GGA Partners and USGA to Collaborate on Golf Course Superintendent Executive Search and Placement Services

New offering combines organizations’ expertise to improve golf facilities’ ability to deliver better playing conditions and enhanced golfer experience

BLUFFTON, S.C., and LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (April 14, 2021) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) will join with GGA Partners (GGA), an international consulting firm, to launch a new service to place top-notch golf course superintendent candidates at facilities across North America.

As part of its suite of advisory services, GGA has long provided executive search services for facility clients. The collaboration will expand the company’s offerings, with the USGA Green Section’s agronomic and maintenance expertise serving as key factors in targeting the unique needs of each golf course and identifying superintendents with matching skills who can help facilities elevate playing conditions, improve course presentation and foster sustainable practices.

“For any golf facility, the ability to hire the right talent is crucial for long-term success, and we believe in creating and maintaining partnerships with facilities,” said Patrick DeLozier, GGA’s managing director of executive search. “The stakes are higher than ever for facilities looking to hire superintendents, and they are looking for candidates with a wide variety of skills.”

Added Craig Johnston, a GGA partner: “The ability to complement our services in strategy, facility governance, finance and operations with the USGA’s agronomic strength will ensure that we can continue to support our clients with the gold standard in best practices, education, innovative products and research.”

The collaboration will allow the USGA to expand its reach and enhance its ability to inform best management practices for golf course maintenance, including resource prioritization. As part of its mission to champion and advance the game, the USGA is helping to ensure a sustainable game in which course managers are empowered to create a positive experience for their golfers.

“GGA’s values and business areas are strategically aligned with our mission,” said Matt Pringle, managing director of the USGA Green Section. “With this new joint service, we can find the best match between the needs of the golf course and the skill set of their next superintendent, while providing ongoing support to deliver outstanding playing conditions and improved golfer satisfaction.”

The joint service will utilize the USGA’s nationwide network of agronomists, whose extensive knowledge of the facilities and superintendents in their regions will be pivotal to the program’s success. They will work closely with DeLozier, who heads up the firm’s executive search practice.

To learn more, contact Patrick DeLozier at or Elliott Dowling at


About the USGA

The USGA is a nonprofit organization that celebrates, serves and advances the game of golf. Founded in 1894, we conduct many of golf’s premier professional and amateur championships, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open. With The R&A, we govern the sport via global set of playing, equipment, handicapping and amateur status rules. The USGA campus in Liberty Corner, New Jersey, is home to the Associations, Research and Test center, where science and innovation are fueling a healthy and sustainable game for the future. The campus is also home to the USGA Golf Museum, where we honor the game by curating the world’s most comprehensive archive of golf artifacts. To learn more, visit


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, Ontario, Phoenix, Arizona, Bluffton, South Carolina, and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit

Executive Search: General Manager at Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club


Killen, AL


The Club

Founded in 1961, Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club is a member-owned club in Killen, Alabama, and recognized as one of Alabama’s best kept secrets. Turtle Point is one of those pleasant surprises that one finds from time to time; complete with clubhouse, golf course, tennis courts, and marina, the Club exudes Southern charm.

Not only is the golf course exceptional, but the Club’s location on the banks of the Tennessee River makes it a unique and special destination in and of itself. Blessed by its location, membership, and staff, Turtle Point is an experience that is unmatched in the Southeast. After one visit, we’re certain that you will agree.

Designed by famed architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr., the 18-hole golf course is ranked 4th best in Alabama by Golf Digest and has been the host site of the SEC Championship, the State Amateur Championship, the Southern Amateur as well as other notable events over its 50 plus year history.

The Club’s tennis facility includes 6 immaculately maintained all-weather Laykold hard courts with water views. The pool complex includes a large “L” shaped pool, a toddler wading pool, an extensive deck and Cabana with showers and bathroom facilities, as well as a snack bar with covered dining areas. The clubhouse consists of the administrative offices, kitchen, member dining areas, lounge, and banquet facilities. The Marina offers eighteen 60′ covered slips, eighteen 40′ covered slips, ten 24′ covered slips, sixteen open sailboat and ski boat slips, and twelve personal watercraft slips.

Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club Overview:


  • 485 members
  • Initiation Fee $10,600
  • Annual Dues $6,000
  • $4.40M Gross Volume
  • $2.30M Annual Dues
  • $1.30M F&B Volume
  • $2.0M Gross Payroll
  • 100 Employees in-season, 60 off-season
  • 5 Executive Committee Members
  • Average age of members is 60

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. 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 in assisting them in the development of proposed policies, programs, events, etcetera.

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 should have a strong presence and seek to be highly visible to the membership and staff. They set the tone for consistently treating members with first class of hospitality and communicate this expectation to the entire staff as well.

Important Individual Characteristics

  • A naturally enthusiastic personality and passion for the club management profession.
  • A natural leadership style which promotes staff and membership engagement.
  • 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.
  • Possess 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.
  • Maintain 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 March 1, 2021.

Salary & Benefits:

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


IMPORTANT: Interested candidates should submit résumés along with a detailed cover letter which addresses the qualifications and describes your alignment/experience with the prescribed position by Monday, March 15, 2021.

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

For more information about Turtle Point Yacht & Country Club, please visit

Getting the Right People on the Bus

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. Today, in the second of two articles on strategic people planning, Patrick DeLozier (Director, GGA Partners) and Jodie Cunningham (Partner, Optimus Talent Partners) highlight the importance of talent planning and optimization for a post-COVID-19 future.

Now’s a great time to re-examine job requirements to ensure the best fit for your club

In our first article on strategic people planning we discussed the first two phases of talent optimization: 1) adapting your business strategy and 2) plotting your revised organizational structure. In part two, we will focus on phases three and four: 3) selecting the right talent and 4) inspiring people development and engagement.

This part of your strategic people plan centers on filling roles in your organization with people best suited for the job. It’s a process that author Jim Collins in Good to Great likened to bus drivers (leaders) getting the right people on the bus (team), the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats (roles).

One cautionary note as we begin: Someone who was right for a specific role pre-pandemic may not be right for the same role now. Your business has changed, and some people may need to change seats. Others may need to get off the bus.

Phase 3: Select the Right Talent

Define the job. Before you start inserting applicants and rehires into the selection equation, you need to define your jobs. Without clarity, anyone involved in the hiring process will simply be guessing about those best fit for the job. The answers to a few basic questions will help form a solid job description.


  • What are the most important and frequent activities of this role?
  • What specific knowledge, skills and abilities are required?
  • What skills and experiences are complementary to those of the current team?
  • What behavioral style and temperament is best suited in this role?
  • Is independent decision-making or collaboration more important?
  • Does this role require social interaction or a more analytical, introspective approach?
  • Are normal working conditions in this role stable and consistent or constantly changing and pressure-filled?
  • Does this role require a big picture, strategic view where risk taking is welcomed, or is it more task oriented and risk-averse in nature?

To win the war for talent, your managers must be fully invested in driving the hiring process from start to finish. When you train managers to use people data in the hiring process, they will make smart, objective decisions, as opposed to desperate or bias-filled ones. Managers should enter the hiring process with the following information, knowledge and understanding.


  • A plan for all three phases of the interview process: before, during and after the interview.
  • A list of functional and behavioral-based questions that ensure consistency across all interviews.
  • An understanding of how to probe for (and evaluate) detailed applicant responses.
  • An understanding of the information they should and should not share regarding club culture, benefits and working experience? (Remember, the applicants are interviewing the club as well.)

Phase 4: Inspire People Development and Engagement

Once you have hired your team, it is critical to keep them engaged and ensure they work effectively together. To do this, you need to be mindful of four forces that can lead to employee disengagement:


  • Misalignment with the job. Poorly defined positions, sloppy hiring practices and evolving business needs can create a mismatch between employees and their roles. A bad fit will ultimately affect motivation and productivity.
  • Misalignment with the manager. The relationship between employees and their managers is the most critical contributor to engagement. But many managers are poorly equipped or not trained to effectively understand their employees’ individual needs. They struggle to communicate with and motive their employees.
  • Misalignment with the team. Team-based work is more critical than ever, yet poor communication, insufficient collaboration and an inability to manage tensions inherent to teamwork extract a major toll on productivity and innovation.
  • Misalignment with the culture. To be productive and engaged, employees need to feel they belong. When they feel out of sync with their organization’s values, or when they lose trust in their leadership, their own performance suffers. The result can be a toxic work environment that undermines productivity.

