Honoring Our Members: 2024 NGCOA Awards

   As seen in Golf Business September/October 2023   

By Rachel Carter, Senior Director of Membership, NGCOA

I love playing golf in the fall. I reside and work remotely from Denver, Colorado, and fall is a particularly beautiful time of the year. I hope that this fall is especially successful for you in your golf business. There is no doubt in my mind that The Legends at Orange Lake Resort will enjoy an active final quarter of the year. We were excited to hear about the grand opening of their new Toptracer range in August. You can see more about how the course, which is owned and operated by NGCOA member GreatLife Golf, is investing in and installing this level of golf amenity into a green grass facility. Read the story, from the owner’s perspective, in this issue. 
Sharing success stories as a community of owners and operators is so important. One of the greatest benefits of our association is your ability to access other business owners and operators who, like you, want to operate efficiently, want to provide a flourishing workplace for staff and who work tirelessly to deliver memorable experiences to customers, and turn a profit. Access to those who have persevered through tough times and found ways to succeed is worth far more than your annual dues to NGCOA — it’s worth a lifetime of dues! 
One of the ways we recognize and honor our members is through our annual awards program — and by the time you read this article, we will have begun to collect nominations for the 2024 NGCOA Awards. At the Golf Business Conference in January we will recognize four Jemsek Regional Courses of the Year, the Jemsek National Course of the Year, a Champion Award, Don Rossi Award, Paul Porter Award facilities that show exemplary programs for  Player Development initiatives. 
So how does the process work? A facility can either be nominated, or nominate themselves by completing a nomination form online at  www.ngcoa.org/awards. You will find deadlines and other pertinent details/requirements online. 
Once received, an appointed Awards Selection Committee reviews all nominations with the goal of recommending three finalists to the NGCOA Board of Directors, who make the final selection.  
So why should you submit your facility for consideration? 
For starters, it is encouraging and motivating to be recognized for good work. I believe there is also something to be said for recognizing your employees who “make the magic happen” day in and day out. Having worked in golf operations for over 20 years, I hung my hat on the reputation of my course. To be recognized and appreciated with industry awards meant a lot and set a new standard for how we operated. 
While a national award may not directly boost revenue in the short term, it indirectly has a positive effect in boosting employee morale, increasing company goodwill and enhancing a reputation for excellence. These intangibles often ultimately do translate into increased revenue in time.
In speaking recently with one of the Awards Selection Committee members, who happens also to be a past nominee, I gained some interesting insight into the value of participating in the awards process. He shared with me that while he initially thought the marketing and public relations aspect of a national award would be most important, he found that the preparation of the nomination materials to be the most valuable. It turned out to be a critical ‘self-assessment’. As he and his team prepared the nomination, they challenged themselves to understand whether they truly deserved to be recognized for their work. It gave them an opportunity to take stock of their business and ask, “Are we really good enough?” (Turns out they were, as they were recognized as Regional Course of the Year.)
Please consider nominating a facility for recognition and an opportunity to be side-by-side with the best in class. Nominations are being accepted as early as September. If your property lies within an NGCOA affiliate area, your local affiliate will submit the course of the year. If you reside in a non-affiliate area you are free to submit your nomination directly to NGCOA headquarters, via our website. Please visit www.ngcoa.org/awards for more information.

This article was featured in the September/October edition of Golf Business Magazine.


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