Eric Thompson General Manager, KemperSports
Aug 23, 2012
While attending Golf Academy of America in San Diego in the late 90's we found out my wife was pregnant with a baby girl. It was hard to provide for my family on my meager income. I considered quitting the program but Tim Eberlein encouraged me to stay. I obtained a job as Assistant Golf Pro at Meadow Lake Golf Club while finishing the program. At the time Meadow Lake was managed by EAGL golf and, upon graduation, they had an opening at a new club as a Food and Beverage Manager.
With that experience, I landed a position as Assistant GM/Director of Golf for a Navy golf facility in Monterey. I was promoted to GM and was able to gain experience in a clubhouse, golf shop, cart facility and course renovation.
After four years I took a job with a management company out of Florida as a Senior Manager. I was asked to be a trouble shooter that goes to distressed facilities, some of which were in foreclosure. My job was to establish policies and procedures, clean up the facility, improve the bottom line, perform due diligence for the lender and ultimately help the lender sell the property. I achieved this goal at seven properties across five states.
But, wanting to get back to California, I took a position with American Golf as the General Manager at Oakhurst Country Club in the San Francisco area. I had a desire to learn the private club industry so this fit right into my plan. After two-and-a-half years and a world of experience, I was offered a job with KemperSports. They are the third-largest management company in the U.S. but run the company like a family business. Kemper manages world-renowned golf facilities such as Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and Chambers Bay, host of the 2015 US Open.
I am currently the General Manager at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club, an Arnold Palmer signature design course that has been the host course for the Samsung Challenge from 2000-2002. Hiddenbrooke has been ranked as the #9 public course in the world and the only golf course in the Bay Area to receive 4.5 out of 5 stars by Golf Digest.