GGA Partners Expands Partnership Team, Appoints Patrick DeLozier as Partner

Accomplished senior executive with over twenty-year track record of leading private clubs towards excellence promoted to Partner

August 18, 2022 – GGA Partners announced today the appointment of Patrick DeLozier as Partner.

Mr. DeLozier has over 21 years of experience in the private club and hospitality industries. Prior to joining GGA in 2019, he was the Chief Operating Officer of The Alotian Club, an exclusive private club owned by Mr. Warren Stephens. As the Chief Operating Officer and General Manager at several of the nation’s most esteemed and prestigious clubs, and the Club Manager at Augusta National Golf Club, home to the world-famous Masters Golf Tournament, Patrick holds a deep understanding of private club operations.

“Patrick is a key member of our leadership team. He has led the development of our Executive Search practice in the United States, which has realized exceptional growth over the past few years,” states Derek Johnston, Partner.

DeLozier states, “One of the key attractions to joining GGA after 21 years in management roles at exclusive clubs such as Augusta National Golf Club, Colonial Country Club and The Alotian Club, was its global presence. No other firm in the private club industry could match the depth and breadth of research and access to talent that GGA offers.”

Mr. DeLozier holds Bachelor of Science in Hotel, Restaurant, and Tourism Management with a specialization in Club Management from the University of South Carolina at Columbia. He continues to support his alma mater, serving on the Dean’s advisory board for the Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management College and as frequent lecturer. He recently earned a Certificate of Strategic Execution from Harvard Business School after completing studies covering resource allocation, job design, performance measurement, risk management and change detection and adaption.

“We are confident that our company will benefit immensely from the skills, knowledge and vast experience Patrick will bring to the Partnership team,” said Partner, Michael Gregory. Adding, “We are excited to have Patrick join as Partner and are excited for him to help us continue to drive our client-centric strategy and ultimately, the success for our firm.”

About GGA Partners

GGA Partners™ is an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to many of the world’s most successful golf courses, private clubs, resorts and residential communities. We are dedicated to helping owners, asset managers, club and community leaders, investors and real estate developers tackle challenges, achieve objectives and maximize asset performance.

Established in 1992 as the KPMG Golf Industry Practice, our global team of experienced professionals leverage in-depth business intelligence and proprietary global data to deliver impactful strategic solutions and lasting success.

GGA Partners has offices in Toronto, Canada; Phoenix, Bluffton/Hilton Head, USA, and Dublin, Ireland.

For further information, contact:
Samar Abdourahman
Manager, Marketing and Communications
GGA Partners
t: 416-333-5008
e: samar.abdourahman@ggapartners.com

 

Whitepaper: Unlocking the Strategic Power of Member Feedback

This GGA Partners whitepaper discusses new approaches to understanding private club members. By re-imagining the potential of member feedback and charting a path towards maximizing feedback in strategic planning, private clubs can increase their attractiveness and competitiveness further.

This whitepaper reviews how Medinah Country Club strengthened its position in an increasingly competitive environment and uncertain economic time. By supplementing its understanding of member satisfaction to identify how to allocate limited resources, the Club was able to significantly impact member satisfaction and identify the greatest areas of opportunity.

Key topics and actions that are highlighted in this whitepaper include:

  • Advanced data analytics, including the Member Feedback Loop
  • Approaching data differently to pivot towards feedback opportunities
  • Unlocking the true potential of member surveys
  • Leveraging Satisfaction Impact Assessments to support club strategy
  • Delivering on the promise of data-informed decision-making

Download the whitepaper

For more information, please contact us.

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: CFO, Goodwill Middle Georgia & the CSRA

 

Goodwill Middle Georgia

CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
GOODWILL MIDDLE GEORGIA & THE CSRA
Augusta & Macon, GA

Our History

Dr. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister, founded Goodwill in 1902 in Boston, MA. Dr. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired unemployed people to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold, and proceeds paid the workers’ wages and were invested in the development of job training programs. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of a hand up, not a hand out was born. Dr. Helms’ vision set an early course for what has become a $6.5 billion nonprofit organization with more than 165 autonomous member organizations worldwide.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc. (GIMG) was founded in 1975 to serve individuals with disabilities and other special needs. Since that time, the organization has continued to grow, as illustrated by the following timeline:

1996 – Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc. expanded its territory into Augusta, Georgia and Aiken, South Carolina, increasing the number of service counties to 35 to become Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA).

2007 –  Helms College was established in Macon with the focus of creating an educational model for Goodwill Industries nationwide to provide skills training industry certifications, degrees in high-demand middle skill occupations in the culinary arts, medical/health, automotive technology, information technology and other occupational fields that lead to meaningful jobs for individuals.

2012 – A second campus for Helms College opened in Augusta offering education in culinary arts at its School of Hospitality.

2016 – The Augusta campus began offering classes at its School of Health Services. Helms College currently offers Associate Degree and Diploma programs in culinary arts at its Macon and Augusta campuses, and health services programs for Multi-Skilled Medical Assistant and Medical Administrative Assistant certification at the Augusta campus. The key differentiator of Helms College from other learning institutions is our abundant experiential learning.

