Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MY "DEEP THROAT" LETTER

I took a road trip to Oronoque Country Club in Stratford today, had lunch and met some very nice people. I learned a lot from the trip and had intended to write about my experience when I got back. That plan got cancelled when I opened my mailbox and found the letter below, delivered without return address and unsigned.

I don't generally trade in rumor and gossip, but I think the scenario presented deserves some inspection. What makes me think this is a conversation I had two weeks ago with the owner of a local landscaping company who knows a lot about the golf business, having worked in it for 13 years in addition to growing up around it.

His advice regarding our golf losses was to "keep your eye on the house". Not being familiar with the term I asked him to define it. "House," he said, "Clubhouse. If you're losing money on the golf operation that's where you look first."

As I said earlier, my first intention when I got back was to write about my experience at Oronoque, but I found this is too compelling to ignore. I'll tell you about the road trip tomorrow.

 Anonymous thoughts from the sideline-
Power Corrupts. Do you recall that when Paul Schorno was GM, then board
president Dan Sullivan had a sort of witch hunt. Yes, Mr. Schorno mismanaged
some deposits but there was never any money missing, nor was he an
"embezzler" as Sullivan made him out to be in neighborhood gossip. So there
was a forced resignation and Sullivan took ultimate power as seemed to be his
plan. At that time, there were not too many residents actually paying attention to
the actions of the board as there are now through your enlightenment. There
was supposed to be a hiring committee to find a qualified M.A. manager,
however Sullivan could retain power by putting Al Miller in that spot, as Al is not
as forceful as Paul and defers any decisions to the board. Mr. Schorno seemed
to know that the GM duties were to advise the board since they were volunteers
and not professional association managers and persuade them through
knowledge not to make bad decisions that would affect the community. During
the Sullivan regime, with Al Miller in GM command, Roland Kelsey was fired as
Clubhouse Manager, and a new very costly position was made, hiring Ed Jarrett
as the "Director of Golf and Clubhouse". Used to be that the general manager
managed Golf and the Clubhouse and their managers. Ed Jarrett subsequently
made up new management positions as the restaurant, that Roland did not seem
to need. Banquet manager, food manager, or whatever they are called, seemed
everyone on restaurant staff became a sub-manager, etc. etc. The failing
restaurant/clubhouse got a bigger payroll budget, as well as the new Director
position getting" commission" yearly bonuses. Add to this Dan Sullivan's firing
of longtime golf pro Rick Churchill, which has led to a costly ongoing lawsuit.
New golf pro hired, new positions, new expenses added to the golf budget as
there was now a "Director of Golf" which was previously managed through the
GM, Golf Pro and Golf Superintendent Greg Bradley. Where has all this new
managing gone and what has been done? Where is the professional
management? 

Comments? You're welcome to email me at 2chewman@gmail.com.

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