Five Strategic Insights Worth Sharing with Your Employer

In the last article, Navigating Compensation Trends in the Golf Industry: A 2023 Perspective, the topic of “the negotiation” came up and the following key components were discussed:

  • Proof of your interactions with the customers/membership to “show your value”
  • Documentation on how you have grown in your role
  • Suggested updates or modifications that need to be made to your current job description
  • Relevant compensation reports that you’ve studied
  • Click here to see the entire article for all of the details.

All of the above are key factors to help you have some leverage on your situation in the specific way that your employer views you, either as someone who is an “Expense-aligned Position” or viewed as a “Value-aligned Position.”

In a simplistic way, think bluntly about your employer’s view of your role. Which is it? What can you do based on the concepts above to change that if it is “expense-aligned?”

Now, for a bit of perspective, watch this “Instagram short” before proceeding: “POV You for a Raise and Your Boss replies Honestly”  (credit: HRManifesto and shared on Instagram.)

Five Facts for Consideration, Worth Sharing Wisely with Your Employer: Why Giving a Value-aligned Employee a Raise May Be the Cheaper, Most Savvy Business Decision


In the past, I’ve been asked by a club leader (who was “phishing”), “What does an average pro make?” My answer was a question: Do you want an “average pro?” He responded with, “No, we want above average.” My response, “Okay then…why did you ask for an average pro comp range?” Simply put, no employer wants average.

  • Employers: Please, stop thinking about the comp for a second. Instead, ask yourself: “Is my golf management professional (insert title), an average, below average or an above average professional? If above average is your answer, are they 75th Percentile (Top 25%) or 90th Percentile (Top 10%)?
  • Assuming you gave a fair assessment to the worker/professional in question (and you got a few qualified 3rd party evaluations to test your assessment against), you can ask yourself:
  • Based on the assessment, does this employee’s “all-in” comp line up with the average (50th Percentile), or one of the higher percentile points? Does their “all-in” comp align with the fair assessment given? If they’re “better than average” and their comp is “average” or below that, they are going to feel undervalued and thus be poachable.
  • Thought Provoking Questions from Data Point 1 | Key questions from this:
    • Where do you believe your golf management professional (insert title) ranks in terms of “percentile” (or relative to average/median)?Based on the first question, where does your golf management professional (insert title) stand in terms of all-in comp?
    • If they are below market in terms of comp, are you willing to risk losing them to another facility? (They are poachable if “below market.”)


  • Burnout of this employee (not to mention the “toll” on their family)
  • Loss of momentum, engagement by this key cultural leader
  • Loss of strategic involvement, resulting in club’s loss of momentum, direction
    • With team members, leading to poor team culture and performance (activation/employee engagement) over time; issues with talent retention and recruitingWith committees – misguided chairs, disengaged committees, staff
    • With the Club’s leadership
  • Poor performance over time at the department level and overall


Again, what is the “position under consideration” actually worth? (Within the Marketplace). Specifically, what would the Club have to pay to replace this “position under consideration?”

  • Question: Do you want “average skills” or “median skills?”
    • Answer: Expect to pay AT LEAST (+5-10%) over average on the reports above. (Report1: $161k+ for Average of 11 Clubs, or $179k+ for the Median; Report2: $177k+)
  • Question: Do you want a “Top 25%” level leader?
    • Answer: Expect to pay AT LEAST (+5-10%) over average on the reports above. (Report 1: $220k; Report2: $230k)
  • What if you already have a Top 25% leader and you get to pay them less? (It would seem the Club’s leadership and membership should be grateful for their loyalty.)
  • Question: If it is a management role, will the new GM or HP/DOG expect a relocation package?
    • Answer: Yes. That would likely be $10k plus possible housing assistance for 6-12 months, so they can actually move there. In some cases, their family won’t be able to move right away, so they may need travel expenses and a flexible schedule so they can visit their family during this transition period (loss of work days, plus travel expenses).


  • Real and tangible:
    • Costs of paying more for “the same” or possibly “less” in the new GM, seeing above
    • See “answers” to questions listed in previous section
  • Unseen and intangible (but likely more expensive)
    • Possible Burnout of other key employees who have to “do the work” of the GM while the Club is looking for their new one (50-100 days gap)
    • Loss of momentum, engagement by these key cultural leaders who have lost a leader, lost a friend at work, and now feel taxed and possibly taken advantage of
    • Loss of strategic involvement, resulting in Club’s loss of momentum, direction for 9-12 months
    • Potential loss of quality team members who don’t “gel with the new leader”
    • Poor team culture and performance over this transition time

Fact 5 | THE COSTS OF “BACKDRAFT (NEGATIVE) OUTCOMES” (when the raise given to the “above average keeper GM” who is loyal/faithful to the team, to the membership)

  • Question: Should a loyal/faithful leader (e.g. a GM, DOG or HP) be made to “feel the heat” of a negative “backdraft” when they stayed (for less money) then they could get (or were actually offered by another club?) Answer: No. (And yet…)
  • This “backdraft heat” creates:
    • Uncertainty for the “Management Professional”: causing them to look more than they did before (they feel they should have taken the job, and/or may never feel comfortable and trusting of the leadership/membership again)
    • Uncertainty for the staff/dept heads: even if they don’t specifically know the details, they can feel the uncertainty and it causes issues; if they know the situation, their mistrust grows
    • Uncertainty for the Club Community (and second degree relationships outside the Club). People talk and it is all negative, making the Club and its members look anything but generous…not a great look

The Conclusion as a Question | WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO FIGHT THE BATTLE TO FIND A NEW “MANAGEMENT PROFESSIONAL”  WHEN IT COSTS SO MUCH (MONEY, TIME, MOMENTUM AND MORE) TO YOUR CLUB? (Specifically, if your Club has someone who is “above average,” loyal and has capacity and capabilities to keep the Club “moving forward” and similar, why would you “let them go” and get someone else who is “not much better, or even marginally better?” (The math doesn’t add up!)

In summary, retaining a talented and loyal “management professional” through a raise is not only a prudent business decision but also a cost-effective one when considering the potential downsides of recruiting and transitioning to a new leader. The emphasis is on recognizing the value of existing talent and the potential negative repercussions of undervaluing and losing a key team member.

I encourage you to reach out to me anytime. I look forward to hearing from you soon. If you would like to discuss any of these concepts, please click on the Book an appointment on Monte’s Calendar link here or in my email signature below.

Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional, CIC | 206.335.5260

PGA of America | PGA Career Services | Career Coach & Consultant​

Certified Interview Coach | Certified Predictive Index Practitioner​

Based in South King County, WA

Book an appointment on Monte’s Calendar

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