Executive Search: General Manager for Essex Golf & Country Club


General Manager
Essex Golf & Country Club

The Club

Essex Golf & Country Club, located in LaSalle Ontario, has long been regarded as one of Canada’s finest golf clubs, having been recognized on several occasions as one of the world’s top 100 golf courses.

Founded in 1902, the Club has been situated on its present site since 1929. Designed by legendary golf course architect Donald Ross, Essex has played host to the Ontario Open in 1922, 1949 and 1951, the 1934 Ontario Amateur and the Canadian Ladies Amateur in 1964.

However, the event that established Essex as one of the outstanding courses in Canada was the 1976 Canadian Open. In 1998 Essex hosted the world’s finest female golfers by staging one of the four “Majors” on the LPGA tour, the du Maurier Classic. In 2002, Essex marked its 100th anniversary by hosting the PGA Senior Tour’s AT&T Canada Open. This made Essex only the 3rd club in Canada to host a PGA, Senior PGA, and LPGA event.

Essex has a strong and active membership consisting of over 900 golfing members and social members.


Essex is a premier private club providing its members and guests with exceptional golf, dining and social facilities and activities. Essex also invites referred guests to the Club to use the facilities for a limited amount of golf tournaments; weddings, corporate meeting and other banquets. The Club provides an outdoor pool for the seasonal enjoyment of members and guests.

Club Facilities

  • 18-hole championship golf course
  • Dining
  • Swimming pool

Club Overview

  • Active adult golf members: 699
  • Total members: 904
  • Initiation fee: $15,000
  • Annual dues: $4,967
  • Gross revenue: $7.6M
  • F&B revenue: $2.3M
  • Average member age: 53
  • Rounds of golf annually: ~28k
  • Full-time equivalent employees: 67
  • Total active employees: 235

Position Summary

The General Manager (“GM”) leads the Management Team and is responsible for the management of the club in its entirety. The GM is hired by the Board of Directors, reports to the President of the Board, and is responsible for carrying out the Board’s policies. The GM is accountable for all aspects of the club and ensures the synergism of all club activities.

The GM functions as the Board’s “bridge” to the staff and Committees and enables the Board to avoid the intricacies and short-term focus that is the staff’s responsibility. This allows the Board to work more exclusively on the strategy and long-term focus of club governance. The GM frequently reports to the Board on the effectiveness of the club’s policies, operations, and new programs.

The characteristics and key attributes of the successful GM being sought by the Selection Committee include leadership, professionalism, outstanding interpersonal skills, strategic vision, financial acumen, an understanding of digital marketing, and a high bias for implementation. The GM must consistently ensure, across all areas of the organization, member service which meets the standard of a premier facility.

Primary Responsibilities


  • Develop an effective working relationship with the Board of Directors and Committees.
  • Create and implement premiere Member and guest services throughout all areas of the club.
  • Hire, train, motivate, evaluate, appropriately compensate, inspire, and lead staff in a professional and equitable manner including setting annual objectives for staff.
  • Follow industry trends, benchmarks and best practices and develop strategies that maintain the Club’s positioning.
  • Serve as an ambassador of the Club, effectively marketing to prospective new members.
  • Be well-known and visible to the membership.


  • Guiding and assisting the Board in the development and formulation of Club strategies and policy.
  • Working with committees, as needed, to facilitate the formulation and execution of short- and long-term programs.
  • Attending all Board Meetings and where appropriate, attending Committee meetings.
  • Developing performance objectives and measures of progress.
  • Performing such other duties as the Board may specify.


  • Be fiscally responsible to ensure an exceptional member experience.
  • Ensure that the Club is operated in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
  • Provide timely, relevant, and accurate reporting, including key indicators, performance metrics and benchmarking.
  • Maintain a long-term financial plan that incorporates cash flow planning along with membership recruiting strategies.

Golf Operations:

  • Ensure the golf course is of the highest standard of condition and playability.
  • Ensure that the teaching capabilities and quality of teaching experience are the highest possible standard.
  • Ensure that the Pro Shop provides goods and services that are commensurate with the highest standards and that prices are competitive.
  • Nurture the spirit of the game, fostering a community atmosphere through participation, player development, competition, and enjoyment.

Member Experience:

  • Deliver a consistently exceptional experience by providing a high-caliber food and beverage offering, quality service and Member social programming.
  • Skilled at training staff to continually improve the member experience by reviewing and enhancing service standards and best practices .
  • Encourage participation and pride of membership through communication and engagement.
  • Consistently communicate with the membership.
  • Administer Club rules and reporting member infractions or violations.

