The historic club in Atlanta, Ga. is making the personnel moves on Sept. 5 as it prepares for a massive overhaul. The club will begin a renovation of its course and practice facilities after it hosts the PGA Tour Championship Aug. 23-27. The course will be closed for about a year as the work takes place. The caddies will receive severance pay based on their tenure and the hope is that a majority will return when the club restarts hiring in early summer 2024.
East Lake Golf Club will lay off 48 caddies as the historic Atlanta, Ga. club prepares for a massive overhaul, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
The cuts are expected on Sept. 5, according to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) filed in Georgia, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The layoffs will not impact the upcoming PGA Tour Championship, set for Aug. 23-27 at East Lake Golf Club, said Alex Urban, the tournament’s Executive Director.
East Lake Golf Club plans to start a renovation of its golf course and practice facilities in September after the Tour Championship event, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The course is expected to be closed for about a year, but he clubhouse will continue to be open, according to Chad Parker, President and General Manager of East Lake Golf Club.
On its website, the club says its caddie program is a “fundamental component of the East Lake experience.” Carrying the clubs and guiding prominent executives can lead to lucrative tips. Some of the caddies have been with the invite-only club for more than a decade, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
The caddies will receive severance pay based on their tenure, Parker told the Atlanta Business Chronicle. He added that the club retained about 80% of its caddies during the last major renovation in 2008. The hope is that a majority will return when the club restarts hiring in early summer 2024.
“East Lake Golf Club considers all of our employees as integral members of the East Lake family and is actively working to minimize the impact of the layoffs by providing various support measures during this transitional period,” Parker told the Atlanta Business Chronicle in a statement. “Impacted staff members have been given ample notice and the club has offered support and resources to assist them during this time.”
Built in 1904, East Lake Golf Club is the oldest golf course in Atlanta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. It was the home course of legendary golfers including Bobby Jones and Charlie Yates. The clubhouse was designed by renowned architect Philip Shutze in 1926.
Andrew Green, of A.H. Green Design, will lead the golf course redesign, which was announced in January 2022, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. He plans to use recently uncovered aerial photography from 1949 — golf’s “golden age” — as inspiration. That includes changes to bunker shapes and location, hole orientations, “chocolate drop” mounding and green design features that were characteristic of that era.
The club has long hosted the Tour Championship, a huge draw for some of Atlanta’s largest companies, including sponsors The Coca-Cola Co., Southern Co. and Accenture, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. The event also raises millions annually for five charities: East Lake Foundation, Focused Community Strategies, Grove Park Foundation, Purpose Built Schools Atlanta and First Tee – Metro Atlanta.
Urban, who leads the tournament, told the Atlanta Business Chronicle earlier this year that corporate sales for the event were on a record-breaking pace. A charity showcase held July 24 raised more than $750,000.