As clubs emerge from a pandemic-enforced hibernation and begin to re-establish business operations, now is an ideal time to evaluate the roles and responsibilities that make your club function efficiently and effectively.

Carefully defining each important job, making sure those involved in the hiring process are well-prepared and being alert to employees who may not be the ideal fit will help ensure that you have the right people on the bus and that they’re in the right seats. Your club’s success depends on it.

Talent: The Big Differentiator

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. Today, in the first of two articles on strategic people planning, Patrick DeLozier (Director, GGA Partners) and Jodie Cunningham (Partner, Optimus Talent Partners) highlight the importance of talent planning and optimization for a post-COVID-19 future.

A strategic people plan turns vision into reality.

“You can design and create and build the most wonderful place in the world. But it takes people to make the dream a reality.”

– Walt Disney

Every club has a strategy and a corresponding expectation: If it executes the strategy effectively, it will grow and prosper. Underpinning its strategy are detailed plans – financial plans, marketing plans, capital plans and agronomic plans. The most successful businesses, including the most successful private clubs, also have what we consider the most important plan – a people plan.

Creating a people plan – one that aligns the goals of an overall strategy with the talents and passions of your team – is a discipline known as talent optimization. Just as Walt Disney turned over the execution of his vision for “the most wonderful place in the world” to smart managers and thousands of Disney cast members, today’s astute club leaders turn to their teams of dedicated staff to implement their vision for long-term success.

As you face the challenges brought on by this crisis, there is no better time to examine your staffing model and create a strategic people plan to guide your new normal. In a post-pandemic future, your people strategy must change because the world has changed. There are four important phases to navigate to adjust your talent optimization plan:

Phase 1: Adapt your business strategy

Based on how business has changed recently, ask yourself:


  • What are you trying to accomplish?
  • What does success look like?
  • How will you flex to meet the demands of your new normal?
  • What new processes/products/services will you offer?
  • What processes/products/services will you eliminate?
  • Operationally and culturally, what’s working? What’s not working?

Recalibrating your strategy will involve tough decisions. You will need to assess the strength of the business, an exercise that will force an examination of people in key management positions, as well as support staff. For help, reach out to your network and bounce ideas off your colleagues. Enlist professional consultants to brainstorm best practices. And don’t be deterred if you hear “that will never work.”  Most great ideas start with critics who recite those exact words.

This is the perfect opportunity to hit the reset button. Think about all the times you wished you could make changes but allowed circumstances to delay acting. Now is the time to give yourself permission to pivot, to try new things and to take calculated risks.

Phase 2: Plot your revised organizational structure

As you finalize your new business strategy, you need to flex your people plan.


  • Take time to reimagine how your team should be optimally structured
  • What does your perfect world organizational chart look like?
  • What talents do you need more of? Less of?
  • Don’t think “specific people, specific titles, specific pay rates”
  • Instead, think “positions, responsibilities, behaviors, skills and talents”

As you create this new organizational structure, keep in mind how your operation is changing.  Will there be more curbside service in the future? Will there be fewer group activities? Will there be a greater need for virtual activities? Will there be a less formal food and beverage operation? Will there be a greater need for technology integration?

The Future Is Now

Let’s be clear about why a club business strategy is important:


  • It determines where the club is going
  • It gives a sense of direction for the entire club, employees and members alike
  • It supports smarter decision-making

Your club business strategy, which communicates key aspects of why and how the club operates, includes:


  • Objectives the club wants to achieve
  • Its services, products, stakeholders and members
  • Guidance on how the club competes and operates in its segment
  • Financial resources required to achieve the objectives and support the operating model

Talent is arguably the last big differentiator a business has. It is what stands between average clubs and innovative clubs. In our next article, we will dig into phases three and four and discuss the process of selecting the right talent to support your revised business strategy and creating a plan to develop that talent for long term success.

