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October 2021

Hire Me!


By Jay Karen, CEO NGCOA

I understand there is a labor shortage in the service and hospitality industries across the United States, including many golf courses. While I don’t think my idea will in any way solve the macro problem, I’d like to work at one of your courses for a couple of days.  Every so often, I push the pause button at NGCOA HQ and spend a little time shadowing a course owner.  I’ve done this with Tom Schwark at Sycamore Hills north of Detroit, MI, and with Cathy Harbin at Pine Ridge in Paris, TX.

Being at the course - behind the scenes - keeps me grounded and intimately in touch with the business. We are out there battling the battles for you and the industry, and we are better at what we do, if we always stay in touch with your realities and challenges. I recall rolling up to Pine Ridge when the skies were about to open, and had the visceral reminder that rain will cause the cash register to stop ringing. It caused me to keep searching for ideas and inspiration from courses that are taking the game and fun - and dollars - under their roofs. Getting glimpses into the “maintenance sheds” and being reminded that, at the core, course owners are also farmers. Observing interactions in the pro shop between the staff and customer is always a learning experience, and it gets my wheels turning.

Don’t worry. I’m not asking for health insurance benefits or paid time off. But I am looking for a learning experience. Someone who could spend a day with me, patiently answer my litany of questions, and maybe play a round with me and talk about the land, your story and what the future may hold too. I’m open to any part of the United States and any type of facility.

If you’re interested in spending a little time telling me your story, showing me your operations and talking shop about the golf industry, drop me an email at Maybe share with me a little about yourself and what you think I could learn from our time together.



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