I am the Queen of England
I have a friend who is a loud-talker. I’ll call him Mark. That’s not to say I’m talking about Mark Richman, just a coincidence that my friend is a loud-talker named Mark who is a long time member of DCC.
Mark regularly tells me I’m like the Queen of England. The Queen of England has no real authority and really doesn’t do anything. Similarly, Mark thinks that members of the DCC Advisory Board have no authority and really don’t do anything (he’s probably referring just to me).
Like Mark, I served on the board of Dellwood Hills Golf Club, a member-owned club where most decisions were made by a committee. DHGC was a great club but was limited in terms of governance and financial resources. I served on the DHGC Strategic Planning Committee for several years with a number of fine volunteers. Many of the Strategic Planning members were professionals, including some Six Sigma Black Belts. While we tackled a number of big picture issues, we moved at a snail’s pace because many of our decisions were made by committee. There wasn’t much room for quick action or decisiveness.
Fast forward to today, when DCC has corporate ownership and the General Manager and his team have authority to make decisions on the spot. Even if we had had the financial resources to make the changes that have been made in the past two years we’d be spending time in committee meetings vetting out every possible idea on every possible topic. I’m not saying this is bad; in fact, it’s the only way a member-owned club can govern. But our current ownership allows us to act and react more quickly.
Which brings me to the Advisory Board. As president, I am the Queen of England. I attend meetings and write a very interesting (ok, somewhat interesting?) column each month for the newsletter to share what we’re hearing and to solicit feedback. I have no authority but have thought a lot about parking in the reserved space in the circle. Can a tow truck even get in there? While I may in fact be the Queen of England, the Advisory Board serves a very useful purpose on behalf of the ownership and membership of DCC.
The Club’s owner is only successful if the membership is active and engaged. The Advisory Board is the primary conduit for exchanging information. Club management does a good job of sharing information, but the Advisory Board takes that information further and obtains and provides feedback to club management to assist in the direction of the club.
For example, a member of the advisory board suggested adding ‘member parking’ designation to a number of spaces in our parking lot. Given that the lot can be full often, the suggestion was made to set aside some spaces just for members, and to make these spaces convenient to the entrance. This suggestion was taken and acted upon quickly, resulting in the reserved spaces you see today. Members are encouraged to share feedback, positive and negative, with the Advisory Board and with club management.
Members of the Advisory Board also attend Minnesota Golf Association meetings five times each year to represent the club and gain insights into what is happening at the private golf clubs in the Twin Cities.
The Advisory Board meets monthly with club management to discuss the topics that were formerly discussed by the various club committees…house, finance, strategic planning, golf, greens & grounds, women’s golf group, membership, etc. The women’s golf group and golf committees still exist and their items are discussed by the Advisory Board just as the former Board of Directors did.
While Mark is right that I may be the Queen of England, the Advisory Board is much more valuable to DCC’s operations than the Royal Family is to the governance of Great Britain. Please continue to share your thoughts and feedback with the Advisory Board to help our club continue to improve.
Dellwood Country Club Advisory Board
Walter Jungbauer, President
Mike Lehman, President-elect