Crystal Ball Thoughts on the Shape of the Next Normal

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. Today, Henry DeLozier highlights GGA Partners’ crystal ball thoughts on what the post-crisis environment will look like for club and leisure businesses.

Gordon Gecko wasn’t the good guy in the Faustian tale Wall Street and, yet, the character played in the 1987 movie by Michael Douglas left behind some memorable advice, “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.”

In early April, GGA Partners gathered its team of trusted advisors and thought leaders for the express purpose of developing strategic tenets to guide GGA clients across the globe. Following are glimpses of impacts for private clubs and club leaders:

Expect Longevity

Murray Blair and Fred Laughlin, directors at GGA Partners, observe that the effects of the epidemic will be lasting and may be sortable now into certain phases:

Pre-Vaccine – Until a reliable vaccine is developed, tested, and made available for widespread usage, conditions for most clubs will change only slightly from current circumstances. Baseline operational methods will change significantly as partial- and full-closures are showing operators and members new – more attractive, in some cases – methods which satisfy members’ concerns for caution and dining at their clubs. Many clubs are finding that demand for dining options at the club is growing as so many previously competitive restaurants are closed.

Operating costs will vary widely. Housekeeping budgets will increase substantially as members want to experience highly obvious signs of the club’s emphasis on sanitary conditions, cleanliness, and personal safety for members and staff. Labor costs will vary widely based upon local supply/demand balance as many workers will be less mobile than before.

Post-Vaccine – After a vaccine has been found and put into use, members will renew their active usage of their clubs differently. Bennett DeLozier observed that club members who previously were nonchalant on matters of strategic planning at the club will demand that their club have a clearly stated and broadly understood game plan. Many members who are responding GGA attitudinal surveys observe that there was no expectation of a health pandemic and, yet, believe “The club should have had a disaster preparedness plan.” Strategic planning, which was previously an indicator of the best leadership in clubs, will be important to most private clubs more so in the future.

Continued & Reinvigorated Family-First Focus

Barb Ralph, one of GGA’s most tenured team members, opined that members will seek more family-oriented facilities, programs and services. The notion of “clanning”, first suggested by futurist Faith Popcorn in her 1996 book, Clicking: 7 Trends That Drive Your Business–And Your Life, documents Barb’s thinking on the importance that causes many to want to keep those dear to them in a safe haven – like their club.

A New Normal

Linda Dillenbeck, a director for the GGA Partners Club Communications Practice, looks beyond the pandemic to underscore the critical importance of effective and trusted member communications from the club to its stakeholders: members – their families and friends, employees, neighbors, suppliers, and vendors.

Linda suggests that in a time when new standards are being established, the necessity of effective communications from clubs to their members will be a difference-maker to the clubs’ future economic durability. “Club’s with a proactive communications approach will be at a distinct advantage throughout and after the coronavirus epidemic,” according to Dillenbeck.

Shifting Operational Needs

Speaking from the perspective of the millennial generation, Alison Corner, Ben Hopkinson, Andrew Johnson, Mingye Li, and Andrew Milne agree that clubs will change significantly and – in some ways – toward operational needs and priorities previously reported through GGA Partners’ millennial research installments.

To summarize the ideas from these brilliant young minds, clubs will shift dramatically into (a) high-gear focused on membership recruitment and retention; (b) new activities, like musical events and performance art; and (c) new membership types, categories, rights, and privileges.

Martin Tzankov, a GGA manager, expects the new normal to bring a focus to financial durability to clubs. Martin notes the importance for club leaders to mind the strategic priority of balance sheet management and the financial health of their clubs.

Many club leaders forget the four cornerstones of board service: leadership, governance, strategy, and finance. Looking ahead, the clubs that perform best after the coronavirus pandemic will be those holding the best information. Perhaps Gecko was right.

Club Leadership for Tough Times

This webinar continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help private club leaders address challenges confronting their businesses and their employees as a result of the global health crisis. 

