I hope your early summer is off to a good start as you read this month’s topic in your “spare time.”

Howie and I were put the question this month, “What is the role of a Section officer in the conduct of operations in the Section and as an officer how will you interact with the staff in the Section Office?” 

The short answer: support.  The role of a Section officer in the conduct of Section operations is purely support, and the best way to interact with the Section office staff—and field staff—is by supporting them in any way we can.  The staff has a job to do and it is our role to support—not direct—the CEO in the execution of Section operations.  The CEO is given the goals by the board and officers, and it’s up to the CEO to figure out the best way to achieve those goals through working with his staff.  Support may come in the form of operational expertise, moral support, drumming up volunteers, spit-balling ideas, participating in Section events, or sometimes the best support is simply staying out of the way.

The long answer?

Our professional, personable, highly-capable Section staff is led by our CEO Jeff Ellison.  His team members include the field staff located in the chapters—such as the Chapter Executive Directors, Pro-Am Administrator, Chapter Director, and Chapter Tournament Director—as well as the Section office staff that includes the Controller, Director of Tournament and Member Programs, Director of Communications, the Executive Assistant, the Tournament and Membership Administrator and Coordinator, our Receptionist, and in most years, a Tournament Intern.

Good governance defines the board’s and officers’ collective role as debating and creating policies, and it is the role of the CEO and the Section staff to provide information for the debate and to carry out the resultant policies through Section operations.  Jeff directs the workflows and operations of his field staff and office staff, and in turn he reports to the Board and Officers of the Section.  This system has evolved over the years:  it is efficient, enjoys a high degree of accountability and harmony, and produces an information flow that is clean, tight and consistent.  The last thing we want from the officers is to go rogue, peeling off on their personal tangents and agendas, and dragging staff through confusion, mayhem, conflicting and inefficient priorities, and wasted work.  However, it is important to note that Jeff—depending on the occasion—may authorize the board and officers to speak directly with staff members on operational matters that directly relate to their role, and simply be kept in the loop with a cc or follow up communication.

As an officer, how will I interact with the staff in the Section office?  Just like I do at Overlake Golf & Country Club in my role as General Manager, interacting with staff is the most important function I have.

What will I do?

  • Bring chocolate and Scotch whenever I visit the Section office
  • Walk the walk
  • Lead by example
  • Provide support and expertise when called upon
  • Be a cheerleader!
  • Get my Board work done on time
  • Celebrate the successes and achievements of our staff
  • Be an efficient and timely communicator
  • Work with the CEO to ensure a harmonious and happy workplace

Ultimately, interacting with the Section staff comes down to “support” and recognizing, honoring, and respecting the roles that each staff member plays.

Thank you for your indulgence!


Marcus King, PGA, CCM, CCE
General Manager
Overlake Golf & Country Club