How To Negotiate Your 2015 Package

Head Golf Pros are now negotiating their 2015 compensation packages. Unfortunately, most pros don’t have much leverage.

With memberships flat or declining at many clubs, clubs are not inclined to increase salaries. Also, only a few Head Pro positions open up each year. Threatening to leave may not get you very far.

As you prepare to discuss your package with your club’s management, here are three issues to consider:

1.       Are you fairly compensated versus your peers at comparable clubs?

2.       How much “value” are you contributing via increased play at the club?

3.       Could you get a larger share of the fees paid by members and outside organizations?

Are You Fairly Compensated?

To determine how your compensation package compares with those of your peers at other area clubs, talk to your contact at the MetPGA (or other PGA office). You need not disclose your package, but your MetPGA contact can give you ranges and averages for clubs comparable to yours.

Ask about:

·         Base salary

·         Bonus

·         Benefits (medical, housing allowance, life and disability insurance, etc.)

·         Inventory assistance

·         Other fees (bag storage, range, merchandise, outside events)

Find out where you stand. If you are under-compensated, use that information to give you some negotiating leverage.

Are You Adding Value?

Clubs are working harder than ever to attract and retain members. How are you contributing to this effort?

Compile data for the past 3 – 5 years on play at the club. Important statistics include:

·         Rounds played

·         Lessons

·         Clinic participation

·         Number of tournaments and tournament participants

·         Women’s programs

·         Junior programs

·         Golf Shop sales

Ideally, you can show growth. Member participation is a measure of member happiness. Happy members are more likely to continue their membership. And happy members help recruit more members.

Other Income

In tight financial times, clubs may be reluctant to increase their budgets to give you more money. But there are areas which have no budget impact where you might be able to make more money.

These are fees paid by members or outside organizations directly to the club or to you. You may be able to convince the club to increase these fees or give you a larger share. A small increase in member fees multiplied by, say, 300 members can yield a lot of income for you

·         Merchandise Fees – Many clubs charge members an upfront merchandise fee. This enables the Golf Shop to offer discounts.

·         Bag Storage Fees – a MetPGA survey showed that the average income from bag storage fees was $46,000. How much are you getting for bag storage fees?

·         Range Fees – The same survey showed an average of $21,000 in range fee income. What is your range fee income?

·         Outside Events – Businesses and nonprofit organizations spend a lot of money when they host an outing at your club. Find out how much your peers get for these outings.

Negotiating Strategy

1.       Bring Data

Come to your negotiating sessions armed with data. This includes statistics on play at the club (mentioned above) and financial statements for the past three to five years.

Make sure the financial statements are “clean” and do not include personal expenses. You want to be able to show club management exactly what you made.

2.       Tailor Your Message

You may have to negotiate with both your general manager and the club president and/or the golf chair. You need a different message for each person.

First of all, try to avoid negotiating with the general manager alone. Your golf chair has different priorities from the GM and may have a greater appreciation for your contributions.

Your GM will probably be very bottom-line oriented. He/she will want to how much revenue you produce as well as the expenses you generate.

Be prepared to show your compensation history and how your package compares with your peers.

Your golf chair may be less interested in the bottom line. He/she is probably more focused on play at the club and attracting and retaining members. Be prepared to show the chair that you have maintained a high level of play even as membership has declined.

Being prepared and armed with information is the key. If we can assist you in making a dynamite presentation, let us know. We’ve done it before with some pretty good results.

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