Key Attributes

The ideal candidate possesses strong interpersonal skills, is a proven collaborator and relationship builder who possesses the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:

  • An innovative and strategic thinker with strong business acumen and passion for continuous improvement.
  • Able to display sound judgement and make complex decisions in support of the Club’s Vision and Mission.
  • A dynamic leader and motivator that prides themselves on the accomplishments of their team and the willingness to provide ongoing constructive feedback.
  • Demonstrates exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills and can effectively interact in both large and small group settings.
  • Member experience-driven and service culture attitude.
  • A “stickler” for details in all areas of club operations.
  • Conduct themselves in a responsible and professional manner.
  • Able to be diplomatic and tactful, yet firm, when dealing with Member constituents.
  • Self-starter, results-orientated and hands-on when needed.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Experience as a leader in a private club environment or other similar top tier facility.
  • A passion and understanding of what it means to deliver a consistently excellent member experience.
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic plans, including overseeing the development of large capital improvement projects.
  • A General understanding of facilities management .
  • A post-secondary degree in business or a golf-related program.
  • A Certified Club Manager designation is preferred (CCM).
  • Experience reporting to a Board and an understanding of club governance.

Direct Reports

Golf Course Superintendent, Head Golf Professional, Food & Beverage Manager, Accounting & Administration, Clubhouse Operations, Executive Chef


The successful applicant will receive an attractive compensation package commensurate with experience and qualifications along with a comprehensive health benefits plan and pension program.


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit a resume along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the position qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by October 29th at 5:00pm EDT.

Documents are required to be submitted in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Essex GM Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Essex GM Resume”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

We thank all applicants for their interest but will only contact those selected for an interview.

Lead Search Consultants: 

Michael Gregory
Managing Director & Partner
GGA Partners™

Kathy Grayson
GGA Partners™

For more information on Essex Golf & Country Club, visit www.essexgolf.com


Executive Search: Golf Course Superintendent for Carrying Place Golf & Country Club


Golf Course Superintendent
Carrying Place Golf & Country Club
King, Ontario

The Club

Located just 20 minutes from Highway 401 and just minutes from Highway 400 in the wonderfully beautiful rural setting of King Township, Carrying Place Golf & Country Club is a home away from home for its members. The lush property brings a definite sense of belonging, which is a characteristic trademark of Carrying Place. The Club has a beautiful golf course, stunning views, a diverse membership and engaging staff.

Members enjoy the Club’s meticulously maintained course with exceptional pace of play, and the ability to get a tee time with no lotteries. The Club also offers social and competitive events throughout the season for those interested. The course traverses more than 125-acres of beautifully manicured rolling parkland terrain.

Carrying Place members can work on their game year-round with two indoor simulators (HD Golf and Trackman) to provide the most accurate technical data. Instruction is also available both indoors and outdoors.

The Club’s new practice area is located adjacent to the modern clubhouse, and just a few yards from the 1st and 10th tees. Carrying Place is currently in the process of building a new short game practice area.

Club Overview

  • 25,000 rounds (estimated 2023)
  • 500 Equity Members
  • $20,000 equity value
  • 125-acre property

Club Facilities


  • Golf course
  • Indoor simulators
  • New practice area


  • Multiple options in the modern clubhouse
  • Ability to host events

Position Summary

This position is responsible for all phases of the golf maintenance and agronomic operations including cost control and personnel in the Greens Department. The Golf Course Superintendent will work to provide exceptional playing conditions within the confines of the approved annual operating budget. They will design landscape plans for the facility grounds while working closely with the General Manager and Director of Operations to reduce the impact on members where possible. They will manage all grounds maintenance to include: the entrance to the club, driveway, gardens, The Manor and the Golf Course, which includes snow removal in the winter. They must be a self-starter and problem solver with the ability to lead a team towards a common goal. They will be a hands on visible leader willing to work as part of the overall management team to meet all club objectives. The position requires a creative, flexible leader willing to be part of a dynamic team focused on excellence.

The Club has a long history of supporting its Superintendent with maintenance practices required to elevate playing conditions. The Club is looking for an expert comfortable making decisions to continually improve the quality of conditions with a significant amount of autonomy. A willingness to interact with the membership, management team and key stakeholders will be important to the candidate’s long-term success. This role reports directly to the General Manager.

