31 Years | 31 Lessons – Lesson 1

 

Managing a private club is  not an easy task. It requires knowledge, stamina, fortitude, patience and a sense of humor. With each new year comes new challenges, opportunities and lessons to learn.

When GGA Director Colin Burns, CCM, joined the firm, he shared the lessons he learned over a lifetime in the hospitality industry, as an advocate for club management and his three decades as the general manager of Winged Foot Golf Club with our team. In hearing those lessons, we were reminded how success comes from doing the right thing every day.

We asked Colin to record his common sense and professional advise for us to share with you. Today we present the first of Colin’s 31 Years | 31 Lessons videos. We will be releasing all 31 on our LinkedIn page over the next several months in the hope you find these lessons helpful as you navigate your own path to success as a leader in our industry.

Watch Lesson 1

 

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.

 

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

Executive Search: General Manager at Mount Vernon Country Club (FILLED)

Mount Vernon Country Club logo

GENERAL MANAGER
MOUNT VERNON COUNTRY CLUB
Alexandria, VA

The Club

Founded in 1961, Mount Vernon Country Club is a member-owned golf and country club in Alexandria, Virginia, located 19 miles from Washington, D.C. The Club features an 18-hole championship golf course with work from golf course designers Russell Roberts, Ed Ault, and most recently, Bill Love. The course winds its way through the original forest of George Washington’s Mount Vernon farm and is enhanced by the presence of Dogue Creek, a Potomac River Chesapeake tidal tributary which lends a water hazard challenge on 14 of Mount Vernon’s 18 holes.

Mount Vernon Club is a family-friendly environment primarily focused on golf and dining. The Club offers five distinct food and beverage locations for Member’s enjoyment. The pool complex features a pool and the Barracuda Grill. The Clubhouse consists of the administrative offices, kitchen, member dining areas, lounge and banquet facilities. The Club currently benefits from a full membership with a growing wait list.

Mount Vernon Country Club Overview:

  • 700 Members (Golf: 475, Other: 225)
  • Initiation Fee (Resident Member Golf: $32,000)
  • Annual Dues (Golf: $7,068 and Capital Dues $1,236)
  • $8.30M Gross volume
  • $3.70M Annual dues
  • $2.30M F&B volume
  • $3.30M Gross payroll
  • 120 Employees in-season; 90 off-season
  • 9 Board members

The General Manager Position

The General Manager reports to the Board and coordinates with the President of the Board on a regular basis. The General Manager implements the policies established by the Board of Directors 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 of the club. This includes the preparation of the annual operating and capital budgets and management of operations to attain the desired results.

The General Manager coordinates all management functions and works in concert with committee chairs to assist in the development of proposed policies, programs, events, etc.

The General Manager is the lead coordinator of programming and development of synergy among all departments. Overseeing the internal and external marketing strategies for membership growth and member engagement is a critical part of the position. The General Manager will work with the Board to develop the current long- range plan which will include significant upgrades to the golf course and amenities.

The General Manager should have a strong presence and seek to be highly visible to the membership and staff. The General Manager sets the tone for consistently treating members with first class hospitality and is responsible for communicating these expectations to the entire staff.

Important Individual Characteristics:

  • A naturally enthusiastic personality and passion for the club management profession.
  • A natural leadership style which promotes staff and membership engagement and camaraderie.
  • Ability to act as a thought partner with the board and committees.
  • The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing.
  • Disciplined follow-through to ensure the vision and goals of the Club come to fruition.
  • Ability to cultivate a high-level of member services and satisfaction.
  • Possesses a strong understanding of top-notch food and beverage experiences for Club members and guests.
  • Effective fiscal management through delivery of actual operational and capital results in alignment with approved budgets.
  • Maintains a high level of visibility to members and staff as the face of the Club.
  • Understands the importance of digital communication and can utilize web and social media tools to communicate with the staff and membership.
  • Ability to develop a dedicated team with a shared vision.

Candidate Qualifications

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment. Current Assistant General Managers or Clubhouse Managers at well-recognized clubs, with verifiable records of achievement will also be considered.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation preferred.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available August 1, 2021.

