Learning and Applying Management Skills in the Golf Business By Patrick J. Montana, PhD USGTF Master Teaching Professional, Scarborough, NY Recently I received a telephone call from a friend who asked if I would be interested in teaching golf at a major year-round golf facility in my geographical area. Since the golf facility where I have been teaching for the past three seasons closes at the end of October, I decided to explore the opportunity. I met with the General Manager who said she was looking for a Head Golf Professional to give all golf lessons, clinics, golf camps, and to assist her at times in managing the facility because the current teaching pro did nothing but stay in the office and rarely spent time interacting with customers and staff. As a longtime university professor of management and former President of two different divisions of the American Management Associations, before I became interested in teaching golf, it was obvious what was needed. Apparently, there was little communication, if any, between the existing Head Professional and the General Manager as to what was expected on the job because at the heart of managing for results is managing expectations. An “expectancy gap” existed in this situation. My definition of management is simply getting results effectively through others. A more formal definition of management is working with and through other people in order to accomplish the objectives of the organization and its members. Today there are approximately 17,000 golf clubs in the United States and an equivalent number worldwide. With many golf facilities and courses being constructed annually, and the industry continuing to grow, there is a need for more qualified, effective managers in the golf industry. The United States Golf Managers Association is fulfilling this need by training and certifying club managers from around the world regardless of the position they may be currently occupying in the golf industry. The program is very unique in that it combines an intensive five-day course with ongoing education through email learning. Participants are taught a variety of skills from actual golf managers that apply directly to golf facility management including: Customer Relations Management Expectations The Common Sense Factor Introduction to Agronomy An Introduction to Golf Course Construction Employment at Public versus Private Facilities Managing a Golf Course on a Strict Budget An Introduction to Food and Beverage Understanding and Working with Various Types of Grasses During Season Changes as well as Varying Geographic Area Evolution of the Modern Golf Swing An Introduction to Pro Shop Merchandising Day to Day Golf Course Operations – Inside / Outside An Introduction to Payroll, Budgeting and Accounting Marketing Yourself within the Industry Effectively Organizing Golf Tournaments The Basics of Today’s Modern Golf Equipment The Passion for Excellence  Participants see and hear from guest speakers who have a wealth of information in these various topics, and are able to network with other golf industry professionals who become a valuable resource and source of support. Five-day certification programs are scheduled year-round. The value of the United States Golf Managers Association to the industry is one of the most essential elements to the successful growth of the game. Any current or aspiring golf club employee or those with previous business backgrounds looking for a fulfilling career in golf club management are welcome to attend.  (Dr. Montana is author of Conquering The Course, Nine Steps to Managing Your Business and Golf Expectations)
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