Sea Pines Country Club Will Not Be Like Your Father’s Hangout

Sea Pines Country Club is sinking more than $2.7 million into updates and an expansion of its clubhouse to appeal more to an incoming generation of members, club officials said Thursday.

“If you are not changing, you are going to die in this industry,” said Robbie Ames, general manager and chief operating officer for the private club located at 30 Governors Road.

Renovations will include work on the clubhouse’s indoor and outdoor pools, along with expanding the 5,000-square-foot Blue Heron Pub and grill by an additional 1,250 square feet.

The expansion of the grill will give members a more relaxed option after a round of golf, Ames said. The grill will share the same expansive views of the tidal marsh as the more upscale dining room found at the club, he said.

A screened-in deck will welcome families along with a fire pit nestled under the oak trees overhanging the pub, said Ames.

“The club is catering and changing for all generations,” he said. “The country club member of today demands a more casual and relaxed environment, unlike their dad’s club.”

The expansion and renovation of the pub will be done by Choate Construction of Georgia — the same company that recently updated the Harbour Town Club House. Work is expected to be completed by the end of July, Ames said.

Jumping onto the millennial bandwagon of farm-to-table, Ames said more than 1,000 square feet of herbs and vegetables are being planted around the clubhouse. He said the produce will be used in the meals served at both the restaurant and grill.

A new children’s pool with jet-water features also is a way to draw in younger family members, he said, adding the indoor and outdoor pool areas should be opened by the end of month.

Another expansion and renovation of the clubhouse’s workout room is also planned, Ames said. Details of the cost and square footage of that project are not yet available, but work should start by the end of the year, he said.

About 860 families own memberships to the club, which is a private entity separate from the Sea Pines Resort and Sea Pines Community Services Associates, said Karen Fleming, club director of membership development.

“We are kind of like a property owner with a very large house and yard,” Fleming said of club, which offers tennis, swimming, golf and community events for members, who are invited to join.

The clubhouse was built in 1991 and has undergone several renovations, with the latest in 2011.

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Inside the swanky private club where Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, and Justin Timberlake go to ski

Yellowstone Club, a private ski resort and residential community near Big Sky, Montana, was a pioneer in the members-only space. The first private club with its own mountain, its uber-rich members include Bill and Melinda Gates, Google's Eric Schmidt, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, former Vice President Dan Quayle, and NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke, as well as many Wall Streeters.

It's 2,200 acres of powder offer world-class skiing from the bunny slopes to its 2,700-vertical-foot drops, but to gain access to the club's exclusive mountain, you must own property within the community limits. Real estate prices can range greatly, from $2 million all the way up to $25 million. Members must also pay an initial fee of $300,000 and an annual fee of $37,500.

Founded in 2001 by Tim Blixseth and his then-wife Edra, the club has endured its fair share of turmoil. It was forced to file for bankruptcy in 2008, and, ending this July, Blixseth spent 15 months in prison for civil contempt of court.

However, in June 2009 CrossHarbor Capital Partners' cofounder, Sam Byrne, paid $115 million for Yellowstone Club, ushering in a new era and helping to turn the club around financially. The more recently redesigned Rainbow Lodge, with its spa, fitness center and pool, is the newest evidence that Yellowstone Club is working to stay up-to-date with the modern skier.

Ahead, 15 photos that show the joys of private skiing: no lift lines, and plenty of breathing room out on the slopes.

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6 Ways to Attract More Members Through Cross-Promotion this Easter

To stand out to your Members in a crowded advertising marketplace this Easter, cross-promotions have the potential for a big payoff both for increased usage by your Club, and member satisfaction by your Membership. Cross-promotions can gain an inexpensive and credible introduction to your Members more efficiently than traditional “solo” methods of advertising, or PR.

Here are some low-risk and high-opportunity ways to jump-start your first cross-promotion.

