Day 2 got off to a booming start with a 25-minute, high-energy breakout session on cover letters, resumes, and interviews with Bill Cioffoletti (PGA) and Michelle Hupfer (PGA) in an nearby classroom. Attendance was optional and not part of the day’s Seminar, but boy was it worth it. Leave it to Bill to make resumes sound exciting!
We discussed the importance of networking and how golf professionals as a whole are probably weakest at marketing and selling themselves. It’s not easy, and it’s not always comfortable. But it can make the difference between getting a job and going back to JobFinder at pga.org.
Then it was back to Golf Operations and specifically, a discussion on pace-of-play. Numerous factors affect pace-of-play: course design, course set-up and maintenance, and even player behavior. The general consensus was that a pace-of-play program must be promoted to players as well as staff.
Better communication from on-course signage to set-up, educating the customer on their role in maintaining proper pace-of-play, and training staff members on how to handle on-course situations all go a long way toward keeping things moving out on the golf course. It’s a very complex issue, and there’s no one right answer on how to handle it. Everyone should be allowed to experience a quality pace-of-play on the golf course.
In the afternoon, the conversation shifted to Metrics for Monitoring Performance and Yield Management. I told you Golf Operations was anything but sexy. However, it’s really important because it’s the nuts and bolts that make the golf course churn. Encanterra’s Mark Black (PGA) told us that when we’re analyzing metrics, we have to decide how often we’re going to monitor and what corrective action we’re going to take if there’s a discrepancy.
Useful metrics include forecasts, per-round income, cost of goods sold, and gross margin. Yield Management allows a facility to actively monitor and target time slots and price points and can be a particularly useful performance metric. On a lighter note, one of my classmates remarked that Mark sounded a little bit like John Madden. I kept picturing Mark saying things like “Brett Favre” and “Boom!”
We were out of class by 3:40p, five minutes earlier than promised even on our shortest-scheduled day! We covered 110 pages of the Golf Operations Seminar Manual in a little less than two days. What would John Madden say about that? It was a lot of wordy slides and not a whole lot of pictures or graphics. Boom!
PGA Short Course
After class today, I hustled back to the hotel in hopes of catching a ride with some of the guys over to PGA Golf Club to play a little golf. Since we got out so early, I figured the least I could do was to try out the Short Course. But by the time I got back to the hotel, the place had already cleared out. Literally less than ten minutes after class dismissed, and it was already a ghost town!
So I decided to head out front to hail an Uber. That’s when one of my classmates came out, told me he was playing, and started walking. Turns out it’s less than a mile away and about a ten minute walk. Incidentally, an Uber X ride will cost you $6.55.
After buying a sleeve of balls, I grabbed a complimentary TaylorMade wedge and putter and headed over to the Bunny Slope. What a great idea! I played two balls, and in less than 15 minutes, I was finished playing the six-hole loop because there was hardly anyone else out there. At one point, a full rainbow appeared in the distance. It was so much fun, I decided to play it another couple of times.
Each tee box was a mat so as not to tear up the turf, and the greens and surrounding bunkers were in really good shape. The first two holes were 52 and 50 yards long respectively. Those were the only two yardages I saw. If you want to wander away from the hotel and you still want to get in a little golf, the short course is definitely the way to go. And what’s more, it’s free! Now I’m really wishing I’d brought my own sticks.
I’m coming to realize that there’s not much you can do with your Level 2 Work Experience Portfolio while you’re at the Seminar. In a lot of ways, that really takes the pressure off during and at the end of each day and is a lot less stressful. It seems like all I did at the end of each seminar day at Level 1 was to knock out as much of the Portfolio as I could before I went home. Level 2 involves a lot more interviews and facility activities that you can’t actually complete until you’re back at your own facility. If you’re being honest, you can only get so far. Without too much effort through two days, my Portfolio is already more than 20% complete.
Preview of Day 3: Review of Portfolio/Testing Procedures, Merchandising (8:30a-4:45p)
After tomorrow, we’ll be more than halfway home. We’ll get to tackle a new topic too: Merchandising and Inventory Management, which is great. I don’t know much about either subject, so it should be interesting. I really can’t wait for the last two days of the Seminars. That’s Intermediate Teaching and Golf Club Alteration with Rafael Floriani (PGA) and Brad Brewer (PGA). I can’t wait to learn some new tricks and techniques I can take back to my students in Arizona.