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, June 25, 2021.

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

 

For more information about Mount Vernon Country Club, please visit www.mountvernoncc.org.

Executive Search: Assistant GM at The Minikahda Club

ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER
THE MINIKAHDA CLUB
Minneapolis, MN

The Club

Located minutes from downtown Minneapolis, MN, The Minikahda Club is much more than a collection of amenities. The Club experience is focused on providing superior social and recreational experiences based on the values of family, fellowship, integrity, respect, and inclusiveness.

Founded in 1898, The Minikahda Club is the oldest country club west of the Mississippi and a premier club in the region. The City of Minneapolis has grown up around Minikahda. A group of young picnickers were so impressed by the spot they found atop a hill overlooking Lake Bde Maka Ska, they acquired the land and set out to form a club for social functions and golf. The name Minikahda comes from the Dakotah, a combination of two words meaning, “by the side of the water.” The Club logo, in fact, depicts a Native American shield, similar to the artifact framed in the Clubhouse.

The Minikahda Club is a year-round full-service club with a vast offering of social, dining and sport activities. The Club has approximately 1,275 members, comprised of approximately 475 families and a single class of membership. From a financial standpoint, the Club is debt-free, has a substantial reserve fund, a waiting list for membership and is well positioned for success.

The historic Donald Ross designed golf course has played host to a number of major events including the 1916 US Open, the 1927 US Amateur, the Walker Cup in 1957, the Women’s Amateur in 1988, the Curtis Cup in 1998, and the US Senior Amateur in 2017. The course is ranked among the best in the state by Golf Digest and was ranked #102 in Golfweek’s Top classic courses in 2020.

In 2018, the classic Ross designed golf course was re-grassed, and the golf shop was replaced with a new building that provides a year-round practice facility. A modernized pool snack bar and a new lakeside bar on the second floor of the Clubhouse was also added at the same time.  Currently, the Club is in the process of developing a long-term strategic and facilities master plan.

Members enjoy a variety of racket sports including tennis and paddle tennis. The tennis and paddle tennis programs are designed to appeal to newcomers and seasoned players alike.  A full calendar of clinics, mixers, and socials provides ample opportunities to meet new players and make new friends.

The pool is a very popular member amenity enjoyed by all from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Located on the edge of a hill with breathtaking views of Lake Bde Maka Ska and downtown Minneapolis, members enjoy swimming programs, relaxation and dining poolside.

At the heart of Minikahda is the beloved 60,000 square foot Clubhouse.  The Club offers multiple dining rooms for every gathering, from the formal Dining Room and intimate patio overlooking Lake Bde Maka Ska, to a family friendly Grille as well as 1898, the newly added adult-only bar with beautiful views of the lake and downtown Minneapolis. Multiple outdoor terraces and a deck with spectacular views highlighted by incredible cuisine prepared by our culinary team are all part of why Minikahda members and guests consider The Minikahda Club one of the best places to dine in the Twin Cities.  The Club also boasts a beautiful ballroom for significant life or member events. Indoors, outdoors, big or small, whatever the need, we are humbled and honored to serve our members and guests.

The Minikahda Club Overview:

  • 1,275 Members (approximately 475 families)
  • Initiation Fee: $75,000
  • Annual Dues: $10,000
  • $10.5M Gross Volume
  • $5.5M Annual Dues
  • $5.2M Gross Payroll
  • $3.2M F&B Volume pre-COVID-19
  • Peak Season: 300 Employees; Off-season: 120 Employees
  • 13 Board Members
  • Average age of members is 52

The Assistant General Manager Position

The Assistant General Manager is ultimately responsible for all clubhouse, food and beverage, aquatics, and facilities operations daily, including the general housekeeping over these areas. The Assistant General Manager is responsible for all aspects of the operation in the absence of the General Manager/COO and performs specific tasks as requested.

This managerial position works closely with, and reports directly to, the General Manager/COO, and provides quality leadership and contributes to the positive atmosphere of the Club and associated operations. He/she will also prepare annual department budgets in concert with the GM/COO.

