Cracks in the cart paths

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Since June 2020 the game has been on steroids. Public courses filled up, while many private club memberships grew to have waiting lists. People could not get enough of our game. An amazing difference from March 2020 when all believed the game would be closed until further notice,as the pandemic arrived in every city, every town, every neighborhood. It became the worst of times; who knew of the grand surprise just around the corner? For certain, the country has been devastated by COVID-19, while golf took the off ramp and found a way to be that thing people wanted to do. New golfers, returning golfers, and good old average golfers played and played and played even more. The game, beginning in June 2020, caught fire and burned hot.

At the same time, 25% of the workers across this country quit their jobs in 2021. That is a true and amazing number. This mass move to the exits has been called the Great Resignation, which has created massive job openings in every sector, just about everywhere. Back at the club, the business grew and grew, putting stress and strain on every staff member who decided to stay on the job. Although the money may have been good, the hours, the fear, the stress, and the pressure of the sheer numbers hurt every employee, no matter their role. As we know, the tough part about a job in golf is that the team must be on when the members come out to play. That includes weekends and many holidays. Over the past several months however, golf people have been speaking out looking for change. When there is silence against anger, voices will fill the void. It feels like it’s time for the game to act, to respond and to rebuild how work works. Here are three thoughts about creating more people-friendly jobs:

1)      Review every job description on property: retool the tasks for each role, while restating the pay and benefit structure for managers, full-time, and p/t staff.

2)      All should own the work: all team members should take a share of the weekly hours. One way to kill morale is for managers and people with tenure to work regular schedules, while the remaining staff is working the hard hours. Isn’t it time to change?

3)      Because of success it is time to retool the program: look to create either a monthly or quarterly bonus program based on the role, the hours worked, and the financial results of the property. If you want to keep your better people, pay them extra when they sacrifice because of open hours, busy days, lots of golfers. Treat them as they want to be treated.

It is time to rethink the needs of the club, beginning with the team. It is not 1981, or even 2001. On one hand, the game has experienced something not seen in decades, while on the other hand, young people have a different attitude about life and work. They want to do a good job. At the same time, they want to experience life, and not on Wednesday afternoons. A life that includes time off with family and friends should be part of a new direction for the entire team. Of course this is the hospitality business, where people want to play and eat on their days off. With staffing roles still tough to fill, and golfers not giving up, isn’t it time to share the good hours and the bad, the weekends and the holidays? Isn’t it time to create a bonus system that works for the club and the team? To build a new standard, every manager can show the way. Before TGR hits your front door, retool the schedules, the pay, and a bonus program for the benefit of all----especially for the leader, who owns the fallout. Spending your days interviewing, hiring, and training is not your best expenditure of time. Keeping your good people: that is your greatest investment. 

Jack Dillon writes the In My Opinion post. Jack is a mentor, a consultant, author and speaker. Jack can help your club, your team today. He is an expert in operations, purchasing, service and communications. Call Jack at: 407-973-6136, or e-mail Jack at:

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