A New Position Comes with a New Perspective: My Takeaways from Golf Business Conference

   As seen in Golf Business March/April 2023   

By Rachel Carter, Senior Director of Membership, NGCOA, rcarter@ngcoa.org


The endorphins are still pumping in my brain as I return from this year’s Golf Business Conference and PGA Show in Orlando. The positive experiences and moments of enlightenment that I experienced throughout the week certainly will continue throughout the year with excitement and enthusiasm for my objective of growing the NGCOA membership, both in number of members and in member engagement. This was my first GBC on staff with the NGCOA — though I have participated in years past as an attendee or sponsor — and I’ve come to the conclusion that NGCOA members are the most thoughtful owners and operators in the business of golf.

Where do I get off stating such a bold claim? It’s because I am constantly impressed by our members who commit time and money to attend regional and national meetings, read (and contribute to) the various publications, white papers and reports that we produce, and interact and share with other golf business owners both online and in person to operate “smarter.”

NGCOA members invest time to reflect on how they’re currently operating, and challenge themselves and their teams to analyze how they might improve efficiency, enhance the customer experience and/or drive revenue through new service offerings. Our members seek education on what the workforce is most interested in and how they can be thoughtful and sustainable employers. They stay abreast of what consumer trends say their customers are seeking, and introduce new services and amenities in response. They try new things, take risks, seek the best support tools and constantly share what works — and what doesn’t — with one another. So I’ll continue to shout from the mountain top that I strongly believe that NGCOA members are the best, and I hope that my message is heard by consumers. I want consumers to know that the courses they support are run by thoughtful, intelligent business owners who are part of an association that brings them the best tools and resources to run their business.

This year we brought back our New Member/First Time Attendee Welcome Reception in advance of the Opening Reception and had record attendance! So many new members and first-time GBC attendees participated. I hope you were able to meet owners and operators and that you’ve taken the time to reach out to them upon returning home so you can keep in touch with one another on business issues as they arise.

I enjoyed seeing so many of our members at GBC23 and the PGA Show. In the months of planning, the NGCOA staff was obsessed with ensuring we looked at every aspect of the event through the “lens of a member.” We asked ourselves often, how could we enhance our members' experience at every turn.

How did we do? Let us know by submitting your GBC23 Member Survey or drop me a line to share what you liked and what you would like to see in the future.

Beginning in Q2 of 2023, your membership department will be hosting virtual New Member Orientation sessions where new (and existing members who want a refresher on getting the most from membership) can come together to meet other owners/operators across the country, learn how to access Member benefits, learn about new partnerships being brokered to save you money and get the latest on any industry issues taking shape that may impact your business. When they are posted, you can see the meeting dates online at ngcoa.org/events.

Not an NGCOA member yet? The NGCOA board of directors invites you to become part of the only trade association dedicated exclusively to golf course ownership and operations. NGCOA members include owners, operators and general managers of daily-fee, semi-private, private and resort courses of all sizes. While diverse in its makeup, the association offers information and inspiration on how to operate golf facilities as efficiently and profitably as possible. To have a conversation about membership and why you should join, please contact me directly at rcarter@ngcoa.org.

If you’re already a member, I invite you to get fully engaged with your fellow members. Participate in the conversation on Accelerate, our online member-only virtual community. Provide your thoughts and feedback on issues, ask questions…participate. Not sure where to start? Contact me and let’s discuss how to get the most value out of your membership.



This article was featured in the March/April edition of Golf Business magazine.


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