In case you missed it, this webinar – hosted by the National Club Association (NCA) in early April – explores the ways effective club leaders are responding to challenges and evolving circumstances posed by the coronavirus pandemic.

In it, Henry DeLozier, Partner, and Patrick DeLozier, Director, feature as experts on crisis response and facilitate discussion about how the board and management at one of the world’s best clubs are dealing with today’s pressing issues.

Nicholas Sidorakis, GM at Southern Hills Country Club, and Bryan Johnson, Southern Hills Board President, explain how they are navigating the everyday challenges of the current health crisis while focusing on the future well-being of Southern Hills Country Club.

View or listen to the webinar (54 min)

View or download presentation slides (.PDF)

A special thank you to Henry Wallmeyer, Joe Trauger, John Good, and Cindy Vizza at the National Club Association for the opportunity to participate.


Employee Engagement

This article continues a series of communications from GGA Partners to help leaders of private clubs address challenges arising from the COVID-19 coronavirus that are confronting their businesses and their employees. Today, Patrick DeLozier, a director of our firm, offers some ideas on keeping the team engaged.

Employee Engagement: It’s now more challenging, but also more important.

At the top of our priority list during these unsettling times is making sure our employees are not forgotten. They need to know that their clubs genuinely care for them and their well-being, and that you are mindful of the economic and social consequences that accompany this pandemic.

You also want to let employees know that they are valued members of a team that needs to stay connected during these tough times, so that they are ready to ramp up full-scale operations once it is safe to do so. Staying together even when you’re apart starts with communications, but also includes working effectively from remote locations and finding balance in a new work and home routine.

Social distancing doesn’t mean social isolation.

Leaders should make sure they are communicating with employees regularly and consistently. There are a number of ways to do this, some that take advantage of technology and others that rely on old-school practices.

You can write personalized notes to employees to keep them up to date on club news and plans. You can do this electronically, of course, which gives you an opportunity to add a video message. But this is also a good time for an old-fashioned handwritten note that arrives in the mail.

For those employees celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries, a phone call is a simple but effective way of showing that they’re a valued member of your team and further establishes you in their minds as an empathetic manager.

Make sure employees are included on any communication sent to club members. Keeping everyone informed at the same time builds trust and the sense that we’re all in this together.

Being comfortable – and productive – at home.

Most of your employees are probably not accustomed to working from home, which means they’re dealing with a new set of distractions—a dog barking, a child wanting attention – while trying to be productive in an unfamiliar workspace. Here are a few suggestions for working remotely:

Create a comfortable and separate workspace. Resist the temptation to pull out your laptop and plop down on the sofa, which makes it too easy to be distracted by other household activities.

Use one of the many video tools, including Zoom, WeChat, Skype and FaceTime to replicate the social interaction and brainstorming opportunities that a meeting at the club would provide.

It’s a balancing act.

Balance your day. Try not to fall into the trap of working too much. Instead, maybe watch an online concert, take an online yoga class or go for a walk with the dog. One of the best things you can do for your employees is to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

Make time in your workday to speak with co-workers, friends and family about subjects not related to work. Share a funny story or compare notes on a favorite show or movie.

Now’s the time, carpe diem.

How many times have you thought, “If I only had more time, I would … .” Now you do, so take advantage of your down time to plan, dream and innovate. You might consider creating an idea think tank with your team and challenge them to submit ideas that support your member enhancement program. Have department heads dissect their business unit with the goal of improving efficiency, productivity and profitability.

John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.” Now, more than ever, employees are looking to you for leadership. Those who feel their employers are communicating consistently, openly, honestly and with empathy will stay engaged and return to work feeling connected to a team and a mission.

Because sometimes we just need to laugh…

The Indistractable Manager

Phone calls, emails, knocks on the door… all contribute to those days when you feel busy, but achieve nothing. GGA’s Patrick DeLozier outlines some tactics aimed at eliminating those fruitlessly busy days from your calendar.

There’s nothing more frustrating than a hollow sense of fulfillment at the end of a tiring day. Fulfilling in that you’ve been busy and active, hollow in that you’re no nearer to completing any of the tasks you set out to.

