This article is an addition to the Courier’s list of largest golf courses, both public and private.
Dan Plunkett, the new general manger at Mason's Heritage Club is despite his initial career plan of becoming a commercial airline pilot. A fellow Montgomery Inn Bartender who was a furloughed Comair Pilot told him that if he learnt to fly, he could earn his license, then teach, and eventually work for an airline. The airline industry was struggling during the financial crisis of 2008-2009, and there were fewer pilot jobs.
Plunkett explained, 'I was not making much money and I received an offer from Montgomery Inn'. If I had arrived there a few years earlier, I would have been a captain of a major airline flying 747s.
Montgomery Inn taught him how to relate with customers.
Plunkett stated that 'Ted Gregory was a man with a huge personality. He could make anyone feel like his best friend.
His mentors at Kenwood Country Club taught him how to make customers feel like friends or family.
Plunkett stated, 'I brought this to the Heritage Club so that I can provide that level service and go beyond what is expected to ensure that they feel special.
The Heritage Club was founded in 1996 and has a maximum of 295 golf equity memberships. There are also 475 total members including social members, juniors, corporate members, and non-equity golfers. The waiting list is approximately six months.
What challenges did you face at Heritage Club? Our pool complex is one of the amenities that needs updating. The balance is between taking care of our amenities and focusing on the best asset of the club, the golf course. I am focusing my efforts on improving the amenities to meet the standards that Heritage Club members demand.
What is the current state of membership? The membership trend is positive. We are still seeing interest, even though the Covid boom has slowed down.
What is Heritage doing to increase membership numbers? Our current members are the best source of new memberships. Every day, we strive to offer the best amenities, services and experiences to our members. If our members enjoy their membership, they'll bring friends who will also be happy to join.
How much does it cost to join and how do you compare that with other clubs in the area? The full golf membership includes a $20,000 initial fee and $737 monthly dues. We have a competitive market in Greater Cincinnati.
Has the golf course been improved to encourage more play? Early this summer we will open our $1.2million practice facilities, which include a putting green of 26,000 square feet and a driving range of 56,000 square feet. We continue to invest in our golf course, which is the greatest asset we have.
What makes Heritage's Golf Course different from other courses? Our golf course is challenging and will test even the most experienced golfers. Our course is said to be a strong one, which helps our members improve their handicaps. No tee time is another thing that attracts golfers to the course.
How can golf continue to grow? Continue to attract junior golfers. Kids are learning to play golf at an early age, and the more passionate they become about the game, then the better the future will be.
What advice would give to a new manager? Do not do the same thing as your old boss.
What is your favourite vacation spot? Each spring, my family and I spend a week in Marathon, Fla. in the Florida Keys. It's always a beautiful day, and it is nice to escape before the golf season starts in April.
What are the most important lessons in leadership that you have learned? Be a good leader by setting an example, be kind and respectful to everyone and listen well.
What do you find the most challenging or difficult aspect of your work? Try to make everyone happy. As there will always be different opinions, making decisions that are based on what is best for the club may not always be viewed by all.
Career path: Bachelor of Social Sciences from Xavier University. Montgomery Inn, Dublin, Ohio. Three years as General Manager. He spent seven years as assistant general manager at Kenwood Country Club where he worked his way up from banquet manager. Heritage Club was founded in October 2022.