What were you doing in 1980? PGA Professional Frank Gumpert was traveling the world with members, creating experiences and memories that are reminisced about to this day. That first overseas excursion was with three members to Gleneagles in Scotland, and he’s returned many times since.
Frank Gumpert is the PGA Director of Sales, Membership and Marketing at The University Club of Baton Rouge. He believes that success in the golf industry often hinges upon the relationships we develop over the years, a sentiment that would likely be seconded by any of his 28,000 fellow PGA Professionals.
Traveling annually for more than four decades, Gumpert’s plans were halted during COVID, of course. But, he got right back at it in 2022 with two major getaways – Spain and Ireland – accompanying 50 travelers to each. With 24 of the 50 individuals bringing their sticks, the other 26 are entertained with exciting sightseeing adventures with professional tour guides, all set up by Gumpert and the contacts he regularly utilizes to facilitate this travel.
“Of the many interactions and exchanges we have with our members on a daily basis, traveling with them often renders the deepest friendships and most sincere connections,” he declares. “From great golf to memorable meals, sightseeing and new experiences, there are few endeavors a golf professional can undertake that have as meaningful an impact on his or her members as travel abroad.”
After that initial trip to Scotland, Gumpert had waiting lists of members seeking a similar experience. It wasn’t long before he was organizing trips to some pretty significant destinations with a substantial number of members, spouses and friends.
“The first several years were exclusively to Ireland or Scotland,” he explains. In later years, Gumpert would discover Bandon Dunes as a great place to travel with members, and started going to Spain in 2019, recently completing his third trip to the home of golf legends Seve Ballesteros, Jose Maria Olazàbal and Jon Rahm. He says he wishes he started going to Spain earlier.
When traveling with groups, large and small, Gumpert creates an extensive Powerpoint document that includes a list of travelers with email addresses and mobile phone numbers, details of their itinerary, information about local attractions and restaurants and specifics about games and competitions being run that week, with teams already organized and payouts calculated. All that’s left is to play the game and determine the winners. He includes pertinent websites and photos to get his fellow travelers excited in the weeks leading to wheels up. One major member trip annually for 40 years has served over 500 different individuals. Although some folks have traveled with Gumpert more than a dozen times, he says there are new people traveling every time they plan a trip.
Gumpert plans on winding down his travel in the near future, but does look forward to a Father/Son-Grandfather/Grandson trip that he will enjoy with his own grandsons next June at St. Andrews, ending at Gleneagles, where travel with members all started for him all those years ago.
“Being with members for eight days on a trip helps them understand what you’re all about. It reinforces the relationships we work so hard to foster back home,” Gumpert concludes. “The connections remain in your everyday activities when the trip has concluded. It’s very special.”