the Compilation of Board Policies Manual. The purpose, authority, guidelines, delegation of authority and reporting details are included in this section of the manual.

The club also established a Compilation of Board Decisions Manual containing decisions made by the board. This manual explains the intent of each decision, why it was made and how it is to be enforced. It serves as an organizational reference manual so current and future boards and general managers can look back to review or understand board decisions and why policies were created.

Club bylaws can often be complex and full of legal jargon, making them difficult for the average person to digest. Creating a summary or “bylaw cheat sheet” may be beneficial for club executives. Including bylaws regularly referenced, such as the number of days required to notify the membership of the annual meeting, requirements for calling a special meeting of the members and categories of membership may prove incredibly helpful for club executives and/or general managers to quickly reference, rather than having to search through pages of legalese.

Kurt Kuebler of the consulting firm Kopplin, Kuebler and Wallace encourages clubs to create reference manuals like these to enhance board efficiency and effectiveness. “Establishing these documents and updating them regularly ensures consistency as boards and general managers change. These reference materials are easy to create and maintain and can be extremely valuable for simplifying governance.”

Private Club Advisor – September 2023

Kurt Kuebler, is a partner with KOPPLIN KUEBLER & WALLACE, a consulting firm providing executive search, strategic planning and data analysis services to the private club and hospitality industries. Kurt can be contacted at