Peterborough Golf and Country Club has a new general manager
Jermaine Brissett had no idea when he took a caddy job at 13 to earn a few bucks he would start a lifelong love and career in golf.
Brissett, a Jamaican native who moved to Toronto with his family when he was 10, started on Tuesday in his new role as general manager and chief operating officer of the Peterborough Golf and Country Club, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary. This year.
Brissett, 47, is a Certified Cub Manager, having earned that designation in 2015. He’s one of only 65 in Canada and about 1,700 worldwide. He recently applied his experience as General Manager of the National Golf Club of Canada. He replaces Mike Gillan who has returned to his native Alberta to take charge of the Calgary Country Club.
Brissett and his wife Tricia and their three children – Carisse, Roman and Joceline – are delighted to be moving to Peterborough.
“The last two GMs are friends of mine and they’ve loved the club, the course, the people there,” Brissett said. “It piqued my curiosity and my conversations with people there just confirmed that, wow, this is a great place to work.”
Visits to the area also sealed the deal.
“It was a family decision. We have been out several times since mid-April and have been pleasantly surprised at how beautiful the area is and how family friendly it seems. We were intrigued. My wife was definitely a big city girl, she loved it, but again, it was all so intriguing to us, we really liked what we saw.
He is also intrigued by the idea of working at a curling club.
“I have never worked in a curling club. I love curling, but I’ve only watched it on TV and only thrown a rock once,” he said. “The idea of a golf and curling club and a Stanley Thompson Golf Course is an intriguing opportunity.”
PGCC Chairman Dave Robinson said Brissett brings a wide variety of skills to the job and over time will make his mark in all aspects of the club.
“We’re not broke here, we’re clicking,” Robinson said. “As COVID recedes, there is a need to support our food and drink as we return to hosting weddings, banquets, Christmas parties, that sort of thing.
“At Oakdale, where he worked for 17 years, he was in charge of the clubhouse where he directly controlled the food and beverage portion of the club. he’s been there and done it. Not that he’s not equally skilled on the golf side, but that’s not where our opportunity lies.
“What I told him is to let our A team run the golf and the curling and in your first six months here reinforce the food and drink side because COVID allows us to relaunch. We all know the staffing shortages and all that. This is where I need his help.
Brissett has been working on the evolving pandemic protocols and looks forward to the challenge.
“I don’t think my experience in the area can make it worse, I can only help,” he said.
Robinson said Brissett also had the right personality to lead.
“Based on a club culture, he’s going to fit in here and hit the ground running,” Robinson said.
Brissett’s friends were caddies and convinced him to give Oakdale Golf and Country Club a try.
“I didn’t play golf for about three years as a caddy,” he said.
“I realized I liked the game, but at first it was definitely about caddying and making money. The worst thing that can happen to you is to land a really good shot. Once you hit a good shot, you’re addicted. That’s pretty much what got me.”