Executive Search: Director of Golf for Westmount Golf & Country Club (FILLED)

Director of Golf
Westmount Golf & Country Club
Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

The Club

Westmount Golf & Country Club offers a world-class experience in the heart of Kitchener-Waterloo (K-W).

Westmount is a vibrant community, a premier private club with a tradition of excellence in sporting and social activities for their members, their families, friends and guests. At Westmount, people of all ages come together in a welcoming atmosphere to be active and build longstanding relationships. Westmount is a place to make memories that will last a lifetime.

Westmount has long been regarded as one of the best private clubs in Canada.  The club is based around one of the best golf courses in Canada, ranked 13th in the country by SCORE Golf. The club has award-winning golf, wonderful practice facilities, a history of holding the country’s top tournaments, great tennis in the warm months, curling in the winter, and tremendous dining year-round.

The Golf Facilities

Designed by renowned architect Stanley Thompson, Westmount is one of Canada’s premier golf facilities with a stunning 18-hole championship course. Since its opening in 1931, Westmount has been consistently ranked among the top 15 courses in Canada. The gently rolling terrain of our parkland course guarantees a great golf experience each time.

The Position

Westmount is seeking a well-qualified, dynamic individual to oversee the total golf operation and services offered including the golf shop, golf services areas, golf cart fleet and supervisor of golf operations staff.

The Director of Golf will develop and deliver a consistently outstanding member experience commensurate with specified member expectations and in keeping with a premier Tier 1 private golf and country club.  Although the Director of Golf will rely on the staff to operate the daily activities, the Director of Golf will be responsible for overall performance metrics and service, including and not limited to the following:

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Recruitment, training, development, performance management and leadership of golf operations staff.
  • Working with the General Manager and Controller, preparation and oversight of all fiscal areas and performance for the golf operations including the capital and operating budgets, annual business plan, forecasting and monitoring.
  • Work with the golf operations staff, club management team and various member committees, to develop and implement merchandising, programs, club tournaments, leagues, coaching and lesson programs and outside events.
  • Oversight of the purchasing, merchandising, sales and marketing, inventory management, and financial performance of all aspects of the golf shop.
  • Oversight of the golf reservation system, starting procedures, tracking and monitoring play on the golf course. Enforce all rules and regulations governing golf course usage.
  • Representation of Westmount to members, staff and external agencies.  The Director of Golf is engaged in new member recruitment and orientation as well as experience enhancement for existing members.
  • Oversee the development of operating procedures and training manuals for the golf operation in conjunction with the Human Resources Manager.
  • Coordinate plans with the Food and Beverage Manager for all on-course food and beverage, banquets, outside events, and catering for all golf functions.
  • Foster and support equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) within the Club through adoption of best practices for an inclusive and equitable workplace.
  • Develop and oversee an innovative tournament schedule and golf activities program that is appealing to all member demographics and skill levels.
  • Develop and oversee golf instruction, clinics, golf schools, and player development programs for all members.
  • Play golf with members of all skill levels, demographics and genders as time and duties permit.

Candidate Profile

The Director of Golf reports to the General Manager.  Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic objectives of Westmount, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience and attributes:

  • Class A member of the PGA of Canada with Director of Golf/Head Professional or comparable experience preferred.
  • A dynamic leader with the ability to maintain a strong team by motivation and leading by example.
  • Has the ability to provide direction and expectations, performance feedback and recognition that leads to positive outcomes. Excellent communication skills.
  • Highly visible leader with friendly and outgoing personality and focus on member service.  A leadership style that lends itself to being the ‘face of the golf experience.’
  • An out of the box thinker determined to be innovative in the modern world of golf operations.
  • An ability to work collaboratively with the active volunteer base at the club to achieve results.
  • An understanding of a private member-owned club culture.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage all aspects of the golf retail business.
  • Proficient instructor well-versed in the latest club fitting and teaching technologies.
  • Ability to organize and oversee annual golf event fixtures and programs including participation in the internal marketing and administration of the events and programs.
  • Strong administrator with excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to implement, enforce and maintain all policies, programs and plans as established and communicated through the General Manager.
  • Ability to market, schedule and manage any external competitions and events.
  • Provide support for prospective member sales, new member integration and membership retention programs.
  • Maintain and promote a well-respected and professional image within the Club, the industry and community.
  • A keen interest in continuous learning and professional development in the industry.
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office Suite and related software such as Jonas, Golf Genius, etc.
  • A self-starter and results oriented work style combined with excellent communication and interpersonal skills with all the Club’s stakeholders.


The Club will offer an attractive year-round compensation package, commensurate with experience, which will include a competitive base salary and benefits.


The current Head Golf Professional will retire on December 31, 2021.


