Quick Trip to Charleston

Last week, I spent a few days in Charleston, SC for the National Golf Course Owner Association (NGCOA)’s board meeting.  My first meeting was in the spring after being nominated to be on the board last February.   The board is made up of golf course owners from many walks of life.  There are a few who are small mom and pop operators like me, then there are some resort golf course operators as well as multi-course operators who run two hundred or more golf courses.  It’s a nice mix of people.

I enjoy these meetings as I am able to visit with fellow owners on a personal level about different ideas and pick their brain on  their successes and how they overcome difficulties. I learn something new every single time.  Our NGCOA headquarters is located in Charleston, so it is a fun experience just to check out this historic city. I have often wondered how people travel for a living.  It’s exhausting.  I flew in and had to be at my meeting an hour and a half later.  Our meeting took place in a historic hotel called Mills House.

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If you ever go to Charleston, I highly recommend this hotel.  It was absolutely beautiful and is located within walking distance to tons of shops, restaurants and beautiful scenery.  Many of the board members played golf earlier in the day.  At this point in my life, I haven’t been able to play golf with the board members because my children are involved in so many activities that my schedule just doesn’t allow for it.  I did get there with enough time to pull out my camera for a few shots of the hotel.

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Apparently airlines don’t even provide peanuts anymore, so I was pretty excited that they had a cheese tray.  I had to take a picture for my mom.  We’re big fans of nicely displayed food.  The good news is that it tasted even better than it looked.

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The hotel also had a really pretty courtyard area where the regional executive directors from around the country and the national NGCOA board had a gathering the night before.  I wasn’t able to attend.  I did attend my middle son’s cross country meet and my oldest son’s choir concert.  They didn’t take place in a pretty courtyard, though.

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Having gotten up at three in the morning to catch my flight, I did require a triple espresso as well as my old stand by, Mountain Dew.

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The best part about being a newbie on the board is that I can sit back and observe.  It was interesting to me because the people who clearly attend more board meetings that I do, knew exactly how to cut to the chase and move the meeting along.  Our family board meetings usually consist of the phrase, “Please pass the mashed potatoes and gravy.”  We’re a pretty informal group.

After our meeting, which lasted about an hour less than it was slated on the itinerary, we headed over to a restaurant just off the ocean called Carolinas.  On our walk to the restaurant, we ran across many cool museums as well as people dressed in old fashioned attire.  It was nestled among some amazingly beautiful homes that had secret doorway entrances that were lit by simulated burning candle lanterns.

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We were invited to choose our seat, so I picked this swanky booth table.  In case you’re wondering, I’m the only weirdo golf course owner who takes pictures of everything.  I can’t help myself.

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I’m a big cheese fan, but I apparently don’t eat at this level of fancy restaurant in Des Moines.  They actually had a cheese tray for dessert.  I wasn’t sure if that was a fancy restaurant thing or regional thing.  One of my favorite board members is Mike Hatch who is the owner and General Manager of two golf courses in Richmond, Virginia.  They are semi-private clubs, so if you’re in the area, you need to stop by and play his courses:  Brandermill Country Club / Birkdale Golf Club.  He is originally from England, so his accent makes even the most boring story about his golf course sound cool.  Seriously.  He could explain to me how he plunged the toilet in the ladies restroom and it’d sound like a fascinating job.  He ordered the cheese tray and posed for a picture because he’s cool.

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In the morning, we had — you guessed it– more meetings!  They were followed up by lunch in the tea room.

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And dessert.

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I arrived back to the golf course late in the evening, so I could be ready for work in the morning.  The NGCOA is a really great organization that helps golf courses throughout the United States.  They are also the creators of some of the campaigns to help grow the game of golf.  I don’t know why they asked me to be on their board, but I’m glad they did.

How about you?  Any jet setters out there?  What’s your secret to adjusting to time zones?  Espresso, Mountain Dew, faking it?

Post by Allison

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