Candia Woods along with most public access golf courses rely on golf outings to help generate revenue. Most golf outings take advantage of not only the golf aspect but also food and beverage making it an attractive opportunity for fundraising groups as well as the golf courses. Hosting a golf outing at Candia Woods is a combined team effort of all of our departments; Matt Evans, grounds, Doug Alderman, Mike Lloyd and Christina Desjardins with food/beverage and of course Craig McLaughlin in the golf shop. All departments and their leaders play integral roles in the success of the golf outing but more importantly satisfying our customer’s expectations! There is a lot that transpires from the moment of the first inquire to the day of the golf outing and I thought it might be interesting to see how it all comes together.
Typically it starts with a phone call or email to me inquiring about having the event, gathering information as to costs, specific needs of the customer and of course date availability. If the date is open and the customer is agreeable to the fees, a deposit is paid and agreement signed. At this point it goes on our master schedule so all departments are aware of the outing. Initially, Craig and I will often have meetings/phone calls and emails with the outing coordinators to go over their specific needs. We also have weekly staff meetings that go over upcoming events detailing the dates, start times and food & beverage needs…this starts as early as 6 weeks out! Each department will need to plan out their staff and necessary prep time to complete their assignment … this takes time!
Usually I have ongoing dialogue with the outing coordinator right up to the event to make sure we are prepared. One week prior to the outing the outing must give us a minimum count for both golf and food/beverage as well as supply Craig with all the sponsorship logos and information needed to make sponsor signs, scorecards and cart signs (Candia Woods is one of the very few courses that includes this value added option to our outing customers). Craig and his staff do an unbelievable job preparing the outings and our customers appreciate it. Doug, Mike and Christina will have the information they need to setup the pavilion and staff for the day of the outing. Matt will also have all the information he needs especially the time of the shotgun start and how many holes will be occupied.
Ok, the day of the outing is here and time to start the process! First, Matt and his crew arrive and start prepping the course by 4:30 – 5:00 am depending on what time of the year. Remember, if the shotgun start is 8:30 am that means all of the greens must be mowed, cups and tee markers changed, fairways mowed and off the course prior to 8:30 am. Matt’s staff does an outstanding job every outing and I constantly get great reviews from the coordinators and the outing players.
Next, Craig’s outside staff arrives by 5:30 – 6:00 am depending on the start time. The first step is locating the golf carts in their respective positions around the cul de sac and near the first tee. Craig prepares a master plan for the cart staging for every outing so the staff can quickly stage the carts correctly and efficiently. Once finished with the carts several staff members will load the cart signs and scorecards on to the appropriate carts, other staff members go down to the range to setup the pyramids of range balls while the others will start putting the tee sponsor signs on the tees, putting out nearest the pin and long drive markers and usually some hole in one contests. This process needs to be finished timely so the outside staff members can now start greeting the players arriving for the event, taking their golf bags an
d placing them on their assigned carts as well directing the players to registration area. Again, Craig’s outside staff team is great, treati
ng our customers with the utmost respect and constantly receive rave reviews from the coordinators.
Many times we do continental breakfasts the day of the outing. Mike Lloyd and his staff will again arrive early to set it up and monitor the food and beverage during the registration. Doug and his staff have prepped the continental breakfast the day before. Also prior to tee off Mike’s beverage cart staff members arrive to stock their carts to be ready for all the players. Both Mike, Doug and their teams do a great job so the customers are again satisfied.
As the morning moves along and guests arrive more frequently we start PA announcements welcoming them to Candia Woods, offering information about registration, cart location, where the range is located and reminding them of the shotgun start time (this is usually done by the soft spoken GM who on occasions has been mistaken for a radio host but also
reminded to keep his job!). I enjoy this aspect every outing as it is my opportunity to make everyone feel welcomed and appreciated. Often players that have not been to Candia Woods since their last outing will come in and say “hi” which I always enjoy.
We’re getting close now and this is where it all comes together for the golf aspect! Matt usually radios in 10 – 15 minutes ahead of the start time and informs us know when he will be finished, Craig is at the registration table with coordinator to see if everyone has checked in, the outside staff starts putting keys in the carts and we start calling the players to the carts. Typically, we make the final announces 5 minutes ahead of the start time, reviewing the golf tournament rules of the day and other important information. At this point if Matt and Craig are ready we come out and blow the air horn to start the players on their way! It always a great sight to see the carts heading out to their respective tees and the players excited to be on the course ready for a great day at Candia Woods…it’s also time for all of us to take deep breathe!
While the players are on the course the next component of the outing starts getting ready. First, our wait staff starts arriving to reset after the morning guests, making sure the room is clean and ready for the players when they come in. Doug’s staff arrives in the kitchen (they have prepped some of the food ahead of time) and start cooking and preparing for the designated food serving time. Doug and his staff do an amazing job each and every event we host. I find it incredible how he can prepare for groups of 100 or more and make it look routine. Our customers also give very positive reviews for the food for these events.
Approximately 5 hours from tee off the players begin to finish and come to the pavilion. The players turn in their scorecards to Craig for scoring and then head to the buffet line to have their meal. It usually takes 30 – 45 minutes to feed everyone (depending on the size of the outing). Our efficient wait staff helps with the serving and then helps clear the tables so the outing can get started with the prizes, auctions and other programs. The outing programs can take 30 minutes or up to an hour to finish before leaving. Once everyone has left our wait staff cleans all the tables and usually preps for the next event…sometimes scheduled for the very next day.
I have made this sound a lot simpler than it actually is for sure. One thing for sure it couldn’t happen without an incredible cast of staff members. Candia Woods is fortunate to have so many talented and loyal staff members to coordinate and execute these golf outings and other functions. I am reminded almost every outing how engaging and helpful our staff members are and it is why so many outings call Candia Woods home!