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit resumes along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by November 3, 2021.  Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Westmount Resume” and ‘Last Name, First Name, Westmount Cover Letter”) respectively to:

Michael Gregory, Partner and George Pinches, Director

GGA Partners, Inc.


For more information on Westmount Golf & Country Club, please visit www.westmountgolf.com.

Lead Search Executives


Michael Gregory
GGA Partners




George Pinches
GGA Partners


3 Reminders for Every Leader

Now, More Than Ever

Three reminders for every leader, every day – from a coaching perspective

Over the past 18 months after speaking with managers and their teams, I have found myself frequently saying “Now More Than Ever”. I rarely leave a coaching session or conversation without being reminded that there are some principles of leadership that can’t been forgotten or taken for granted, especially now.

Sometimes managers think they are displaying these “leadership musts” more than they really are. The truth is that managers are tired, their teams feel exhausted and overworked, and the challenges keep arriving.

In the midst of fighting the fires of urgencies like the labor shortage and the pandemic’s next crisis, it is so important to remember to lead. That’s the secret – to remember that along with managing the business, they have the opportunity to make a huge impact on their most valuable resource, their people.  The challenge is on to find good people to fill the available positions. Even more important is creating the culture to retain them.   Here are three simple, yet powerful reminders for everyday leadership.


When it comes to your people, everything matters. Managers often underestimate the importance of their presence. As they tackle the big picture issues, it is easy to leave it up to supervisors to keep teams engaged and deliver the best member experience possible. While managers surely have a lot on their plates right now, it is crucial and critical to stay connected with every employee at every level.  Model what you want to see. Your visibility is surely important to your members. It’s even more important to your staff members. As the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar often said:

“People don’t care how much you know,
until they know how much you care – about them.”

Years ago a Sous Chef proudly showed me a thank you note he received from his GM. It was a simple hand written note on a white piece of paper.  He carried it with him every day in his wallet for over 10 years and I bet he still has it.

Connect with as many staff and managers as possible every day. Call them. Text them. Stop for a few minutes and talk with them. Ask them how they are doing, how their family is doing, what they need to do their job more effectively, and thank them genuinely for specific contributions they are making. Giving bonuses, gift cards and extras can be meaningful. However, nothing replaces a sincere thank you on a regular basis. Nothing. Keep connecting. Keep acknowledging.  Keep encouraging.


Are you an Employer of Choice? The labor shortage has brought a new set of challenges – finding qualified people.  The selection process is important, yet even more critical is retention. Here are some insights about how you can keep these new valuable recruits as well as your current invaluable team members:

  • Revisit your onboarding process to determine if it is working. Does each new team member get what they need. Do they feel welcome and part of a team, or do they just receive the basics and head out onto the floor? Get as many team members involved as possible during this most important phase.
  • Make sure the General Manager is part of the orientation process. As the GM, be sure to welcome every single new hire, get to know them, and then challenge them to add value that will make your club better. If you give employees something to live up to, they can make a difference.
  • Every manager and supervisor should keep asking – Does everyone have the tools they need to do their job? Do they have the daily information and updates they need? Are they trained properly? Do they know how to answer the latest pandemic questions and club policies? When staff aren’t equipped for success, they will surely get frustrated and leave. They may say they are leaving because of the money. They aren’t.


Most managers are in their role because of their technical competence and proficient operational skills. The tendency when engaging with staff is to give all of the answers. There is certainly a time and place for telling people what to do, however, leading others and engaging your team is the perfect opportunity not to give all of the answers. Every manager I have spoken with during the pandemic has said that one of the big lessons they have learned is that we don’t always have all of the answers. Exactly. So let’s apply that to our teams.

Dr. Peter Hawkins, author and Professor of Leadership at the Henley Business School, states that “The 21st century leader realizes that they can’t solve problems on their own, and they need the skills to orchestrate the team to come up with the best answers.”  Most team members are engaged in the culture when they can contribute, learn, and grow. They want to give their ideas and be a part of the solution.

Before you give the answers, think about what powerful questions you can ask to engage your team, then watch what happens.

Now more than ever is the time to lead.

Shelley MacDougall is a Director, Leadership Development at GGA Partners specializing in leadership coaching and training. She is passionate about developing leaders who want to make meaningful change where it counts: within themselves, with their teams, and in their organizations. To view Shelley’s profile, click here.

Labor, Capital Spending Top 2022 Budgets

Budgeting for 2022 is complicated by rapidly changing circumstances and market conditions. GGA Partner Henry DeLozier offers insight into areas where budgetary impact will be greatest. 

