Rebirth of Beaver Brook: How the New Jersey Country Club Rediscovered Its Purpose

Have you ever found yourself delighted when, upon returning to a golf course you haven’t visited in quite some time, the environment has significantly improved? Perhaps course conditions are immaculate, staff members are ready to lend a hand, and meals are delicious. Soon, you find yourself a regular, and the property has transitioned into a happening place. This is currently taking place in Annandale, New Jersey at Beaver Brook Country Club. The property recently endured great financial success in 2014, seeing 30% growth in food & beverage, an increase in rounds by 9%, and overall growth in revenue by 15%. The catalyst behind such phenomenal outcomes had much to do with its team rediscovering its purpose.

“To determine where we were headed, we had to figure out what our ‘why’ was,” explained Beaver Brook CC General Manager Ian Church. “It’s similar to a mother who embraces a newborn child for the first time. There’s a smile, warm hug, and feeding of the food to grow. We wanted to take this philosophy to our clubhouse, where we would greet guests, smile, give them an emotional hug, and ultimately make this their home away from home.”

The inspiration of starting with the ‘Why’ was captured by Mr. Church when he read Simon Sinek’s 2009 New York Time Bestseller, “Starting with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.” From this, a framework within his team was created. Each staff member of Beaver Brook started thinking about the purpose, cause, or belief that inspires them to do what they do. They embraced this vision and contributed remarkably in each functional areas. Consistency became routine.  A higher standard was established and more pride was taken at the property, which has been well-received by guests such as seven-year pool member Eileen Ives.

Beaver Brook Terrace

Terrace at Beaver Brook Country Club.


“As a pool member for seven years, this was the best year by far,” said Ives. “I think Ian Church and the returning staff members like Kelsie, Greg, Damion, Erica, Amanda, and Nicole made the experience very pleasant and enjoyable. We always felt welcome and were always well taken care of.”

In addition to the renewed focus on member and guest service, renovating areas of the facility such as the ballroom, bar, and pool, and enhancing course conditions have also been beneficial to the new experience offered at Beaver Brook. Perhaps the biggest course modification has been the removal of overgrown trees. Previously these trees obstructed views and shots. As you could imagine, pace of play has seen some development and scorecards have become lower, which certainly makes for a more pleasant atmosphere.

David Crawley, an annual golf pass holder and 2014 Club Champion, is optimistic that the Beaver Brook rebirth is sustainable. “There has been lots of improvement the last two years. Maintenance has done a lot of work and is open to new ideas.”

While 2014 was a great one for the New Jersey country club, there still is work to be done. Some upcoming projects include refining the restrooms, remaking the menu, and preserving the course despite recent snow storms. The Beaver Brook team is excited about the future and everyone looks to reinforce the momentum in the upcoming years, continuing to emphasize community, camaraderie, and stellar service.

For more information on daily fees, memberships, online community, or suggestions, please contact Beaver Brook at (908) 735-4200.

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