Creative Golf Marketing, a consulting firm for private clubs of all kinds, including sports, yacht and ski clubs, is known for focusing on the basics and improving club revenues, marketability, efficiency and long-term stability.

Graves is a popular inspirational speaker in the private club industry with a special knack for identifying upcoming trends and helping others turn clubs around. He has worked with 1,300 of the 3,400 member-owned private clubs in the United States.

“Private clubs used to be for the blue blood, but now they’re for the new blood,” Graves said. “Newer members used to have a father who was a doctor, lawyer or company president. Now their moms and dads are plumbers or teachers. They’re dual-income families with income of $100,000 to $200,000. For many of them, this is the first time they’ve ever joined a club.”

Generations X and Y are pouring into private clubs that have the right focus, Graves said. Today’s members are older when they join, perhaps because they have waited until their 30’s or 40’s to marry and have children.

“Now they’ve matured, and they’re tired of the bar scene. Private clubs are a wonderful option for them and their families,” he said.

Clubs that resist change and cling to traditional settings and activities are not prospering, Graves said. That’s partly because 30- and 40-somethings want to socialize in a setting where they can dress casually and eat informally, he said. They want to bring the kids. They expect TVs to be on in many areas of a club so they can watch – but not listen to – sports, business news and reports on the stock market. They want clubs tuned into technology.

“Private clubs need to supply the best in high-speed internet if they hope to become a business meeting place,” Graves said.

Click to read the full article here, Golf Inc. “10 People who are Shaping the Future of Private Clubs”