The first thing to make clear is, it’s a common problem. It affects us all. And while some of these days are inevitable, throughout my 18 years in the private club industry I made a conscious effort to develop methods of mitigating their impact and focusing on productive outputs.

Winning the day

It all starts before you even set foot in the workplace.

Develop a routine that gets your mind organized and focused from the get-go. For me, it was a morning swim, followed by reading several newspapers and social media news briefs that helped put me in an optimal productive state. So whether it’s a workout, meditation, yoga, or simply a coffee, find what works for you and stick to it.

When it comes to the working day itself, I found it particularly helpful to break this into three stages:

  • Up-brief – a first-thing review, to focus and plan of your tasks for the day
  • Midday check-in – an opportunity to measure task completion, to assess or reassess priorities
  • Debrief – end of day review, to look at what has been accomplished and what needs to be addressed the following day

For the up-brief, tasks should be specific, achievable, and aligned towards set objectives, prioritizing what you need to achieve and by when. Try to avoid tasks which veer away from your objectives or can be easily completed by another member of your team. Delegating tasks can often test your sense of trust and judgement in other team members, but is critical when it comes to staying focused on what’s important (and befitting of the Club Manager role).

During the day, make time to measure where things stand. If a task due for completion is in doubt, can you call in additional resource? If team members have become distracted by inane endeavors, is there time to pull them back and refocus their attention where it should be?

Finally, don’t allow the day to go by without assessing what has been accomplished during a debrief session. This is your opportunity to not only review your own achievements, but reward team members for a job well done and completed on time. They should also understand how this has helped (or is helping) towards the overarching objectives of the Club, as this will encourage their buy-in to the bigger picture.

Conversely, you will also need to confront incomplete tasks or missed deadlines. This is where balance and accountability come in, as you need to address these without demotivating your team.

Though some may find these stages overbearing, consistent monitoring and clear communication will allow team members to stay on task and focused for success. Ultimately, accountability will combat procrastination and instill a goal-oriented culture at your club.

Working smart 

Aside from external distractions, what can you do as a manager to work smarter? Here’s what I learned from nearly two decades at the sharp end of club management:

  • Do not try to take on everything on your own. Trust your team to assist you in your success.
  • Surround yourself with people who are smarter than you. And then provide them with feedback, support, and recognition for a job well done.
  • Block off time in your calendar where you will not be interrupted. Sometimes an hour per week off-site (such as a coffee shop) will allow you to complete a certain task or get some much-needed headspace.
  • Temper your access to your cell phone or tablet. This will help you to avoid unnecessary calls, texts, and social media, allowing you to make headway with tasks requiring the utmost focus.
  • Be disciplined. Don’t put off tasks just because they are more challenging to you. They will fester, induce stress, and only become harder to overcome in the long run.

There are so many simple ideas out there that can help you overcome distractions, and they can be very effective. But if you can isolate a structure which is focused, holds everyone to account, and is married to your club mission, you can unlock something greater: a productive culture. A culture driven by goals, achievement and success. And that is something that no one wants to get in the way of.

Executive Search: Assistant General Manager at Savannah Yacht Club



The Club:

The Savannah Yacht Club is a private, family-oriented Club dedicated to member satisfaction through superior service and quality facilities.

The Savannah Yacht Club was originated on June 14, 1869, as the Regatta Association of Chatham County and the association was succeeded seven years later on June 7, 1876, by the formal organization of the Savannah Yacht Club.

The Club offers a variety of recreational activities including sailing, boating, tennis, swimming, and several dining options. The active member participation and enjoyment of the Savannah Yacht Club can be attributed to sound management and mindful planning by the Board of Stewards.  Operational flexibility and an annual review of the policies, practices, and planned projects will assure the membership of the Club for many years of continued success.

The Position:

The Assistant General Manager is considered the “go-to manager” for the General Manager/COO.  He/she manages and is responsible for all aspects of the food and beverage program as well as the upkeep and appearance of conditions throughout the Clubhouse.  This individual will plan and implement complex annual budgets for the food and beverage and swimming pool operations as well as hire, train, and supervise subordinates.  The Assistant General Manager is directly responsible for the catering department, all food and beverage outlets, as well as the pool complex and housekeeping.  He/she will be responsible for continuous improvements for the operations of all the food and beverage outlets throughout the entire Club.