Learn more at goodwillworks.org and  www.helms.edu

Goodwill Middle Georgia & the CSRA also operates Edgar’s Hospitality Group (EHG), consisting of  hospitality venues in Macon and Augusta with plans to build an agri-tourism campus at Lake Oconee Georgia. To learn more about the EHG properties, visit here.

What We Believe

Goodwill Industries believes work plays a critical role in the ability of individuals to achieve desirable life outcomes. The founder of Goodwill Industries, Dr. Edgar J. Helms, believed that individuals wanted and needed an opportunity, a chance beyond charity, and this basic philosophy has set the vision for the Goodwill movement since 1902.

Mission
We build lives, families and communities one career at a time by helping people develop their God-given gifts through education, work and career services.

Values
I am proud to be Goodwill.
Service – I will practice hospitality.
Ownership – I will go above and beyond with every job I do.
Accountable – I will keep my commitments.
Respect – I will base my interactions with others on honesty and integrity.

The Role of the Chief Financial Officer

Reporting to the President/CEO, the Chief Financial Offer (CFO) will work closely with the CEO and peers to achieve GIMG’s 2025 strategic plan success measures through strategies that will enhance profitability, productivity and efficiency throughout the organization.

This key executive leadership position will lead the finance department, (annual operating budget of $55 million) with executive responsibility for budgeting, banking relationships, IT system, franchising, and mergers & acquisitions.

As member of the Goodwill Executive Leadership Team, the CFO will be expected to understand and fully embrace the faith-based, “hand up” mission of Goodwill and demonstrate daily the core values of service, ownership, accountability, and respect.

Principle Accountabilities – CFO

Plan and direct GIMG’s real estate activities, including land/building acquisitions and leasing/landlord relations. Develops all pro-forma presentations for GIMG board of director’s consideration.

  • Participate in organizational strategic planning initiatives and direct/coordinate activities of department in compliance with this plan.
  • In concert with VP Finance, plan and coordinate preparation of organizations annual operating business plan and budget, after collaborative negotiation with department executive leadership.
  • Assume lead role in all contract reviews/negotiations and project fiscal forecasting due diligence. Develop proposals for CEO’s consideration and approval.
  • Provide oversight for all capital development, and acquisition of funds for new ventures.
  • Interact with senior staff to identify, evaluate and promote new business opportunities.
  • Oversight responsibility of all Information Technology functions.
  • Identify agency “vital” operating data elements. Create and manage IS system to capture and disseminate data on a timely basis.
  • Create, foster, and manage third party relationships for banking, financing and other collateral administrative functions.
  • Review for implementation by VP of Finance, statutory and regulatory compliance procedures for all fiscal functions of the organization.
  • Work with VP of Finance to source, manage and publish annual certified fiscal and compliance audits.
  • Prepare and maintain investment policy and long-term investments, direct and monitor performance.
  • Responsible for all Risk Management and Loss Prevention functions.
  • Ensure compliance within areas of responsibility of all regulatory and accreditation bodies.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.
  • Build relationships with CFO’s from other Goodwill organizations and CFO’s from other colleges and universities to obtain best practice benchmark Ideas to incorporate into GIMG procedures.
  • Manage M/A and business collaborations and contract negotiations with prospective partner organizations.

Qualifications

  • CPA licensed professional with an MBA is preferred.
  • A blend of for-profit and non-profit executive experience gained leading diverse profit generating business lines.
  • Minimum five years of senior management experience with a mid-size company where turn-key leadership was required.
  • Experience developing information technology systems that support organization-wide operational strategic growth and sustainment.
  • Banking finance and investment senior experience.
  • Experience with mergers and acquisitions.
  • Experience with financial management of accredited federally financial aid eligible post-secondary Institutions preferred.
  • Demonstrated experience creating and taking new business ventures from a concept to a successful, revenue generating operation.
  • Superior budget and/or financial planning and management skills involving multi-million dollar and multi-site operations.
  • General administrative skills including developing, implementing and monitoring company-wide policies and procedures.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Strong people skills with abilities to partner with a dynamic leadership team and interact with all levels of employees.
  • Must be aligned with and energized by Rev. Edgar Helm’s faith based social enterprise model to eliminate poverty one career at a time.

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

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

Inquiries

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 Thursday, September 30, 2021.

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

Lead Search Executive

Patrick DeLozier
Managing Director
GGA Partners™
843.707.5210
patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com

Executive Search: Vice President, Hospitality at Edgar’s Hospitality Group

VICE PRESIDENT HOSPITALITY
EDGAR’S HOSPITALITY GROUP
Augusta, GA

 

The Company
Edgar’s Hospitality Group (EHG) is an LLC operated by Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia (GIMG) that operates hospitality venues in Macon and Augusta with plans to build an agri-tourism campus at Lake Oconee Georgia. EHG is named after the founder of Goodwill Industries, Rev. Edgar J. Helms.

The hospitality enterprises include restaurants, conference centers, large food service contracts, a bakery café, a private city club, and a local farm to provide fresh products with a new agri-business that allows culinary agriculture certifications for students. Chef Frank Kassner is the Director of Culinary Operations for EHG and the corporate executive chef.

