BY LANDON WOODROOF
A local club manager recently joined an elite cadre of his fellow professionals by being named an Honor Society member of the Club Managers Association of America.
Todd Hendrix, who has been the general manager of the Brentwood Country Club for the past four-and-a-half years, had to earn 400 continuing education credits and complete a special leadership course in order to gain entry to the society. Those credits were in addition to the 300 credits he had already taken to gain the certification necessary to become a Certified Club Manager.
Now, Hendrix finds himself to be one out of only 591 members of the CMAA Honor Society, which is contained in the the total 6, 700 members of the CMAA, David McCabe, the group’s senior director of education, said.
The process to achieve that status sounds strenuous—and it is Hendrix said—but Hendrix is devoted enough to his profession that all that hard work was well worth it.
He says that club managers are “in the happy business,” dedicating their time to make sure that others have a good time.
“People come out here to get away and enjoy themselves, whether it’s to come out for a round of golf with friends or celebrating important events [like] a wedding reception or an anniversary,” he said. “It’s fun to provide the ultimate standards and ultimate experience.”
Before he and his family moved to Brentwood, Hendrix was the assistant manager at the Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama for several years and then the general manager at the Reunion Golf & Country Club in Madison, Mississippi for several more.
The job at Brentwood Country Club, though, seemed too good to pass up, and Hendrix has been very happy with the decision to relocate here.
“The Brentwood community has been wonderful,” he said. “We’re excited about raising our kids here and being a part of the community and we love the club. It’s a nice community-oriented club.”
Hendrix described the work of a good club manager as being mainly about two things: listening and anticipating.
“You’ve got to be able to listen to both members and guests and to the staff and team you work with, and then be able to…take the feedback you get from both your staff and your members and put that into a package for the next time,” he said.
Concurrently, though, a good manager should be able to anticipate what visitors are likely to want so he can provide them with it before they even have to ask.
It’s a balance that takes skill and a continued willingness to tweak and improve the way things are done to achieve the maximum positive effect.
“It’s mainly focused around the best amenities and experiences we can provide for the guests,” he said.
According to a press release, The Club Managers Association of America is the professional association for managers of leading private country, city, yacht, athletic, military and fraternal clubs in the U.S. and abroad. Founded in 1927, CMAA provides executive career services, a lifetime professional development program and two national trade magazines, Club Management and The Board Room, to its more than 7,000 members.