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Hiring an assistant pro

 dhc1 ·  
dhc1dhc1 NYCMembers  939WRX Points: 122Handicap: 7.3Posts: 939 Golden Tee
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Apologies if this is in the wrong spot.

I’ve been asked to become golf chair of a small 9 hole course at a private family club where golf is secondary to tennis and social events. Our range is rather modest.
We are going to hire a new assistant pro with the thought that s/he will become the full time pro after 3-5 years when the existing pro retires. We’d like someone who is enthusiastic, good with teaching children / women and is technologically savvy (we’ll provide trackman and other technology).
Our season is from May - October and our existing pro also has a position in Florida.
Any suggestions and thoughts? We’ll pay competitive rates for non-elite NYC area
clubs.

Posted:
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Comments

  • Edaw68Edaw68 Members  1650WRX Points: 271Handicap: 5Posts: 1,650 Platinum Tees
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    Have you talked to your existing pro? He/she might have a good grasp of how to find someone, especially connections through PGA of America. If that doesn't work maybe check with the pro of other existing clubs/courses in the area for suggestions.

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  • slprince67slprince67 Members  162WRX Points: 118Posts: 162 Fairways
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    Shouldnt the Head Pro be involved? He should know of many of the avenues to advertise a job. If I were the Head Pro and a committee was hiring an Assistant.... I would be a little nervous....

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  • wkuo3wkuo3 RELEASE Members  4374WRX Points: 390Posts: 4,374 Titanium Tees
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    3-5 years is time enough for any interested party to learn and acquire the necessary knowledge and certificate for the job.
    Main thing is to find a younger person whom will stay on the job and likes to be with the public as the job is required.
    The existing pro could show the trainee the rope to the job, including the Winter gig in the Sunshine State.
    The position is only 6 months out of the year at your club, so showing how a person could make income during the off season is of important to attract a young person whom could be a candidate.
    I would think, finding a person whom has a local connection that will likely stay on with the job will be the first consideration.

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  • Johnny BiarritzJohnny Biarritz Members  536WRX Points: 110Handicap: 2Posts: 536 Golden Tee
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    Are you going to write in his contract that the Head Pro job is his when the current pro retires? If there's not a guarantee, I'll tell you that 3-5 years is long enough for someone to get really good at something and then leave. I'd hire 2 or 3 people, or possibly more, all as Assistant Pros, and let them sort of cull themselves out. Not like cutthroat competition, but let them sort it out. Some might really like the lifestyle where they can work near NYC in the summers and go caddie in the South in winter. Some might not like that. Some might love the golf business, but hate private clubs. There's no way to really weed that out in an interview. But a guy might really love the business, but just get fed up when Dick Johnson comes in for the 69th day in a row and asks for two sacks of balls, holding up two fingers, wagging them back and forth, and the assistant just says "F*** it, I'm gone." But hiring one person to be the 3-5 year replacement plan for the current head pro is not likely to succeed. Also, what concessions does the current pro have? Will the new hire get the same concessions when the current guy retires? Or, you could get someone who's mid-career, who already knows if he/she likes the private club lifestyle, and see if you could bring them in as Head Professional, giving the current pro a "promotion" to GM/Director of Golf.

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  • howellhandmadehowellhandmade Members  865WRX Points: 264Posts: 865 Golden Tee
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    I, too am puzzled by your process. Why would you not advertise for a head pro when he retires? Then you’d have the pick of candidates who have learned at various clubs and are looking to move up. If your new assistant pro turns out to be all that, he or she would probably win with the inside track, but why put the cart before the horse?

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  • Bob CatBob Cat Golfopath Members  2084WRX Points: 850Handicap: ~9Posts: 2,084 Platinum Tees
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    To answer the OP's question, without jumping to conclusions, reach out to the NY PGA Section and they'll be glad to help you fill the position. That's what they do.

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  • dhc1dhc1 NYCMembers  939WRX Points: 122Handicap: 7.3Posts: 939 Golden Tee
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    On -, @howellhandmade said:

    I, too am puzzled by your process. Why would you not advertise for a head pro when he retires? Then you’d have the pick of candidates who have learned at various clubs and are looking to move up. If your new assistant pro turns out to be all that, he or she would probably win with the inside track, but why put the cart before the horse?

    Fair question: we certainly will have a new search when our pro retires but need to hire an assistant now. That assistant will have the inside track on becoming the head pro if they connect with our membership.

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  • HawkeyeHawkeye Members  178WRX Points: 81Posts: 178 Fairways
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    First your head professional has to have nearly complete control of this hire. Anything less is micromanaging and unfair to that person. Secondly, the PGA of America has regional career consultants and they will meet with the club and post the job for free.

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  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members  3880WRX Points: 1,440Handicap: 4Posts: 3,880 Titanium Tees
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    Almost unheard of for an entry level assistant to stay with the same club for 5 years. The turnover rate is so high that it is very possible the person you hire will not even be in the golf business in 5 years, much less retain the desire to stay with the same club. Have your current head pro conduct the search, your committee can be involved in an interview but the HP screens and also decides the final hire. Be prepared to go through at least 2 assistants in 5 years. At least.