The AGM will enhance the “club culture” and is responsible for the dissemination of hospitality, friendliness, and goodwill among members, guests and staff. His/her goal is always to help members and guests enjoy the facilities and events of the Club. In addition to building relationships with Club members, guests, and employees, he or she provides support to the respective committees and advisory groups as well. Being the “public face” of these operations with a hands-on approach and an understanding that full member and staff engagement is critical to success in this position.

The AGM consistently provides anticipatory hospitality along with superb dining and other food and beverage experiences for the Club’s membership and their guests. Alignment with the Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director is very important to this position to ensure collaborative, innovative, harmonious relationships between front and back of house operations.

Primary Responsibilities

Member Services:

  • Consistent sincere and significant engagement of members, highly visible to members and staff in the dining areas of the club is of the utmost importance. The AGM is ultimately responsible to ensure that all member dining and club events are well-conceived and executed along with all amenities.
  • Provide quality leadership in a positive and upbeat manner for the members, guests and staff.
  • Create and maintain a first-class service culture throughout the club campus and its amenities.
  • Address and resolve all member and guest complaints and suggestions, general service, employee attitude, maintenance, and presentation of the clubhouse operations.

Employee Relations:

  • Oversee the recruiting, hiring and development of clubhouse and various food service venue personnel.
  • Oversee ongoing training programs complete with up-to-date training manuals to ensure exceptional service in all parts of the club’s operation.
  • Provides for training and future development of all subordinate managers and supervisors subject to budget approval by the General Manager/COO. Instill the concept of being “team players” in all employees. Continue to coach, counsel, and evaluate departmental staff.
  • Ensures that a positive spirit and healthy work environment exists throughout the club operations, one that is free of safety risks and all forms of employee harassment.
  • Maintain an effective communication program where employees are treated in a fair, structured and consistent manner.
  • Function as an administrative and communication link between departments in the club.
  • Guarantee that all clubhouse employees are regularly trained and certified in areas that help guard the safety and well-being of our members, guests and other employees including, but not limited to responsible alcohol service, safe food handling, etc.
  • Help to facilitate a team environment with morale, high ethical standards and efficient use of resources to position The Minikahda Club to be a preferred employer of choice in the community.

Financial Management:

  • Works jointly with the Controller and General Manager/COO to prepare the annual operating and capital budgets for all clubhouse and service operations, assists in managing and controlling the operations to attain the desired results.
  • Monitors the budget each week/month and directs the taking of corrective action as necessary to assure that the budgeted goals are attained.
  • Provides input to all clubhouse and service personnel regarding annual budgets, capital spending plans, fiscal controls and operational guidelines.
  • Responsible for all labor cost payouts and maintains them within the constraints of the budget and through close coordination and with approval from the General Manager/COO and Controller.
  • Monitors payroll records to control overtime and maintain labor costs within budgetary guidelines.
  • Supervises the purchasing, receiving, safekeeping and disbursement of operating supplies and equipment to maximize quality and profitability.

Personnel Management:

  • Displays very hands-on approach and leads the staff by example. Must be approachable to staff, members and guests.
  • Assists the General Manager/COO in developing and implementing long-range (strategic) and annual (business) plans, operating reports, forecasts and budgets.
  • Works with Human Resources to develop long term staffing needs for area of responsibility.
  • Responsible for the hiring, discipline, termination and documentation of all clubhouse and service staff.
  • Reviews all accidents, works with HR and Safety Committee in completing accidents reports and implementing improved procedures.
  • Attends meetings of senior management and carries out directives because of these meetings and any other requests of the General Manager in a timely manner.
  • Serves as an ad-hoc member of appropriate club committees and advisory groups.
  • A warm personality, a sense of humor and the ability to work effectively with all levels of the internal staff and members.
  • Works with Executive Chef, Food & Beverage Director and others to develop P&L statements prior to each event, makes appropriate notes following events and files information for future use.
  • Works with Executive Chef on menu development.
  • Works with the F&B Team to organize and market special club events.
  • Furthers his/her own continued development as a club management professional as a member of CMAA. With the assistance and approval of the General Manager/COO participates in appropriate seminars/training programs, thereby enhancing his/her value and quality of services to The Minikahda Club.