The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated professional with a proven and stable record of food and beverage management at a reputable private club, restaurant, or hotel – knowledge of fine wines and a strong sense of pairing wine with food is imperative.

The Assistant General Manager will have a proven work history that demonstrates knowledge and a steady upward career track in successful operations.  This personable professional is a member of the Executive Staff and will work with other department heads to ensure that the expectations of members and guests are exceeded.  He/she will be genuinely people-oriented, “visible” and readily accessible, and responsive to the membership.

Operational Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Assures that effective orientation and training for new staff, and professional development activities for exceptional staff, are planned and implemented. Develops ongoing professional development and training programs for food production, service and bar production/service personnel.
  • Helps plan and approve external and internal marketing and sales promotion activities for the department. Works on keeping Club functions/promotions for all Food and Beverage activities fresh and appealing to membership.  Ensures that an accurate reservations system is in place.
  • Helps plan and approve the organizational chart, staffing, and scheduling procedures as well as job description/specifications for all Food and Beverage departments, Pool Facility and Housekeeping staff.
  • Monitors purchasing and receiving procedures for front of the house products and supplies to ensure proper quantities, quality, and price for all purchases.
  • Maintains contact with members and helps to ensure maximum member satisfaction.
  • Oversees bar operation, develops wine list and bottle/glass wine sales promotion programs in conjunction with the Food and Beverage Service Manager and Bar Manager.
  • Responsible for correct handling procedures to minimize china and glassware breakage and food waste. Ensures storage areas are neat and orderly.
  • Maintains appearance, upkeep and cleanliness of all Food and Beverage equipment and facilities. Initiates ongoing facility inspections throughout the Club to assure that cleanliness, preventive maintenance, safety, and other standards are consistently attained.
  • Addresses member and guest complaints/suggestions and advises the General Manager/COO about appropriate actions taken.
  • Assists in planning and implementing procedures for special Club events and banquets functions.
  • Functions as an administrative link between departments.
  • Occasionally works as a department head when needed.
  • Manages all aspects of the Club in the absents of the General Manager/COO.

Financial Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Assists in developing the operating budget for Food and Beverage department outlets, the Pool Facility, and Housekeeping. After approval, monitors and takes corrective action as necessary to help ensure that budget goals are attained.
  • Ensures that all standard operating procedures for revenue and cost control are in place and consistently utilized.
  • Approves/reviews all invoices before submitting them to the accounting department.
  • Manages physical inventory verification and provides updated information to the Accounting department. Responsible for beverage inventory.
  • Responsible to the proper accounting and reconciliation for point-of-sale system and member revenues.
  • Audits and approves payroll sheets on as needed basis.


Manages and is responsible for all aspects of the day to day Food and Beverage operation, Pool Facility, and Housekeeping.  Plans and implements budgets; hires, trains and supervises subordinates.  Plans, assigns and directs work; appraises performance; disciplines as required; addresses complaints and helps to resolve problems.  Directly responsible for catering and Food and Beverage needs throughout the property.  Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization’s policies and applicable laws.  Assist the General Manager/COO in establishing and implementing long-range and annual plans, operating report, forecast and budgets.

More About Savannah Yacht Club:

1000 Members

$6M Gross Volume

$3M Annual Dues

$2M F&B Volume

100 Employees in-season

Average age of members is 57

Candidate Qualifications:

Given the active role this individual will be expected to play in the maintaining the standards of excellence of the Club, it is essential that the successful candidate possess the following core competencies, experience, and attributes:

  • A minimum of 5 years of progressive leadership and management experience in club, restaurant or hotel management environment.
  • A Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited college or university, preferably in Hospitality Management or Business.
  • Certified Club Manager (CCM) preferred or in active pursuit of designation.
  • Must be proficient in all Microsoft applications. Jonas experience is preferred.


