The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011 - (Page 4)

GOLF PRO COMPENSATION Solving the professional payment predicament Owners seek different ways to keep professional staff both productive and profitable By Jim Dunlap P eriodically an isolated industry firefight erupts when Northern California-based CourseCo, which just added its some publication or golf industry gathering raises the 20th management deal and its first in Oregon, runs all lesson question of the value of the words “PGA Professional” revenue through the course’s cash register, but returns the large on the business card of key golf course staff members. The vast majority of it to the staff pros who conducted the lessons. CEO majority of course owners and operators seem to come down Tom Isaak said that the majority of CourseCo’s pros are salaon the pro-PGA (no pun intended) side of the issue, although ried, although some are hourly. there are a few who have a stated preference for managers with Many management companies “inherit” specific lesson fee non-golf business experience, or are fearful that PGA certified or other compensation programs which were previously agreed employees will cost them more. Acknowledging that the PGA upon by the course owner. John Easterbrook, Troon Golf ’s exof America is far too well entrenched to fade away – and appears ecutive vice president of operations, said the course would typito be increasingly receptive to providing more training focused cally receive some sort of percentage of lesson revenue, but in the on upper management or even ownership skills – the more im- case of an established employee or independent contractor deal, mediate issue is how owners and operators Troon would abide by that deal. Troon can best use the skills of their golf profesdoes frequently use outside independent ...the more immediate sionals, PGA-certified or not, and how to contractors as instructors and charges compensate them for their work. issue is how owners and them according to various factors, includThe compensation alternatives include operators can best use ing local following or name recognition. salaried or hourly wages, designation as an Easterbrook did point out that with the independent contractor or a combination growing number of performance centers the skills of their golf of those. In surveying a number of multior academies at facilities, their instructors professionals, PGAcourse owners and management company are more frequently employees of the faexecutives, we found examples of all three cility rather than contractors. certified or not, and types of compensation, and combinations Jeff Silverstein, CEO of I.R.I. Golf how to compensate thereof. The biggest variance is found in Group, which is based in San Diego but the ways that pros are compensated for the owns or manages 17 facilities nationwide, them for their work. instruction phase of their jobs. Some staff said they also use independent contracpros who also work in the pro shop and tors as instructors, but the percentage other areas of the course operations keep their courses charge those instructors for their lesson revenue, with the course only receiving the range ball facility use can range from 15 to 40 percent of the lesson fee, revenue. In other cases, the course keeps a percentage of lesson again depending primarily on the volume of business involved. revenue in return for use of their practice facility and range balls. In still others, instructors, who may or may not also be course The Morton method employees, are independent contractors who generally pay the Ken Morton, Sr., whose Morton Golf company runs the four Sacramento, Calif. municipal courses as well as the huge – and course a percentage of lesson revenues or a flat fee per lesson. John McNair, vice president of golf for San Diego-based JC hugely profitable – Morton Golf Superstore at the city’s Haggin Resorts, allows staff pros to keep their own lesson revenue and Oaks Golf Course, would nearly have to build another wing on charges their clients for range balls, while independent contrac- the Superstore to house all the PGA, state and national golf astors who use the JC Resorts facilities pay a set fee to the course sociation awards he and his family have won for golf merchanfor lessons. On the other hand, JC staff pros are challenged to dising and operations. And yet the system he has developed for be productive for the course when they’re not on the lesson tee, compensating his staff golf and sales professionals is rarely, if receiving a “small” base with incentives tied to shop sales of JC ever, duplicated in the industry. Morton’s system is based on a combination of pure market Player loyalty cards, merchandise, course conditioning ratings capitalism, informed micro-management and an almost misand overall facility profitability. February 2011 4 The Pellucid PersPecTive

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011

The Pellucid Perspective - February 2011
Contents
Is Groupon Good for Golf: The Sequel
Solving the Professional Payment Predicament
Jan 2011 YtD Weather Impact, Dec 2010 YtD Utilization
Reynolds Plantation Courses on the Market
Atlanta, GA Core Business Statistical Area (CBSA)
Alternative Golf? Or an Affirmation of How Many of Us Play Already?
Custom Clubfitting in 2011: A Solution but Not a Cure
Pap-Agony for Phoenix Muni
Show Time - Again

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