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Anyone who owns a home or a business has the right to feel their property is secure and protected. As a club owner or manager, you have that same right. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life that bad things sometimes happen to good people.

Providing security for your club can be a daunting task. The most obvious reason is the sheer size of your facility. Even the smallest nine-hole club can be spread over a wide area. By the time you factor in another nine holes or more, tennis courts, swimming pool, clubhouse, maintenance building, parking lots and more, the job of protecting your valuable assets and the assets of your members and guests becomes even greater.

The trick, then, for club owners and managers is to minimize losses as best you can. Let’s look at some of the more obvious security threats that can happen in and around your club:

·         Vehicle vandalism

·         Stolen golf clubs

·         Locker room damage

·         Stolen coats from your coat check

·         Clubhouse break-in

·         Damaged or stolen golf carts

·         People driving their cars over your greens and tee boxes

·         Garbage thrown into your pool

·         Nets ripped or stolen from your tennis courts

Security threats to your club don’t always come from the outside. Unfortunately, the threat also exists from the inside. Research shows that one in seven employees will steal from an employer at some point.

As a club owner or manager, one of your primary responsibilities is providing security to your environment and for members and guests. The question is: How?

That’s a good question to ask your insurance broker or agent. They, along with security experts, have the knowledge and expertise to advise you on how to minimize risk and protect the valuable assets of your club, members and guests.

You and your staff can do something else yourselves. Take the time to inspect your property through the eyes of a thief. Literally pretend you’re a vandal or a criminal, and walk through your clubhouse, including the office, pro shop, kitchen, dining room, lounge, and locker rooms; all ancillary buildings, including cart garage and maintenance buildings; parking lots, tennis courts, pool area…your entire facility. As you go, ask yourselves, “If I wanted to, how could I break in? What could I steal, especially quickly? What could I damage?”

Thieves are not dumb. They know your club is full of high-end goods from golf equipment to flat screen TVs; from expensive men and women’s clothing to computers; from golf carts and maintenance equipment to cold, hard cash.

Your club is a business. As such, it’s a target for those who would prefer to take what you have; and if they can’t take it, they’ll try to break it. And, let’s face it: there are people in this world who do bad things just because they can.

But, you can make it difficult for them. Here are some common sense steps you can take to safeguard your club’s property:

·         Install a card-swipe entry system to gain access to more vulnerable areas such as offices, club storage rooms, etc.

·         Install security cameras to monitor areas such as the pro shop, parking lots, bag drop area, driving range, and cart rental area.

·         Install fences and locked gates around your property, including parking lots.

·         Hire a security firm to patrol the grounds.

While it’s true you can’t protect everything, it’s a good time to visit with your insurance broker or agent and ask what coverages are available.

 

David A. Harnois, CCM is a proud employee owner of Affinity Club Underwriters, specializing in commercial and group program business. David provides insurance solutions for hundreds of clubs throughout the world. He may be reached at (973) 984-1000 x111 or at www.affinityclubs.com.

ABOUT AFFINITY

Founded in 2007, Affinity Club Underwriters is a wholesale program insurance provider specializing in the club, golf and hospitality sector. They offer claims management services; operations and coverage audits; policy and information storage and archaeology; RFP preparation; market analysis; and help in developing specific loss control programs.  Affinity is the exclusive provider of the Affinity Club Program for private and semi-private golf and country club venues. Affinity is the only insurance program administrator led by golf industry experts.  

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