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  • Tot Hill Farm’s Tantalizing Mike Strantz Design Restored

    Besides owning three courses in the Carolinas, Pat Barber’s other business passion is restoring homes. According to Greg Wood, who oversees operations for Barber’s three golf facilities, Barber has experience reinvigorating and flipping smaller homes and restoring bigger properties on a personal level.Read More

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  • History Meets Modern Service at Shiloh Ridge Fitness Club

    It’s always important to balance old with new, to be open to the latest technologies, trends, and techniques while remaining grounded in the traditions of the game and the land on which it is played. For example, you can book a round at the Old Course in St Andrews on your phone now and pay with your Apple wallet – advancements that would have been unimaginable just 20 years ago. And there are plenty of pubs in the Auld Gray Toon that’ll take your order on an iPad.Read More


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  • GBL Tech Talks With Parker Cohn

    It’s the first edition of the NEWEST member to the Golf Business LIVE family: Golf Business LIVE - Tech Talks, hosted by Golf Business columnist and longtime NGCOA contributor Harvey Silverman. The emergence of technology across all corners of the golf industry is unmistakable. Each episode, Harvey Silverman will welcome experts and leaders to explore how this tech is advancing, streamlining, and propelling golf businesses from coast to coast.Read More

May 2023

Members First

By Rachel Carter

Happy Spring! There’s an energy buzzing across the country that I sense as I make my weekly phone calls to NGCOA Members and key industry leaders. For those lying outside the sunbelt states, the energy reflects the ramping up of operations after what has felt like a long and arduous winter for some.

Connecting with members give me the opportunity to hear, first-hand, about the battles they’re facing, like our member in Illinois who was hit with astronomical increases in their credit card processing fees, or milestones they’re reaching, like one member who has had a couple of banner years and is now interested in possibly selling his course. Like you, who own and operate golf facilities, we at the NGCOA are “...people, serving people.” So what other stories are more important than the ones of our very own members?

As I’ve said in the past, I believe NGCOA Members are the most thoughtful owners and operators in the business of golf. Testament to this is the feature found later in this edition of Golf Business on Cory Etter, PGA, who owns and operates Cider Ridge Golf Club and Pine Needle Country Club in Alabama. The hospitality and customer-obsessed experience that Cory and his team deliver day in and day out set a great example of curating an experience that keeps customers coming back. I hope to bring all of these stories to you, over the course of the coming years, so you get to know your fellow members and connect with one another both on Accelerate and in person at one of our several annual in-person events.

We started a new program in Q1, a Member Onboarding and Virtual Meet + Greet. Invitations are emailed to all new members who joined in the past quarter and all active NGCOA Members are welcome to attend. It is a 50-minute call that gives you a virtual front-row seat to what’s happening at the association. This past March we heard from Tom Brooks, owner of Carson Valley Golf Course and NGCOA Board President; Jay Karen, CEO; Ronnie Miles, senior director of advocacy; Jay Andersen, senior director of corporate partnerships; and I demonstrated how to access member-only resources on our website. It was a nice opportunity  for our members to learn how we’re putting their dues dollars to work, and to meet one another. Following the call, we distributed contact information for everyone who was on the call so they could get connected and collaborate.

Everything we are doing is designed to understand deeply and serve the needs of our members; to build meaningful community through Accelerate, our online member community, and our in-person events; and to deliver business-critical information, relevant and timely education, and crucial advocacy for advancing their business interests.

When I joined the NGCOA team I wanted to be sure I executed the “best practices” that are delivered through NGCOA research, podcasts, white papers and conferences in our own membership department. If, as an association, we’re going to deliver to our members “best practices” for operating successfully, we had better be leading by example.

One of the changes you will notice when you receive your annual membership renewal statement in 2023 is a new Member Information sheet that lists several examples of the value in belonging to the NGCOA. We offer the opportunity for you to tell us what you would like to learn more about. In my nine months in the membership role I’ve learned that there are several valuable resources available that our members are not taking full advantage of. Please take the time to look over that form and return it. Someone from the membership office will follow up with you directly and either walk you through how to obtain certain information, or broker introductions for you to subject matter experts within our ecosystem. These are the benefits of belonging. We’re standing by and eager to help.

If you are not an NGCOA member yet, the Board of Directors invites you to explore the only trade association in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to golf course owners and operators. Our members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in our makeup, we offer information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible. Please reach out to me to have a conversation about your golf business and how belonging to the NGCOA can improve your operation.


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