Club Management Summer 2013 - (Page 11)
Profiles in Excellence
joe Murphy is the CEO at St. George’s
Golf & Country Club in Etobicoke, Ontario,
Q: You started in the club business as a caddie
at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club (HG&CC) in
Hamilton, Ontario. What did you learn as a caddie
about clubs and their members?
a: I believe I had members figured out by the
time I was 12 years of age. Seriously, that experience taught me a lot: about club protocol,
respect for the game, how to properly address
members and act around them, integrity, and
work ethic and how to play this great game.
Golf truly is a sport where you can get to know
a person’s character in four hours or less.
Gibb, an MBA from Harvard who taught
me a lot about aligning goals with vision…
and not to take the little things so seriously.
Q: Many of us can look back on a lucky break that
set the course for our career success. Can you?
a: Becoming the GM at Toronto’s Islington
a professional tour player?
Golf Club was my first break. After serving as
assistant manager for six months, I interviewed
for the GM’s job following his retirement. The
club offered the job to a more experienced
candidate who turned it down. I’m not sure if
I was their second choice, but I got the job at
31. Within four years, I became the GM at St.
George’s, one of the best clubs in Canada.
an eight handicap.
a: Cycling, exercising in the gym, food and
a: Leading clubs effectively during these
times of uncertainty. Clubs are multi-million-dollar businesses and far more sophisticated than in previous years. Managers today
need to take a lead role in driving the club
forward in all of its disciplines. No longer can
we rely on volunteers to dictate the direction of the club. We need the expertise and
knowledge that volunteers bring to the club,
but club management must be responsible for
the business and its sustainability.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at
Q: Was there a person you consider a mentor or
Q: What’s the biggest challenge facing club
Q: Like most caddies, did you envision a life as
a: Not seriously. The best I could get to was
someone who strongly influenced you?
a: There were a few people. The HG&CC
club professional was Dick Borthwick, who
taught me about the game of golf—not only
how to play, but how to respect the game.
On the club management side, John Mickle,
GM for 29 years at HG&CC, was well ahead
of his time in terms of club management.
My office was not far from the boardroom,
and I used to listen to him conduct himself
during meetings. I still use many of his
tactics today. The two past club presidents
of St. George’s, Terry Ruffell, a pioneer in
the evolution of club governance, and Bob
wine tours, and [going to] church.
Q: Golf courses have signature holes. What is
St. George’s signature service?
a: Good question! I would say our dedi-
cation to excellence. More specifically, the
staff in all areas who take great pride in
working at St. George’s and strive to provide our members with great service.
Q: Do you have a personal philosophy, some-
thing that guides you?
a: Success is a journey, not a destination.
And my Christian faith.
Profiles in Excellence is
presented by Global
Golf Advisors, a
Partner. Global Golf
Advisors is the golf and
club industry’s leading authority on
course ownership and management
best practices, club lifestyle
enhancement, and member
facilitation. For more information,
visit globalgolfadvisors.com or call
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Club Management Summer 2013
Club Executive of the Year 2013
Profiles in Excellence
Bridging the Expectations Gap
When Death Visits Your Club
Design for the Bottome Line
Have a Seat
The 19th Hole
Club Management Summer 2013