The Country Club Head Golf Professional
Director of Golf
The Country Club
Pepper Pike, OH

There is an exceptional opportunity available for the Head Golf Professional position at one of the premier clubs in the Upper Midwest.  The current long tenured Head Golf Professional, Jack McKelvey, is retiring in Fall of 2018 after 26 years of service to the Club.  This club has only seen five golf professionals in its entirety.  The role at The Country Club in Pepper Pike, Ohio, is one of the top positions of its kind.  The club boasts tremendous stability, strong member support, quality amenities and incomparable staff.
The Club, the course, its members, and staff all combined to make The Country Club and the Head Golf Professional role one of the most respected and significant in the country.  The next HGP will follow in a tradition of highly respected representatives of this special environment, and will be able to help Country continue to enhance its position as one of the finest family and golf centric country clubs in America.

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An important part of Cleveland's history for more than a century, The Country Club is a family centric, full service traditional country club with a wide range of sport and social offerings steeped in rich memories and a timeless tradition of excellence.  Founded in 1889, the Club’s storied history is unique and important to the development of the game of golf and to the early country club scene in America.  Golf was not originally in the plan for the club but quickly became an integral part of club activities, and one of the most significant contributions to the world of golf was developed at The Country Club when a member developed the first rubber-cored, rubber-wound ball, which changed the way the game was played.
The Club has long been a staple of its member’s lives and over the years, the facilities have been improved with additions such as a new fitness facility, children's amenities, casual dining, outdoor terrace dining, and more.  There is also a strong desire to preserve the unique history and character of the Club’s course, with sensitive renovations such as the recent major golf course project to restore William Flynn’s original design.  The future of the Club is bright and can be best summed up by its Mission Statement: 

“To be a family-oriented country club with first-class facilities and services offering exceptional golf, athletic and social activities consistent with our tradition of excellence.”
In 1935, The Country Club’s still youthful course was the scene of the National Amateur Tournament, where Lawson Little completed his “little slam," winning both the British and United States Amateur titles in two successive seasons.  The course was designed by William Flynn in 1928, and is the same layout that contested the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur, won by Lydia Ko.
Although “Country,” as most locals refer to the Club, has a proud history, outstanding facilities and a superb staff, its greatness stems primarily from its membership and the sense of camaraderie and community that is found in abundance at the Club. 
A beautiful, meticulously manicured campus, Country features a sweeping drive to its stately granite-faced Philip Small designed clubhouse that is the centerpiece of its many amenities.  Beautifully appointed, the clubhouse is home to a wide array of dining options, extraordinary locker rooms, a few overnight accommodation suites, fitness, sitting rooms and administration.  The focus on an exceptionally high level of detail---from maintaining the physical plant to service aspects---are focused upon and obsessively covered to ensure high levels of member and staff engagement and satisfaction. 
A recently expanded outdoor dining deck overlooks an updated and expansive and significantly upgraded pool complex ($4.3M), and provides members with a new casual covered outdoor bar area; all of which has gone to generating new levels of engagement and usage, especially for families.  Additionally, there are four paddle tennis courts that provide winter enjoyment for members.
The separate, but adjacent golf shop and cart storage (newly added) have been able to accommodate members’ needs as the golf program continues to grow and be enhanced.  The large range and practice areas on the opposite side of the clubhouse provide members with many opportunities to work on their game with quality instruction.  Plans for additional enhancements are being considered and may include a new paddle facility, fitness facility, golf instruction center, bunker renovation, and golf shop renovation.
Clearly, the William Flynn designed golf course is the centerpiece of Country’s many outstanding amenities.  Its par 72 layout is nearly 7,000 yards from the tips, and provides an outstanding test of golf abilities.  Unlike many of today’s modern courses, only a few homes can be seen while playing, leaving one to fully enjoy and appreciate the beautiful scenery and background of one of America’s finest layouts.  The beautiful use of the natural land, a thoughtful routing, wide fairways, landform greens and strategic bunkers all combine to make Country one of Flynn’s finest works!