Budgeting for 2022 is complicated by rapidly changing circumstances and market conditions. For most experienced hands, anticipating changes within their industry and business is far easier than predicting the breadth and depth of the impact the changes will have on their budgets. Here are two significant categories where budgetary impact will be greatest:

1. Labor costs

Historically, the cost of labor and employee benefits represent the largest line item in a golf course’s operational budget. A trend toward a $15-plus per hour minimum wage and desperately low labor supply conditions will only increase the budgetary impact of labor and benefits. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the resulting impacts on labor, two truths are becoming evident:

  • Those clubs and courses that kept staff on the payroll and continued long-term relationships with their employees are being rewarded in two ways. First, those courses are not having to search a tight labor market for replacements. Second, course care and upkeep have been sustained by committed and knowledgeable employees who have a running head start on those clubs that have been forced practically to start over.
  • Working knowledge of your specific course and conditioning expectations promotes a more cost-effective recovery process.

But what if circumstances and decisions beyond your control have forced you into a game of agronomic catch-up? Here are some remedial actions to consider:

  • Update your agronomic plan to state your expectations for course conditioning. New employees need (and want) to understand what is expected of them. Be thorough. Be enthusiastic. Show how much you care.
  • Plan for robust new hire training. Pair experienced hands with newcomers. See that the veterans describe the values and standards of the work to be done with the same clarity and as enthusiastically as teaching the job’s “how to” components. Train the trainers to ensure across-the-board engagement and understanding. Plan daily technical training for your round-up sessions to bring new hires up to speed and promote consistency.
  • Hire veterans. There are approximately 19 million veterans in the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As the increasing number of veterans mustering out of service expands, many trained and mature workers are searching for jobs. Some three-quarters of these veterans saw wartime service. Take the steps to learn more about those who have given so much and see how much they can give to your operation.

2. Capital maintenance

Capital spending for most golf facilities has expanded decidedly as an improving economy loosened purse strings and made more money available for deferred capital maintenance spending. Financial analysts at our firm note that capital spending is up by more than 55 percent at U.S. golf facilities, with most projects focusing on course renovations and restorations of historic designs, greens reconstruction and new bunker projects.

With the upsurge in golf’s popularity in the wake of the pandemic, many facilities have experienced growth in rounds played and membership enrollments. According to Golf Datatech, rounds played in 2020 increased by 13.9 percent over 2019 and through the first quarter of 2021 are up another 24 percent. The increased demand for tee times has given owners and managers new confidence to expand facility spending.

What are the smart moves being made by superintendents? They’re updating capital project rosters and renewing long-awaited requests for capital to upgrade facilities. And they’re not waiting. They’re describing the features and benefits of the intended projects and supporting financial projections with trustworthy third-party analysis.

In these uncommon times, it is important for turf pros to remember the sun does not shine on the same dog’s back every day. Market demand will shift. Access to labor will change. But the self-imposed high standards for most superintendents will remain and the expectations of enthusiastic golfers will expand. Prepare your 2022 budget carefully and with a broader understanding of social, economic and market conditions.

This article was authored by Henry DeLozier for Golf Course Industry magazine.

Board Room Best Practices

In partnership with the National Club Association (NCA), we are pleased to release the inaugural issue of Club Governance, a publication focused on the fundamentals for effective club leadership developed to provide key insights into pressing board room issues and outline board room best practices to effectively govern your club.

In our inaugural issue, Henry DeLozier and GGA’s governance expert Fred Laughlin, discuss the following topics:

Three Keys to Effective Governance: Who Serves on the Club Board?

A Model for Club Governance: Policies and Practices of High-Performing Boards

How to Build a Board of Directors: Selecting Your Dream Team

Building Accountable and Transparent Boards: The Board’s Path to Excellence

Gaining Governance Consistency: How to Reduce the Annual Speed Bump

A Case Study of Good Governance: Greensboro Country Club

NCA members will receive Club Governance semiannually as a special insert in Club Director magazine. Through our partnership with NCA, we are making each publication available to our valued clients.

Read or download Club Governance here

A print version of Club Governance is available to GGA Partner clients. If you would like us to send one, please provide your name, club name and mailing address via email to linda.dillenbeck@ggapartners.com.

Executive Search: Chief Operating Officer/General Manager for Belle Haven Country Club

Belle Haven Country Club
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

The Club

Belle Haven Country Club and the surrounding Belle Haven residential community began together in the early 1920’s when David Janney Howell, a civil engineer from Alexandria, purchased the land from owners Mrs. Thomas Wilfred Robinson, Sr. and her brothers. When the transaction was complete, Howell set up two corporations, one to construct a golf course and club and the other to develop a residential subdivision. The land was deeded to the Club on September 1, 1924.

The name Belle Haven is also part of history. When Scottish pioneers settled along the Potomac River in the early 1700’s, they named the settlement after their favorite countryman, the Earl of Belhaven. This early settlement thrived along the Potomac River as a port and was later renamed Alexandria. The Belle Haven Country Club has now become part of the fabric of Alexandria growing together throughout the 20th and into the 21st century.