Duties and Responsibilities


  • Develop the Agronomic Annual Operating Budget
  • Meet or exceed the Approved Business Plan
  • Manage Fixed Assets Effectively
  • Plan and forecast current and long-term capital needs
  • Develop a capital maintenance and replacement plan
  • Execute projects and upgrades on time and on budget

Departmental Development:

  • Maintain Positive Staff & Member Relations
  • Develop and execute annual agronomic practices
  • Visible and accessible to members and staff
  • Enhance departments image/brand/reputation


  • Golf Course and all grounds
  • Assure Effective Safety Programs
  • Department consistency (playing conditions)
  • Manage the condition of all assets
  • Maintain a clean, organized and safe work environment for all
  • Ensure application of all club policies

Human Resources/Relations:

  • Oversee Wage & Salary Administration
  • Develop & Administer Annual Performance Appraisals
  • Assure Positive Employee Relations
  • Lead the Employee Development Process
  • Assure Personal Development & Growth


  • Oversee the maintenance of the turf, ornamental plants, shrubs, tress and wetlands and snow on the facility grounds
  • Develop a water usage tracking plan of the irrigation system
  • Ensure proper records are kept for chemical applications. as required by government regulation
  • Social media marketing of the department

Strategic Issues:

  • Seek & Execute Growth Opportunities
  • Maximize efficiency and minimize disruption where possible
  • Develop Differentiation Ideas


  • Post-secondary education from an accredited college or university, preferably in the field.
  • This position requires an individual with a minimum 5 years’ experience as an Assistant Superintendent or previous experience as a Golf Course Superintendent.
  • They must have a proven track record meeting and exceeding financial targets while delivering the highest quality in golf course conditioning and overall facility aesthetics.
  • They must be able to think on their feet and react appropriately to changing conditions.
  • They will be willing to work as part of the management team while being a hands-on visible leader.
  • They must have the ability to anticipate personnel, equipment and material requirements related to the golf course maintenance and repair assignments.
  • Experience hiring and managing a team to meet and exceed organizational goals within the confines of the budget in place will be seen as a significant asset.


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


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit a resume along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the position qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by October 13th at 5:00pm EDT.

Documents are required to be submitted in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Carrying Place Superintendent Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Carrying Place Superintendent Resume”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

We thank all applicants for their interest but will only contact those selected for an interview.

Lead Search Consultant: 

Michael Gregory
Managing Director & Partner
GGA Partners™

For more information on Carrying Place Golf & Country Club, visit carryingplace.com


Next Generation Thinking

The wheelhouse is one’s area of interest or expertise. Or, in baseball, the area in which it’s easiest for the batter to hit the ball with the most power. Or, in nautical terms, an enclosed area on a boat or ship that houses the steering wheel. Call it what you want, most GCBAA members have tremendous power in their wheelhouse. And most golf course builders will be hard-pressed to rely on old tools and tactics in the years to come.

The needs, capabilities, and impacts of your wheelhouse will define the next generation of golf course development, construction, and re-construction…and the future success of your company.

Changing Needs

Planners and developers of new golf projects require greater accuracy, time adherence, and financial discipline. Investors and planners in new golf projects will allow for less uncertainty in golf course construction projects. Likewise, most such companies are well-stocked with smart young MBAs chomping at the bit to demonstrate their intelligence and capability. Golf course builders will be caught in the middle when the client’s financial and planning team is more sophisticated and capable than that of the builder.

Golf course builders will need formidable skills in the following capabilities, in addition to others:

  • Financial Forecasting and Estimating – Developers and bankers will look more and more at construction estimates from golf course builders, who are most current and familiar with supply chain influences and exceptions. Financial houses of bankers, investors, and analysts will require greater accuracy and transparency from builders.
  • Data Management and Analytics – GCBAA members must establish the baseline metrics that define the business segment around golf course construction. Participants – from legal to financial – will rely upon GCBAA metrics when these metrics are shown to be category standards of best practice. For example,
    • Unit-Count Measurement – Helping all parties to understand the financial structure which relies upon unit-count accuracy – such as the number of square feet of turf being required and used or the cost per foot of irrigation components.
    • Unit-Cost Pricing – Increased transparency will be beneficial and demanding for golf course builders who must develop pricing and budgeting take-offs on which all parties can rely…and will contest until proven to be the standard of best practice.
    • Real-Time Tracking – Builders will be asked to provide in-process financial updates which identify unexpected and / or unbudgeted disruptions to the previously established construction costs and financial projections.
  • In-Process Project Management – There will be no “black box” in which golf course builders can work and from which they will emerge with final billings. Investors and bankers will require in-process financial updates and communications from the builder. These communications will tie directly to pre-set measurement metrics and require timely updates and in-process financial revisions.

New and Emerging Capabilities

Future golf course projects are already changing in scale and scope. Investors, lenders, and project developers are requiring more timely and accurate estimates of costs. They will demand in-process communication that reduces last-minute changes to financial projections and agreements.