Edgar’s Hospitality Group was founded to provide a new source of revenue for GIMG and to create diverse applied learning venues for the students at Helms College’s School of Hospitality managed by Bruce Ozga, VP, Culinary Education.

What We Believe
Goodwill Industries believes work plays a critical role in the ability of individuals to achieve desirable life outcomes. The founder of Goodwill Industries, Dr. Edgar J. Helms, believed that individuals wanted and needed an opportunity, a chance beyond charity, and this basic philosophy has set the vision for the Goodwill movement since 1902.

Mission
We build lives, families and communities one career at a time by helping people develop their God-given gifts through education, work and career services.

Values
I am proud to be Goodwill.
Service – I will practice hospitality.
Ownership – I will go above and beyond with every job I do.
Accountable – I will keep my commitments.
Respect – I will base my interactions with others on honesty and integrity.

Our Properties

Edgar’s Above Broad (Augusta, GA), recently opened in September 2020 as an exciting new 17,000 square foot indoor-outdoor restaurant and entertainment venue. www.edgarsabovebroad.com

 

The Pinnacle Club (Augusta, GA), a premier dining membership club in downtown Augusta which provides incredible views of the Savannah River and Augusta cityscape. www.pinnacleclubaugusta.com

 

Edgar’s Grille (Augusta, GA), an upscale casual restaurant which offers New American cuisine with a Southern Flair. www.edgarsgrille.com

 

Anderson Conference Center (Macon, GA), centrally located in the state, the Anderson Conference Center features 15,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 700-seat banquet space and six break-out conference rooms with premier technology. www.andersonconferencecenter.com

 

 

The Snelling Center (Augusta, GA), a conference venue co-located with Edgar’s Grille which can accommodate events from ten to 300 guests.
www.edgarsgrille.com/meetings-events

 

Edgar’s Bistro (Macon, GA), offers weekday lunch and dinner, a full-service bar and catering service. www.goodwillworks.org/upscalebistro

 

Edgar’s Bakehouse (Augusta, GA), bookstore and café which specializes in gourmet coffees, smoothies, paninis, salads, and fresh baked breads and desserts. An Edgar’s Bakehouse production bakery is being built for commercial baking enterprise launch in late 2021.

 

Wright’s Farm and Lake Oconee Agri-Tourism Farm Campus (Augusta, GA), coming soon. www.wrightsfarmaugusta.com

 

The Role of the Vice President, Hospitality

Reporting to the President/CEO, the Vice President, Hospitality will work closely with the CEO and peers to achieve GIMG’s 2025 strategic plan success measures through strategies that will enhance profitability, productivity and efficiency.

This key executive will lead the start-up and operations of all new hospitality operations, maintain benchmark controls and outcomes for existing properties, manage budgets, lead a large team and promote a culture of high performance.

As member of the Goodwill Team, the Vice President, Hospitality is expected to understand and fully embrace the faith-based, “hand up” mission of Goodwill and demonstrate daily the core values of service, ownership, accountability, and respect.

Principle Accountabilities – Vice President, Hospitality

> Lead Edgar’s Hospitality Group to be three things: profitable, a provider of vibrant applied learning enterprises for the students at Helms College, and a daily stage to tell the Goodwill life changing story in a manner that leads to philanthropic Investment.

> Direct the start-up and operational leadership of all new hospitality operations to be launched as applied learning venues associated with Helms College within GIMG’s thirty-five county territory and franchise operations in other Goodwill territories.

> Maintain benchmark operational controls and outcomes in existing hospitality business lines.

> Oversee development and implementation of budgets for multiple hospitality enterprise operations; responsible for meeting budget objectives for growth in revenues, gross margins, operating profit, and net cash flow.

> Assure top-line business growth through increased accountability, innovation, increased sales, expanded operations, reaching new markets and diversification.

> Annually revise and develop short and long-range plans for all assigned areas; establish performance measures for multiple enterprise operations.

> Maintain continuous lines of communication, keeping the President informed of all critical issues.

> Lead a large team of direct and indirect employees to ensure the execution and completion of business goals; evaluate performance for compliance with established policies and objectives of the company and contributions in attaining objectives.

> Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.

> Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach: assign accountabilities; set objectives; establish priorities; and monitor and evaluate results.

> Promote Goodwill externally as a community-based non-profit with a key human and economic development role.

Qualifications

> A graduate business or hospitality degree is required.

> Minimum five years of senior leadership of a restaurant group, an independent luxury resort or multi-faceted entertainment company.

> Multi-unit executive level hospitality operations leadership experience required.

> Demonstrated experience creating and taking new business ventures from a concept to a successful, revenue generating operation.

> Superior budget and management skills involving multi-million dollar and multi-site operations.

> General administrative skills including developing, implementing and monitoring company-wide policies and procedures.

> Excellent verbal and written communications skills.

> Strong people skills with abilities to partner with a dynamic leadership team and interact with all levels of employees.

> Must be aligned with and energized by Rev. Edgar Helm’s faith based social enterprise model to eliminate poverty one career at a time.

