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5 hours ago, cristphoto said:

 

Never heard of auto tip.  That said during height of Covid our club went paperless for several months which meant you couldn't check your bill (I can't ever recall having any errors though), but also meant no tipping. Part of the health rules was no cash being handled between two or more parties. Plus with no receipt a tip couldn't be added there too - so staff went without. Some may have snuck in a tip but the communications were pretty clear about not breaking any health codes.  Every Christmas season we do have an automatic $100 charge added to our bill for the staff.  It may be higher this year to address lost tips.   

Ours has a auto tip of 15% if you don’t sign your ticket and put a tip down. 

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I can tell you that in my 32 years as a club pro, there were complainers at every single club I worked. And there was always a small group of complainers that were the most vocal members of the club. 

It’s a fine line not everyone knows how to ride, with appropriate respect given to members and their issues while making it clear that the professionals who have been hired to operate the club are the

I think most clubs with 350 members really have 350 superintendents, 350 pros, 350 golf course architects, 350 executive chefs, 350 general managers, 350...

I don't want negative energy around me, so I avoid the complainers as much as I can. I don't want to have conflict to change something that isn't critical for my experience at the club. Those are other battles which I don't want to waste my energy fighting. If there is something substantial I'll throw my 2 cents in, but for the details I try not to pay attention.

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4 hours ago, Schley said:

I don't want negative energy around me, so I avoid the complainers as much as I can. I don't want to have conflict to change something that isn't critical for my experience at the club. Those are other battles which I don't want to waste my energy fighting. If there is something substantial I'll throw my 2 cents in, but for the details I try not to pay attention.

 

Well said. I'm the same way. Life's too short.  

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15 hours ago, cristphoto said:

 

Never heard of auto tip.  That said during height of Covid our club went paperless for several months which meant you couldn't check your bill (I can't ever recall having any errors though), but also meant no tipping. Part of the health rules was no cash being handled between two or more parties. Plus with no receipt a tip couldn't be added there too - so staff went without. Some may have snuck in a tip but the communications were pretty clear about not breaking any health codes.  Every Christmas season we do have an automatic $100 charge added to our bill for the staff.  It may be higher this year to address lost tips.   


Yeah, it's supposed to be designed for situations like, say, if I grab some drinks at the bar, and I take them outside to the deck or firepit. And if I end up leaving before I see the bartender/waitress again. They just add a tip to the bill. 

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I am a member of 3 clubs.. a budget club im at often, a top 100 club that is $$ and a top national club.... we all have different price points and different types of members....   

 

budget club = many members who complain openly 

top 100 club = have never heard as issue of any kind

top national club = have never heard as issue of any kind

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Posted (edited)

I used to be a member of a financially-troubled club where it seemed like every post-round conversation I was involved with over lunch or drinks involved everyone discussing their latest complaints about board decisions, cost cutting, issues with course conditions, conspiracy theories about the board's special interests, the latest rumors about selling parts of the property off to a developer, etc. I admit I would get caught up in it and feed the fire sometimes.

Edited by Bonneville85308
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Legit complaints about course deficiencies are fine

 

the serial complainers that moan about anything and everything to hear their own voice and admire their self importance ... please go elsewhere

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On 4/24/2021 at 2:39 PM, Phreddy said:

Where I have been the Director of Golf/Head Pro or the GM would have materialized very quickly.  The indignant member would be asked, "Why not step into my office and we can more fully address your complaint."  Once the door closed, the indignant member would be told his concerns and issues are welcome.  Creating a scene and berating any employee are not.  Get it straight and remember it.


Indeed. I think a strong head pro or superintendent learns to handle members pretty well, but most of them are pleasers who want everyone to be happy which reinforces the urge some have to complain. 
 

The very best pros or GMs are a bit intimidating even to members. They never let anyone else forget who is really running things. I think the ones who know how to ride that line are doing themselves a huge favor because a lot of complaints get nipped in the bud when members start to realize they can’t walk over the staff. 

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On 4/24/2021 at 2:39 PM, Phreddy said:

Where I have been the Director of Golf/Head Pro or the GM would have materialized very quickly.  The indignant member would be asked, "Why not step into my office and we can more fully address your complaint."  Once the door closed, the indignant member would be told his concerns and issues are welcome.  Creating a scene and berating any employee are not.  Get it straight and remember it.