  • At present, there are approximately 550 members in all categories
  • Initiation Fee - $40,000 –Full Member
  • Annual Dues - $9,720 – Full Member
  • 18 Holes of William Flynn designed golf supporting approximately 15,000 golf rounds annually
  • The Golf Shop is approximately 1,500 square feet and is owned by the Club
  • Shop Sales Volume: Hard Goods: $250,000+, Soft Goods: $215,000+
  • The Head Golf Professional is a full time, year-round role, with ample off-season time January - March
  • Golf Operational budget for 2018 is projected at approximately $853K from all revenue sources.
  • Gross Golf Shop Operations Payroll - $405,000
  • Golf Operations maintains 14 FTE
  • The golf program at Country includes a large and important cadre of caddies, and the Club values the experience and promotion of this program.
  • This role reports directly to the GM/COO of the Club and interfaces with all other operating departments
  • The Club is organized as a 501(c)(7) and is a not for profit corporation 
The HGP at Country is expected to be the consummate professional, never losing sight of the primary objective of providing an exceptional golf experience for all the Club’s members, while at the same time growing the game and its enjoyment, and being the true “face” of golf at Country.  Amongst many key competencies, the following are absolute keys to success and being an ideal “fit” for the role: 
  • The new HGP must be an outstanding communicator, current and innovative in engaging members to participate and further enjoy the game, instruction, event planning and execution, retail management, and fully recognize that he/she will be stepping into a role that very few have enjoyed in the past; the history and tradition of professionalism is critical in one’s style and intuitive persona.  Possessive of a strong organizational, planning and prioritization skills combined with outstanding service and a fully member-focused attitude.
  • A naturally energized personality with high levels of integrity, pragmatic, progressive and levelheaded with a presence that conveys leadership, trust, and confidence.  Someone who recognizes that being “present” is critical during “season.”
  • Comfortable working in a highly collaborative manner with the GM/COO and provide thoughtful input and leadership to Golf and Green Committees.  Ultimately, a hardworking, “lead by example” professional who sets clear accountabilities, provides thoughtful and regular feedback to staff members, and who is comfortable and embracing of reporting lines directly to the GM/COO.
  • Significant experience and competency in organizing and managing golf events and outings. 
  • A “servant-hearted” leader who can relate to, interact with, play golf with, converse intelligently with, and have fun with all constituencies of members, while remaining the quintessential golf professional and “face” of golf at Country.
  • A team player that appreciates, relates to, and can work with staff at all levels, an especially important element as Country enjoys exceptional staff tenure and mutual respect amongst its management team and staff.
  • A capable instructor who can adapt teaching techniques to apply to all golf level abilities and include various media including video and technology innovations of other sorts.
  • Someone who naturally works closely with the course superintendent in coordinating planned closures for events and scheduled maintenance, demonstrating a strong “team player” leadership role in supportive communications about conditions, course plans, etc., with the membership.
  • Someone with desire and ability to elevate and successfully execute clinic offerings for all levels of play and encourage the advancement of new golfers, and who enjoys working with juniors and those new to the game as well.
  • A self-motivated, role model for team members in all departments.  Motivated to create and lead a culture around golf operations including golf shop, golf staff development; someone who can build an especially strong team of professionals around himself/herself.
  • A golf professional that recognizes what “a member experience second to none” means, and is able to continually evaluate, enhance, and direct others to achieve that vision in a positive, energized, and intuitive manner.  This experience may also require or include occasional accompanying, coordination, and promotion of member trips to significant golf venues, utilizing a desired network of industry professionals. 
Anticipating first year transitioning success, the new HGP will need to focus on and recognize the following expectations for positive achievement and personal attainment or focus: 
  • Quickly coming to know the Members and Staff, and their key expectations, continued aspirations, and opportunities at Country.
  • Ensure that scheduled events are well planned, properly, and effectively communicated and coordinated with all necessary constituencies.
  • Focus on significant engagement opportunities in the shop, on the practice areas, in the clubhouse and as often as possible.
  • Be an active and positive contributor to the GM and other key senior staff relative to innovations, member experience enhancements and the overall member and guest enjoyment of The Country Club, even in areas beyond golf.
  • Meet with every member of the golf staff to both “listen” to their desires and expectations, and to provide clear direction and understanding of accountabilities and expectations of them; evaluate the talent within and begin to outline for the future a pipeline of talent recruitment and retention as needed.
  • Review and understand the full scope of merchandising and its opportunities in both hard and soft goods areas, working closely with the Shop Merchandiser.
