By Sue Moore
A business plan for the municipally owned Angels Crossing Golf Club was presented to the Vicksburg Village Council at its July meeting. Tom Ham, the president of Renaissance Golf Management Group was hired in April 2018 to turn the golf course around. This report is his road map to future development.
Village Manager Jim Mallory said he has sought to have a business plan submitted for some time and this is what is needed for the course to be successful, he told the council. League play and memberships are up this year but there has been some confusion from golfers about new rules instituted by Ham’s company.
No golf carts are allowed in the parking lot this year as a safety precaution. That is a big change; they have been chugging along this way since the course opened. But insurance doesn’t cover the risk, Ham told the council. “It can be an inconvenience, so we are looking at other ways to accommodate the loading and unloading of golf bags by the front door. When you put up some boundaries you can make people unhappy.”
Also, too much alcohol is being brought onto the property against all the rules, Ham said. “Management needs to follow up and to say this is what we expect of you as a customer.”
Monthly financials are being sent to the financial committee of the council. A new point of service system has been installed to make things run smoother. “This is not an easy job or the village would have done it ourselves,” Mallery said.
Highlights of the plan’s measurable objectives for 2018-19 are on the village’s web site and include:
• Streamline operational efficiency.
• Develop a unique marketing strategy.
• Angels Crossing Golf Club, by all accounts, is one of the best layouts in the state of Michigan. Initial observations of course conditioning and aesthetics are below average as they relate to expectations, pricing, and comparative in competitive settings. Renaissance Golf Management believes that Angels Crossing Golf Club can be a “special” facility, but that success is dependent on improved maintenance practices and effort.
• As with any facility, the Angels Crossing golf shop operation is the nerve center of the facility. The focus is to optimize member and guest experiences while protecting the club’s interest and safety standards. The club must be for all to enjoy equally and it is the golf shop operation’s responsibility to ensure this for all guests.
• Angels Crossing Golf Club Food and Beverage operation is full service and has limited potential for events, wedding venues, and dining experiences based on kitchen and seating. The key to success is minimizing costs and limiting product selection while trying to come up with new and creative menu items.
• The Angels Crossing Golf Club clubhouse is functional but is lacking as far as storage, seating, kitchen area, and large golf outing hosting.
• Personnel is the backbone of any company. Angels Crossing will continue to strive to hire the most professional and dedicated employees in the industry, provide a positive work environment, and minimize the cost of payroll while maximizing productivity. In addition, we realize that we must be proactive in attracting outstanding employees and understand that great people come along when we may not be looking to fill a need. We will be open to make every adjustment in our workforce to accommodate an outstanding person that would better the future for Angels Crossing.
James Earl thanked Ham for his business plan, saying it will be measurable and will transform Angels Crossing if implemented. This accountability is what the council had requested over a year ago in his public statement.