Include PGA Professionals in Member Events

john-buserJohn Buser, a PGA Professional, is the chief operating officer / general manager at Forest Creek Golf Club in Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Here at Forest Creek Golf Club, we conduct 15 club tournaments annually. One of our most popular events that we consider a major is our Member-Pro Invitational. As a national club, approximately half of our membership belong to at least one other club, which is typically in a cooler region. Our Member-Pro Invitational allows members to invite their PGA Professional from their home club to compete in a 36-hole tournament (plus a practice round). We hold the event in early November, while it is still comfortable in the Sandhills, but likely the season has ended for most northern facilities. This was the 12th year we hosted the tournament, and we drew 50 PGA Professionals representing 12 states in addition to former PGA Tour and PGA of Canada professionals. The event allows for members to treat their home professional to a relaxed golf trip without any responsibilities, along with friendly competition and outstanding camaraderie.

Our Member-Pro Invitational is a break-even event financially, but more importantly serves as a showcase event for our membership. As a national club, we grow our membership base through referrals, and this event helps introduce our facility to other professionals who are trusted resources for those looking for a second club. In addition to providing a golfing escape, the Member-Pro Invitational is an outstanding forum for professionals to discuss club operations and share ideas on growing the game. One example that came from these discussions is that the tee gifts for members are logoed, but the apparel given to the professionals is non-logoed so that they may utilize the product at their home club.

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Editor’s note: The above comments reflect the opinion and experiences of the submitting PGA Professional and are not endorsed by PGA Magazine or the PGA of America.