Jay Karen


Jay Karen, CAE

These are my views.  My observations on what’s happening inside and outside the golf industry.  Issues big and small that impact our game and business.  You may agree or disagree, and I invite discussion and debate.  I love the game and want the business to thrive.  So, let’s talk about it.


Jay Karen is the CEO of National Golf Course Owners Association, where he leads the golf industry’s trade association and initiatives to support the success of the golf course business. Prior to his appointment at NGCOA, Jay was CEO of Select Registry, a portfolio of over 300 premier boutique hotels, inns and B&Bs. For seven years before that, Jay was President and CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, the leading trade association representing owners of small, independent lodging businesses.

Jay was also with the NGCOA for ten years early in his career, having served the association in several roles. Jay holds a Master of Arts degree in American History from the College of Charleston and is a Certified Association Executive (CAE) by the American Society of Association Executives. Jay has recently served on the board of directors of the United States Travel Association and the College of Charleston’s Hospitality and Tourism Management degree program, and is on ASAE’s Public Policy Committee. In his role at NGCOA, he serves on the boards of the industry-wide advocacy coalition, We Are Golf, the golf industry’s player development initiative, Golf 20/20, the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition, a joint initiative with the PGA of America, and the advisory board of the World Golf Hall of Fame.  The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, CBS Radio, Golf Channel, Golf Digest and many others call upon Jay for his insights on the golf industry.

On a personal note, Jay has been married for 16 years to an amazing woman, who is an independent college counselor, and has two children: a 10-year old daughter and 7-year old son. His primary interests include spending as much time with his family as possible (priorities), playing golf (since the age of 8), amateur photography (who isn’t these days?), social media (he keeps Facebook in business), contemplating the meaning of life (doesn’t everyone?), swinging a 53-pound kettlebell as often as he can (you should too), and eating foods that are really bad for him (one foot on the gas, one foot on the brake).