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May 17, 2019

Robert Hennefer: Seek Career Growth

Robert Hennefer, the 2017 PGA Philadelphia Section Golf Professional of the Year, is the PGA Director of Golf at Indian Spring Country Club in Marlton, New Jersey and the Director of Golf, Recreation, and Open Space of Evesham Township, New Jersey.

Robert Hennefer on the importance of seeking career growth:
As PGA professionals, we wear many hats. From teacher to salesman to event planner, we are trained in a variety of areas and the job positions we take at our facilities allow us to display those many skills. Whether in golf or any other business we take pride in working our way up the ladder to hopefully attain our dream job, or at least a position that offers more responsibility and compensation. I started at Indian Spring Country Club in 2014, accepting the Head Professional position. As our player development programs grew, rounds increased, and revenues peaked across the facility, these successes did not go unnoticed. With every positive customer feedback survey and PGA Philadelphia Section award my status seemed to grow and I recently accepted a promotion to Director of Golf. Now, as our numbers remain positive and our course is thriving, I recently assumed the position of Director of Golf, Recreation, and Open Space of Evesham Township, New Jersey. This progress highlights the opportunities that golf professionals at municipal facilities may have before them. I credit my PGA professional training and experience, as well as my education at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. There are some facilities whose opportunity for growth is limited, often forcing us to move frequently, sometimes far from home. The opportunities presented at Indian Spring not only benefited my career, but enabled me to stay local and enjoy the growth that we built over the past few years.

Robert Hennefer on the business impact of seeking career growth:
There are many benefits to having a PGA professional in a decision making position within a town like ours. My responsibilities include planning of programs, both golf and non-golf. However, I am able to utilize the resources at my disposal to promote our golf programs to every kid in town who attended a summer camp, played in our youth basketball league, or participated in any other program offered. Having access to this database, as well as being a face in the community, allows me to present opportunities to learn and play our game to many folks in the area. As we all know, when dealing with young families, there are many opportunities to fill your various player development programs. Youth camps, women’s clinics, men’s leagues – there should literally be something for everyone. And once you get them learning the game of golf, and loving the game of golf, they will support your shop, they’ll play more golf, and they’ll even enjoy your food & beverage services. This is how you grow a golf business across the whole facility. Get them in the door. So, as PGA professionals, we are the true ambassadors of the game, but sometimes we are limited in our growth opportunities. Municipal facilities can present additional vehicles for career growth. It is important for all of us to consider new and innovative ways to grow within the game, and sometimes outside of it as well.

 

If you would like to email the author of this Best Practice directly, please email prohennefer@gmail.com