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

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

Inquiries
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 Friday, September 3, 2021.

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

Lead Search Executive

Patrick DeLozier
Managing Director
GGA Partners™
843.707.5210
patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com

For more information about Goodwill of Middle Georgia please visit www.goodwillworks.org; www.helms.edu; www.helmsgoldstandardculinary.com; www.edgarsabovebroad.com.

Know Your NPS to Build Brand Loyalty & Member Referrals

In our work with clients across the globe, our research reveals that member referrals are the most important means of generating a steady stream of new prospects, which is probably not surprising.  After all, the cost is nominal and you can be assured that members are going to invite prospects with a shared passion for the lifestyle provided by your club.

The most effective method to gain member referrals is to ask for them. But before you do, it is critical to understand your NPS – or Net Promoter Score – to determine the response you will receive.

NPS is an extremely valuable market research metric that is widely used across industries and can be leveraged to measure customer perceptions of a brand and estimate future growth, as evidenced by the potential for repurchase or referral to other consumers.

NPS Is Not the Same as Member Satisfaction

Member NPS is not the same as your members’ overall satisfaction with their club experience.  NPS asks about the likelihood of recommending or referring the club to others while overall satisfaction asks about contentment with their experience.

In short, NPS is future-looking and overall satisfaction is backward-facing.

NPS Is Simple to Implement

NPS, originally a proprietary instrument used by Bain & Company, is now used by two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 companies as a basic measurement of customer sentiment.

The popularity and broad use of NPS is often attributed to its simplicity and transparency of use.  It is a survey question which asks, “How likely are you to recommend [brand, product, service, company, or organization] to a friend or associate?” The question is designed to provide responses which are easy to interpret and track over time in trend analysis.

NPS generates valuable customer insights and is typically used and interpreted as an indicator of customer loyalty.  This information is invaluable for business and community leaders who are responsible for measuring and managing revenue retention, customer retention, new business growth, or overall consumer satisfaction.

Despite the ubiquity of NPS among leading companies in major industries, the adoption and consistent application of this metric within the club industry remains limited.

A recent GGA Partners research survey of more than 500 club leaders (A Club Leader’s Perspective: Emerging Trends & Challenges) found that just 14% of clubs track member NPS in their surveys.  Among clubs that employ this metric, the average NPS is +64.  Additional feedback from the survey found that one-third of clubs reported an increase in their NPS during the pandemic, a positive statistic for future member growth.

Calculating Your NPS

The NPS question is asked on a scale ranging from 0 to 10, with 0 representing “Not at all likely” and 10 representing “Extremely likely”.  Based on the number selected, respondents are subdivided into one of three categories: those with ratings of 9 or 10 are classified as “Promoters”, those with ratings of 7 or 8 are marked as “Passives”, and those with ratings of 6 or less are categorized as “Detractors”.

The actual “score” is calculated by subtracting the portion of detractors from the portion of promoters without factoring in the portion of passives.  True NPS is always shown as an integer and not a percentage and, with the net score falling within a scale ranging from -100 to +100, it is possible to have a negative NPS.

Keys To Developing & Tracking Your NPS

1. Keep the NPS question consistent – Avoid altering the question (“How likely are you to recommend [your club] to a friend or associate?”) or the answer range (from 0 = “Not at all likely” to 10 = “Extremely likely”) as it will impact the validity and reliability of the data.

2. Ask for NPS alongside a handful of supporting questions – NPS is most valuable when supported by other overarching questions which generate datapoints on overall satisfaction, perceived value-for-money, and demographic questions (to stratify responses and dive deep into feedback by membership subsets).

3. Keep it brief – A survey with these three questions (NPS, overall satisfaction, value-for-money) and four or five demographic questions should take about 3-4 minutes for respondents to complete. Shorter is better for these types of surveys.

4. Measure NPS routinely – At a minimum, your NPS metrics should be tracked and updated annually to identify changes in the sentiments of your members. Whether they are rising or falling, understanding the factors impacting changes in your trend line will provide valuable insight into areas where the club is excelling as well as areas that need improvement.

If your club aims to be truly attentive to overall satisfaction, member loyalty, member and customer retention, or using member referrals to support membership growth, leaders of the club should be monitoring NPS as a matter of routine.  If this acronym isn’t surfacing in boardroom discussions, it should be.

While no one can predict the future, a clear understanding of your NPS will provide a data-driven indication of members’ loyalty to your club’s brand and the success you will have when asking your members for referrals.

Executive Search: Head Golf Professional at Exmoor Country Club (FILLED)

HEAD GOLF PROFESSIONAL
EXMOOR COUNTRY CLUB
Highland Park, IL

The Club

Founded in 1896 as Illinois’ third golf club, Exmoor is a private, full-service country club, located in Highland Park, Illinois, 28 miles north of Chicago. With a championship golf course designed by Donald J. Ross, Exmoor continues to fulfill its original mission – as a family club devoted to the game of golf, while offering a growing range of sports and social opportunities. Sports at Exmoor include golf, curling, tennis, swimming, ice skating, platform tennis, cross country skiing and the fastest growing sport in America — pickleball. Members of all ages enjoy a year-round schedule of exciting social activities.

