Copy this!

If your club is normally shut down on Mondays, does it open in the winter after consecutive bad weather days?

If not, why?

This speaks volumes about dedication to maximizing value!

Good afternoon,

Considering the poor weather trend we cannot seem to climb out of we want you to be able to take advantage of any potentially decent days for golf. The forecast for Monday January 28 is 52 degrees and partly cloudy while Tuesday January 29 is calling for highs around 40 with temperatures dropping and a chance of precipitation.

Based on this forecast and very few decent golf days of late we have decided to open Monday the 28th and close Tuesday the 29th in hopes that some of you will be able to take advantage of the decent weather and play golf Monday. The online tee sheet should go live this afternoon with tee times starting at 10:00 A.M.

Tee times will start Monday at 10:00 A.M. and the practice facilities will open at 9:15 A.M.

The Turn Shack will be open from 10-5.

The Kitchen will be open from 11-5. Am

The Donald Ross Room Bar will be open from 11-6.

The Fitness Center will remain on normal hours and will be accessible on Tuesday via Key Fob access only.

Unfortunately the pool will be closed. (Wink, wink).

We hope you will come out Monday and enjoy the club.

Also, as you may have seen in prior emails and Weekly Happenings we will be hosting a U.S.G.A. Rules of Golf Seminar on Tuesday February 12th. Dinner starts at 5:30 and the seminar will begin promptly at 6:00. This is an important seminar considering the many changes to the rules of golf for 2019. Please make every effort to attend. We have provided a link for you to sign up online or you can contact the Golf Shop at 865-525-0626.

The cost will be $20 which includes dinner and a Players Edition Summary Guide of the Rules of Golf.

Click Here for more information and to register.

Thank you as always and have a great day!

Chris Dibble

GM/Director of Golf

Holston Hills Country Club


What do they really think?

If your local newspaper called and wanted to do a story on your leadership at the club, what do you think your members and employees might say?

Now pretend the request included anonymous comments.  How might the story change?

Are you the best place to work?

How does your leadership grow it’s employees?

What customer service initiatives set you above the competition?

Is your training measured in minutes, hours, or days…a year after the employee starts?

Food for thought.



How to host guest rounds

My good friend Dunlop White was kind enough to host my son and I at his home club, Old Town Club, in Winston-Salem over the weekend.

I have read about the course history and eagerly anticipated this round for some time. Old Town is a storied Perry Maxwell classic that was recently restored with careful love by Coore-Crenshaw.

Upon arrival, I was promptly greeted by the Professional Staff. In hand was a yardage book (with cover) for my son and I, bag tags, and a warm, “we don’t have tee times at Old Town so feel free to take as much time as you like on the range or putting green”.

Something about not having tee times speaks volumes about the congenial membership. After hitting a few putts, we were ready, but not without careful instruction from the Assistant Pro about how to play a few holes. They seemed genuinely happy we chose Old Town.

The round was one of the most memorable I’ve had in some time. The course was in near perfect condition. It made me wonder aloud why other clubs don’t have this relaxed and friendly tone, and at least act like they are happy when guests come?

What special or memorable action item do you always make a point of doing?

Are guests rushed like cattle or made to feel totally at home?

Do you send hand-written notes thanking them for visiting?

What do you give them as a memento?

Do you treat all guests as potential future members or a nuisance?

Food for thought…

Someone has to run the club, part 2

When you are a guest at hard-to-get-on club, do you:

  • Park your cart wherever?
  • Ignore ball marks?
  • Leave your hat on in the grill(e) room?
  • Throw clubs?
  • Blare music as loud as possible?
  • Not rake bunkers?

Show me a club with a bunch of rules (or companies for that matter – Google Netflix powerpoint) and I’ll show you a club that is out of control.

Clubs with waiting lists don’t have to deal with any of the above “do you’s” because their members have something your club may not have:  Respect and reverence…and another, not talked about aspect is fear.  Fear of being suspended, kicked out.  Fear, is often the best motivator for keeping people in check.

When you warn members about things they shouldn’t do over and over again, send emails with no teeth, and in general, turn a blind eye to proper conduct, you are like a parent giving their kid a ‘time out’ or saying, ‘now that’s one, that’s two, that’s three, one more time little Johnny and…’.  The loudest, longest tenured alpha, and/or largest Miller Lite consumer usually gets the most free passes…but put that same person on at a nice club and magic happens, manners appear.

I was recently asked (in passing) to re-join a club I resigned from years ago due to this very thing: lack of teeth.  I wouldn’t rejoin it for $100 per month now, not because I don’t like the course, but because the club ignores the unruly 7%, making the 93% suffer in silence.  The mistake is, clubs often think the 7% are the ‘heartbeat of the club’ (or insert your own idiotic platitude) when in reality, they often keep new members from joining and old members from coming back.

Suspend and remove a few…everyone gets the memo.

Happy hour at every…

It isn’t shocking that every restaurant and bar within 30 miles of your club has a Happy Hour of some kind.  $1.00 off four adjective beer, tapas menus with fish tacos w/obligatory orange remoulade, cheap sliders.  When food and beverage at your club loses 60-150k per year because they only have a limited base that can buy, decisions like not having-daily-specials/happy hour continue to baffle even the lowest IQ among us (like me).

Who shot the lowest round in your foursome/group?  Free slider

Picture on FB/Twitter/Instagram of your member enjoying new angry scorned bastard beer?  Should be a no-brainer.

Picture each day of a new menu item or even an old one?  Automatic.


Picture 017

Someone has to run the club

Inmates running the asylum?  No further evidence than Ropes everywhere.  Not only is this embarassing, it’s an eyesore.

But the members will just drive wherever they want, it’s the only solution.

No, thirty day suspensions eliminate ropes.

Leadership is hard, unless you love the alternative.

Liking, following, meet frying pan

Follow lots of people/blogs, and like their posts…and they’ll like your stuff, follow you back and wa la(!) instant ‘brand’ awareness.  

Earth to common sense: following 10,000 people to get 7,000 or whatever your magic number is…makes you fake popular.

You want to build a ‘brand’ (you, your course, your firm): CREATE GREAT CONTENT.

That’s the hard work.  

If everyone is clicking just like you, guess what?  You’re all white noise.

The easiest Advertisment you probably aren’t doing

Full transparency…I don’t have a membership to Pinehurst, yet I love the place so much, I advertise for them everyday when I’m driving.  When I’m parked, it’s made for some great, unexpected conversation about one of my favorite destinations.

Why doesn’t your pro shop have these when you (intuitively) know 25-40% of your members will proudly display these…and to boot, pay for them(!)?