Builders have begun to invest in technologies that enable efficient process and project tracking. Among the capabilities that will be required in the rising generations of golf course construction projects are:

  • Locational and topographical modelling which will enable developers and investors to “see” what the eventual terrain may be. People who lack experience or understanding of golf course construction will want and need three-dimensional models to ‘show’ them what the golf course designer and the builder envision for the golf facility. Note that changing hole counts and courses with various scale will demand sophisticated fiscal management.
  • Financial projection software which enables side-by-side comparative analysis of financial alternatives and impacts. Investors, lenders, and owners will seek ever increasing understanding of their projects and the cash requirements of the builder. Builders who anticipate and serve this new-found need will enjoy continued demand and project capacity.

Enduring Impacts of a Fortified Wheelhouse

Many of the needs and expectations that will be placed before golf course builders will be too much for those who prefer the comfort of familiarity and “doing like we’ve always done it.” Although holding on to outdated practices may feel safe or comfortable, reliance on this approach will serve as a competitive disadvantage to golf course builders.

Next-generation builders will bring new energy, practices, and expectations for GCBAA members. Among the advantages to be gained are:

  • Supply-Chain Advantage – Suppliers have their own pressures so keep your needs highly transparent and time-driven. Advance planning will give golf course builders more reliability within their own supply chains while enabling more gratifying outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Market Differentiation – Some builders will be slow to adopt new technologies while adapting to the new normal described here. Those who are early adopters will be rewarded with more business through market differentiation and advanced capabilities.
  • Segment Leadership – Changing demands, emerging opportunities, and the passage of time combine to disrupt the business segment overall. Golf course builders who lead the way to embrace new opportunities will benefit.

“That is certainly in our wheelhouse.” A statement made by so many builders will mean vastly different things a few years from now. Developing a more robust range of tools and talents is the key to expanding the influence of your wheelhouse.

This article appeared in the Summer 2023 edition of Earth Shaping News, a quarterly newsletter published by the Golf Course Builders Association of America. 

Executive Search: Chief Operating Officer for The Toronto Golf Club


Chief Operating Officer
The Toronto Golf Club
Mississauga, Ontario

The Club

Established in 1876, The Toronto Golf Club (“the Club”) is the third oldest golf club in North America and was originally located in the east end of Toronto. In 1911 the Club purchased property on the banks of the Etobicoke River and at this time brought Harry S. Colt over from England, where he enjoyed a reputation as one of the premier golf architects, to design its 18-hole course.

In 2009, the Colt course was lovingly restored under the direction of English golf course architect Dr. Martin Hawtree, a world-recognized expert on the restoration of Colt courses in the U.K. and North America. In 2016, the 9-hole Howard Watson Course and entire practice academy was also restored under the direction of Dr. Martin Hawtree.

The final component of the first phase of the Clubhouse Master Plan renovations are due to be completed by spring of 2024.

The Club serves Members and their families through all aspects related to the game of golf, as the Club’s focus is on golf. Members and guests enjoy food and beverage options as well as opportunities to host private functions at the Club. The Club currently has over 1,400 members representing various membership categories.

The Toronto Golf Club is considered a ‘home away from home’ for Members.

The Toronto Golf Club’s Guiding Principles

  • Our focus is golf. We strive for excellence in all that we offer our members.
  • We are accountable to and respect all of our fellow members. We and our guests respect all of our staff.
  • We are committed to equity, accessibility and inclusion for all of our members, guests and staff.
  • We value our rich heritage and the congeniality and courtesy of our members. We also value and cherish our exceptional facilities. We strive to maintain and improve our golf courses and the beauty and ambiance of our Clubhouse and surroundings.
  • We seek to provide a lifetime of playing enjoyment at our Club by encouraging the development of the golfing interest and ability of our members from the youngest to the eldest. We have an obligation to maintain a strong membership through membership renewal.
  • We acknowledge and strive to meet our responsibilities to the larger golfing community, which stem from our rich heritage in golf in Canada, including being a founding member of the Golf Association of Ontario.
  • We are founded upon and respect the traditions of the past, yet give thoughtful consideration to issues of change to ensure we remain an outstanding golf club into the future.