The Club’s mission is to provide the finest golf, sporting, and social experiences for its community of member families and their guests all year long.

The Club maintains high standards for club governance, with an elected leadership that promotes member involvement to attain excellence in Club facilities and member services. Exmoor has earned a reputation for attentive service, modern facilities and fine cuisine. In the late 1890s, the club played an important role in establishing and growing the game of golf in the Midwest. During its 125-year history, Exmoor has hosted more than 20 national golf and curling championships. Our members have won national championships in both sports and have competed in official Olympic golf and curling competitions.

Since its founding, Exmoor members have embraced family activities with a focus on participation, skill development and good sportsmanship. As much as Exmoor values its traditions, today, the spirit of Exmoor is youthful, vibrant, and inclusive.

Exmoor Country Club Overview

  • 570 members (Golf: 370, Other: 200)
  • Initiation Fee (Resident Member Golf: $75,000)
  • Annual Dues (Golf: $13,200)
  • $9.2M Gross Volume
  • $4.5M Annual Dues Volume
  • $4.6M Total Gross Payroll
  • 22,000 Annual Golf Rounds
  • $650,000 Golf Shop Sales
  • Club-owned golf shop, recently transitioned
  • Number of Employees (Club (FTE): 94, Seasonal: 71)
  • Number of Golf Employees (4-5 year-round employees, 15 added during season)
  • 11 Board Members
  • Average age of members is 58

Exmoor Country Club Golf Facilities Overview

  • 18-hole golf course designed by Donald Ross
  • Full driving range with 24 hitting stations
  • Large short game practice area with 3 short practice holes
  • Indoor Golf Performance Center with 3 heated hitting bays (1 bay is a teaching/fitting studio with V1 video system and Trackman)
  • Teaching staff includes: Full-Time Director of Instruction (also lead club fitter), Head Golf Professional, 2 Assistant Professionals with 1 spearheading the Junior Golf Program
  • Current Golf Course Architect of record, Andrew Green
  • Recently hosted the 2018 Constellation Senior Players Championship and will host the 2022 Western Amateur Championship.

The Head Golf Professional Position

The Head Golf Professional reports directly to the General Manager/COO and coordinates with key management personnel on a regular basis, including the General Manager, Golf Committee, Grounds and Greens Committee, and Executive Staff. The Head Golf Professional implements the policies established by the Board of Governors and the Club’s bylaws. He/she develops operational policies and is responsible for the creation and implementation of standard operating procedures for all areas.

The Head Golf Professional is the lead coordinator of programming and development of synergy among all golf programming, amenities, and services. It is imperative that the Head Golf Professional operate at both a tactical and strategic level, maintain financial accountability, and manage and develop all aspects of golf services. Exemplary service is key in attaining excellence in the member experience.

Driving excellence in the golf experience through training is a critical part of the position. The Head Golf Professional supervises the following positions: Professional Golf Staff, Caddie Master, Golf Merchandiser, Starter/Rangers, and other Outside Services Personnel. Candidates must assume ultimate responsibility for all golf staff, the golf shop, member lessons, special events and tournaments, while working closely with other management for any operational specifics, for course prep, and all golf events needed.

The Head Golf Professional should have a strong presence and seek to be highly visible and accessible to the membership and staff. They set the tone for consistently treating members with a first-class golf experience and communicate this expectation to the entire staff as well.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Oversee the management and performance of all golf shop and applicable department operations and services; assure high standards and total member and guest satisfaction.
  • Work with Golf Shop Merchandiser to oversee a profitable amenity that is consistent with member demographics and needs; oversee and perform monthly inventory.
  • Oversee and enforce golf shop operations policies, procedures, controls, and fee structures to ensure the safekeeping of assets, inventory, resources, sales transactions, and department financial performance.
  • Oversee, manage, and submit golf employee’s payroll on a bi-weekly basis; produce a weekly work schedule.
  • Oversee all fiscal areas and performance for the golf operations and golf shop including planning, budgeting, forecasting, monitoring, and correction.
  • Prepares business plan for all golf operations and golf shop with key aspects of fiscal accountability, operational strategy and marketing strategy for tournaments, special member events, and shop sales.
  • Exhibits clear vision of Exmoor Golf in planning, communications, and staffing.
  • Responsible for recruiting, interviewing, managing, and developing all staff related to the Golf experience at Exmoor; is current on continual learning options for staff and budget accordingly; assumes prominent and positive leadership role to foster employee engagement.
  • Executes golf events that deliver high satisfactory ratings.
  • Must be aware of trends and how they may apply to Exmoor; be continually aware of what is working and what isn’t, what can be improved or updated.
  • Maintain valuable and ethical relationships with other Club Professionals, and suppliers, as well as other geographic locations to maintain awareness of competitive practices and trends.
  • Maintain effective communications with staff for optimum delivery, particularly Engineering, Human Resources, Catering/Events, and Communications.
  • Maintain effective communications with membership for special announcements, weekly e-mail notice – collaborates directly with Director of Membership and Communications and Senior Graphics Designer for desired results.
  • Ensure health and safety regulations for members and staff by working closely with the Safety Coordinator.
  • Create and supervise junior, family, and player development instructor programs.