Operational Responsibilities:

  • Understands and abides by The Minikahda Club policies and departmental procedures. Suggests changes and may direct the implementation of change.
  • Provides content for and manages communications and marketing information for department.
  • Assures that the Clubhouse operations and campus venues are run in accordance with all applicable local, state and federal laws.
  • Disseminates information effectively and coordinates activities between departments on a timely basis.
  • Keeps the General Manager/COO informed of all potential problems and activities related to the smooth operation of the clubhouse and other food service venues.
  • Oversees inventory management throughout departments and completes a periodic china, glass and silver inventory to maintain par levels.
  • Coordinates and approves all entertainment in consultation with General Manager/COO and others.
  • A sharp eye for detail in the overall management of the operation.
  • Responsible for regularly reporting of performance and financial data, i.e. weekly report to General Manager/COO.

Direct Reports

Executive Chef, Food & Beverage Director, Catering Director, Member Engagement Director, Pool, Locker Room, Housekeeping and Valet Teams.

Candidate Qualifications

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in a private club environment.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) or in active pursuit of designation preferred.

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available immediately.

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 Wednesday, June 23, 2021.

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

 

For more information about The Minikahda Club, please visit www.minikahdaclub.org.

 

Executive Search: GM/COO at Grandfather Golf & Country Club

GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
GRANDFATHER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB

Linville, NC

 

THE CLUB

The history of Grandfather Golf and Country Club starts in 1885 when businessman Hugh MacRae first viewed the Linville River Valley and the rugged peaks of Grandfather Mountain. MacRae was so awestruck by the area’s natural beauty that he immediately wrote his father, Donald MacRae of Wilmington, N.C., for support to purchase a tract of land. The tract, which stretched from Pineola past Linville Gap, encompassed all of Grandfather and Grandmother Mountains, Linville Ridge, lnvershiel, part of Sugar Mountain, and what is now Grandfather Golf and Country Club.

Donald MacRae consented to the purchase, and along with a few other investors, including department store founder of Philadelphia John Wanamaker, Linville Improvement Company was formed. By 1889, Hugh MacRae had purchased a total of 15,570 acres, mostly from S.S. Lenoir, for whom the city of Lenoir is named.

The area quickly became a popular summer resort for golf and health and is a visual reminder of MacRae’s native Scotland. By 1944, Linville Company sold 3,000 acres to the Linville Resorts Property Owners Association. Included in the sale were the golf course designed by Donald Ross (creator of the Pinehurst Golf Club), Eseeola Lodge, horseback riding facilities, and the townsite of Linville. In 1952, the Linville Company was dissolved, and the remaining 11,000 acres were divided between four family members, including Mrs. Hugh MacRae, daughter Agnes MacRae Morton, as well as Agnes’ children, Agnes Morton Cocke Woodruff and Hugh Morton.

Aggie’s share of the lands included 1,958 acres in the Linville River Valley, two miles north of Linville. Having spent most of her summers growing up in Linville, her love of the High Country remained strong. Aggie, a three-time state ladies’ amateur golf champion, invested her inheritance, and – with the help of highly-respected golf course designer Ellis Maples and cofounders Hugh Morton, her brother, and John Williams, their friend – her vision turned to reality with the opening of Grandfather Golf and Country Club in 1968, where friendly amenities surround some of the best mountain golf in the world.

Vision Statement: “To be one of the pre-eminent, family-oriented clubs in the Southeast.”