  • Oversee and become involved in the instructional program, and learn from the existing golf staff, all of whom are well regarded by the membership.
  • Work closely with the Controller and GM to understand the fiscal responsibilities for all golf areas including planning, budgeting, monitoring and corrective management. 
Successful candidates for this role must be able to provide confidence to the Search Committee that the following qualifications are or will be in alignment with the Club’s desires: 
  • Be a current PGA Director of Golf, Head Golf Professional, or 1st/Senior Assistant from a recognizable, well-regarded club who has mentored under a strong and well-regarded DG or Head Golf Professional.  PGA Class “A” status is essential. 
  • Preferably have had experience working in similar country club operations vs. ‘golf only’ or resort golf environments.
  • Possessive of a successful playing record and personal golf game commensurate with the position and its stature, while at the same time recognizing that commitment priorities are first and foremost to Country.
  • Have the “sensitivity and maturity” necessary to prudently manage the transition to the next Head Professional following strong continuity and consistency in this role for many years.
  • Possesses and utilizes clearly developed communication skills, including verifiable strengths in responsiveness, balance, recognition of and proficiency in multiple means of communicating (technology), and an overall priority in doing so with all constituencies.
  • Be decisive, proactive, and responsive and have exceptional personal “presence” in his/her representation of the Club to all constituencies.
  • Have verifiable experience of performing at a high level in strong ‘service-delivery’ culture club environments where clear standards of hiring, training, orienting and evaluating staff are in place and effectively used to promulgate those cultures.
  • Having verifiable strengths and a history of attracting and building high performance operational teams, being highly visible and interactive with members, being a strong supporter of fellow senior staff and being an energized “face” of golf at his/her present club is critical.
  • Be recognized for being innovative, creative, and most importantly, proactive in developing and enhancing the overall golf programming and experience at his/her present club.
  • Be known for being “accountable,” “taking ownership” and as having a high-level ability to effectively interact and communicate, both in writing and in-person in a highly professional and appropriate manner.  Be referenced as “leading by example” in all that he/she does in his/her golf operation; essentially someone who ‘walks the talk.’
  • Be able to show where he/she has been proactive and successful in ‘growing the game’ within his/her current or past golf operation.
  • Have excellent business acumen, being able to clearly outline his/her history of managing the financial aspects and outcomes of his/her operation.  Goal setting, achieving objectives and process are critical success factors in this role.
  • Have clear passion for the game, its history and tradition, where it can be clearly seen to positively benefit and enhance members’ enjoyment and respect for golf at Country.
  • Have had active involvement in committee work (which is minimal at Country), recognizing the need to be an active ‘partner’ with appropriate Club committees and especially the GM/COO to evaluate and continually enhance member enjoyment, engagement, and overall participation. 
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty.  The requirements listed above are representative of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Preferably, a college degree, and hold a minimum of a “Class A” card and be a registered member of the PGA.  Further, a verifiable commitment to continuing education within both the PGA and potentially CMAA, as there is a strong desire in place for candidates with leadership skills beyond golf operations.
Salary is open and commensurate with qualifications and experience.  The Club, along with the typical senior staff benefits, offers an excellent bonus and benefit package.
Please upload your resume and cover letter (in that order) using the link below.  You should have your documents fully prepared to be attached when prompted for them during the online application process. 
Preparing a thoughtful letter of interest and alignment, clearly articulating your “fit” with the profile and the above noted expectations and requirements is necessary.  Your letter should be addressed to The Country Club Search Committee, and clearly articulate why you want to be considered for this position at this stage of your career and why The Country Club and the Greater Cleveland area will be beneficial to both you and the Club if selected. 
Expressions of interest in this manner should be conveyed to our Firm no later than August 20th, 2018.  Candidate selections will occur in September and interviews are expected to occur the first of October.  The eventually selected successful candidate would likely start in January 2019 after retirement of the current Head Professional.
IMPORTANT:  Save your resume and letter in the following manner:
“Last Name, First Name Resume” &
“Last Name, First Name Cover Letter”
(These documents should be in Word or PDF format)
Note: Once you complete the application process for this search, you are not able to go back in and add additional documents.
For directions on how to upload your resume and cover letter visit this page
If you have any questions please email Patty Sprankle:
Kurt D. Kuebler, CCM
561-747-5213 – Jupiter, FL                                                                      

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