Important Individual Characteristics

  • A naturally enthusiastic personality and passion for the golf industry.
  • A natural leadership style which promotes staff and membership engagement.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Disciplined accountability to ensure that the training and standards of the Golf department are consistently met.
  • Ability to cultivate a high-level of member services and satisfaction.
  • Possess a strong understanding of top-notch golf experiences for Club members and guests.
  • Effective fiscal management through delivery of actual operational and capital results in alignment with approved budgets.
  • Maintain a high level of visibility to members and staff as the face of the golf operation at the Club.
  • Ability to cater to various interests and the playing ability of the entire membership demographic.
  • Ability to develop a dedicated team with a shared vision.
  • Must possess strong leadership ability, influencing skills, demonstrate strong motivational ability.
  • Should be results oriented to align Golf strategy to Exmoor’s strategic plan, annual budgets and projected target achievements.
  • Should have strong verbal communication skills, presentation skills, and project confident and energetic qualities that produce service excellence.
  • Exhibit energy and enthusiasm, maturity of character, creative approach, member focus, logical thinking.

Candidate Qualifications

  • A minimum of 7 years of progressive leadership and management experience in the golf industry. Current Head Professionals or Assistant Golf Professionals at well-recognized clubs, with verifiable records of achievement will also be considered.
  • Educational credentials in hospitality or golf, a Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university in Hospitality Management, Business, or Sports/Golf is an advantage for applicants.
  • Professional Golf Association (PGA) Certification designation as a Class A member of the PGA is required; maintaining memberships in other appropriate professional organizations preferred.
  • 3-5 years’ experience in Golf Management or equivalent experience in Golf Management, preferably a PGA Head Golf Professional; demonstrated continual personal and professional development in the sport.
  • Should be CPR/AED certified and know first aid.
  • Be well versed in relevant software programs for communications, POS, Outlook, and reservations, golf current management software.
  • Be current on the latest and most relevant player development methods of techniques.
  • Skilled professional in the playing of the game.

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

Salary & Benefits

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

Inquiries

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 Friday, July 30, 2021.

Documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Exmoor Head Golf Professional Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Exmoor Head Golf Professional”) respectively to: execsearchus@ggapartners.com. Please email résumé with references.

 

Lead Search Executive

Patrick DeLozier
Managing Director
GGA Partners™
843.707.5210
patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com

 

For more information about Exmoor Country Club, please visit www.exmoorcountryclub.org.

You’re Now the Leader

In today’s world, where technology, media, and consumer demand intersect in a constant state of disruption, leadership starts with understanding and dealing with change. Henry DeLozier provides perspective on how superintendents can rise to the challenge.

Times have sure changed. Now you’re the one whom young men and women — the ones who aspire to your position one day — look to for guidance and assurance. And it’s in those hopeful faces, full of equal amounts potential and self-doubt, that your biggest challenge and the most important aspect of your job lies.

It’s called leadership. And in today’s world, where technology and media and consumer demand are intersecting in a constant state of disruption, leadership starts with effectively understanding and dealing with change. Among the biggest changes for golf course superintendents in the last decade:

 

  • Agronomic knowledge has become “table stakes.” Knowing the science of growing grass efficiently and effectively has gotten most superintendents into the game. The superintendent is often the best-educated member of the management staff in many facilities. There is no way to overstate the importance and reach of agronomic knowledge, and yet the job is so much more now.
  • Techniques have advanced. Generations of superintendents schooled in the college of hard knocks have found new and innovative solutions to age-old problems. These solutions have resulted in more efficient usage of water, advanced and less damaging pesticide management, and improved playing conditions arising from healthier and denser turf.
  • Environmentalism is of top-tier importance. If everyone was as diligent an environmental steward as golf course superintendents are, we would live in a better, safer world. Trained in the chemical sciences and well informed through professional resources like GCSAA, new generations of superintendents have introduced planet-friendly solutions to fertility and water scarcity challenges.
  • Golfers’ expectations have become more robust and detailed. In their insistence on improved playing conditions, golfers — God love ’em — have continued to push for tournament-quality conditions daily. Their demands, not unlike the quality demands of consumers for any other product or service for which they pay a premium, add stress and push budgets across the country.

If those are some of the major changes currently affecting the superintendent’s world, what might be over the horizon in terms of effective leadership qualities? From our perspective, it’s retaining your best talent. Although job-hopping in many industries has slowed this year as economic uncertainties weigh on employees, the situation could change as the economy and job market continue to improve, especially if employees aren’t feeling supported by their employer. It’s a challenge shared by your peers in organizations across the board.

“Employees crave a rewarding and purposeful workplace atmosphere. Now is the time for organizations to evaluate what is working well for their people, and what’s not resonating,” says Laine Thomas Conway of Alight Solutions, a global consulting firm. “When employees feel their employers are continually improving their offerings and working to enhance the employee experience, they are likely to remain positive and committed to their organizations, and in turn, employers can better retain top talent.”