  1. Print joint promotional messages on your receipts.
  2. Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if Members make reservations at certain events, or buy products from you pro shop or fitness center.
  3. Hang signs or posters promoting your featured upcoming event, but also include a “save the date” section.
  4. Drop 5×7 postcard promotions in kid’s Easter Baskets.
  5. Send featured reminder emails about Easter Sunday, with 2 of your next events and promotions included below the feature.
  6. Encourage your staff to mention your upcoming events and ask Members if they are planning to attend.

The Masters Tournament Ready Soundtrack

Let’s face it: there aren’t a lot of songs about golf. Lucky for us, there is music that can be retro-fitted for Master's week purposes. (Don’t forget to replay the Masters theme music ad nauseam.)

A few suggestions:
Georgia On My Mind – Ray Charles
A Sunday Kind of Love – Etta James
April Love – Pat Boone
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor
Straight Down the Middle – Bing Crosby
Fly Like an Eagle – Steve Miller Band
Ace in the Hole – George Strait
It Don’t Mean a Thing (If I Ain’t Got That Swing) – Duke Ellington

We've also got this playing on our Spotify station at Private Club Marketing this week. Feel free to check it out > HERE on Spotify





Creative Golf Marketing Ideas for February

February may be the shortest month of the year, but it is filled with events and holidays that are opportunities for engaging content to connect with your members.

Content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content — articles, podcasts, videos — for the purpose of attracting, engaging, and retaining customers. In February, content marketers have at least four opportunities: Valentine’s Day, Presidents’ Day, Super Bowl 51, and the Oscars.

nfl golfers

Superbowl Sunday: February 5

On Sunday, February 5, 2017, the Patriots will play the Falcons in Super Bowl 51. An estimated 100 million+ people will watch the game live. Millions will hold a Super Bowl party, and you probably are hosting something at your club as well.

Anytime that you have an event capture a nation’s imagination in the way that this one does, it creates opportunities for content marketing. For example, marketers could publish Super Bowl-related how-to articles, interests reads or videos, like these.

creative golf marketing
Valentine’s Day: February 14

Beyond roses and boxes of assorted chocolates, Valentine’s Day can be a significant opportunity for online retailers. American couples spend about $200 each exchanging gifts — males will spend about twice as much as females — making the holiday an important one for retailers.

Content marketing published around this lovers’ holiday might have one of two aims. First, online stores could simply seek relationships with customers. Second, content may be used to win Valentine’s Day sales.

Companies featuring products that do not make for great Valentine’s Day presents — think fishing lures or building supplies — may opt for the first approach.

One option could be to feature love stories about important customers. These stories could take a couple of forms. Marketers might publish the customer’s own love stories. describing how the featured customers met and what makes their relationship special. You could hold an online contest asking customers to submit their love stories. Pick a few compelling stories, and contact the customers for an interview.

For the second option, content marketers have several options.


presidents and golf

President's Day: February 20

The holiday is also an opportunity for content marketing. In fact, nearly any historic holiday can be an opportunity for content marketers to simply describe the holiday’s origin. An article or video about Presidents’ Day could tell a story about the leaders it is meant to honor or explain why the holiday is celebrated in February.

An historic approach is the tip of the proverbial iceberg for content marketing. Consider these examples of what your club's marketing department might publish.

This sort of approach to content marketing is really a form of journalism. In years past, retailers purchased advertisements in newspapers and magazines because they wanted those ads to appear next to stories — content that people wanted to read. Now, rather than buying an ad, retailers are creating the content.

academy award golf

The Academy Awards: February 26

The Oscars or Academy Awards honor achievements in the American film industry. The ceremony has been held annually since 1929. It lets viewers learn more about the celebrities behind the year’s most popular movies.


White House Putting Green: A Brief History

Play It Where It Lies, Mr. President

The White House Putting Green lies a short walk outside the Oval Office door to the southeast. A putting green was first installed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1954 with help from the United States Golf Association and private donations. Ike had difficulty keeping the squirrels (which Harry Truman had nearly tamed by hand-feeding them) from burying nuts in the green and joked that the Secret Service should shoot them. He resorted to having the groundkeeping staff trap and relocate them. Eisenhower was a very avid golfer and was sometimes criticized for it, but he and his doctor readily defended the habit as good for his health, which had suffered during his presidency.