 

Good system.  I remember when I joined my club I had to go to an initiation meeting which seems to be fairly standard practice. It was clearly explained what the members should expect of the staff and how the members are to conduct themselves.  Plus the normal bylaws and rules and regulation documents were given out too.  No public berating of staff was allowed (even if warranted). We were to take it behind closed doors.

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Just joined a club this year.  2 complaints I have heard from long term members were Junior Member pay $1400 and have the same tee time privileges as the older members that pay $5800 in dues.  The other complaint is that a single pays $29 for a cart and married couples pay $29x2.  No complaints about the food or golf course so far.

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14 hours ago, me05501 said:


Indeed. I think a strong head pro or superintendent learns to handle members pretty well, but most of them are pleasers who want everyone to be happy which reinforces the urge some have to complain. 
 

The very best pros or GMs are a bit intimidating even to members. They never let anyone else forget who is really running things. I think the ones who know how to ride that line are doing themselves a huge favor because a lot of complaints get nipped in the bud when members start to realize they can’t walk over the staff. 

 

I would say that probably half of the "complaints" at our club are about the 'intimidating' GM and PGA Pro. It's a common rhetorical question to wonder if they own the club or if we do. 

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1 hour ago, me05501 said:

I like the idea of having a board of members between the professional staff and the other members. That way everyone knows there’s a mechanism for member oversight of the club’s operations, and that it isn’t based on every nosy member owner asking the staff to justify every decision. 

 

FTFY

 

"Customers" when everything's going great..."Owners" when the bills come due...

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Every club I've ever been a member of has serial complainers.  They usually end up dropping their membership one day and then come back about 6 months later...only to continue to complain.

 

Country Clubs tend to have it the worst because more people want to have every whim catered.  Private golf clubs aren't as bad as people are there to play golf at a private club, not get their car detailed, their shoes shined and their kids babysat while they go out and play 18.

 

It's not that there is never a reason to complain.  As Matt Ginella once said...$500 rounds of golf aren't a problem...it's paying $500 to play a round and getting a $50 value out of it.  The same applies to private clubs and there are times where they miss the mark.  But there is always a group that will complain no matter what.

 

 

 

 

RH

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The one thing I've noticed over the years is the more outlets my club provides to take in member suggestions, the less random public complaining you hear. They do at least one annual member survey. They take suggestions via the website. There's even a separate website section now for our long term improvement plans (construction/major changes). I think it does two great things 1 - provides people a lot of direct information and takes that "rumor mill" offline as much as possible and 2 - gives people a pretty good outlet to provide suggestions. The more effort they put into hearing suggestions the better off I think the club is.

 

Truth is, in 8 years, I've seen very little random petty bitching. Its a very golf-centric club (no gym, no tennis etc) so the people playing there are very focussed on the golf course and making it the best we can.

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On 5/1/2021 at 7:13 AM, Bonneville85308 said:

I used to be a member of a financially-troubled club where it seemed like every post-round conversation I was involved with over lunch or drinks involved everyone discussing their latest complaints about board decisions, cost cutting, issues with course conditions, conspiracy theories about the board's special interests, the latest rumors about selling parts of the property off to a developer, etc. I admit I would get caught up in it and feed the fire sometimes.

Funny you say the selling the land off to developers.

Those rumors came through the club I am at now. 

We now have a MASSIVE apartment complex, town homes, you name it, right beside the course. The complex has around 15 memberships so the people living in the apartments call in and make tee times just like due paying members. 

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Yes, yes they are. And some are good complaints.

I have been a member for 24 years. I was on the board, then I was president.

We have an excellent GM as @deadsolid...shank can attest. The club has never been in better hands. We still have a small cadre of serial complainers, and amazingly enough they “are too busy to be board members.”  And I mean serial, they complain about everything.

I would like the current board to invite those members to join elsewhere, with a refund of the checks they have written to the club.

They can be a drain, I now just ignore them. Like to their face ignore them because I don’t want to hear what they have to say. Maybe immature, but I go to play golf, laugh, and see my friends. I don’t have time for that energy.

 

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12 minutes ago, Petethreeput said:

Yes, yes they are. And some are good complaints.

I have been a member for 24 years. I was on the board, then I was president.

We have an excellent GM as @deadsolid...shank can attest. The club has never been in better hands. We still have a small cadre of serial complainers, and amazingly enough they “are too busy to be board members.”  And I mean serial, they complain about everything.

I would like the current board to invite those members to join elsewhere, with a refund of the checks they have written to the club.

