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Hi guys,

Hopefully someone here can share some knowledge with me about standard Head Pro compensation.  My tennis club is about to embark on a Head Pro search.  We've been lucky to have a great Pro for 30 years which I understand is unheard of in the industry.  This year he is retiring and we would like to review and refine the contract and make sure that it matches the current industry standards.

I have a couple of questions right off the top:

1.  Is the Head Pro usually hired as an independent contractor or an employee of the Club?

2.  What percentage of the lesson and clinic fees go to the Club to cover maintenance costs?

3.  Are these fees normally paid to the Pro and then a cut goes to the club or visa versa?

4.  Is it standard to include a clause to ensure that the Head Pro is physically at the Club for a certain number of hours a day and days a week, etc.?

5.  Is the Pro Shop sometimes the responsibility of the Head Pro?

Any other insights you can offer me?

Thanks in advance,


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Replies to This Discussion

It's smartest for the club to take a fee directly from the non-member lesson.  $5-10 more, which the pro can't touch. Otherwise raising the fee then giving the same percentage incentivizes greater service to non-members.  

I think its important that multiple times during the interview process the selection committee reiterates the importance of being present for service much of the time from a range of hours.  Also, an expectation that the pro will give a heads up if not in the office to allow staff to look more intelligent.  So If you are not feeling well, and/or have an appointment call in...   then give the evil smile that says "If you don't do this, we are not going to renew your contract"   Interview question "How committed are you to being present at the club?"  "What does that look like?"    Maybe I should retire to ABQ.  I'm currrently training really hard to increase my career longevity...  haha.

Thanks again.  This all sounds very reasonable to me. 

My main hesitation is the 0% to the club and that the club dues should somehow cover maintenance - this is not happening at our club.  Our pro is probably taking home 6 figures and is rarely present, and has not hired top tier help as you have suggested.  So, as with any job, you will find many different approaches.

A modest salary to 'pay for the presence' is a good way to be sure it makes sense for the pro.  If they only make their money from teaching lessons, then many times that is all they will do.  I found that I got more lessons for hanging around, and built up the program by getting people plugged in, who just happened to wander nearby.  My policy was that if I saw someone wandering around, I was going to talk to them for a minute even if embroiled in a project. 

Bill, Can you give me some feedback on a reasonable expectation for court time from a pro here on this new thread I started?:

On this subject,

Our club is considering strongly to do a base payment (a stipend if you will) and then about 75% to 80% of lesson fees to the pro. (I remember you said 90% or above, but we have been giving 100% and it has backfired - our club doesn't have enough members to support the expenses with dues - long story)  In a case like this, what is normal for the base pay? 

Also, there has been talk of a structure that incentivizes the pro to do more lessons/ programs.  This structure pays the Pro a fixed base pay, and then the pro only starts earning the lesson fees once the base pay is reached, after that it is all gravy for the Pro.   Are you familiar with this model?  Thanks again.

a contract is a contract. if you dont want outside members then no outside members.  but if its stated 70/30 split and non members have to pay 100 while members have to pay 50 you split both 70/30%

I have been everywhere from an assistant pro to head pro.   As a head pro the place i taught only paid me 5 dollars more than my assistants.   I made most of my money on private lessons and my leagues.    Now I am self employed running my own tennis company and doing very well!!!  Sometimes working for a club- depending on the club is a rip off- when you are on your own you have to pay court fees but you don't have to deal with trying to find court time.   I

Thanks Emily, can you give me feedback on this question here:


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