Executive Search: Managing Director for Woking Golf Club
- December 7, 2023
- Placement, Private Clubs, Rob Hill, Executive Search
Woking Golf Club
“A seminal heathland we really love." - Golf World
"For anyone who really wants to be a golf architect, I heartily recommend Woking as one of the most rewarding courses in the world you can see" – Tom Doak
“The first hole is like a warm handshake from an old friend” – Tom Watson
Woking Golf Club was founded in 1893 and was the first of the Surrey courses to be cut out of the pines and heather by prolific golf course architect, Tom Dunn. It is a very much in the tradition of English golf clubs and still retains its old character and charm. The course has been lengthened in recent years and is now more than 6,500 yards from the back tees, however the real challenge of the course is the complexity of its undulating greens.
Primarily and proudly a club with a long-standing two-ball heritage, Woking members not only value the time it takes to play eighteen holes but relish the competitive and convivial culture that is the essence of the Club.
In recent years, a significant investment programme has been undertaken including a reservoir, fairway watering system and greens drainage programme. In addition, the club has undertaken an extensive woodland management programme to help the heather re-establish, which has resulted in many of the original stunning views across the course being reinstated. The golf course is ranked 18th in the list of the top 100 courses in England as set out in the 2023 Golf World rankings.
Woking currently has over 410 full members and welcomes around 10,000 guest and visiting golfers annually. The Club is good financial health and, having recently incorporated, the Board is currently developing its first 5-year strategic plan with the support of GGA Partners.
Reporting to the Board of Directors through the Chairman, the Managing Director (MD) of Woking Golf Club will be responsible for managing the overall performance of the Club, the implementation of the strategic plan and for the delivery of an exceptional member, guest, and visitor experience.
Following a recent change of governance structure, this is an excellent opportunity for a forward-thinking, dynamic MD to be accountable for the management of all aspects of the Club and to be empowered to pursue practices that contribute to fulfilling the Club’s vision and mission, as approved by the Board and the Membership.
The MD will generate and monitor budgets and financial statements, secure and protect the Club’s assets, including facilities and equipment, will monitor the quality of the Club’s operational performance and service standards, develop, and lead a cohesive professional service team, and will strive to consistently maintain a memorable and distinctive club experience for everyone who visits, every time they visit.
The Club prefers a highly visible and interactive MD, someone professional in personal style, demeanour, and presence, who fulfils the role of chief host and is comfortable interacting with Members.
A suitable MD will have a deep experience and understanding of the game of golf, its history and traditions, and a minimum of ten years of progressive management experience in a well-regarded private club or similar hospitality environment.
The position requires that the MD be business savvy without compromising on member priorities, and with a strong command of industry trends, benchmarks, and best practices. They will be proficient in change management with a demonstrable understanding of operational and management excellence and an ability to “professionalise” the Club across all functions.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Develop an effective working relationship with the Board of Directors and Committees.
- Lead the management and implementation of the Club’s strategic, capital, and annual plans consistent with the Club’s Vision and Mission.
- Lead, mentor and build a strong management team including effective performance management along with succession planning.
- Follow industry trends, benchmarks and best practices and develop strategies that maintain Woking Golf Club’s market position and reputation.
- Value the Club’s heritage, historic golf course and clubhouse.
- Effectively manage change throughout the organisation to ensure the Club remains highly professional, desirable, respected, and relevant.
- Be well-known and visible to the Membership.
- Generate 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.
- Generate and monitor monthly, annual, and other financial statements of the Club; take effective corrective action as required.
- Analyse financial statements, monitor cash flow, provide timely, relevant, and accurate reporting (including key indicators, performance metrics and benchmarking) and maintain adequate internal controls.
- Ensure that the financial integrity of the Club is always maintained and that it is operated in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
- Be fiscally responsible while investing in the Club’s people and assets to ensure an exceptional Member experience.
- Establish and monitor 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.
- Is knowledgeable regarding best governance practices for private clubs.
- Implements policies established by the Board of Directors.
