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Clarksville Country Club fires General Manager and Golf Pro

 

Clarksville Country ClubClarksville, TN – The Clarksville Country Club, one of the oldest private clubs in the southeast, has made some major changes in it’s management and pro shop operations.

In an announcement made to it’s membership, the board of directors informed the members that they have entered into an agreement with Troon Golf, LLC to provide management and to oversee all operations throughout the facility.

In making the announcement, the Clarksville Country Club welcomes Rocky Papachek as the interim General Manager of the club effective immediately.  Papachek comes from the Wausau Country Club in Wausau Wisconsin. They also announced that Rob Riddle is the interim Director of Golf.

In making the announcement, the board of directors have also decided to part ways with controversial General Manager Joe Ceci.  They also cancelled the current employment agreement with longtime golf pro, Jim Schacht.

Citing changes in the economy, housing market, demographics and a shift to more family-friendly venues as placing considerable pressure on the private club industry, the board of directors felt it was time to make a major change in the direction of the club.  Sources have told Clarksville Online that the club has been on financial “thin ice” for years, and has been searching for ways to encourage more membership and keep their club private.

Board Chairman John Manning explained to the membership that “This was one of the most significant decisions made by the club, and that the board of directors has been engaged in a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation over the past three months to find a solution to it’s problems.”

“This process included clear and specific steps to define our requirements, validate our expectations, list our options, assess each option, and verify their impact. At the heart of the process was the Board’s research with members, our existing management team, and a wide range of third-party industry experts including: consultants, board members, general managers, management companies, and recruiters.

Our process included the consideration of all reasonable options for the management of our club. These included: the use of consultants to supplement our existing personnel, changes to our existing personnel, and the use of a management company. At the close of our due diligence, it was clear that the Troon Privé program, designed by Troon specifically for premium private country clubs, is the best option that delivers on the promise of simultaneously improving our member experience, financial performance and employee satisfaction.”

PGA pro Jim Schacht has been a fixture at the Clarksville Country Club for over thirty years and the reaction of some of the membership has not been good.  Speaking off the record, some members tell Clarksville Online that they were disappointed to hear that Schacht’s contract had been cancelled, and said they were not sure they would continue to be members.

The opinions of Ceci were mixed.

“I think he’s one of the best managers we’ve had.” said one member who wished to remain anonymous.

“They needed to fire Joe Ceci a long time ago.” said another.  “When he pulled his little stunt on the golf course last year with some of the members, he needed to go then.”

Ceci was involved in a confrontation with member Todd Greene while Greene was playing a round of golf,  over some pictures that had been posted at the country club of Ceci’s son hitting balls on the practice range, wearing cargo pants that were forbidden by club rules.  The confrontation was videotaped by another member, and caused Green to hire an attorney to fight his suspension.

In closing his letter to the membership, Manning said “We are extremely excited about the future of Clarksville Country Club and we hope and trust that you will be as well. And, since the proof will be in our individual experiences as members, we encourage you to come by and see, firsthand, how we’re elevating our club to new levels of hospitality and value.”

The Letter Sent to Clarksville Country Club Members

Dear Members,

Clarksville Country Club is one of the oldest clubs in the southeast, upholding great traditions and providing a great club experience for past and future generations. As a direct reflection of a lifestyle built on achievement and pride, the club’s goal has always been to deliver a premium hospitality experience to our members and serve as an integral part of their community. Over recent years, the club has weathered many challenges. But as we have seen with businesses near and far, the ability to adapt in the face of change is essential to a strong, resilient and vibrant future.

Changes in the economy, housing market, demographics, and a shift to more family-friendly venues have placed considerable pressure on the private club industry. Many clubs have gone bankrupt or have been forced to transition to becoming semi-private or even public operations in order to survive. And, while our club has successfully reacted to and overcome various obstacles, we know that we can do much better and that you, as a member deserve the best. To enable Clarksville Country Club to adapt to the changing market while delivering a premium membership experience and bolstering financial strength, our leadership needs to be proactive. We need a strong culture of hospitality where members and their guests can take pride in the privilege of their private club experience. We need to actively seek continuous improvements to bring more value to more of the membership while being as efficient as possible. And, we need the expertise and methodologies to drive and measure our success.

