David Pillsbury Named New ClubCorp CEO

By | June 4th, 2018

The management firm’s new CEO has an extensive background in major golf industry executive leadership positions, including American Golf, Nike Golf, PGA Tour Properties (TPCs) and the PGA Tour. President and COO Mark Burnett is transitioning out after 12 years in executive roles with the company.

David Pillsbury has been named Chief Executive Officer of ClubCorp, effective June 1, 2018, the Dallas-based management firm announced.

As part of the announcement, ClubCorp also said that Mark Burnett, President and Chief Operating Officer, will be transitioning out after 12 years in executive roles with the company, including Executive Vice President of Operations, COO and, for the past two years, President and COO.

Pillsbury has held numerous leadership roles in the golf industry over the past 30 years. He started his golf career at American Golf Corporation (AGC), where he gained experience in all aspects of golf operations and ultimately became Co-CEO.

At AGC, Pillsbury led multiple innovations, including the formation of American Golf Country Clubs, the Private Club Member Platinum Program, the Nike Golf Learning Centers, centralized tee time reservations, and much more.

After American Golf, Pillsbury became General Manager of Nike Golf, responsible for all US operations, marketing and sales.  Following Nike Golf, Pillsbury was President of PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties Tournament Players Clubs (TPC), and was then promoted to President of PGA TOUR Championship Management, including THE PLAYERS tournament, and EVP of PGA TOUR Tournament Business Affairs.

Most recently, Pillsbury held CEO roles outside of golf in both the healthcare and consumer products industries.

Pillsbury received his Master of Business Administration from the University of Southern California and his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley.

“Dave has a keen understanding and appreciation for the traditions of the game of golf, is totally committed to enhancing member and guest experiences, and embraces contemporary thinking and technology,” said David Sambur, ClubCorp’s Chairman of the Board. “[He] brings a unique skill set and perspective which he has gathered from being involved in multiple dimensions of the golf industry.

“We believe Dave’s experience and energy will be a strong catalyst for our ambitious plans to expand the ClubCorp network and drive innovation and new products and services for the benefit of ClubCorp’s members and guests,” Sambur added.

“I am thrilled to join ClubCorp, the leading owner and operator of private clubs,” Pillsbury said. “The rich history and extensive capabilities of ClubCorp, combined with the support of a transformational sponsor like Apollo [Global Management], makes for an unparalleled platform to further enhance the lives of our members, guests and teammates.”

ClubCorp was acquired by Apollo last year (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/2017/07/clubcorp-bought-apollo-global-management-1-1-billion/)

ClubCorp also noted Burnett’s “significant contributions” during his tenure, noting that the firm had experienced consecutive years of growth and significantly expanding its network of clubs and member services.

“Mark has been instrumental in driving operational excellence at ClubCorp. We appreciate his hard work and dedication and we thank him for all he has done for the company” said Sambur.

“It has been an exciting time to lead the organization through the acquisition by the Apollo-managed funds and I am confident the company is well-positioned for the future,” said Burnett. “It has been an honor to be a part of this team and I look forward to ensuring a successful transition to new leadership.”

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