About

Launched in 1997 by Club Leaders Forum, Platinum Clubs® of America was revitalized in 2014. Over the past two decades, Platinum Clubs has earned the reputation as the most respected recognition in Private Club Excellence. The inspiration for the concept came from John Sibbald who continued to hear Clubs profess “they were the best”. Mr Sibbald developed Platinum Clubs of America to allow Private Club Managers, Presidents and Owners to make that distinction.

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ELECTION

The election to establish the top 5% of Private Clubs of Excellence takes place in the Fall of even years and is conducted over a 90-day period. The preliminary ballot is circulated to Private Club Managers across the country who have the opportunity to nominate additional Clubs to appear on the final ballot. Once complete, the final ballot is distributed to Private Club Managers, Presidents and Owners. To maintain transparency and accuracy, the election is conducted by a third party and the results are certified as true and correct. 

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Platinum Clubs of America 2021-22 have the opportunity to apply for the Platinum License, which provides Clubs with the authority to use the Platinum Clubs of America logo, likeness and marks in all communication materials. The License Program includes various recognition items, a subscription to The FORUM, and invitations to exclusive events held by Club Leaders Forum. 

PLATINUM LICENSE PROGRAM

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Get your Club ready for 2023-24. A team of consultants is assembled to provide a range of services to assist your Club to position itself for future Platinum consideration.

CLUB LEADERS FORUM

Seven Selection Criteria

1

Universal Recognition

The finest Clubs in the nation are acknowledged as such by members of a well-traveled American and global society that frequent Private Clubs. Whether recognized from inception or through the accumulated passage of time, these Clubs are set apart as domiciles of Excellence for their traditional history, the ability to attract and retain exceptional members and the experience they deliver.

2

Excellence in Amenities and Facilities

It is the complete array of amenities and facilities that provides Excellence and fulfillment of the Members’ needs in every function and activity that makes a Club great. Remarkable Clubs ensure that their amenities and facilities remain relevant. There is a commitment to invest on a regular and planned basis in maintenance, supervision and replacement of the grounds, structures, equipment, and furnishings. America’s finest Clubs evaluate the benefits of developing new, and repurposing existing, amenities and facilities to serve today’s Member and the future generation of Members.

3

Caliber of Staff and Professional Service Levels

A maxim of the finest Clubs remains, ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen with mutual respect. Clubs that attract outstanding employees in the community are known to provide an excellent work environment, unique culture and leading compensation and benefits. Employees are a Club’s most important asset, with personal and professional growth being encouraged. The quality of management is reflected by a staff that is well-trained, well-mannered, and highly motivated to provide an extraordinary experience for their Members.

4

Quality and Commitment of Membership

Great members are the custodians and the heart and soul of the most respected and successful Clubs. Members who represent the best qualities are those that reflect the values and culture of their Club and the community in which they live. They celebrate their heritage and faithfully observe time-honored traditions. Responsible Members preserve the Club’s legacy by perpetuating the institution to provide for the next generation of Members. They also work hard to attract prospective new Members who share the same values, integrity and commitment.

5

Governance and Prudent Fiscal Management

The nation’s finest Clubs are venerable institutions. They are governed by Presidents, Owners and Directors who understand that their key role is to strategically set policies and establish the vision for the Club. Leaders are goal-driven; they allow management to manage and are not influenced by personal agendas. High-caliber Boards work diligently term after term to ensure continuity of effort and direction with efficient succession planning. They possess the wisdom to plan well and invest well. Prudent Boards understand the need for regular dues increases and assessments when required, while managing debt and maintaining fiscal responsibility.

6

Adapting to Changing Times

Change moves at a greater pace every year. Clubs must effect changes for tomorrow’s Member and their family while preserving the Club’s values, integrity, and experience for today’s core Membership. Great Clubs work at anticipating the needs and interests of their Members and prospective Members. These Clubs adopt a mission statement that resonates with Members and defines the Club’s principles which are supported by a strategic plan to achieve their goals. The finest Clubs have the ability to maintain traditions and remain flexible by adapting to the ever-changing demands and expectations of the Membership.

7

Overall Experience

Clubs of Excellence provide an ‘Unparalleled Experience’ every day, one Member at a time, and display exceptional management and governance. They are committed to making decisions in the best interests of their Members and those serving them. Best Practices are consistently observed and frequently refined. America’s finest Clubs encourage staff to take the initiative and support their efforts to deliver outstanding service. Remarkable Clubs continue to treasure their shared experience, celebrate their achievements, and appreciate one another, like family.

The Election

CATEGORIES

There are five Platinum Club of America categories for election: Country Clubs, Golf Clubs, City Clubs, Athletic Clubs and Yacht Clubs. In total, there are 300 Clubs that have earned the honor of being a Platinum Club of America in 2021-22. Clubs that were voted within five points of elected Platinum Clubs are acknowledged with an Honorable Mention, and are Candidates for Platinum status in 2023-24.

