March Madness: Managing Guest Professionals Over Spring Break

March Madness: Managing Guest Professionals Over Spring Break

By Ed Shanaphy, CMAA

March Madness is almost here! Although we equate March Madness with college basketball, it also is a crazy month in the country club industry. The second half of March sees an enormous jump in participants on the course, the courts, and in the fitness rooms at country clubs across the Southern States. Strong management of additional instructors for this annual rush is essential to maintain a “best-in-class” environment at your Club.

We visited Jupiter Island Club this past week. Usually a very peaceful and idyllic haven for the those who come down to the Sunshine State for six months, Jupiter Island is a perfect example of what a seasonal club in Florida faces during our industry’s very own March Madness. This week, in early February, it was quiet. It’s the proverbial calm before the storm. From Harbor Island, a small island off the barrier island across from the quaint town of Hobe Sound and overlooking “JIC” (Jupiter Island Club) as the members call it, we discuss on our YouTube Channel all that can go right (and wrong) having guest professionals at your club this Spring Break.

In just three weeks’ time, this peaceful setting will be indundated with members’ families, guests, their dogs, and their golf clubs and racquets. Not only will the pool be overflowing with people as well as water, but so will the restaurant outlets, the courts, and the course.

Finding That Perfect Fit

Finding a guest professional is not an easy task. Besides the fact that you may be managing or a part of a busy program through the holiday season, it’s tough to find the time to source, interview, reference check, and background check possible guest-professional candidates. Fantastic instructors don’t simply spend their winter season hanging around waiting to work Spring Break at your club. Excellent professionals are usually already employed, working a winter season or are employed year-round. So, literally, unless you’re truly lucky, a search for guest professional has already succumbed to a sub-layer of temporary worker – a layer that is below the highest grade of candidate.

A guest professional, although part-time, can make or break the member experience at any club.

Therefore, it’s important to keep in touch with your colleagues in the industry. Maintaining such communications might lead to finding that a well-qualified candidate, for some reason, has left a seasonal job or is between summer jobs and didn’t manage to find a winter position. There are directors out there who maintain communication to such a degree for just this purpose.

Why Are Guest Professionals So Crucial?

A guest instructor or professional can make or break a Spring Break vacation. At clubs across the Southern tier of our country and the islands just off our Southern states, families look to their Spring Break as an opportunity to enjoy cherished time with their loved ones. The right professional can really make a member’s time at the club or a family visit a truly special time. And, that is what keeps members, their immediate families, and guests coming back each year like a perennial flower

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