- 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 the Club’s constitution, rules, and regulations for continued relevance to the Club’s operations, and
- Reports in a timely fashion any actual or anticipated material non-compliance with a policy of the Board.
- 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 their direct reports to schedule, supervise and direct the work of all employees.
- Ensures that a succession plan is in place for each direct report.
- Conducts regular performance reviews with 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.
- Be proactive in planning for capital projects that need to be considered for the benefit of the Club and prepare appropriate capital expenditure proposals for Board consideration.
- Manage the capital funding requirements of the capital and strategic plans.
- Provide oversight of and manage all capital projects and related expenditures to ensure that they are delivered to time, to cost and at the quality approved by the Board.
- In support of the Course Manager, ensure the golf courses and practice facilities are to the highest standards of condition and playability.
- In support of the Golf Professional, ensure that the teaching capabilities and quality of teaching experience are the highest possible standard. Also ensure that the Pro Shop provides goods and services that are commensurate with the highest standards and that prices are competitive.
- In support of the Clubhouse Manager, ensure the delivery of a consistently exceptional Clubhouse experience by providing a high-calibre food and beverage offering, quality service and appropriate social environment.
- In the context of a club with such a strong and important 2-ball heritage, establish and oversee golf reservations and account management system for member golf, competitions, matches, guests, visitors, and societies that is seamless for the members and visitors, effectively manages the Club’s yield per round, and generates accurate business intelligence for informed decision-making.
- Nurture the spirit of the game and the traditions of the Club, fostering a convivial atmosphere through play, competition, events, and atmosphere.
- Adopt and maintain an environmentally responsible protocol for all operations.
- Consistently ensure the Club is operating in compliance with all applicable regulations.
- Provide an annual report to the Board of Directors regarding such compliance.
- Maintain relations with appropriate local and national governmental agencies.
- Advise the Board and its advisory committees in relation to membership strategy and planning, and once set by the Board, oversee the application of membership policies.
- Evaluate and manage the current membership application process to ensure continued strength of potential members.
- Consistently communicate with the membership and enforce Club rules.
- Coordinate the marketing and membership relations programs to promote the Club’s services and facilities to both present and potential members.
- Be accessible and visible to members and responds to members’ concerns in a timely manner.
- An innovative thinker with business acumen and a passion for continuous improvement.
- A self-starter who is results-orientated and resilient in the face of adversity.
- A dynamic leader and motivator with the ability to build a cohesive, talented, and effective team, focussed on the delivery of a collective mission. A leader that inspires support for and belief in the Club’s vision.
- A leader who is empathetic and understanding of stakeholder positions, who is diplomatic and tactful, yet astute when there is the need to be firm and decisive in dealing with member and staff constituents.
- Proven to be an excellent manager of change, of people, of stakeholders and stakeholder expectations, of plans and projects, and of time – skilled in prioritising and adapting without losing sight of the ultimate objectives.
- A track record of elevating the member experience on and off the golf course, including food and beverage, service standards and protocols, and communications.
- Demonstrates exceptional verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills with strong personal deportment. Believes in being visible and accessible to members without compromising on management duties.
- A highly professional individual who is always in command of their brief. Someone of the utmost integrity and with a commitment to excellence.
- Able to display sound judgement and make complex decisions in support of the Club’s Vision and Mission.
- The ability to build and manage strong and rewarding relationships.
Qualifications and Skills
- 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.
- A leadership track record.
- Experience in a premier club environment.
Manager of Golf Course Operations, Clubhouse Manager, Head Professional, Head Chef and Financial Administrator.
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 December 30th at 5:00pm.
Documents are required to be submitted in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Woking Golf Club MD Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Woking Golf Club MD Resume”) respectively to: email@example.com
We thank all applicants for their interest but will only contact those selected for an interview.
Lead Search Consultants:
GGA Partners™ EMEA
Managing Director, Hospitality, Leisure & Sport
For more information on Woking Golf Club, visit https://www.wokinggolfclub.co.uk/