In other words, says Tom Wilson, the CEO of Allstate Insurance: treat employees like customers. “They don’t pay you in dollars, but in hard work. That has led us to an employee choice model in the new world,” he says. Here are several tactical suggestions to help your team members:

 

  • Education grants for the children of your crew. When the club or golf course funds educational support for the children of its workers, your crew will see you as the employer of choice.
  • Field days for employees’ children. Help families share in the workplace culture and pride with your team. Most children want to see where their parents work, and what cooler place is there than a golf course?
  • Regular feedback sessions. Give employees the same feedback opportunities customers have with retailers and service providers.
  • All-team meetings. Help crew members understand their place in the overall team effort, including other departments and functions at the club and course.

It’s no longer enough to react to changes affecting our careers. To be an effective leader and to encourage your best players to remain part of the team, we must anticipate the next wave of change heading in our direction.

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

Mid-Year Predictions for the Second Half of 2021

At the start of the new year and in the spirit of planning, the thought leaders at GGA Partners sat down to predict what we believed to be coming throughout the year and shared our 2021 Predictions on the Shape of the Next Normal. Now, halfway through 2021 with the spring season in the books and summer underway, we reconvened GGA leaders for a mid-year check-in on predictions for the latter half of the year.

1. Ensuring fair and equitable access to amenities remains top of mind, especially on the golf course

A trending topic throughout the industry is golf’s demand surge and how long it will sustain, much has been written on this point and those who are closely watching rounds played metrics anticipate a clearer reading by the end of the summer.

Stephen Johnston, GGA’s founding partner, expects that private clubs will see the surge continue to elevate rounds played by members which will likely increase issues relating to compaction of tee traffic and accessibility.  He predicts the benchmark regarding average number of rounds per member to be higher by approximately 10% following the pandemic and also increased golf course utilization by members’ spouses and family members.  Both factors will create a greater demand for tee times at private clubs.

Johnston believes some clubs may need to consider permitting round play by fivesomes instead of foursomes, potentially catalyzing logistical challenges such as a greater need for single-rider power carts in order to maintain speed of play at the same rate as foursomes with all players using power carts. For club managers and course operators, this entails an increased need for current and detailed evaluation of the benefits of membership and the relationship between playing privileges and the practical ability to book a tee time and get on-course.

2. Effective demand management is key and will shift from agile, flexible approaches to new operating standards as demand stabilizes

During the pandemic and throughout 2020, many golf, club, and leisure businesses recognized the increased need to more accurately and routinely measure the utilization of amenities, adapting operations management to react quickly to change.

Craig Johnston, head of GGA’s transaction advisory practice, anticipates an evolution in this one-day-at-a-time, agile monitoring approach into a new and more formalized standard of operating procedures.  “At the start of 2021, we said we would see clubs provide flexibility and experiment with various operational changes,” he explained.  “With the pandemic feeling like it’s steadily moving toward the rear-view mirror, members will be expecting clubs to begin instituting the ‘new normal’ operations and the data compiled by clubs in the first half of the year will be critical to deciding on the new normal.”

Johnston believes that membership demand will continue to be strong through the second half of the year and that it is likely utilization will reduce marginally as members begin travelling again for work and social obligations.  Even with a marginal reduction in utilization, demand for private club services will remain strong and will continue to put pressure on capacity and access in most clubs.

Senior Partner Henry DeLozier encourages club and facility operators to embrace short-term continuations of high demand while keeping an eye on the future and the non-zero probability of a demand shift in the coming years.  “Clubs must create pathways to sustain demand while navigating utilization volume.  It is unwise to place hard or irreversible limitations on capacity while clubs are at historic maximums for demand and usage,” cautioned DeLozier. “Clubs will do well to establish a clear understanding of demand and utilization to enable innovative programs which serve to fill periods of low demand in the future.”

3. Ongoing uncertainty about the pandemic’s long-term impact on club finances will increase the review and reevaluation of club financial projections to ensure sustained budget flexibility

While data regarding utilization, participation, and engagement throughout the summer months continues to be captured and consolidated, business leaders should not delay their financial planning and instead get to work on reevaluating finances and updating their future forecasts.

“Now is the time to review, evaluate, and reset club debt levels,” emphasized Henry DeLozier. “Clubs need to recast financial projections based upon elevated joining/initiation fees arising from high demand.”

In support of alacrity in financial planning, DeLozier notes that labor shortages spurred by the pandemic will increase payroll-related costs at a material level. He also predicts that comprehensive risk review is needed at most clubs to evaluate possible impacts arising from cyber-crime and/or declining club revenues during 2022.

Beyond internal shake-ups in utilization or operations, club leaders should be anticipating external impacts that could impact their financial plans.  A hypothetical example raised by DeLozier is if the U.S. economy were to become more inflationary.  In such a circumstance he believes clubs would see an increase in the costs of labor and supplies which would necessitate increases in member dues and fees, a deceleration of new-member enrollments as consumer confidence dips, and a slight slow-down in housing demand.

Right now, uncertainty remains with respect to the virus as well as the resulting economic impact from the pandemic. From a financial standpoint, clubs will do well to advance their forward planning while retaining budget elasticity.  “It will be imperative for clubs and boards to build flexibility into their budgets and agility into their operations,” added Craig Johnston.