What is changing?
To uphold the commitment to deliver the best possible private club experience for our members and their guests, we are excited to announce that, effective today, the club has entered into an agreement with Troon Golf, LLC, to provide us with unmatched expertise in premier private club management and to oversee the operations throughout our facilities. As members, the results that you can expect from this change are: improved member experience, stronger financial performance, and enhanced employee satisfaction.

In association with the club’s agreement with Troon, we are also pleased to announce the appointment of Rocky Papachek as the interim General Manager of our club. Prior to joining Clarksville Country Club, Rocky was the General Manager at Wausau Country Club in Wausau, Wisconsin. In addition to Rocky joining the team, Rob Riddle is the interim Director of Golf. Rob is also a seasoned veteran, with over 15 years’ experience with Troon and most recently, the General Manager at Black Creek Club in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Both Rocky and Rob are leaders that are fluent in Troon’s management model and best practices and we can expect both to make an immediate and positive impact with both members and staff.

In connection with the appointment of Rocky as General Manager, we are also announcing the departure of Joe Ceci. We thank Joe for his service over the past two years. Additionally, the club is cancelling the current employment agreement with Jim Schacht, we thank Jim for his service to the club over the past 3 decades..

While we view our decision to bring on Troon as being critical to our ability to fulfill the high expectations that our members hold and deserve, we want to ensure you that we have done everything possible to minimize disruptions while making these essential changes. The results that you can expect to see fall into three main areas:

Improved Member Experience

  • A culture of premium private club hospitality throughout all areas of the club.
  • A more compelling and consistent experience for all members and their families.
  • Enhanced satisfaction and pride for our members and their guests.

Stronger Financial Performance

  • Focus on revenue generation through new members and retaining current members.
  • Cost savings from the increased purchasing power brought by Troon.
  • Improved operating efficiencies based on proven best practices and training programs.
  • Long term sustainability to build for the future.

Enhanced Employee Satisfaction

  • A commitment to ongoing training and career development.
  • A proud and productive, team-oriented workforce.
  • A culture that rewards employees that contribute to continuous improvement.

What remains the same?
Of equal importance to the above areas of change are the aspects of the club that will not undergo change as a result of our agreement with Troon:

  • The club will continue to be positioned and operated as a private country club.
  • The ownership model of the club remains unchanged – Clarksville Country Club remains a member-owned club, as defined in our By-Laws.
  • The source of strategy and direction for the club remains unchanged – members will continue to define this through direct communication and representation on committees and the Board of Directors, as defined in our By-Laws.
  • No additional changes in staff are planned.

How was this decision made?
Viewed as one of the most significant decisions made by the club, the Board of Directors has been engaged in a comprehensive and exhaustive investigation over the past three months. This process included clear and specific steps to define our requirements, validate our expectations, list our options, assess each option, and verify their impact. At the heart of the process was the Board’s research with members, our existing management team, and a wide range of third-party industry experts including: consultants, board members, general managers, management companies, and recruiters.

Our process included the consideration of all reasonable options for the management of our club. These included: the use of consultants to supplement our existing personnel, changes to our existing personnel, and the use of a management company. At the close of our due diligence, it was clear that the Troon Privé program, designed by Troon specifically for premium private country clubs, is the best option that delivers on the promise of simultaneously improving our member experience, financial performance and employee satisfaction.

In closing, we are extremely excited about the future of Clarksville Country Club and we hope and trust that you will be as well. And, since the proof will be in our individual experiences as members, we encourage you to come by and see, firsthand, how we’re elevating our club to new levels of hospitality and value.

Sincerely,

John Manning
Board President Clarksville Country Club


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One Response to “Clarksville Country Club fires General Manager and Golf Pro”

  1. CJ Brinker Says:
    October 12th, 2012 at 12:22 am

    Tax returns for the club can be found here: http://dynamodata.fdncenter.org/990s/990search/esearch.php

    Just enter the name of the club and select the state.

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