Mid-Year Predictions for the Second Half of 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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 patrick.delozier@ggapartners.com or Elliott Dowling at edowling@usga.org.

 

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 usga.org.

 

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 ggapartners.com.

GGA Partners Opens East Coast Office in South Carolina to Support Continued Growth

Central location in the heart of golf country chosen to provide even better access to clients and applicants

TORONTO, Ontario – GGA Partners Inc., an international consulting firm and trusted advisor to golf courses, private clubs, resorts, and residential communities around the world, announced the opening of an East Coast office in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area, effective immediately.

Patrick DeLozier, Director

Patrick DeLozier, Managing Director of GGA’s Executive Search practice in the U.S. will manage the new office and continue to contribute his exceptional experience and expertise to the firms Strategy and Operations practice.

“Moving to the Hilton Head area will provide easier access to the clients we serve in the eastern United States,” commented DeLozier. “Our new location in the heart of East Coast golf and private club communities will expand our access to the top tier talent our clients demand.”

“Helping our clients source the right executive talent to successfully execute their strategic goals and objectives is a rapidly growing segment of our business” stated Derek Johnston, a partner in the firm. “Having an office in the Bluffton/Hilton Head area along with our western U.S. office in Phoenix, Arizona, increases our ability to remain connected to our clients and executive talent across the country, especially as pandemic restrictions continue to ease and the economy reopens.”

GGA’s approach to executive search is founded on the basis of partnering with our clients to support long-term success and sustainability. Our search professionals leverage the expertise within the firm’s Strategy & Operations, Research & Analytics, Governance, and Branding and Communications practices to ensure our clients have the resources to succeed.

“What separates a good organization from a great organization is leadership,” said DeLozier. “Our goal is to source the best talent for our clients and then support them in achieving success.”

 

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/Hilton Head, South Carolina, and Dublin, Ireland. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

 

Media Contact:

Bennett DeLozier, Manager
GGA Partners
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com
602-614-2100

GGA Partners Speakers Featured at CMAA 2021 World Conference and Club Business Expo

Sessions will focus on strategy, member feedback mechanisms, the next generation of club members, club trends, and member communications.

TORONTO, Ontario – Skilled specialists from GGA Partners, a trusted advisor to golf courses, private clubs, resorts, and residential communities around the world, will be presenting trends and tactics on a variety of subjects during the Club Management Association of America (CMAA) 2021 World Conference and Club Business Expo this week.

As with other major conferences in 2020 and 2021, the CMAA World Conference will be virtual, allowing attendees to login and learn effective ways to manage member feedback, attract the next generation of members, the latest industry trends, and how to effectively communicate their brand message.

GGA Partners specialists will lead the following discussions:

Monday, March 8 – Ask the Experts

Michael Gregory, a partner in the firm will join Trevor Coughlan from Jonas Software for a thirty-minute “Ask the Expert” session to discuss club feedback systems for members and customers.

Tuesday, March 9 – Setting Strategy for Long-Term Success

Partners Henry DeLozier, Stephen Johnston, Derek Johnston, Michael Gregory and Craig Johnston will be joined by several directors and managers to lead a three-hour session using real-life case studies allowing managers to interact and learn from each other with the GGA team providing ideas and solutions to enhance processes, research, and efficiency.

Thursday, March 11 – Adopting Proven Methods of Engaging the Next Generation of Club Members

Michael Gregory will lead a panel of club managers from Desert Mountain, Prairie Dunes Country Club, The Briar Club, and The Country Club through a discussion of their perspectives on how clubs can adapt and develop their offerings to meet the needs of the next generation of members and customers.

Thursday, March 11 – Ask the Experts

GGA Manager Bennett DeLozier will join Amilcar Davy from CMAA to discuss early results from the CMAA Trends Survey entitled A Club Leader’s Perspective: Emerging Trends & Challenges.

Friday, March 12 – Keys to Effective Communications

GGA Director Linda Dillenbeck and Manager Bennett DeLozier will share insights into the steps club managers can take to ensure their communications are clear, concise, and effective.

“Our business is helping clubs, large and small, to operate more effectively,” commented Derek Johnston, a partner in the firm. “The CMAA World Conference provides an outstanding platform to share knowledge and experiences with club leaders from around the globe.”