A pre-employment drug screen and background check will be required. The position becomes available January 1, 2020.

Salary and Benefits:

Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience. The club offers an excellent bonus and benefit package, including Club Management Association of America (CMAA) dues and education, a comprehensive medical insurance program according to Club policy, 401k program with employer matching contribution, vacation, and professional development.


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 January 3, 2020, and if possible, sooner. Those documents must be saved and emailed in Word or PDF format (save as “Last Name, First Name, Savannah AGM Cover Letter” and “Last Name, First Name, Savannah AGM Resume”) respectively to:

Patrick DeLozier
(501) 258-2911

For more information on the Savannah Yacht Club:

How to Develop an Enviable (and Profitable) Events Calendar

A thriving events calendar, if delivered well, can propel member satisfaction and loyalty to new levels. But first you need to understand what works, and how to measure event success. We enlisted the help of GGA’s Patrick DeLozier, who has over 14 years’ experience delivering events at some of the top clubs in the country, to explain what clubs need to know.

A thriving events calendar has been a staple at the top clubs I have been fortunate to manage in recent years. Are they hard work? Yes, absolutely. Are they worth it? Without a doubt.

I have witnessed first-hand how events create memorable and meaningful moments in people’s lives, strengthening the bonds they have with a club and enriching relationships with other members.

While a number of events you deliver may not quite achieve this ‘magic’, there is a formula and steps you can take to deliver a compelling events calendar.

Keeping it fresh

The key to delivering outstanding club events lies in not standing still. Inject some creativity and fresh ideas into each and every event. This does not mean needing to stage new events every year, but adding new twists or new dimensions to established, traditional ones.

Sometimes this could be as simple as hosting an event in a different area of your property. Not only does this create a different ambience, it also serves to introduce members to parts of the property they may not normally see, or facilities they may not typically utilize. This is something we would routinely do at Augusta National to great success and satisfaction amongst members.

Timing it right

Simply put, one of the critical things to get right is timing. It can be easy to overlook, but so fundamentally important. Clubs of a certain size will need to communicate with other departments to avoid internal date conflict with other events, but all managers should also be attuned to events happening elsewhere either in the community or beyond.

Sports events, school events or charity fundraising events may all impact your club’s event calendar, so don’t fall into the trap of choosing the wrong date and marketing the event before needing to change. The same can be true of major sporting events such as the Super Bowl or The Ryder Cup. Set dates carefully, then market them with confidence and assurance.

Understanding what works

Fundamentally, you want members to engage with and enjoy the events your club chooses to stage. And when it comes to measuring success, their satisfaction should feature prominently. But events need to be well attended for them to be viable, both from a satisfaction standpoint for members and commercial standpoint for the club.

At the point of conception or planning, it will help to determine what constitutes reasonable participation numbers for particular events. This will provide a sound barometer of success not only for the current year, but future years too. If the popularity of certain events begins to grow, you can begin to unpick the reasons why and use the insights to fuel ideas for new ones.

When it gets to the events themselves, attend. Especially If you are relatively new to the club; it will give you the opportunity to engage with members and see for yourself how the events are received. Although we want to put a measure next to all aspects of an event, sometimes you have to accept some events carry a special aura – which you can only experience by being there.

Beyond the event, there can be a tendency to focus on what’s next, but don’t miss out on the crucial feedback and insights. There should always be a team debrief for those involved in the event delivery. Typically, we would spend 10% of the time on what went well and 90% of the time on how we could improve, with all staff and committee members challenged to come up with new ideas covering all aspects of event delivery.

Externally, send a feedback form to event attendees (do this quickly, so that you collate as many insights from the most members possible while the event is still fresh in their memory). This will enable you to identify areas for future improvement and pick up on any negative feedback (where appropriate).

Bringing it all together

By implementing this defined approach to event delivery, from planning through to evaluation, you will establish a culture of measuring success, defining continuous improvement, and translating this through to the events you choose to stage.

Combine this with a sprinkling of creative flair and you should have the basis for a calendar of thriving, well-attended events.

It may take some time to get there, but the impact on member satisfaction and the bottom line will be more than worth waiting for.