Members often use the term “exclusive” when describing their club. However, the definition of ‘exclusive’ includes the description “not shared : available to only one person or group”, “only allowing in people from a high social class”, “available to only a few because of high cost.” In some cases this is an accurate description, as we hear about clubs that have become so exclusive that they’re having a difficult time generating enough revenue from their membership base to cover the expenses. As those clubs continue to struggle, their exclusivity is a contributor to failure. That doesn’t sound like a place I would want to invest in or be proud of.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit clubs where more time is spent discussing whether they should lift their coat and tie policies in their dining areas rather than creating innovative ways to welcome new Members to the club. Can you imagine how many of our members would stop supporting the club if they had to wear a coat and tie to dine?
Although The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch is considered one of the top ranked clubs in the state, the appropriate term for us is “inclusive.” I also researched that term and found “covering or including everything” and “open to everyone: not limited to certain people.” One of the things that make this community and club unique is the welcoming nature of our members and residents. As we host prospective members around the club, we typically encounter several members who ask our guests where they are from and enthusiastically welcome them to the community.
I certainly realize that we have guest policies in place to ensure that our members have ample access to their club, and that there are costs associated with the club, but in general I believe our members and staff embrace an inclusive environment. As a matter of fact, as a staff we have 4 main objectives we try to stay focused on and the #1 item on that list is “To be the friendliest and most engaging club in the world.” While that may seem like a lofty goal, it sets the tone for the experience and environment we’re dedicated to providing. Our commitment to this begins with our new hire orientations. I thoroughly enjoy leading those tours and introductions, and the opportunity to personally welcome our new team members to the club while sharing our core philosophies.
Inclusive also comes to mind when you think of the variety of amenities the club has to offer, from the River, Equestrian, Rod & Gun, Social, Golf, Spa & Athletic, and Tennis and Swim Clubs we strive to provide amenities that are attractive to a wide range of members. We challenge ourselves every day to step out of the box and think of programming we can create, designed to include more of our members in club activities. We’ve even expanded our offerings out of The Ranch to include Signature Vacations to Pinehurst, Kaui, Las Vegas, and Napa Valley, fishing trips to the coast, and excursions to shows and performances in the local area.
We certainly don’t want to be inclusive without providing value. Every year we participate in a competitive study which compares other clubs in the state and what they charge for dues and other fees. I’m proud to report that out of the three clubs in the local Hill Country area that have golf courses that rank in the top 10 according to the Dallas Morning News, our dues are $500 – $700 less per month than the other 2 clubs. We also claim the highest ranking among our competitors based on the fact that our Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course ranked 4th in the state in 2014, which is the highest ranking of any club in south Texas or the Hill Country.
Stability is another important aspect of a club. 2014 brought ownership changes to several clubs in the San Antonio market. To my knowledge, 3 private clubs and 2 resorts in our local market experienced ownership changes in the last year. We’re one of the few clubs in our market who have the great fortune of maintaining the same ownership since the club opened in 2006.
2014 was a very good year for the club and a great example of how our members and residents embrace growth within the community and club. We enrolled or upgraded 76 memberships for the year. Our attrition was at an all-time low with only 26 resignations, and the majority of those were due to relocations. It’s been almost nine months since we were awarded Golf Course of The Year by the NGCOA (National Golf Course Owners Association) and the criteria for winning that award:
• Exceptional Quality of the Course
• Exceptional Quality of Ownership and
• Outstanding Contribution to its
• Significant Contribution to the Game
So when you consider the variety of amenities we provide to our members, the beauty of the community and clubs and the value and stability associated with the club, we have a lot to be proud of. After all, “Life is better out here”!
I’m excited about the future and believe 2015 is going to be another outstanding year; we have over 40 homes under construction on The Ranch which will provide us with more friendly faces around the club. We have a great calendar of events scheduled for the New Year, including the 2015 “Denim & Derby” Shindig on Saturday, May 2nd which lives up to its billing of “A GOOD TIME FOR A GOOD CAUSE.” For more information, log on to
Happy New Year!