What changed when these managers brought golf retail in house?

In the latest of a series of articles taken from a GCMA Hot Topics webinar, managers look at the way their staffing operations changed when they brought the shop into the club It’s a decision that can be controversial, clouded in emotion, and a challenge to bring to fruition. In a GCMA Hot Topics webinar, five golf club managers shared their experiences of bringing their retail and professional operations in house.  Redditch’s Kerry Alligan-Smith, Cirencester’s Leighton Walker, Bognor Regis’ James Maclean, Walton Heath’s Alex Woodward, and Yeovil’s Chris Huggins have all gone through the process at their clubs.  They discussed a wide range of topics around the move – including why they did it, the impacts of change management, and the results achieved.  In the first article, the group explained why they had decided to make a change. This time, they consider whether and how roles had altered because of their decision…  James Maclean: “We came from a set up with one PGA professional and one full-time assistant. The shop was open from eight until six in the summer and eight till four in the winter.   “One of the key drivers for us bringing it in house was to improve the service levels. We’re up in members of staff and the shop is open from first tee time to last tee time every day.   “Obviously, everybody is employed by the club so the wage bill has gone through the roof, in comparison to the previous professional, but the service level that members now enjoy – it’s a completely different offering.  “The shop is still managed and run by a PGA pro for the club. We were always going to employ a head professional to run the business for us. We were never going to try and do this without a professional on board.”  Kerry Alligan-Smith: “Our head pro joined us last year. He’s absolutely fantastic. He is pro-active because we’ve enabled him to do that.  “He's also my assistant manager. He highlighted when he joined us that he did want to get into golf club management, so he is currently my assistant and he's running his own team.   “He has an assistant that will be going into his first year of PGA to do the coaching and we also have our dedicated teaching pro as well.   “We've brought on a dedicated teaching pro that does coaching for ladies, RAGS, our junior section for the academy and one-to-ones. She’s absolutely flying and it’s just added another string to the bow.”  Leighton Walker: “We're going to try and grow things organically and, as demand grows, we'll just gradually add staff. We’ve got four at the moment – not all of them full-time.  “We're trying to find a blend of people that can focus on retail and then others that might focus a bit more on the teaching side of things.  “In my eyes, I don't see why we can't have five, six, seven pros if the business demands it and, to me,...
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