 

 

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

 

Media Contact:

Bennett DeLozier, Manager
GGA Partners
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com
602-614-2100

Connect with GGA Partners at the #CMAAVirtual Conference

Connect with GGA Partners at the 2021 #CMAAVirtual World Conference & Club Business Expo
March 8-12, 2021

The 2021 CMAA World Conference & Club Business Expo offers five days of stellar educational programming and the opportunity for those in club management to refresh their skills and industry knowledge, connect with fellow professionals, and explore the latest innovations and best practices.

Each year, we at GGA Partners look forward to syncing up with club managers to celebrate their successes, learn more about the challenges they are facing, and help them develop and implement a game plan for success.

As a long-standing CMAA Business Partner, we jump on every opportunity to facilitate education sessions which bring club managers together for knowledge-sharing and thought-leadership. In the hope that our paths will cross, you are invited to register for any or all of GGA’s education sessions, engagements, and activities.

Otherwise, swing by our virtual exhibitor booth, help yourself to some of our latest insights and resources, and be sure to get in touch with us by saying hello in the chat, scheduling a meeting, or dropping us a line. Let’s have a conversation about what you and your club are working on in 2021, we are always willing to assist club managers.

 


Monday, March 8

Networking Break: Ask the Expert – Feedback Systems

1:30pm-2:00pm EST

Join Trevor Coughlan from Jonas Software and Michael Gregory of GGA Partners to ask questions and discuss club feedback systems for members and customers.

ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE

 


Tuesday, March 9

In-Conference Workshop: Setting Strategy for Long-term Success

11:00am-2:00pm EST
*Requires separate registration

Strategic planning is on everyone’s mind these days. One of the most frequent questions about strategy seems to be “Given the current environment, how do we actually set strategy for long-term success and sustainability?” and followed closely by “How do we implement a strategic plan in our club?”

This three-hour session is a hands-on approach using real-life case studies, allowing managers to interact and learn from each other, with the GGA team providing ideas and solutions. The session will leverage GGA’s processes, research, and experience and provide engaging opportunities for delegates to contribute.

During the first half of the session, participants will have the opportunity to learn from the GGA team and subject matter experts in strategic planning, governance, communications, member feedback, market research, financial planning, and analysis.

During the second half of the session, participants will be separated into smaller virtual breakout rooms with fellow club managers. In these virtual rooms, participants will have the opportunity to share their initial thoughts about the case and discuss solutions with their peers. The breakout rooms will subsequently rejoin to form one large group, at which point participants will be asked to respond to questions about the case using real-time polling software. Responses to the poll are individual and anonymous. This dynamic session will allow participants to see how their responses compare to their peers and hear from GGA how their answers may differ from industry best practices.

The session will conclude with the case solutions being shared with participants. By the end of the session, participants will achieve a better understanding of the importance of strategic planning for private clubs, proven processes for setting long-term successful and sustainable strategies, how strategic plans are implemented and become advocates for strategic planning at their respective clubs.

Join the GGA team: Henry DeLozier (Partner), Stephen Johnston (Partner), Derek Johnston (Partner), Michael Gregory (Partner), Craig Johnston (Partner), Patrick DeLozier (Director), Fred Laughlin (Director), Eric Brey (Director), Linda Dillenbeck (Director), Bennett DeLozier (Manager), and Ben Hopkinson (Manager).

ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE

 


Wednesday, March 10

Club Business Expo

12:30pm-1:30pm EST

Swing by the GGA Partners virtual exhibitor booth, help yourself to some of our latest insights and resources, and be sure to get in touch with us by saying hello in the chat, scheduling a meeting, or dropping us a line.

VISIT THE GGA PARTNERS BOOTH

 


Thursday, March 11

Adopting Proven Methods of Engaging the Next Generation of Club Members

10:30am-11:30am EST

Research findings highlight how clubs can adapt and develop their offerings to meet the needs of the next generation of members and customers. Hear from four managers whose clubs are quite different, and whose perspectives represent the next generation of club managers. The panel discussion will provide valuable insights about Millennials, the challenges they face, and the opportunities for clubs to be more relevant to the next generation of club members in their membership structure and pricing, offerings, and experiences provided.

Join Michael Gregory (Partner, GGA Partners), Jay Johnson (GM/COO, Prairie Dunes Country Club), Daniel Moreno (The Briar Club), Kristen LaCount (GM, The Country Club), and Passion Graham (Clubhouse Manager, Desert Mountain Club).

ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE

 

Networking Break: Ask the Expert – Club Trends

1:30pm-2:00pm EST

Join Bennett DeLozier from GGA Partners, and Amilcar Davy from CMAA, to discuss early results from the CMAA Trends Survey entitled A Club Leader’s Perspective: Emerging Trends & Challenges.

ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE

 

Club Business Expo

3:30pm-4:30pm EST

Swing by the GGA Partners virtual exhibitor booth, help yourself to some of our latest insights and resources, and be sure to get in touch with us by saying hello in the chat, scheduling a meeting, or dropping us a line.

VISIT THE GGA PARTNERS BOOTH

 


Friday, March 12

The Keys to Effective Communications

12:30pm-1:30pm EST

Join Linda Dillenbeck (Director, GGA Partners) and Bennett DeLozier (Manager, GGA Partners) for insights into the steps club managers can take to ensure their communications are clear, concise, and effective. In this session, we’ll discuss how clubs can forge stronger bonds with members, and successfully engage prospective members in the wake of these fundamental shifts in perceived value.

ADD TO YOUR SCHEDULE

 


 

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

In Pursuit of Innovation

GGA Partners Releases Innovation Whitepaper as Part of Thought Leadership Series

‘In Pursuit of Innovation’ aims to provide managers with guidance to unlock creativity

TORONTO, Ontario – GGA Partners, a global consulting firm, has released In Pursuit of Innovation, the fourth in its series of thought leadership whitepapers. This authoritative guide explores how surviving in today’s competitive landscape depends on the ability of clubs and organizations to unlock their creative potential and offers up several guidelines to allow freedom of thought and imagination.

In Pursuit of Innovation highlights the way companies must continuously transform in order to survive and how a constant pursuit of innovation will guard against failure, whether gradual or sudden.  The paper clarifies exactly what constitutes innovation, where it comes from, and how club leaders can practice innovative thinking to unlock a culture of creativity.

“Our experience with thousands of private clubs over nearly three decades shows us that without innovation clubs become stale, membership falls until it eventually flatlines, competitive advantages diminish, members become dissatisfied, and talented staff look elsewhere,” explained GGA Partner Henry DeLozier, one of several authors of the piece.  “Innovation can come from anywhere inside an organization, and we think it should be encouraged from all corners, from the folks raking bunkers to the person answering phones to the accountant balancing the books.”

Innovation happens at the intersection of problems, opportunities, and fervent minds but must be deliberately sought, practiced, and encouraged at all levels. “It’s normal in any business to want to maintain the status quo. It’s comfortable, it’s safe, and it’s easier than making changes,” said DeLozier. “In reality, the status quo only works for so long. If you’re going to grow, you must innovate.”

In Pursuit of Innovation illuminates four common roadblocks to an innovative culture and identifies the steps necessary to unlock a culture of creativity.

In addition to innovation, GGA Partners has published new whitepapers on strategic planning, branding, and governance which are accessible via the firm’s website.

Click here to download the In Pursuit of Innovation whitepaper

 

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

Media Contact:

Bennett DeLozier
GGA Partners
602-614-2100
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com

GGA Partners Expands Research & Survey Capabilities with the Addition of Experienced Hospitality Research Professor

Dr. Eric Brey, PhD, joins GGA Partners as a Director to bolster consumer research capabilities

TORONTO, Ontario – GGA Partners has expanded its portfolio of services for private clubs, public golf courses, residential communities, resorts, municipalities and hospitality clients with the addition of an experienced research mind and acting hospitality educator.

Dr. Eric Brey, PhD, a researcher and professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, School of Hospitality Leadership, has joined GGA Partners as its newest director to expand the firm’s research efforts.

Dr. Brey’s research expertise will strengthen GGA’s capabilities in customer feedback and market research, both of which are core services for GGA. One of the many expanded offerings the addition of Dr. Brey supports is 3-Factor Theory Analysis designed to provide a deeper and more meaningful understanding of the touchpoints that have the greatest potential to impact customer and member satisfaction.

professional headshot of Dr. Eric Brey, PhD
Dr. Eric Brey, PhD

Recently, Medinah Country Club engaged Dr. Brey to conduct 3-Factor Theory Analysis using the raw survey data collected by GGA. “Identifying the touchpoints important to our members provided tremendous insight across our entire operation” stated Medinah Country Club General Manager Robert Sereci. “Clubs will benefit greatly by using this methodology to pinpoint opportunities on which to focus enhancement efforts to achieve the highest level of enjoyment for their members.”