From the modest beginnings in 1924 to the new 64,000 square foot Clubhouse, Belle Haven has grown to meet the needs of its members. The Clubhouse offers a variety of dining options including formal and informal restaurants, family dining, Bar and Bar Lounge, Terrace and Patio dining along with the Hilliard Room and the relaxing 19th Hole. For special occasions and meetings, Belle Haven offers a beautiful ballroom with views of the golf course. We host banquets and meetings in our spacious Potomac Room with spectacular views of the Potomac River.

Our Athletic Facility houses a complete fitness center and aerobics room along with five indoor DecoTurf tennis courts, a Tennis Pro Shop, Children’s Activity Center, seasonal swimming pool, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms with steam and sauna, a year-round restaurant known as the Center Court Cafe and the famous outdoor Sharks Cafe open throughout the summer season. We have eight outdoor, clay tennis courts and two seasonal platform tennis courts available for our members and their guests.

Vision Statement

To provide a lifelong haven for our members, their families and guests where they can enjoy social, dining and recreational activities in outstanding facilities with a professional staff, consistent with the expectations of our culture and traditions.

Mission Statement

To be a premier, full service, family oriented, private country club committed to excellence. 

Belle Haven Country Club Overview

  • 1105 Members
  • Initiation Fee ($85,000)
  • Annual Dues ($8,676)
  • $12.78M Gross Volume
  • $6.12M Annual Dues
  • $2.32M F&B Volume
  • $6.39M Gross Payroll
  • 244 Employees
  • 13 Board Members
  • Average age of members is 59

The COO/GM Position

The General Manager/Chief Operating Officer manages all aspects of the club including its activities and the relationships between the club and its Board of Directors, members, guests, employees, community, government, and industry. Coordinate and administer the club’s policies as defined by its Board of Directors. Develop operating policies and procedures and direct the work of all department managers. Implement and monitor the budget, monitor the quality of the club’s products and services and ensure maximum member and guest satisfaction. Secure and protect the club’s assets including facilities and equipment.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Coordinate the development and execution of the club’s long-range and annual business plans to achieve the mission of the club
  • Prepare comprehensive operating plans and budgets, obtain approval from the board, and operate in accordance with approved budgets
  • Maintain a long-term capital budget to assure the sustained material condition of all physical assets of the club
  • Plan, develop and approve specific operational policies, programs, procedures, methods, rules and regulations in concert with board-approved policies
  • Direct the recruiting and training of all staff
  • Establish employee rules and regulations, work schedules, internal controls, and a performance appraisal system
  • Assure that the highest standards are set and achieved in providing member service and satisfaction
  • Ensure that the club is operated in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws
  • Ensure compliance with regulatory and other governmental agencies that have oversight of various club assets and operations
  • Provide the board and committees with relevant information on trends and developments in the club/residential community business
  • Ensure that the committees established by the board are well-supported and operate in accordance with board-approved policies and directives
  • Oversee security, risk management, and health and safety programs to ensure that measures are in place to protect members, employees, staff, and club physical assets
  • Ensure that the board is thoroughly informed on the status of club operations, member satisfaction, and financial performance
  • Provide a comprehensive communications program that keeps all appropriate constituencies informed on relevant matters
  • Interact with local community leaders and organizations
  • Perform other duties and functions as the club board may direct that are consistent with this job description

Direct Reports:

  • CFO
  • Director, Member Services
  • Golf Course Superintendent
  • Head Golf Professional
  • Assistant General Manager
  • Director of Membership and Communication
  • Director of Tennis

Core Leadership Competencies:

  • Ability to define a simple and understandable vision of success for the management team
  • Ability to see the big picture, take stock, identify problems/needs, and conceptualize solutions/strategies
  • Ability to focus on the essentials, to attend to detail, and to follow through on decisions
  • Ability to create a sense of followership among subordinates
  • Ability to attract and develop a strong supporting management team capable of ensuring a smooth transfer of responsibility when tasks are delegated.
  • Ability to demonstrate a strong member satisfaction ethic and to interact with the membership in a frequent and friendly manner
  • Ability to articulate the highest performance and ethical standards, demand compliance, and move swiftly and positively when corrective action is warranted
  • Ability to cope with day-to-day pressures and maintain a healthy and positive culture

Candidate Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club, hospitality, and leisure environment.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) or in active pursuit of designation preferred.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Belle Haven GM/COO Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Belle Haven GM/COO Resume”) respectively to execsearchus@ggapartners.com. Please email résumé with references.

Lead Search Executive

For more information about Belle Haven Country Club, please visit www.bellehavencc.com