This probably doesn't help, but I'm more of a "go with my gut" than using a script of questions. First, I have to get along with the people. I don't care if they are God's gift to mankind, if I don't get along with them what's the point (don't have to be my best friends, but have to be people I'm glad to spend 8 hours with). So, I'd be getting a feel for the overall culture of the club. If there's anything that makes me really uncomfortable as far as the training methods, tools, treatment of the dogs or people, I don't really care what kind of explanation they can offer or how many years they've been doing it that way.
That's how I usually do things, and it's a good way of doing things too. Sometimes I fight with myself over it, for example, when a person looks great on paper and everyone raves about them but I get a really bad feeling about them when I meet with them. That's roughly what happened with the club I met up with. I'll talk more about it down below.
I agree with Lies on making sure you feel comfortable around the people you might be training with. It's really important to be able to get along with the club members, otherwise you'll just hate going there and your dog's training will show it.
So how did it go? I started to reply to your question earlier, then got side tracked
It was... underwhelming. We got there and Pat started doing most of the talking, and they definitely knew their stuff, but it felt more like a bunch of people were hanging out than it felt like people were actually working towards a goal. I didn't like that. I'm the kind of person who needs
to have a clear goal in mind or I lose direction. The person who ran it was never on the same page with me. I'd ask a question and she'd ramble on about something that was slightly
related to my question but totally off tangent. Another thing that bothered me was all the club members that showed up were out in the snow working their dogs and the leader was just sitting in her car with the heat on watching. That was just NOT okay with me. The leader has to be out there with everybody else, IMO.
I'm not saying that they didn't know their stuff. They were just not the right fit for me at all. I remember after talking to them for five minutes I didn't want to be there anymore (despite the hour long drive). I just wanted to leave. If I had gone alone, I probably would have just left.
It's a tough call. They're 48 miles away from us. Another one is 42 miles away (in a completely different direction), and the one that everyone I've spoken to raves about is 68
miles away. Now I'm trying to meet up with both of the other ones to see how they do things. I need a club that pushes me to reach my goals. I don't necessarily want to be babied, and I know that you get from Schutzhund what you put into it, but I at least need to have some goal oriented atmosphere.
I'm hoping my meeting with the other clubs turn out better.