Sit-Down with the General Manager of Salem Country Club
No one will be busier, nor have more responsibilities come U.S. Senior Open Week, than Salem Country Club General Manager Greg Cincotta. Greg’s mission that week? To ensure that all operations inside and outside the sprawling 65,000 square foot clubhouse go smoothly to the ultimate benefit of the thousands of guests who will come and go during the Championship’s seven days of activity covering three practice rounds and four championship rounds.
“First and foremost we project we’ll be feeding between 16,000 and 17,000 people that week, including players, their families, USGA officials, corporate and hospitality participants,” says Cincotta, who is in his 11th year in charge at Salem.
“We’ll have between 150 and 200 employees, some one-week hires, involved to take care of our guests and hopefully have them smiling every time they leave our clubhouse.”
Cincotta, 54, who comes from a noted hospitality-career family, led by his mom, Dee Curran, 25-year GM at Nashawtuc Country Club, is confident his suppliers and staff will excel throughout the week.
He has a sense of what it’s like to work at a big-time golf event after serving as sous chef for the first six PGA Senior Tour tournaments held at Nashawtuc Country Club in the mid- and late-1980s. He’ll hopefully apply some of that experience for the 38th U.S. Senior Open at Salem.
“We also want to be able to take care of our members at all times, especially in the weeks leading up to Championship Week and immediately following the final round on July 2,” Cincotta pointed out. “That’s prime time for our members and their children and guests whether they’re golfing, playing tennis, using the pool or enjoying our food and beverage service.”
He is grateful that a core staff that was at Salem for the 2001 U.S. Senior Open continues on staff today, led by head professional Kevin Wood, course superintendent Kip Tyler and Chef Fred Yanosick. “Those folks will make my week a lot easier,” Cincotta pointed out.
Cincotta oversees an expanded clubhouse operation from the facility offered in 2001, featuring upgrades in the men’s locker room, the pro shop, the enlarged patio, greatly increased space for dining and bonus functional space in the lower level. For example, the pro shop and health/fitness center will be used for corporate dining.
Cincotta got a good idea of the scope of his operation from visiting the last three U.S. Senior Opens in Sacramento, California, Edmond, Oklahoma and Columbus, Ohio.
“We’ll have a refrigerated truck and a backup ice bin on hand to ease matters,” he said.
He will have a crack management team working along side him in Bill Crocker, Chris Vatalaro, Sylvia Kiely, Gino Zorzonello, the aforementioned Yanosick and sous chef Scott Hoffman. In addition, many members will be a part of the Volunteer Hospitality Committee to assist the Championship staff.
“It’s all about planning properly and being prepared for any and all contingencies,” Cincotta said. “We are excited about the historic week ahead, but we’re even more excited about getting back to the business of taking great care of our members and their guests starting July 4.”
By: Gary Larrabee, Media Liaison, 2017 U.S. Senior Open