SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - June 27, 2016) - Legendary Salt Lake City Golf Pro Ron Branca announced today his next chapter after leaving the prestigious Salt Lake City Country Club, where he spent the last 22 years as head golf pro. Branca will move to the consulting world, offering golf course management consulting to clients nationwide.
Branca started his golf career as head pro at Rose Park in 1976; later he became the first head pro at Wingpointe in 1990. In 1993, Ron followed in his father's footsteps, Utah Hall of Famer Tee Branca, at Salt Lake City's Country Club, where he served as head pro for 22 years, from 1993 to 2015. During that time, Salt Lake City Country Club grew to become one of the top courses on the West Coast. The two Branca men made up the club's "Branca Era," a nickname given to the father-son duo after the two served separately as the club's head pro for 75 combined years.
During Ron's multifaceted career, he coached the University of Utah's golf team for 15 years and as a player competed in golf events at the highest level. He has been active in the PGA Utah section as a player and an officer and was recognized by his peers with section awards, which include: Player of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Merchandiser of the Year and Professional of the Year. In 2003, Ron was awarded Utah's Senior Player of the Year and serves on the Callaway Master Staff Advisory Board.
With more than 30 years of golf management experience and a degree in finance, Ron Branca has become one of the most famous Golf Pros in Salt Lake City. As Branca turns to the consulting field, he shares his top six tips on how to run a successful golf course:
1) Hire skilled management: Hiring a team of skilled management will end up saving a golf course money and resources. A good management team needs to continually develop ways to increase the revenue stream of the golf course. For example, a beverage cart can bring in as much revenue as a golf course snack bar with very little overhead costs. Skilled management will only keep essential management on board, streamlining the staff. A golf course only needs a simple management structure: General Manager, Golf Professional, Golf Course Superintendent and Accountant.
2) Develop a long-range business plan: Developing a long-range business plan will help set clear and attainable business goals, which is especially important when multiple owners are involved. Is the business interested in expansion? A new clubhouse with meeting rooms and food service, for example, could increase the bottom line over time. Increasing revenue not only improves the return for the owners, but it also increases the value of the entire asset.
3) Set up a facility upgrade and replacement plan: A successful golf operation needs a plan for infrastructure obsolescence. Buildings, equipment and irrigation systems get old and wear out. An upgrade and replacement plan should be in place so that as the facility ages it only gets better. This concept is critical in creating an aesthetically pleasing environment, which will attract new customers and maintain the current ones.
4) Provide Excellent Customer Service: Customer service is a cornerstone to repeat business. The key management staff needs to have the background and golf experience to understand the "wants" of their client base. The staff must possess the ability to give professional customer service. Customers will return only when they are treated well and have a memorable experience. This has become increasingly important in the Salt Lake City market where there is so much competition.
5) Golf Courses are part of the community: Golf courses should play an essential role in community recreation by offering programs to families in the area. Think long term when organizing these events. Kids are the future for golf and ultimately the future of the golf course itself, making family outreach programs an important aspect of the business plan. When planning community activities or camps, it is important to set reasonable prices and to provide instruction for different age groups. Involving the community in a golf course will provide a great service to nearby neighbors and greatly help to increase the revenue stream, resulting in an increased bottom line and a more valuable asset.
6) Control the cash: A competitive price structure is essential to all successful golf operations. The price structure creates the customer base for the facility. By creating a discount plan like punch cards and season passes, a significant amount of the daily cash can be transferred into preseason sales. This discount plan serves the course in several ways, early season sales means fewer cash transactions over the counter each day. That in itself helps with the oversight of the cash transactions and simplifies the accounting workload. The increase in preseason revenue is not only great for the bank account, but it also creates or adds to the customer base for the course. Players with these discount rounds use the facility often and are very loyal. The preseason sales are easily accomplished when the golf facility is in great shape, the staff is well trained in customer service, and the preseason discounts packages are competitive and are appropriate for the area.
About Ron Branca
Ron Branca has 30 years of experience in all aspects of golf management. In 1994 Ron started his professional career at Rose Park Golf Course where he was able to increase the course's revenue more than 20 percent his first year. During Ron's multifaceted career, he served in the Utah Air National Guard for 12 years and operated both fixed wing aircraft and helicopters. He coached the University of Utah golf team and as a player competed in golf events at the highest level. He has been active in the PGA Utah section as a player and officer and was recognized by his peers with section awards, which include Player of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Merchandiser of the Year and Professional of the Year. In 2003, Ron was awarded Utah's Senior Player of the Year, is an active member in the PGA Utah Section and serves on the Callaway Master Staff Advisory Board.
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