March 29, 2019

David Stinson: Create an Annual Budget that can be Adjusted as Circumstances Warrant.

David Stinson is the PGA Director of Golf at Palmetto Bluff Golf Club, in Bluffton, South Carolina.   

David Stinson on the importance of creating budgets that can be adjusted as needed:

It happens each fall at golf courses across the country – budgets for the next year are created. We consider the expenses of the previous year and those projected for the year ahead, all in an effort to provide the quality product we strive to offer. Many facilities work with less these days, and it is more important than ever to allocate the appropriate dollars not only to the primary aspects of our courses, like tees, greens, fairways, and bunkers, but to special projects that may be needed to either solve a problem that’s long overdue, or to finally make that special enhancement that you’ve been wanting for years. At Palmetto Bluff Golf Club, our annual budget is prepared in October, but doesn’t just sit on a shelf collecting dust after that. We review it further and often tweak it in November and December, ultimately submitting the document for approval by year’s end. Even after approval we use it as a working document that, as circumstances warrant, may be adjusted or amended to account for projects and their allocated funds that might have already been altered due to weather or other unexpected conditions. Reforecasting is a task that keeps our budget in focus, avoiding overuse, or as unfortunate a scenario, underuse of budgeted funds. This flexibility and thinking on our feet ensures all goals are met across the facility and the funds that were approved for these projects and endeavors are fully utilized. Reforecasting revenues and expenses should be done every month so that ownership or management can properly manage cash and is kept abreast of the facility’s financial situation. PGA Professionals should be a vital part of this process, working closely with the COO to ensure accurate and up-to-date accounting. As we strive to be proactive and anticipate obstacles, some circumstances like weather are not always predictable. Having the skills and knowledge to adjust your budget is just one example of the great value PGA Professionals bring to golf facilities across the country.

David Stinson on the business impact of creating budgets that can be adjusted as needed:

The role of the PGA Professional has changed over the decades. Granted we are still the primary source of student improvement and golfer enjoyment, but we are also vital cogs in the business operation of our facilities. Displaying a thorough understanding of annual budgets makes you a better business person and leader. You can see promotion and advancement in your career as you endear yourself to ownership and demonstrate your worth beyond the typical duties we have as golf professionals. This philosophy is applicable at all types of facilities. Resort courses can’t always predict guest occupancy – private clubs may see a spike or decline in membership due to unforeseen circumstances within the community – and public play often hinges on the economy, job market, and demographics of the surrounding area. Educated and experienced as we are, we can project and predict and plan, but we can’t always account for the unexpected. Adjusting one’s budget presents a club’s fiscal condition in a clear and current manner, and PGA Professionals in leadership positions should play a large role in this process.


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