NGCOA, NCA Compensation Survey Shows Size Matters

Golf, Club Facilities Taking Steps to Control Health Care Costs

Published Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CHARLESTON, S.C. (Sept. 2, 2008) – When it comes to compensation in the golf and club industries, size matters. It also pays (literally) to work at a private facility vs. a public-access facility.

Those were among the findings of the 2008 Golf and Club Industry Compensation and Benefits Report issued by the NGCOA and the National Club Association.

Average total compensation (base salary, bonus and commission) for the chief executive staff person / general manager position at facilities with annual gross revenues of more than $7.5 million was $208,706, according to the survey of NGCOA and NCA members earlier this year. In contrast, employees in the same position at facilities where annual gross revenue is less than $2 million took home $72,222.

The lead agronomic manager / head superintendent at a private facility earned an average salary of $118,186 compared to $75,351 at public-access facilities. The salary difference between the head chef at private and public facilities is even greater – $77,250 compared to $44,982. 

In addition to compensation, the survey looked at trends in health care, which showed the golf and club industries are not immune to rising costs and pressures affecting other employers.

The responding facilities reported paying $5,337 in health care premiums per staff member in the most recent fiscal year, up from $4,889 a year earlier, more than an eight percent increase. 

Responding facilities experienced an average increase of 11.1 percent during their most recent health care insurance renewal, up from the 9.4 percent that was reported in the 2007 survey.

In efforts to control medical insurance and health care costs, 61 percent of golf and club facilities are increasing the deductible amount of their employees' coverage, 41 percent are increasing the employee contribution to cover premiums and 34 percent are increasing out-of-pocket maximums.

Indicative of the financial strain many courses and clubs are under, the number of facilities providing health insurance dropped from 94 percent to 90 percent in the past year.

The study was conducted for the NGCOA and NCA by Industry Insights, an independent research and consulting firm based in Columbus, Ohio.

The full report, which is available to NGCOA and NCA members for $150 and to non-members for $225, can be ordered from the associations' respective websites, and

About NCA

Since 1961, the National Club Association (NCA) has served as the primary advocate for private clubs, representing their business, legal and legislative interests, while providing a wealth of invaluable resources to address educational needs of clubs related to operations, model club practices and effective leadership.   

About the NGCOA

The National Golf Course Owners Association is the leading authority on the business of golf course ownership and management. The Association represents the key decision makers with ultimate responsibility for golf courses throughout the world. Through advocacy, information resources, purchasing programs and networking opportunities, the NGCOA helps golf course owners and operators run more successful businesses. For more information, visit or call 1-800-933-4262.



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