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 IowaClubWRX  21746WRX Points: 5,744Posts: 21,746 ClubWRX
    Joined:  edited Sep 3, 2019 #11

    So is it you think you need to bring someone along over time (really makes no sense for 3-5 years) or you really have the actual need and can justify financially the cost of adding another golf professional and there is enough for two professionals to do?

    Head pro not being involved makes no sense at all if the new position will have someone staffed for 3-5 years.

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  • dhc1dhc1 NYCMembers  939WRX Points: 122Handicap: 7.3Posts: 939 Golden Tee
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    On -, @Hawkeye77 said:

    So is it you think you need to bring someone along over time (really makes no sense for 3-5 years) or you really have the actual need and can justify financially the cost of adding another golf professional and there is enough for two professionals to do?

    Head pro not being involved makes no sense at all if the new position will have someone staffed for 3-5 years.

    I'm not sure why the concept that the head pro won't be involved has come up - apologies if I've been unclear. He'll certainly be part of the process.
    As for the first question, we have planned to have a third assistant pro (the existing two are very young) and we want someone with potential.
    Thanks.

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  • dhc1dhc1 NYCMembers  939WRX Points: 122Handicap: 7.3Posts: 939 Golden Tee
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    On -, @golfandfishing said:

    Almost unheard of for an entry level assistant to stay with the same club for 5 years. The turnover rate is so high that it is very possible the person you hire will not even be in the golf business in 5 years, much less retain the desire to stay with the same club. Have your current head pro conduct the search, your committee can be involved in an interview but the HP screens and also decides the final hire. Be prepared to go through at least 2 assistants in 5 years. At least.

    I don't think that we want to get an entry level assistant as I was thinking of someone experienced but not quite at the head pro level. What i'm really trying to understand is how difficult a search this will be and what trade-offs in any we'll have to consider.

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  • golfandfishinggolfandfishing Members  3880WRX Points: 1,440Handicap: 4Posts: 3,880 Titanium Tees
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    Your search won’t be difficult at all - you will get countless resumes. Trade offs might be the possibility of paying more so the new HP can live in the area year round - the vagabond lifestyle of winters in FL doesn’t usually produce the ideal HP candidate at a small family oriented club looking for a long term employee. It might, but your ideal candidate is likely older than 29 and has a family. Maybe not, there are no absolutes in the world. But if the right guy is married with a kid or kids he is likely not able to spend 4 months in FL. So your biggest trade off is to make some sort of compensation plan that allows him to provide all year.

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  • dhc1dhc1 NYCMembers  939WRX Points: 122Handicap: 7.3Posts: 939 Golden Tee
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    On -, @golfandfishing said:

    Your search won’t be difficult at all - you will get countless resumes. Trade offs might be the possibility of paying more so the new HP can live in the area year round - the vagabond lifestyle of winters in FL doesn’t usually produce the ideal HP candidate at a small family oriented club looking for a long term employee. It might, but your ideal candidate is likely older than 29 and has a family. Maybe not, there are no absolutes in the world. But if the right guy is married with a kid or kids he is likely not able to spend 4 months in FL. So your biggest trade off is to make some sort of compensation plan that allows him to provide all year.

    Thanks for the insight. Interestingly our existing golf pro as well as our outgoing head tennis pro spend their winters in FL and CA, respectively, where they run programs there - effectively getting twice the salary. Many of our members have a club in FL as well so maybe that's an avenue to pursue.

    Posted:
  • gwelfgulfergwelfgulfer OnteribleMembers  561WRX Points: 342Handicap: 5-25Posts: 561 Golden Tee
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    On -, @dhc1 said:

    On -, @golfandfishing said:

    Your search won’t be difficult at all - you will get countless resumes. Trade offs might be the possibility of paying more so the new HP can live in the area year round - the vagabond lifestyle of winters in FL doesn’t usually produce the ideal HP candidate at a small family oriented club looking for a long term employee. It might, but your ideal candidate is likely older than 29 and has a family. Maybe not, there are no absolutes in the world. But if the right guy is married with a kid or kids he is likely not able to spend 4 months in FL. So your biggest trade off is to make some sort of compensation plan that allows him to provide all year.

    Thanks for the insight. Interestingly our existing golf pro as well as our outgoing head tennis pro spend their winters in FL and CA, respectively, where they run programs there - effectively getting twice the salary. Many of our members have a club in FL as well so maybe that's an avenue to pursue.

    More areas to reach out to to increase the talent pool given it is a seasonal gig. When first reading that this isn't a golf first facility, it seems more like a retirement/swansong placement for an HP, not so much a young and potentially full of ambition Pro. I disagree witht he thought that 3-5 years isn't enough time for someone to get acclaimated to the position (easier if bringing in someone that is already an Associate), more so if it is just a smaller 9h facility that doesn't likely have a shop that is required to bring in X number of dollars to help with the clubs expenses. Especially at the 5 yr mark, that is ample time with the right people.

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