 

 

GRANDFATHER GOLF AND COUNTRY CLUB OVERVIEW

 

  • 480 Members: capital of 434, club/social of 28, legacy of 18
  • Initiation Fee of $85,000
  • Annual Dues: $18,100 for club operations and capital expenses and $4,500 for village fees
  • Budgeted total expenditures for fiscal year 2021 of $15 million (includes club, capital, and village)
  • Food and beverage volume of $1.5 million
  • Gross payroll of $6 million
  • Strong balance sheet and positive cash flow
  • 220 employees (165 seasonal, 55 year-round)
  • Nine board members plus one ex-officio
  • Average age of members is 67
  • Championship Golf Course ranked second in North Carolina and first in the West Regional ranking and first among private courses in North Carolina per the North Carolina Golf Panel
  • Club community ranked seventeenth in the top 200 resort communities in the U.S. by GolfWeek
  • Grandfather Village is an incorporated municipality

THE GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER POSITION

The General Manager (GM) has total operational responsibility for the club and reports to the president of the club, who also chairs the board of directors. The GM oversees a country club with two golf courses, multiple dining venues, and a broad array of other amenities. Further, the GM has comparable responsibilities to a city or county manager as it pertains to overseeing all aspects of the incorporated municipality of Grandfather, including managing common property and infrastructure, maintaining roads, operating a state-regulated water/sewer utility, and providing security services. Finally, the GM directs a real estate operation that markets and sells residential properties within the village and that supports the attraction of new members.

Primary Responsibilities

 

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

Direct Reports

 

  • Chief Financial Officer
  • Manager of Human Resources & Administration
  • Director of Agronomy
  • Director of Golf
  • Director of Recreation
  • Head Tennis Professional
  • Head Croquet Professional
  • Director of Security
  • Director of Facilities and Infrastructure
  • Clubhouse Manager
  • Executive Chef
  • Communications Director
  • Membership Coordinator
  • Manager of Community Housekeeping
  • Head Broker of Grandfather Club Properties

Core Leadership Competencies

 

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

Candidate Qualifications

 

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

Note: A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position is available August 1, 2021.

 

Salary & Benefits

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

 

Inquiries:

IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

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

For more information about Grandfather Golf & Country Club, please visit www.grandfatherclubnc.com.

Executive Search: General Manager/COO at Whitevale Golf Club

GENERAL MANAGER/CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
WHITEVALE GOLF CLUB
Pickering, ON

Whitevale Golf Club

With the first game enjoyed in 1958, Whitevale is a member owned, private golf club conveniently located in north Pickering, Ontario. We have a scenic championship golf course and a world class practice facility. Our sanctuary is surrounded by conservation lands to our east, west and south.
Completed in 2015, our state-of-the-art Clubhouse, designed by Richard Wengle, sits high on the landscape ensuring the perfect vantage point to awe inspiring views from all our dining, patio, and lounge areas. More recently, our Golf Operations and Turf Care Facility was completed in 2020.

Whitevale Golf Club provides an exceptional golf experience whether it is a casual round with family or friends or providing opportunities for members to compete and develop their game. Our course is our showcase, and it is conditioned to please and entertain members and guests alike.

The Position: General Manager & Chief Operating Officer

Whitevale Golf Club is seeking a General Manager and Chief Operating Officer who is dedicated to the Club’s Mission, Vision and Values. Reporting to the Board of Directors through the President, the role of the GM/COO is to manage Club operations in accordance with the strategic, financial, and operational direction set by the Board.

Guided by Policies and Bylaws, the GM/COO shall manage all aspects of the Club including activities and relationships between the Club and its Board of Directors, members, guests, employees, community, government and industry. The GM/COO is the leader of the Club’s management team and is responsible for managing all facets of the Club’s operations.

Responsibilities:

 

  • Develop and deliver a consistently excellent experience to satisfy the members expectations in a private golf club.
  • Effectively manage all aspects of the Club’s activities and services provided by the Club to ensure a high level of member satisfaction and referrals to their family, friends, and colleagues.
  • Develop and implement innovative, industry-leading operating policies, programs, procedures, and methods. Direct the work of and support the development of all department managers.
  • In consultation with the Board and Finance Committee, deliver long and short-term financial objectives.
  • Prepare forecasts and executing the financial plan for the Club including development of annual operating, cash, and capital budgets. Preparing financial reports to the Board and Finance Committee.
  • Lead the Club’s human resources, including establishing, initiating, and monitoring personnel policies and overseeing training and professional development programs. Create an environment where staff wishes to return, and candidates want to join the Team. Act as a mentor to Direct Reports.
  • Coordinate and implement the strategies within the Club’s short and long-range strategic plan as created by the Long-Range Planning Committee and the Board.
  • Welcome new Club members, “meet and greet” all Club members as practical during their visits to the Club.
  • Coordinating the marketing and member relations programs to promote the Club’s services and facilities to present to potential members. Develop ongoing dialogue and rapport with members by being present at all major Club functions.
  • Ensuring compliance with all legal and regulatory matters affecting the Club.

