Morgan Davies is the PGA Head Professional at Contra Costa Country Club in Pleasant Hill, California.
At Contra Costa Country Club, we have a healthy calendar of member events each year. With credit going to our superintendent, Ryan Maher, our golf course is green and pristine, a beautiful Robert Trent Jones II layout. When Ryan came to CCCC three years ago, in addition to his experience, expertise and professional turf management skills, Ryan brought a wonderful tradition he had implemented at a previous facility, the Maintenance Parade. Prior to our Member-Member, and Men’s, Women’s and Senior Invitationals, Ryan and his entire staff parade past our members and guests on their maintenance carts, mowers and utility vehicles. Members line the cart paths and give a standing ovation to our stellar staff with music playing in the background. Our assistant superintendent leads the way while Ryan comes through last, like Santa Claus at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. He says that wherever he has staged his maintenance parade, members love the event. They truly eat it up and are excited for the staff. It gives them a chance to display their appreciation for the hard work and dedication that goes into producing the beautiful golf course we get to enjoy every day. The whole parade lasts barely two minutes, but it creates camaraderie throughout the club and is a perfect way to start the special events it precedes.
Our maintenance parade is obviously pretty rare across the industry. All businesses have their own ways of recognizing staff, and this is one way we applaud the maintenance side of ours. What I also do to accentuate the good will it creates is to post photos on Instagram and other social media platforms. Ryan himself, posts a video of the parade on his Twitter feed, bringing attention to his well-deserved staff. With a relatively young management team here at Contra Costa, we conduct business a little differently than tradition expects. The parade is one example. Our extensive use of social media to tout the great things we are doing is another way. That strong social media presence is partially responsible for the 50 new members we welcomed in 2017. With a boost in members such as that, we have experienced increased participation in member events like the ones mentioned earlier, and daily play in general. With additional foot traffic throughout the club, food & beverage services and golf shop sales have benefited nicely. In fact, we have a waitlist created for many member events, a notion considered unthinkable just a few years ago. Of course these vital business benefits and an increase in lessons and clinic participation are not solely due to the maintenance parade. They are, however, due to a change in the way we look at the golf business. We have to work to attain our members and work even harder to retain them. Having a staff that members care about and want to honor with a parade is a pretty special scenario. Our PGA Professional staff cares about our members and we go that extra mile for them, picking up right where out maintenance staff leaves off.