By Karen Fleming
Coastal Georgia & Carolinas
Golf Life Navigators
The golf club industry may be rife with increasing competition, but club professionals wisely embrace the practice of sharing information. Our successes and struggles are an integral part of the process and provide the best fodder for dos and don’ts. By allowing others to benefit from lessons learned, we achieve our goals faster and more fully. There are several ways, both informal and structured, that we indulge this human nature. One way is through professional affiliation with industry associations.
Golf Life Navigators (GLN) has numerous partners within the golf industry, and we are proud to say that among them is Professional Club Marketing Association (PCMA). We recommend PCMA to membership professionals as an excellent source of education, training, fellowship and more.
We are fortunate to have had a presence at the national PCMA conference held last month in Chicago. Tim Rowe, General Manager of GLN, and Bob Oddo, Business Development Manager, reported an energetic vibe and great educational content. They were delighted to hear cheering from Naples, Florida-area clients when our sponsorship was announced!
In speaking with membership professionals in my territory of Coastal Georgia and Carolinas about their experience, the PCMA garnered a ringing endorsement for responsiveness to their membership, pointing out changes to this year’s conference to better accommodate all types of clubs, even those that are not golf-centric. Breakout sessions were offered for yacht clubs, golf clubs, city clubs, and bundled golf communities.
The focus in Chicago was leadership development, education, sharing relevant market trends and club case studies of successful programming. Networking between educators with decades of experience to new membership professionals provides a fun, effective way for everyone to grow.
In late August, Tim Rowe and I had the pleasure of presenting to the Central and Western North Carolina Chapter of PCMA. The meeting began at the stunning Peninsula Yacht Club with a delicious luncheon overlooking the marina and an audience of stellar talent. With more than 20 clubs in attendance, from Charlotte and surrounding areas as far away as Linville and High Point, Tim illustrated the importance of data, revealed consumer trends from our ProGuide3 submissions, proper training for sales professionals, and tracking the sales funnel process.
I had the pleasure of sharing some of my experience with best practices for prospective member follow-up. After lunch, we enjoyed boat rides across Lake Norman and completed our afternoon with a tour of Trump National! We thank Sylvia Lalinde of Gaston Country Club, President of the Greater Charlotte Area Chapter, for inviting us, and Clair Knox, Bruce Furman, and Emily Bolton of Peninsula Yacht Club for hosting us and ferrying us to Trump National. Once there, Ashley Wyrick provided a world-class tour of the village. It was an amazing day of camaraderie and collaboration.
Finally, as the founding president, the SC/GA Lowcountry Chapter of PCMA has granted me the honor of staying in touch. When I contacted current President Marianne Schofield to see how the national conference went and inquire of local chapter happenings, I was delighted to learn that Marianne will be ceding her role as President of the local chapter to accept the Vice Presidency of the national chapter. What better testament to the importance of networking, collaboration, and commitment to professional associations?
Marianne has achieved her CMP (Certified Marketing Professional) through PCMA’s online training program. The Lowcountry Chapter made a day of learning fun with their August meeting. The meeting began on the ferry to Daufuskie Island, South Carolina, followed by lunch and a presentation from Dr. Raymond R. Ferreira, who is well acquainted with CMAA (Club Managers Association of America), another esteemed professional association (stay tuned).
After lunch, participants had the option of a tour of Haig Point and/or playing nine holes. Melissa Adams, Membership Director at GLN Showcase Club Wachesaw Plantation Club is looking forward to the chapter’s November meeting being held in Charleston.
Each of these functions embrace GLN’s love of relevant data and having fun in your work. Fellowship promotes fun. Sometimes we feel guilty about having fun along the way. Don’t! If you are having fun, you are more productive. Sure, we must work hard, but allow yourself to have some fun along the way and you are bound to if you surround yourself with those who are willing to brainstorm and join forces. True leadership comes from learning from your successes and failures and sharing the benefit of those lessons with others. So, get out there and mingle!