4. Existing governance practices, policies, and procedures will be revisited, refurbished, and reinvigorated

A litany of new ways of operating and governing the club arose as a result of the pandemic, some of which suggest an efficacy that can be sustained in a post-pandemic environment.  Essential to assimilating these adaptions into new standards of procedure is a review of existing governance practices and the documentation which supports them.

“At a time when boards can measure the full range of financial performance metrics, updating club governing documents is a primary board responsibility,” noted Henry DeLozier.  “Board room succession planning must be formalized to prepare clubs for the inevitable downturn from record high utilization.”

In considering the nearly overnight adoption of technology tools to enable remote meetings and board-level deliberations, partner Michael Gregory noted a substantial increase in the use of technology tools that go beyond virtual Zoom meetings.  “The pandemic has allowed clubs to test online voting,” he explained.  “For many clubs, once things return to normal, their bylaws won’t allow for the continued execution of online voting unless they make changes.”

“We have seen the adoption and implementation of online voting to be a huge success for the clubs who have tried it for the first time,” said Gregory. “Members love it, it’s easy, it’s convenient, it leads to higher participation from the membership, and many clubs are in the process of changing their governing documents to allow for online voting as a result.”  The challenges and opportunities of employing online voting are detailed in our piece on taking club elections digital, which features a downloadable resource that can be shared among club boards.

5. In human resources, expect to see deeper reevaluations of compensation structures and employee value propositions

Weighing in from across the pond, Rob Hill, partner and managing director of GGA’s EMEA office in Dublin, predicts that club leaders will face bigger challenges in human resources throughout the remainder of 2021.

The first of three particular items he called out is a reevaluation of compensation.  “Making decisions about employee pay is among the biggest challenges facing club leaders in the wake of the coronavirus shutdown,” stated Hill. “As they begin compensation planning for the rest of the year and into 2022, these leaders not only have to consider pay levels, but also the suitability of their mission and operating model to thrive in a post-pandemic world.”

Citing his recent experiences in the European market, Hill shared that club leaders are challenged with finding new ways to operate smarter and more efficiently, while also looking for innovative ways to implement sturdy, low-cost solutions that their employees will love.  Which leads to his second point, that there will be a renewed emphasis on what employees love and how clubs, as employers, can provide an enhanced value proposition for their employees.

“As employees get back to work onsite, employers are finding that what their people value from the employment relationship has changed,” Hill explained.  “Where pay has been viewed as largely transactional in the past, clubs may need to provide new types of benefits, especially programs that provide more flexibility, financial security, and empowerment to retain and motivate their people.”

Lastly, there is likely to be considerable movement of talent over the coming year brought on by employees’ new work-life ambitions and financial imperatives, said Hill, “As demand for their skills and experience grows, the very best talent will seek out employers that demonstrate they view employees not as costs but as assets and reflect this in their approach to compensation.”

Recalling our start-of-year prediction that the movement of people and relocation of companies will reshape markets, partner Craig Johnston added, “The relocation of people continues to be a prominent trend and one that is likely to continue in the second half of the year.”  For club employers, it’s not just the changing physical locations which impact the cost and supply of labor, but also the expectations of employees as they seek out competitive new roles and work experiences.

6. The repurposing and reimagining of club facilities, amenities, and member-use areas will continue

The pandemic pushed to the fore the need for clubs to adapt their facilities to match changes in the ways members use and enjoy their clubs.  A combination of practical evolutions for health and safety and circumstantial evolutions drawn from widespread ability for members to work remotely created increased desire for clubs to offer more casual outdoor dining options and spaces to enable members to conduct work while at the club.

Partner Stephen Johnston believes these sentiments will continue to near-term facility improvements at clubs.  “With more flexibility in the workplace and members working from home periodically, there will be a need at the club for members to do work or take calls before their tee time or their lunch date,” he said.  “It has been evident for some time that members generally prefer to enjoy outdoor dining and since, throughout the pandemic, it has become apparent that guests draw greater comfort in outdoor experiences, I see a greater demand for outside patio and food and beverage service.”

As society begins to reopen and communities begin to stabilize, time can only tell precisely how clubs will continue to evolve their operations, whether that be scaling back pandemic-relevant operations or doubling-down on new services and efficiencies.  Evident in our work with clients are significant efforts to reorganize club leaders, reevaluate operations, and retool plans for a successful future in the new normal.  Here are a few highlights of efforts clubs are making for the next normal:

 

  • Reinvigoration of governance processes and engagement of leaders to ensure alignment between boards and club strategic plans.
  • Renewed surveying of members to keep a pulse on how sentiments have changed from pre-pandemic, during pandemic, and currently as communities stabilize.
  • Enhanced adoption and application of electronic voting as clubs reevaluate membership structures, governing documents, and operating policies amidst “displaced” members.
  • Reconfiguring of budgets, capital plans, and long-range financial models.
  • Refinement and advancement of membership marketing strategies, tactics, and materials.
  • Tightening relationships between facility planning, capital improvements, and member communications campaigns.
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