Most modern presidents after Ike have been avid golfers, including his successor, John Kennedy, who, sensitive to the criticism aimed at Eisenhower for golfing on weekday afternoons, kept his habit a closely-guarded secret and even let Eisenhower's putting green grow out, although it was later renovated. Other avid golfers include Gerald Ford, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush. Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan were casual golfers.

Bill Clinton had the putting green moved to its current location and—according to Time in 1995—designed by golf course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. The Clinton green is 1,500 sq. ft. of southshore creeping bentgrass.

 More Images

The putting green in 2006

The putting green in 2006 (Lafayette)

The putting green, circa 2005

The putting green, circa 2003

Bill Clinton on the putting green in 1997 (Associated Press – J Scott Applewhite)

The putting green in 1992 (HABS)

George HW Bush on the putting green, circa 1991

President Ford chipping onto the green in 1975 (Ford Library)

President Eisenhower chipping onto the green around 1957


The London-based Hospital Club to open Los Angeles outpost in 2018

Los Angeles will soon be home to the first American outpost of the London-based Hospital Club, a private social club aimed at arts-focused creative professionals.

The new venture, designed by HKS architects, would establish a hotspot for artists and creative entrepreneurs in Los Angeles’s Hollywood neighborhood by taking over the existing Redbury Hotel at the intersection of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street. That building, located across from the historic Capitol Records building, will be renovated to contain a slew of performance and shared office and studio spaces, as well as hotel rooms.

The new complex dubbed h. Club LA, will house facilities for film screenings, musical performances, exhibitions, among other types of cultural programs. It will also provide up to 36 bedrooms for use by the public. Hotel guests will become temporary members during their stay and will have access to the member facilities. The club will also offer a slate of member-accessible amenities, like a rooftop patio and restaurant, co-working spaces, gym, and music studio.

In recent years, Hollywood has exploded with a large crop of housing, office, and mixed-use developments, including an office tower currently under construction by Gensler, called the Icon. Los Angeles-based LARGE Architecture is also working on a midcentury modern style-inspired mixed-use residential tower in the neighborhood. The area also hosts a growing contingent of technology-related companies including headquarters facilities for Netflix, CNN, and Live Nation. With its Hollywood outpost, Hospital Club owners are betting the growing creative industries in the area will be a boon to business. Sue Walter, chief executive of Hospital Club, told the Los Angeles Times, “Big names are moving into the area. I have been astonished by the level of development. It’s like it’s on the cusp of something exciting that is about to explode and we want to be part of that.”

The club, which offers half-price memberships to individuals who are under the age of 30, is scheduled to open in 2018.


Top 10: Best NFL Golfers

Here’s a look at the NFL’s top 10 best golfers.

What do NFL football players do in the off-season? Surprisingly, many swap their football cleats for golf shoes. And more than a few who have serious game on the gridiron do a pretty good job of bringing it on the golf course as well.

Tony Romo

When Tiger Woods calls you, “a hell of a golfer”, you know you’re doing something right. Such was Wood’s assessment of Dallas Cowboy quarterback Tony Romo, Wood’s partner in their pairing at the 2012 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In 2008, Romo shot an impressive 84 in the 2008 U.S. Open Challenge at Torrey Pines. Since then Romo, whose handicap has been as low as 3.3, has consistently made it to the top of the pro-am leaderboards each year. Romo’s ongoing dream of qualifying for the U.S. Open will no doubt be sidelined as he nurses himself back to health on the sidelines these days in Dallas.

Peyton Manning

Proving that there’s more to life in the off-season than weightlifting and wind sprints, Peyton Manning has been getting some pretty good licks in on the links. Making a hole-in-one during a recent round in Denver, the recently retired Broncos quarterback took on the famed course at Augusta National and shot a 77. Going from a handicap of 4.6 in 2009 to what many are saying must be around zero in 2013, Manning is proving himself a formidable contender on the turf and the green.

