Jack Slaughter, General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Carolina CC in Raleigh, N.C., says he is planning a “significant” renovation and upgrade of its golf facilities. The club, which has been around for 112 years, has total revenue of more than $16 million and 250-plus members.
Armed with what he calls a “passion” for the sport of golf, Jack Slaughter has turned that devotion into a lifelong career, the Triangle Business Journal reported. He has amassed more than 35 years of experience in the golf management industry, including nearly 15 years at Carolina Country Club in Raleigh, N.C.
As general manager and chief operating officer of Carolina CC, Slaughter is prepping for big capital changes to its property, including a new upscale dining/restaurant venue and “significant” renovation and upgrade of its golf facilities, the Triangle Business Journal reported. Overall, the 112-year-old club has total revenue of more than $16 million, according to 2019 federal 990 forms. Membership numbers total more than 250 in peak season, Slaughter says.
Slaughter is also working to enhance CCC’s reputation in the club community and in the local community, including expanding its diversity and inclusion efforts.
This Q-and-A with Slaughter appeared in the Triangle Business Journal:
Clubs have experienced an uptick due to the pandemic. What have you noticed over the past couple of years?
Like most outdoor sports and recreational entities, we experienced a boom in golf and tennis activity in the heart of the pandemic. Even with the restrictions in place for indoor activities, our member usage of the club was very strong. Although the golf and tennis has leveled off a bit in the last six to eight months, activity remains higher than pre-pandemic levels with increased demand from new players.
How has Covid-19 impacted your event business?
Like all indoor private event spaces, we experienced significant reductions in our private event business and revenue. Fortunately, Carolina CC’s core business is providing member services and experiences and member dues are the cornerstone of our financial structure. With the significant increase in golf and tennis activity and strong member use of dining within the structure of the restrictions, we were able to navigate the pandemic with very little negative financial impact. In addition, the dedicated club staff delivered numerous inventive services for the membership to keep them engaged and active.
What has Carolina CC done to enhance the golf experience recently?
The golf staff continuously creates new programming and services that engage the membership and increase activity for men, women and juniors. Instruction for all segments and skill levels has been an emphasis, using new technology such as Trackman to provide state-of-the-art services. The use of a mobile app for tee times, event registration, and product advertisement has kept golf in the forefront for an on-the-go society. We have also added new technology to track pace of play to maximize the capacity of our golf facilities.
How has technology changed the way Carolina CC does business and enhanced member experiences?
Being a social and recreational club, face-to-face interaction and service is still the core of our mission. That being said, like all businesses, the pandemic accelerated out of necessity our ability to engage and interact with our members virtually using Zoom, phone apps, social media, etc. … Over the last few years we have added online reservations for member dining, online take-out ordering applications with a curbside pick-up option.
What are your goals for CCC?
Short-term, we are working to normalize operations and return all facilities and services back to pre-pandemic levels. Our focus is always to engage our membership, making the club a focal point in their families’ lives. … To be successful we must take care of our current facilities, provide quality services and programming in all departments and continually create the experiences our members want in the future.
Another important goal is for the club to enhance its reputation in the club community and in the local community. We have been intentional in supporting local amateur golf, including several high school golf teams (boys and girls), and the N.C. State, UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke golf teams. In November, we hosted a competitive tennis tournament with the proceeds of over $100,000 from the weekend events going to support Abilities Tennis, a nonprofit charity. … Several facility projects on the horizon include a new upscale dining/restaurant venue called “The Bloomsbury,” significant renovation and upgrade of our golf facilities that may include a new irrigation system, fairway turf conversion … pickleball courts and potentially indoor tennis.
Have events started to happen there again?
Our private event and club event activity has returned in full force. With the exception of a brief pause in January and February 2022 due to the “surge,” activity has been robust over the last six to eight months. Wedding receptions, dinner dance clubs, rehearsal dinners, cocktail parties, holiday buffets, golf tournaments and team tennis have all contributed to an active social calendar. Our two biggest annual events, the State Debutante Ball and our Founders’ Anniversary party, both return this year after a two-year hiatus.
What is Carolina CC doing to encourage diversity, equity and inclusion?
Carolina CC is one of the few private clubs in the country that has moved away from a single, primary member (generally male-dominated) to a co-member model where a married couple shares the membership, and genders have equal access to facilities, services and voting rights. Over the last several decades, the club has made a conscious and concerted effort to attract, nominate and accept a diverse membership that reflects the diversity of the community that surrounds the club. My professional association, the Club Management Association of America, has developed a DEI survey and data collection resource that our club will be using to access our current position and use to develop and track improvement over time in this important initiative.