In addition to enhanced customer satisfaction analysis, Dr. Brey’s vast experience in consumer research will provide expanded opportunities for survey interpretation, managed customer feedback, third party performance monitoring and analysis of existing client data to support GGA’s strategic planning and business intelligence services.

“The synergies created by combining GGA’s expertise in research and strategic planning with the knowledge and experience I bring to consumer research are exponential,” commented Dr. Brey. “Together we will be able to assist golf, club, resort and municipal operators with more detailed and comprehensive data analysis that will enhance their ability to make strategic decisions and improve their operational efficiency and customer experience.”

“Research is a cornerstone of our firm and consumer satisfaction is just one component of GGA’s capabilities in this space. Dr. Brey will play a key role in elevating GGA’s industry leading research, and will apply research best practices and new methods to develop even stronger insights for our clients,” commented GGA Partner Michel Gregory. “As a firm we are working to develop an all-encompassing approach to measuring real time, periodic, and long-term consumer feedback that will benefit a wide range of clients in the private club, resort and hospitality industries as well as municipalities who own golf and leisure assets”.

 

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

About Dr. Eric Brey, PhD

Dr. Brey earned his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Stout School of Hospitality Leadership. In 2006, he earned his PhD from Purdue University School of Hospitality and Tourism Management. Dr. Brey spent six years at the University of Memphis, Fogelman College of Business and Economics, Kemmons Wilson School of Hospitality Management before joining the University of Wisconsin-Stout, School of Hospitality Leadership in 2012. In his current role, he serves as professor and chair of the school, teaching marketing, strategy and customer analytics courses, and conducting research on consumer-centric strategy.

Dr. Brey has published numerous peer and refereed journal papers, written industry white papers and book chapters, received many recognitions and honors and has conducted applied research for the United States Golf Association. Recently, Dr. Brey completed a research study for the USGA identifying more than 1,000 touchpoints golfers can have throughout their experience that impact satisfaction and dissatisfaction. The results of the research will provide insights to help operators gain a firm understanding of what customers need and how to meet and exceed those expectations.

 

Media Contacts:

Michael Gregory, Partner
GGA Partners
416-524-0083
michael.gregory@ggapartners.com

 

GGA Partners & the CSCM Renew Platinum Level Corporate Partnership

GGA Partners and the Canadian Society of Club Managers Renew Platinum Level Corporate Partnership

TORONTO, Ontario (December 21, 2020) – GGA Partners (GGA) and the Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM) are pleased to announce the renewal of their strategic partnership to produce research and insights for the benefit of the CSCM members and the club industry at large. The CSCM Corporate Partner program recognizes industry partners that share the values of the CSCM and offer members support as leaders in the club management profession in Canada.

The CSCM and GGA have enjoyed a history of collaborative research and investigative solutions. GGA and the CSCM have worked to establish baseline data on clubs perceptions/views since their formal partnership began in 2018.

“CSCM’s new strategic framework will be introduced to the membership by the end of 2020. Research and insights will continue to be an integral part of our approach to the Canadian club industry,” explained “Kimberley Iwamoto CCM, CCE, CSCM president. “We are thrilled that GGA Partners will continue on this journey with the CSCM.”

The CSCM’s vision is to create great leaders through excellence in professional club management and its mission is to promote and develop the profession of club management. The CSCM offers a variety of programs and services in response to member needs and expectations including the certification program leading to the Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation, career opportunities, and a networking forum for executives and managers involved in club management.

GGA is committed to club management and helping facilitate key elements of the CSCM’s provision to provide research, resources, and education to its members. “The role of club managers is diverse, they need to be resilient as 2020 has shown.” said GGA partner Derek Johnston. “Working with the CSCM to create valuable research and insights is rewarding and the addition of the COVID-19-specific research seemed to really help this year.”

 

About The Canadian Society of Club Managers

Established in 1957, CSCM is the national professional society representing the club management profession in Canada. Of our approximately 600 members, over 70% are from golf clubs, and the remainder from a variety of city, recreation, fitness, curling and other types of clubs.

The Society’s members hold position titles that include General Manager, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer as well as Assistant Manager, Clubhouse Manager, Controller and Food and Beverage Manager. For more information please visit cscm.org.

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

 

Media Contacts:

Derek Johnston
GGA Partners
905-726-0701
derek.johnston@ggapartners.com

Suzanne Godbehere
The Canadian Society of Club Managers
416-979-0640 x242
sgodbehere@cscm.org

New Partnership Promises to Deliver Vibrant Future for England Club Managers

CMAE England Engages GGA Partners to Develop Strategic Plan

WARWICKSHIRE, England (October 27, 2020) – CMAE England has announced the engagement of GGA Partners™, the international consulting firm working with many of the world’s most successful private clubs, resorts, golf courses and residential communities, to facilitate the development of a five-year strategic plan for the association.