They can be a drain, I now just ignore them. Like to their face ignore them because I don’t want to hear what they have to say. Maybe immature, but I go to play golf, laugh, and see my friends. I don’t have time for that energy.

 

I would most definitely attest to that. And he had complainers at our place as well. I always figured a private club was a tremendous challenge to manage. All those egos who are community and business leaders who are used to having things done their way (I was the club riff raff, so my thoughts carried no weight). It’s a delicate balancing act trying to keep everyone satisfied. Pete’s GM does do it as well as anyone I’ve seen. 

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14 minutes ago, nlinneman20 said:

 

I was wondering the same thing, I am located in STL too

Haha just a huge Cardinals Fan. You don’t need to worry lol.

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Posted (edited)

Check out Bella Vista Country Club.

 

short but challenging course (6k yards). Great bar manager to hold a entertaining conversation! Membership under $5k.

 

friendly staff. Friendly members. Nice tournament schedule. Great live entertainment during holiday events. 
 

ohhhhhh and the FOOD!!! The owner is also an executive chef! So he has his kitchen staff on point. 
 

www.bellavistacountryclub.com
 

definitely worth a tour!

Edited by RahulShah7931
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On 5/3/2021 at 7:24 AM, me05501 said:


It’s a fine line not everyone knows how to ride, with appropriate respect given to members and their issues while making it clear that the professionals who have been hired to operate the club are the ones actually operating the club. 
 

The biggest issue with typical daily member complaints is that the member complaining has less information than the people who constantly make the hundred daily decisions that lead to the experience the members see.
 

The member sees a slow kitchen, while the GM knows that one of the line cooks just found out his wife has terminal cancer and needed the day off to be with her. The member sees the rough a half inch longer than normal but doesn’t know the staff is waiting on a part to repair the right mower for that job. 
 

A good GM, head pro or superintendent is going to have an attitude of ownership over everything that happens under his area of responsibility. The really great ones are also going to protect the staff they’ve hired from any obnoxious members. 
 

Most importantly, members simply don’t need to know all the myriad details behind every decision made by the staff.
 

When a GM or pro falls into the trap of trying to explain every single decision to every single member who asks, they’ve entered a downward spiral with respect to their authority to make decisions and have them accepted. Sadly, I think that’s where the majority of them end up over the course of their career at a particular club. Pretty soon they have 450 bosses and an impossible job they hate. 
 

I like the idea of having a board of members between the professional staff and the other members. That way everyone knows there’s a mechanism for member oversight of the club’s operations, and that it isn’t based on every nosy member asking the staff to justify every decision. 

 

I hear what you are saying, but in your example re: slow service, all it takes is the staff to say, when they take your order, is just say they are down a cook, so it's a few minutes slower.  They don't need to go into the detail, but manage the expectation, and you can get rid of a number of complaints.  Won't do anything for the "teeth from too cold ice water" person, but would cut down 98%.

 

Our course is an equity course, so, we do own the place, but there is a pretty good balance.  Our superintendent sends a lot of emails keeping us up to date on conditions, etc.  

 

We had a big change 7-8 years ago.  Our GM took a job at another club in the area.  That club had gone way above on service, and the owner wanted to cut costs.  Our pro said the difference between the old GM and the new GM was the new GM let him finish his request before saying no.  But it was more than that.  Not long after he came to our club, on a particularly busy morning, our new GM was in the lounge helping clear tables, bringing out orders, etc.  When the holdover food and beverage manager saw that, she asked what he was doing.  When he told her, she said "management doesn't do that here."  It was not long after she was replaced.

 

But the GM went further.  Our course doesn't have a halfway hut.  The original nines intersected at the clubhouse, but after a few years the nines were flipped(the right decision), but now it was very awkward because the ninth green and tenth tee are not really convenient to grab something.  For years members had asked for something right at the turn, and the old GM would never think about it.  The first warm Saturday, there was a barbecue out there.  It was a smashing success.  

 

You could argue that it was the bad GM, but I think there is a balance.  You have to be willing to listen to input.  And frankly, be able to tell someone their concern is bunk.  Tactfully or directly, but I'm not sure I agree on the "I'm the boss" approach.  At least not on bigger stuff.  But the best way to minimize the inquiries is to show you know what you are doing.  The new GM bought himself a ton of credibility and leash with the examples I listed.  He's since moved on, but his replacement is of the same ilk.   

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