Position Summary

Serves as Chief Operating Officer of The Toronto Golf Club: manages all aspects of the Club including its activities and the relationships between the Club and the Board of Directors, members, guests, employees, community, government, and industry. Coordinates and implements the Club’s policies as defined by the Board of Directors. Develops operating policies and procedures and directs the work of all departmental managers. Generates and monitors budgets and financial statements, monitors the quality of the Club’s products and services and ensures maximum member and guest satisfaction. Secures and protects the Club’s assets, including facilities and equipment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Financial Management:

  • Generates operating and capital budgets that contain sufficient detail to enable accurate projection of revenues and expenses and that disclose underlying assumptions, for ultimate Board approval.
  • Generates and monitors monthly, annual, and other financial statements of the Club; takes effective corrective action as required.
  • Analyzes financial statements, monitors cash flow, and maintains adequate internal controls.
  • Ensures that the financial integrity of the Club is maintained at all times.
  • Establishes and monitors compliance with purchasing policies and procedures; and
  • Ensures that the Club’s assets are adequately insured against casualty and property losses, and liability losses to the Club and its Board members and staff.

Strategic Plan:

  • Develops (for review and approval by the Board of Directors) a Strategic Plan, Board Calendar and Annual Operating Plan.
  • Develops, maintains, and administers a sound organizational plan; initiates improvements as necessary; and
  • Apprises the Board of trends, changing circumstances and unexpected occurrences with any recommendations for amendment of the Strategic Plan.


  • Is knowledgeable regarding best governance practices for private clubs and committed to transparency.
  • Implements policies established by the Board of Directors including the Governance Report approved by the Board.
  • Plans, develops, and approves specific operational policies, programs, procedures, and methods in concert with Board policies.
  • Issues notice of meetings, attends Board and Annual Meetings, serves as the Corporate Secretary appointed annually by the Board of Directors.
  • Consistently monitors Club’s bylaws, rules, and regulations for continued relevance to the Club’s operations, and
  • Reports in a timely fashion any actual or anticipated material noncompliance with a policy of the Board.

Human Resources:

  • Has authority over and accountability for all staff.
  • Hires, trains, motivates, evaluates, compensates, and terminates staff in a professional, non-discriminatory, and caring fashion.
  • Has the authority to appoint and remove any and all employees and agents of the Club and settle the terms of their employment and remuneration in accordance with policies established by the Board.
  • Establishes personnel policies in accordance with policies established by the Board; initiates and monitors policies relating to personnel actions and training and professional development programs.
  • Works with his direct reports to schedule, supervise and direct the work of all employees.
  • Ensures that a succession plan is in place for each of his four direct reports.
  • Provides the Board with an annual assessment of each of his four direct reports, for information purposes.
  • Conducts regular performance reviews with his four direct reports and ensures that each of them implements a protocol whereby all staff have job descriptions and participate in a review at least once a year; and
  • Reviews current staffing model to ensure all functions are being performed by appropriately trained personnel and that the Club is staffed to meet the needs of the members in a cost-effective fashion.

Capital Projects:

  • Provides oversight of and manages all capital projects and related expenditures approved by the Board; and
  • Is proactive in planning for capital projects that need to be considered for the benefit of the Club.


  • Consistently ensures the Club is operated in compliance with all applicable municipal, provincial, and federal regulations.
  • Provides an annual report to the Board of Directors regarding such compliance.
  • Maintains relations with police, fire, AGCO, health department and other governmental agencies.


  • Evaluates and manages the current membership application process to ensure continued strength of potential members; and
  • Coordinates the marketing and membership relations programs to promote the Club’s services and facilities to potential and present members.


  • Oversees the care and maintenance of all the Club’s physical assets and facilities.
  • Ensures the highest standards for food, beverage, golf, recreation, entertainment, and other Club services.
  • Conducts ongoing evaluation of Club programs and events to ensure the consistent provision of outstanding services to meet the needs and expectations of members, guests and employees.
  • Is accessible and visible to members and responds to members’ concerns in a timely manner.
  • Adopts and maintains an environmentally responsible protocol for all operations.
  • Serves as the staff liaison on the various Board committees.
  • Receives and resolves complaints from members, guests, and staff; and
  • Maintains membership with professional club management organizations and attends conferences, seminars, and other professional development opportunities to keep abreast of current information and developments in club management.

Direct Reports

Manager of Golf Course Operations, Clubhouse Manager, Chief Financial Officer and Head Professional


The successful applicant will receive an attractive compensation package commensurate with experience and qualifications along with a comprehensive health benefits plan and pension program.


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit a resume along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the position qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by September 29th at 5:00pm EDT.

Documents are required to be submitted in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Toronto Golf Club COO Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Toronto Golf Club COO Resume”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

We thank all applicants for their interest but will only contact those selected for an interview.

Lead Search Consultant: 

Michael Gregory
Managing Director & Partner
GGA Partners™

For more information on The Toronto Golf Club, visit torontogolfclub.com