Ben Roethlisberger

Sporting a handicap index that has dipped as low as 0.4, Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steeler’s two-time Super-Bowl-winning quarterback, has no doubt made more than a few of his fellow players on the golf course call out a few “audibles” of their own.

Aaron Rodgers

With a handicap hovering between 7 and 8, this Green Bay Packers QB has been keeping his “irons” in the fire in the off-season. Ranked as the best quarterback in the NFL, Rodgers was unable to close the deal for a 2017 Super Bowl appearance with his loss against the Falcons. But that hasn’t stopped him from getting out on the golf course. Look for him at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next week.

Tom Brady

Another “A-List” football regular at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady boasts and incredible four Super Bowl rings (tied on the all time list with Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw), a $20 million-dollar mansion, and a supermodel wife. Throw his “8” handicap into the mix and now you’re talking. Recently touted by Donald Trump as having a swing like Ernie Els and the ability to hit the ball a mile, the 39-year-old Brady— who says he plans on playing football until he’s forty—may have already found his next big career.

Drew Brees

What does an MVP award for Super Bowl XLIV and a 3 handicap in golf have in common? They both belong to Drew Brees, one of the greatest passers in NFL history. Celebrating his first hole-in-one back in 2009—a 5-iron shot on a 199 Yard par 3—Brees professes a deep love of golf, a game he says he’ll never stop playing. When asked if the two sports ever overlap, Brees confessed in a Golf Magazine interview, “I try not to think about football when I play golf and I definitely don’t think about golf when I’m playing football.”

Eli Manning

Although he’ll always be known as the little brother, Eli Manning has carved out his own place in football history, bringing home two Super Bowl rings (still to not be outdone by his brother – who also has 2 Super Bowl wins). And with a solid 7 handicap, it looks like Eli will be teaching the Giant’s rookie quarterback Ryan Nassib—who recently confessed his newfound love for golf—a thing or two on the field and on the fairways.

Matt Schaub

Tied with Warren Moon for the second-most passing yards in a single game in NFL history—527 yards in a 43-37 overtime victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2012—Matt Schaub holds every passing record in the history of the Houston Texan’s franchise. Although he may not be breaking any course records in his golf shoes, his 7 handicap puts him on the list of great gridiron golfers.

Danny Woodhead

This now San Diego Los Angeles Charger is an avid golfer with a 7 handicap, Woodhead sightings at Torrey Pines may soon be a regular occurrence.

Carson Palmer

A Heisman Trophy winner and #1 pick in the 2003 NFL draft, Carson Palmer has put up impressive numbers as quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals and the Oakland Raiders. And with a single-digit handicap, some might think that Carson is related to that other Palmer who plays golf. Recently signed as the Arizona Cardinal’s new signal caller, Palmer is no doubt looking forward to some great Arizona golf in the off-season.

Pipeline Marketing: 3 Ways Golf Clubs Can Improve ROI

Pipeline Marketing is one of the most commonly reported performance metrics for private golf and country clubs. Here are 3 Ways to Measure your ROI.

Resort and Club Member Relations and Marketing Directors point to their pipeline marketing metric with pride because it serves as a sign of accountability and proclaims, “We, as Membership professionals, take our role in our club's revenue creation process seriously!”

If marketing intends to demonstrate accountability, you’ll need to show performance against what marketing invests in. To get your arms around this, look at where marketing program dollars are being spent. If your club spends significantly on sales enablement, pipeline acceleration or renewal efforts, measuring your marketing sourced pipeline is a rough way to demonstrate achievement.

Instead, look at significant areas of investment and ask what they’re expected to achieve. Commonly, marketing is expected to help sales close their pipeline faster, succeed in more deal cycles, and drive client relationships and revenue. But sales has a role in this, too. And some marketing leaders – cautious about asserting too much credit for metrics they don’t own singularly – retreat into sourcing metrics. That’s a mistake – it leaves marketing investment uncovered by metrics that can show marketing impact.

