Can Belfair attract the most talented professionals?

By: October 6, 2017

Troon Privé (the private club operations division of Troon) will manage Belfair, a private golf club community in Bluffton, South Carolina. Belfair is an award-winning 36-hole facility as well as the community’s property owners association. The club features two championship golf courses designed by Tom Fazio that exemplify Lowcountry beauty.

The West Course (see picture below; 18-hole, par-72 course with 7,111 total yards) was opened in 1996, the East Course (par-71 course measures 6,900 yards from the championship tees) was opened in 1999 (after a $1 million renovation by Tom Fazio).

If this is not enough, then I can tell you that Belfair has got also:

  • A world-class golf learning center.
  • A 9,200 sq. ft. state-of-the-art athletic center, which includes two pools, tennis courts, certified personal training, spa services, a dog park etc.
  • 4 dining options: the 1811 Grille, Veranda Dining, The Oaks Dining Room and poolside dining at the athletic center.
  • Members recently approved the addition of an outdoor dining area and lounge at the existing clubhouse, as well as the construction of a new multi-purpose facility with pools, fitness equipment, a cafe, and meeting space. Construction is expected to begin in early 2018.

How can Belfair manage the HR challenges?

While all these investments and developments are important, but we (Belfair as well) cannot neglect the importance of well-trained and honored workforce who have the biggest impact on customer experience. Furthermore, golf clubs have to find solutions as well to talent retention (e.g. with mentorship programs, recognition and rewards systems, healthy work-life balance, open communication culture, providing meaningful work, team celebrations etc.)  as the hotel industry is becoming more attractive career opportunity. All this has to start with understanding the employees.

A LinkedIn’s survey found last year that the #1 priority for companies today is employee retentionAt the same time, employer branding (=Positioning or promoting an organization to the desired group of talent/professionals as an employer of choice) is also gaining momentum. This means that the HR department/personnel will have to cooperate with the marketing team/manager.

Another interesting challenge for golf club managers is to attract the most talented people. Therefore, golf clubs need to prove that they can offer attractive career progression opportunities + personal and professional development. Rob Hill (Partner, Global Golf Advisors) told me that “90% of club managers stated that HR had a high or very high degree of impact on their club’s performance in 2016.”

Belfair 17west

I believe golf clubs should treat their employees as one of their biggest assets and not just focusing solely on:

  • the conditioning and design of the golf course(s);
  • facilities.

I hope next time I will be able to share with you an impressive HRM best practice in a private golf club or in a regular golf club.

Your Turn

What are you doing to retain the best talents within your team? How do you find talented professionals?