Clubs may only be recognized in one category. The Club’s official name is the primary consideration for the appropriate category designation, unless requested by the Club and approved by the Advisory Board.

BALLOTS

A Preliminary Ballot—that includes previous Platinum Clubs and those receiving an Honorable Mentions—is sent to all Private Club Managers across the country. Managers are given the opportunity to nominate additional clubs to for the Final Ballot. If approved by the Advisory Board, Clubs are included in the Final Ballot, which is distributed by SportsHub Technologies, our third-party election manager. Club Managers also receive a second ballot for the Club President or Owner. 

THE VOTE

The vote is conducted electronically and confidentially through a third party, SportsHub Technologies. This year, two Ballots were provided to over 4,100 Private Clubs across the USA. One Ballot was completed by the General Manager, Chief Executive or Chief Operating Officer, and the other by the Club President or Owner.  Voters were asked to select the Clubs in a specific order. The votes were submitted over a three-week period, and the total number of points received by each Club was divided by the number of voters to provide an average score. To qualify, Clubs must have received a minimum of 50 votes in the Country and Golf Club Categories and 25 votes in the City, Yacht and Athletic Club Categories.

 

Categories and Points

Country Clubs

1–3 = 100 points
4–10 = 80 points
11–25 = 65 points
26–50 = 50 points
51–75 = 40 points
76–100 = 30 points
101–125 = 20 points
126–150 = 10 points
151–175 = 7 points
176+ = 0 points

150 PLATINUM CLUBS

Country Clubs are defined as full-service Clubs with Country Club in the official name, offering a wide variety of social, lifestyle and recreational facilities and amenities in addition to golf.

Golf Clubs

1–3 = 100 points
4–10 = 75 points
11–25 = 55 points
26–40 = 40 points
41–50 = 25 points
51–75 = 10 points
76+ = 0 points

50 PLATINUM CLUBS

Golf Clubs are defined as facilities with Golf Club in the official name; they are golf-centric, offering only a golf course or courses, practice facilities with Clubhouse amenities. Some Golf Clubs offer Members fitness and wellness facilities.

City Clubs

1–3 = 100 points
4–10 = 75 points
11–25 = 55 points
26–40 = 40 points
41–50 = 25 points
51–75 = 10 points
76+ = 0 points

50 PLATINUM CLUBS

City Clubs are defined as Clubs with City Club in their official name, and Clubs normally located in urban areas that offer business meeting and banquet/function rooms, Member dining, athletic and fitness facilities, with some City Clubs providing overnight accommodations.

Yacht Clubs

1–3 = 100 points
4–10 = 75 points
11–15 = 55 points
16–20 = 40 points
21–30 = 25 points
31–50 = 10 points
51+ = 0 points

30 PLATINUM CLUBS

Yacht Clubs contain the word Yacht in their official name; these Clubs typically offer a marina/slips, boating amenities, with Clubhouse facilities offering dining and recreational amenities.

Athletic Clubs

1–3 = 100 points
4–10 = 80 points
11–15 = 50 points
16–20 = 25 points
21–40 = 10 points
41+ = 0 points

20 PLATINUM CLUBS

Athletic Clubs are defined as Clubs with Athletic Club in their official name, some with limited dining, meeting, and other recreational facilities. Some Clubs founded as Athletic Clubs have evolved and have requested to be included in the Athletic Clubs category. Other Clubs including Beach Clubs, Hunt Clubs and Racquet Clubs are included in the Athletic Club category.

 

What Club Leadership Has to Say

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OLIVER BOUDIN
Oklahoma Golf & Country Club

After having been at the Club for over ten years, I was very humbled to receive the Platinum Club designation. Being recognized as a Platinum Club of America means so much to our Club.  From our team members seeing it as a reward for their accomplishments in raising our standards of programs and services, to seeing the pride in our membership in belonging to the Platinum Club of America. Our club culture is now set by this achievement and continues the drive to better serve our membership.

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MATTHEW LINDERMAN
Boca West Country Club

To be continuously recognized as a Platinum Club of America is a great accomplishment that the Board and I are most proud of.  The staff and I have a shared vision to never accept the status quo and to always find ways to elevate service and to exceed Member expectations. To receive this recognition by Platinum Clubs of America for so many years truly validates our dedication and determination. Our Board has always considered this award as the benchmark of the Club industry.

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CHUCK NELSON
Washington Athletic Club

The Washington Athletic Club takes great pride in our Platinum Club status. For our members and member leaders it brings well-respected recognition to their club. For our management and team members, it brings strong validation for the work and commitment to providing a comprehensive, premiere quality club experience for everyone involved.