Mar 21, 2019

13th Presidents’ Council

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Presidents' Council, Seminar

13th Presidents’ Council brings club officials together for education at Waynesborough

PAOLI, Pa. – The Golf Association of Philadelphia held its 13th Annual Presidents’ Council on March 20 at Waynesborough Country Club. On the first official day of spring, an estimated 100-plus GAP Member Club presidents, general managers and club officials conjoined under one roof, discussing and highlighting the current state of the game both nationally and in the Philadelphia region.

Beginning the event was GAP President T. Quinn Spitzer. Spitzer revealed the Association’s recent rebrand and new-look website to the audience, taking the room through the thoughtful process behind GAP’s new face.

“It’s been a monumental week for us here at GAP,” said Spitzer. “With all the expansion our Association has undergone over the past year, we felt that this branding gave a better sense of what and who we represent, and we couldn’t be more excited about it.”

The first presenter of the morning was Jeff McFadden, The Union League of Philadelphia’s General Manager. McFadden gave his perspective on how the expanding Union League has adapted to the modern golf world, and in turn, has experienced exponential success.

“We’ve taken what was once specifically a lunch club in Center City Philadelphia, and now have added other properties and incredible amenities, including golf privileges,” said McFadden. “Our receipts are now at $60 million and our membership has grown from 1,700 to 4,000 members. We never thought we’d ever be able to get there, and quite frankly, it happened by accident, but here we are.”

McFadden stressed the need for clubs to adapt to the ever-changing club model in result of new generations, lifestyles and technology.

“We have to change. It’s so hard to do that because of all the great tradition and history involved in all of your clubs. In order to get what we never had, we must do what we’ve never done,” said McFadden. “Change has to become the new constant in today’s modern golf world.”

Next up to the podium was Bill McLaughlin, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Atlantic Tomorrow’s Office. McLaughlin’s presentation turned into an informative warning message: protect your golf business and club from cybercrime with a security strategy.

“Why are clubs a target? You are considered a small business. You are considered uneducated about technology. Until a club actually gets a breach, loses money and deals with embarrassment, they try to sweep it under the rug. The odds of dealing with a data breach at your club is 1 in 4, and it happens every single day,” said McLaughlin.

Rounding out the day was a Philadelphia Section PGA Members panel discussion led by moderator Geoffrey Surrette, the Section’s Executive Director. Panelists included golf professionals Adam Brigham of Waynesborough, Dean Kandle of St. Davids Golf Club, Eric Kennedy of Overbrook Golf Club and Jim Smith, Jr., Philadelphia Cricket Club’s Director of Golf.

The hour-long conversation dove into the development and foundation of a golf program. Questions from the audience followed, picking the brains of the widely-respected PGA pros for advice.


Celebrating Amateur Golf since 1897, GAP, also known as the Golf Association of Philadelphia, is the oldest regional or state golf association in the United States. It serves as the principal ruling body of amateur golf in its region. The Association’s 273 Full Member Clubs and 75,000 individual members are spread across the Eastern half of Pennsylvania and parts of New Jersey and Delaware. The GAP’s mission is to promote, preserve and protect the game of golf.

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