Sheldon Callahan: Provide Added Value in Tournament & Outing Administration

Sheldon Callahan, the 2016 Southern California PGA Section Assistant Golf Professional of the Year and 2015 San Diego Chapter Assistant Golf Professional of the Year, is a PGA Certified Personal Coach at GOLFTEC - Rhode Island, in Cranston, Rhode Island.

During my 21 years at Lomas Santa Fe Country Club, I always strived to add value to everything I did, providing the highest quality customer service and forging relationships with our members. As a popular location for tournament & outings, many groups trusted our staff with their annual fundraisers and corporate gatherings. Working with the organizers of each event, I would provide personalization on things such as scorecards, golf car signs and bag tags. One tournament had a beach theme; I made flip flop scorecards. Another event had an ugly sweater theme, and so did the scorecards I created. This kind of personal touch is what customers and members remember long after the event day has passed, and helps in retention of outside events from year to year. Another way of adding value to my PGA Assistant Professional duties was to handle photography and website responsibilities. I would ensure the golf calendar was up to date, provide insights and information in an online blog and add pictures and results of member league and tournament events. This was an effective way to show my PGA Head Professional and general manager the breadth of skills I possessed and again, the value I added to the overall golf operation. Finally, in addition to providing exemplary customer service to our members in the golf shop, I would add my creativity to sales signs and flyers. I played a large role in promoting and setting up the various fitting and demo days we’d have each year and always enjoyed teaching members on the lesson tee. Playing a role in many aspects of the golf operation goes a long way to long-term success in this business.

The personalization and attention to detail that I provided at Lomas Santa Fe played a large role in the high retention percentage for our annual outings. Of the 45-50 outings we hosted each year, 85 percent of them would return the following year. Our ability to forecast revenue in a private club setting rests solely on rebooking events at the same time as previous years. The rebooking process allows us to project the amount of new business our sales team needs to obtain to meet company revenue marks. Additionally, the time and effort I contributed to the website saved the club funds that might go to an outside agency. The effectiveness I brought to our club’s communication system with members ensured everyone was aware of upcoming golf and non-golf events. I firmly believe the diversity I demonstrated in the Southern California Section led to the Section award I earned in 2016, the various San Diego Chapter awards I received over the years and in attaining the position I recently started in the New England Section this spring.