Established in 1992 as North America’s KPMG Golf Industry Practice, the independent firm has provided industry-leading advisory services to more than 3,000 clients worldwide. GGA has been recognised as “Strategic Planning Firm of the Year” by Boardroom Magazine and brings an unmatched financial, marketing, and operational focus to each of its strategic assignments. This extensive expertise was critical for CMAE England in their choice of strategic planning partner.

“CMAE England is founded on a dedication to club management excellence, education, knowledge-sharing, supporting career progression and on our powerful network of club professionals,” explained Chairman of CMAE England, Tristan Hall. “The board believes it is time to reaffirm these values, and the strategy employed, to deliver a vibrant and sustainable future for the Association.”

“In securing the services of GGA Partners, we have retained the very best strategic advisory team in the industry to guide and inform this critical process,” said Hall.

Distinguished in its ability to build enduring value, GGA’s work will continue beyond the development of the strategic plan to ensure its strategy drives significant improvement. As a result, CMAE is pleased to announce that GGA Partners™ has made a multi-year commitment to support the association as a Corporate Partner.

Rob Hill, Managing Partner of GGA’s EMEA Office, said, “GGA and CMAE are passionate about the value of informed decision-making and strategic planning. We appreciate the privilege of being asked to serve CMAE England in shaping its future and to demonstrate our support for the professional development of club leaders throughout England”.

GGA Partners™ has offices in Toronto, Canada; Phoenix, USA, and Dublin, Ireland. For further information about GGA Partners™ visit: ggapartners.com.

 

About CMAE England Region

The Club Management Association of Europe (CMAE) England Region is a non-profit making professional association with members involved in the management of sports clubs (golf, tennis, sailing, rowing, rugby, football, cricket), health & fitness clubs, leisure, city and dining clubs located throughout England. The CMAE provides a forum for the encouragement, development and recognition of education and professionalism in Club Management. For more information, please visit cmae-england.uk.

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

 

Media Contacts:

Bennett DeLozier
GGA Partners
+353 44 33 603
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com

Debbie Goddard
CMAE England Region
+44 (0)24 7669 2359
info@cmae-england.uk

Leveraging Differences in the Boardroom

GGA Partners Releases New Whitepaper on Private Club Governance as Part of Thought Leadership Series

‘Leveraging Differences in the Boardroom’ Now Available for Download

TORONTO, Ontario – International consulting firm GGA Partners has released Leveraging Differences in the Boardroom, the third in its new series of thought leadership whitepapers. This authoritative guide explores the benefits of clubs with diverse boards and suggests several steps to take when recruiting with diversity in mind.

Leveraging Differences in the Boardroom evaluates the consequences of unintentionally insular board composition and challenges the idea of “sameness” in the boardroom, which limits the ability of a board to effectively perform its duties and threatens a club’s health and longevity. The paper illustrates how multiple perspectives contribute to greater success in governance and argues for adjusting the profile of a club’s leadership to better serve members and prospects.

“We often see board members with similar professional, cultural, and ideological backgrounds and perspectives,” explained GGA Partner Henry DeLozier, one of several authors of the piece. “Boards that are neither representative of the membership nor reflective of their surrounding community risk losing the opportunity both to serve their current members and to attract new members.”

In addition, the whitepaper encourages that clubs intent on increasing diversity among their board take a holistic, multi-dimensional approach to its creation. “Forward-thinking boards understand that it is the breadth of perspective, not the mere inclusion of various diverse traits, that benefits the organization,” said DeLozier. “In addition to social diversity, professional and experiential diversity are also important in increasing the range of perspectives represented on the board.”

Board diversification is likely to be met with resistance from the status quo, which the paper aims to help club leaders overcome by providing tactics for building a diverse board, developing new board member criteria, and making a commitment to diversity.

In addition to governance, GGA Partners recently published new whitepapers on strategic planning and branding. The firm has announced that another in the series focused on innovation will be published through the third quarter of 2020.

Click here to download the whitepaper

 

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. For more information, please visit ggapartners.com.

Media Contact:

Bennett DeLozier
GGA Partners
602-614-2100
bennett.delozier@ggapartners.com

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