The Right Way to Measure

Demonstrating the impact of marketing when performance is the result of cross-functional efforts requires three elements:

  1. Show performance of shared impact metrics. Whether the goal is increased deal velocity, better renewal rates or improved customer loyalty, you need to demonstrate that the impact metrics marketing invests in are, in fact, improving.
  2. Provide proof of marketing participation. You need to prove that when marketing tactics are accepted by target audiences, impact metrics improve. If marketing isn’t involved, it will be uncomfortably difficult to assert any marketing influence over that performance improvement.
  3. Present evidence that performance metrics change as marketing participation changes. Evidence of marketing impact requires a comparison. Some deal cycles may have light levels of marketing interaction, some may have heavy levels, and some may have no marketing interaction at all. When you compare what improvements take place when marketing is present to what happens when marketing is not, you can develop reasonable proof that marketing is making a difference.

The latter type of metric is commonly referred to as measuring marketing influence. Clubs and resorts new to measuring marketing influence typically begin by measuring what portion of sales pipeline marketing has interacted with. The number of clubs doing this has been trending up in recent years, but only less than 50 percent of marketing organizations regularly measure marketing-influenced pipeline. The other 50 percent of organizations likely have a gap in their measurement approach and the way they prove marketing’s value. And when value isn’t proven, marketing resources understandably come under fire.

The good news is that even if your club isn’t incorporating influence into its measurement system, it’s not too late to start.

Golf Clubs With the Best Social Media Presence

From excellent photography and historical images to club announcements and celebrity engagement, these are the golf clubs with the best social media presence.

Golfers as a group tend to be rather obsessive about their sport. And can you blame them? Recreational golfers spend their free hours taking in the fresh air, vibrant green landscapes, invigorating exercise, and a couple of drinks with friends at the “nineteenth hole.” Many club members’ happy place is out on the greens, and some smart club administrators are keying into this desire always to stay connected to the feeling of getting in a weekend round. By cultivating a compelling social media presence, these clubs can keep their current and potential members continually engaged with their voice and message via particularly well-run social media channels.

Which courses have the best social media presence, and what are they doing to achieve it? posed the question to its Facebook group (with a current fan base of nearly 400,000 likes) as part of its weekly program, “A Quick Nine.”  Some of the answers are no-brainers, but some may surprise you.


Kapalua Golf Club


Kapalua Golf Club (@GolfatKapalua) in Lahaina, Hawaii

Offering picturesque vistas of the nearby Pacific Ocean, this former host of the Tournament of Champions reportedly is a champion at using Twitter to grow its following. reader Anders Haukoos mentioned that the incredible wealth of photos shared on the course’s Twitter page keeps him coming back for more, as well as the inclusive attitude. He prided the organization on re-tweeting both professional players as well as regular people like himself.


st. andrews links


St. Andrews Links (@TheHomeofGolf) in St. Andrews, Scotland

As the birthplace of golf, you’d think St. Andrews would get a pass to sit back and let players come to them. However, they are always working on their online presence. As one follower notes, the golf course is always sending out hourly updates on the conditions of the course. For those who are fans of history, they also tweet out about the historical significance of the course.


bandon dunes

Bandon Dunes Golf Resort (@BandonDunesGolf) in Bandon, Or

Bandon Dunes Resort offers breathtaking holes and exceptional resort amenities. The rugged Oregon Coast backdrop is the perfect setting for photos, and their social media accounts take advantage of their guests’ pictures of frequently sharing and re-tweeting them as well as religiously responding to guests’ comments on social media.



august national


Augusta National Golf Club (@TheMasters) in Augusta, Ga

This top-ranked golf course is a worldwide favorite for its magnificent landscape architecture and meticulous upkeep. It turns out that obsession with detail extends over into their social media presence. In fact, Augusta was overwhelmingly the number one response to’s poll. Respondents reported that their artistic photos showcase the true beauty of golf and also lauded their free streaming of the Masters Tournaments.