Fargo Country Club enters into management agreement with Troon

This is the satellite view of the Fargo Country Club as seen Sept. 18, 2015, on Apple Maps. Forum file photo

FARGO — In an effort to steady its management ship, the Fargo Country Club is going outside the box to run one of the longest-running golf clubs in the area. The FCC and Troon Golf that is based in Scottsdale, Ariz., have entered into an agreement to run all aspects of the club beginning immediately.

Troon will essentially oversee the general manager position, which has seen a turnover of four people in the last six years. The club will still have a GM, head professional Mark Johnson will remain in his position and the superintendent will remain on staff. All FCC staff members will now be employees of Troon.

“The biggest reason is their expertise in management,” said Chris Hoffmann, president of the board of trustees at FCC.

The managing part of it, Hoffmann said, includes providing accurate financial documentation, information technology systems, financial expertise and experience in food and beverage systems.

It was Troon that first reached out to Hoffmann, sending a letter of inquiry in hopes of setting up a meeting.

“They just looked me up on the website and honestly in the beginning I was quite skeptical,” Hoffmann said. “I felt like we made good strides and it showed with the membership increasing. But this is not Chris’ club and it’s not the board’s club, it’s a member’s club. I found out what they were after and that led to a series of meetings.”

After years of declining membership, Hoffmann said the FCC is close to being full again with the prospect of a waiting list not far away.

Having a proven manager in Troon, Hoffmann said, should help with the growing membership. The Country Club addressed the flood mitigation problems of the course in the last several years with a flood wall on the back nine and elevation changes to a couple of holes on the front side.

“We’re to the point where we can have a golf course in the event of a summer flood,” Hoffmann said. “We have a great, rich history and Troon is excited to get involved in that. Troon feels like there is nothing but an upside with our club.”

Member benefits include access to play other private clubs run by Troon. Hoffmann said Troon is also interested in tapping into the local college graduate market for employees.

Troon started as a single golf facility in Scottsdale in 1990. Its website boasts client services at more than 360 locations. The company is split into three divisions: Troon Golf, which specializes in resort golf club management; Honours Golf, which consists of resort and private clubs mainly in the southeastern United States; and Troon Prive’, which is targeted to serve individually-owned and member-owned private clubs.

The FCC falls into the latter category.

“They were extremely aggressive in coming after the Fargo Country Club and being the preferred management company,” Hoffmann said. “They came to us. We were not looking for it.”