Where to Position Card Readers for Card-Based Access Control

You want to keep your private club, private. A modern access control system can do that, but sometimes it can be hard to work out where to put card readers. Card-based access control systems can also ensure that everyone has paid their dues. So, where should you put the readers?

Entry Points

Person using a card based access control system at entry point
A card-based access control system allows you to determine who can enter each area of your club, and when.
The most obvious decision is to put the readers on all entry points. However, this is not always that straightforward. For example, you may have a lobby that is public access. In this case you will want to put a reader on the door into the lobby and on doors out of the lobby further into the building. When a receptionist is on duty, the outer door can be left unlocked. This gives members, and only members, after hours access to the premises.

Card readers should also be placed on entry points other than the main lobby. For example, if you have a side door that leads to the parking lot. Note that you can use the system to allow employees, but not members, access through certain back doors, such as kitchen doors.

The card readers ensure that the doors will always open easily from the inside in case you have to evacuate the building.

If you have a gate then you also need to put a card reader on there to allow members access if there is not a guard on duty (and potentially to save the guard’s time by allowing members access.

For members, access should be seamless. For potential members looking at the property, they should be steered towards the lobby where staff can welcome them and give them a tour.

Public/Private Interfaces

Some clubs may have a public area and then private rooms. In this case, the card readers should be placed at the interface between public and private. This can also be used if you have tiered membership, to give certain members access to various areas of the club.

For members, this will be seamless, giving them access to everything they deserve without needing to find staff.


Don’t forget your members’ only parking lot or garage! You can install a key card reader that controls an automatic entry gate, allowing members access to the lot when there is not an attendant on duty. Properly restricting parking is vital to keep non-members from taking up parking slots…or worse, to protect you from physical threats that might occur if unchecked vehicles are allowed in the lot.


In addition to using card readers to control access to spaces, you can use them to control access to equipment and supplies. This is particularly important for clubs that offer fitness equipment, vehicles, etc. If an unauthorized person gets access to the property, they still won’t be able to use locked down equipment.

You can also use this to enforce time limits during busy periods. At the same time, card readers can be used to give members access to, say, a golf cart

A Marina with a carad based access control system
Some water-based clubs have to deal with access from the sea, lake, or river.

without having to seek out an employee to unlock it for them. While many members will still appreciate the personal attention, others will like being able to use equipment without delay.

Special Considerations

When deciding where to install card readers, you need to think about any special considerations. For example, water-based clubs have to deal with access from the sea, lake, or river. What systems do you have in place to keep non-members from docking, or to make it so that they gain no benefit from doing so. For example, you might use card readers to lock down access to the dock in both directions. People coming from the land can’t get to your members’ boats and people sneakily docking can’t get off the dock.

Regardless of your club, the most important thing to consider is all the ways people can gain access to the property. Make sure to put card readers on gates, back doors, etc, not just the main entrance. Remember you can lock things down to employees and/or to only certain members.

If you are looking at installing a card-based access control system in your private club, contact Card Lock today to get started and for our advice on where to put your readers.


Access Control, Electric Strikes, key card access, marina security
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