Direct Reports:

Head Golf Professional, Golf Course Superintendent, Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Manager, Events Coordinator, Social Media and Marketing Coordinator, Membership Administrator, General Accountant.

Qualifications

Candidate Profile:

The GM/COO will report to the Board of Directors through the President. Given the leading role this individual will play in achieving the strategic, business objectives and leading the continuing transformation at Whitevale Golf Club it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:

Leadership Skills:

 

  • A trustworthy, dependable, and dynamic leader with the ability to build strong teams by motivating staff and leading by example.
  • Has the ability to provide direction and expectations, continuous performance feedback with recognition that leads to positive outcomes. Fully engage and inspire department managers and their teams to enhance member experiences.
  • Exhibit leadership skills in continued team building, employee motivation and service training.
  • Is respectful and professional in all interpersonal dealings.
  • Proudly represent the Club to external groups.

Member and Guest Experience:

 

  • Thorough understanding of and capacity to consistently deliver exceptional standards of service as expected at a member-owned club.
  • Ability to set and maintain high standards for the golf course and all facilities, services, and communications.
  • Analytical with the ability to proactively use data in forecasting and managing revenue and cost.

Interpersonal/Fit:

 

  • Demonstrates integrity, ethical conduct in words and deeds; embodies the characteristics of a successful leader through honesty, straightforwardness, accountability, leadership, empathy, and dedication.
  • A self-starter with a results-oriented work-style combined with excellent verbal and written communication as well as interpersonal skills demonstrated with all the Club’s stakeholders.
  • Flexible and adaptable to changing needs in schedule demands & time commitments. There is an expectation this position will be present and visible at Club events.
  • Demonstrates energy with a desire to interact and build relationships with the membership.
  • A confident, diplomatic, competent professional who is a “doer”. A take-charge person who recognizes the importance of accountability and innovation.
  • A track record of strong professional results with a clear commitment to member service.
  • Interacts with an open and transparent approach with members while maintaining a professional balance between empathy and process adherence.

Business/Finance Skills:

 

  • An entrepreneurial style combined with a strong understanding of all aspects of business management including business development, finance, information technology, marketing, human resources, risk management and performance management.
  • Experience managing golf course operations and capital projects.
  • Values marketing (including digital) and its organizational impact.
  • Direct experience and understanding of the operation of a not-for-profit golf course including the hospitality aspects.
  • Incorporates succession planning by preparing staff for key leadership roles.
  • Efficient knowledge of word processing, spreadsheet, e-mail and use of the Internet & social media platforms.

Education:

 

  • A post-secondary degree in business, hospitality or professional golf management credential is preferable.

Experience and Accreditation:

 

  • Experience as a senior leader in a private golf club environment or other similar top tier golf facility
  • A passion and understanding of what it means to deliver a private golf club experience.
  • Experience in the hospitality with an excellent understanding of food and beverage operations, including pricing, menu development, inventory management and costing.
  • Proven experience developing and managing budgets and business plans.
  • Experience reporting to a board that has adopted a club governance, structure, and processes to lead the Club and GM/COO to thrive.
  • Evidence of continued professional development.

Compensation

The Club will offer an attractive compensation package, commensurate with experience, which will include a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity & benefits.

Application Process and Deadline

IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit resumes along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Friday, April 30, 2021. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Whitevale Resume” and “Last Name, First Name, Whitevale Cover Letter”) respectively to: execsearch@ggapartners.com.

Michael Gregory, Partner and George Pinches, Director
GGA Partners, Inc.
execsearch@ggapartners.com

 

For more information on Whitevale Golf Club please visit whitevalegolfclub.com.

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