Gibson Golf Academy
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After Integrity Golf took over Temple Terrace Country Club in February of 2016, I had a series of meetings with the Board of Directors of the club. I was the PGA Head Professional at the time. I had checked out Integrity Golf with my contacts in Orlando and felt they were not a company to do business with. Further, I felt that the Board was taking the easy way out and making a very bad decision for the membership of the club and the City of Temple Terrace. I was summarily fired the next day. I was given no severance pay and they waited to pay me for my inventory in the pro shop 4 months (27 K)
We were all notified in the last several months that Integrity Golf Management was abandoning their contract with Temple Terrace and moving out. They lasted about one year and left the club in much worse shape than they found it. Since that time, the club leadership has reverted to the same stragegy they had when they found Integrity. They are looking desperately for someone or something to tell them what to do to save their golf operation. They have retained another golf business consultant and are having their operation analyzed. I can only assume what that cost them. No one called to apologize to me for telling them the truth when what I said would happen, happened.
It is such a shame to see this happening. The Board of Directors of Temple Terrace Country Club and the City Council of Temple Terrace are much the same and are contributing to the problem. They are successful men and women in their private fields, who (for the most part) know nothing about developing a business. As long as things are rocking along ok, they are fine, but when the barn starts burning down around you and an industry (like golf) is changing, they just cannot keep up. They are sick and tired of talking about it and being asked about it. They are desperately looking for someone to give them the magic pill to make things ok. And they just keep on doing the same thing. over and over.
The Board of Directors of Temple Terrace Country Club are probably not capable of making the correct decisions and will probably keep making bad ones. The fault here lies with the City. The health of the golf course is of vital concern to the City of Temple Terrace. Their revenue base is all tied up in land values and that is all about the golf course. They do not want to be in the golf business, but they have been in the golf business for ten years or more now. They keep having to put out money to keep the club afloat. They have to take over the operation of the club and make the Board of the Club a social function only.
There are great models for the City to follow. St. Petersburg has a fine city course (Mangrove Bay).
Lakeland has Cleveland Heights. Oklahoma City has about seven public golf courses. :Louisville, Ky. has six. The City has a Parks and Recreation Department that could assume control of the outside operations, fold the employees over into their Civil Service and cut costs on the club maintenance through economy of scale. It is jut not that hard.
Further, the City would now be in control of its own destiny and could work to control its own costs. Unfortunately, they do not have the best reputation for competing with private sector professionals in business deals, but they have to do this. It is irresponsible not to. Their counsel is not always the best and they do not like messy, expensive projects anyway, but Temple Terrace Country Club is going to get much worse before it gets better. Unfortunately, the homeowners on the course will be the ones to suffer and a great, old golf facility will never be the same. Such a shame!!!!