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Clubhouse Europe FREE cost reviews – page 17


CMAE Conference – review and picture gallery Club Mirror Awards – and the winners are? Going green – sustainability and green schemes Management Development Programme – latest updates Volunteers – how to keep them onside

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Welcome “The best things in life aren’t things.” In today’s experience economy, it is no longer profitable to simply manufacture a product, regardless of how well designed or built it may be. In the affluent west, almost all our material needs are now fulfilled at a cost so low that it would be unimaginable to our grandparents. Consequently, as consumers, we now routinely reward high standards of service by creating online peer reviews, repeat business and advocacy. The commonly held view amongst social commentators is that the experience economy is a result of the erosion of a more traditional community structure. The local High Street is no longer the place where we shop, our families are scattered across the continents and it is rare to have any meaningful relationship with a doctor, dentist or family solicitor. The clubs that step in and fill this void in society by creating a valued and meaningful community, are the clubs that are thriving. In the last two years, I have been privileged to spend a great deal of time with dynamic young club managers who understand how to create and sustain community within their membership and do so with passion and vigour. I have never been so optimistic and enthused about our industry as I am today and as I pass the baton to James Burns, I am confident that CMAE is at the forefront of changing the social landscape in a meaningful and lasting way. Good luck to everyone involved in making this happen and thanks for the incredible support provided by everyone I have encountered over the last few years.

David Roy CCM Past President, Club Managers Association of Europe


Sean Ferris

David Foster

Debbie Goddard

Ben Hopkinson

Torbjörn Johansson

Marcos Lería Couderc

David Roy CCM

Caroline Scoular

Nick Sellens

Jill Slingsby

CMAE Board of Directors David Balden CCM Michael Braidwood CCM James Burns CCM Niall Carroll CMDip Debbie Goddard Alberto Iglesias CCM Torbjorn Johansson Michael Newland CCM Silvia Serrano CCM Mary Lou Watkins CMDip

Editor Caroline Scoular Design David Foster Editorial Nick Sellens Sales and Marketing Manager Leigh-Ann Ogilvie Circulation Jonathan Hardy Administration Debbie Goddard Publishing Director Sean Ferris

Clubhouse Europe is published by Alchemy Contract Publishing Ltd. ACP Gainsborough House 59/60 Thames Street Windsor Berkshire SL4 1TX United Kingdom t. +44 (0)1753 272022 f. +44 (0)1753 272021

CMAE The Club Managers Association of Europe 1b Bagshaw Close Ryton on Dunsmore Warwickshire CV8 3EX United Kingdom t. +44 (0) 247 669 2359

The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers or the CMAE. Clubhouse Europe does not verify the claims made by advertisers regarding their products.


Contents 15


5 News round-up News, views and new alliances.

6 Management Development Programmes MDP latest. Plus: 2020 diary dates and why you should join up, join in.

11 Millenial members - how to keep them As the largest generation since the Baby Boomers comes into its prime working and spending years, Sygenta Growing Golf asks, ‘do millenials even want club membership? And if so, are they willing to pay for it?’

12 CMAE’s 2019 Conference Couldn’t be there? Then join us in a picture gallery of the most dynamic CMAE Conference to date.

15 CMAE Conference reflections Outgoing CMAE President David Roy shares his incisive observations on the Conference and examines why the gathering is so important.


17 Making cost reviews count

26 Ways of the web

Increasing club efficiencies while keeping a careful eye on the bottom line is a given. Could HQ Building the Business help?

Spotlight on content marketing.

19 Thinking ‘retention’? Think ‘relationship’ Are you only taking retention action at the time of membership renewal? If so, you may be building a perception that you only care about members when it is in the club’s financial interest to do so.

20 The 2019 Club Mirror Awards The Clubhouse Europe team were out in force at the 2019 Club Mirror Awards at Doncaster Racecourse on November 28. So how did CMAE clubs fare?

28 Tradition versus modernisation With 2020 in our sights, just what has changed in the space of 20 years?

31 Sustainability and green schemes Clubs with large grounds have all the challenges of maintenance but by the same token they often have the resources to maximise sustainability programmes.

35 Clubhouse Awards launch They’re back! Announcing the 2020 Clubhouse Awards.

25 A word with... David Roy CCM CMAE outgoing President explains his love of the role and his pride in the CMAE tribe.

36 Valuing club volunteers How to keep them onside.


For more information on any of these articles or to contribute to our next issue, contact Editor Caroline Scoular. e. t. +44 (0)1753 272022 For more information on the CMAE, its events and/or courses contact Debbie Goddard. e. t. +44 (0) 247 669 2359


News from the frontline CMAE clubs triumph at 2019 Club Awards CMAE members were among the finalists of the UK’s club glitterati who attended the 28th Club Mirror Awards in Doncaster on November 28, 2019. For a full report see pages 20-23 in this issue or relive the event through livestreaming at this QR code

CMAE and 59club sign partnership agreement The CMAE has announced a new partnership with Sales & Customer Service analysts, 59club. The partnership will see the two organisations work together offering a strong bond between education in management (CMAE) and following that up with analysing Sales & Customer Service (59club). 59club provides customer service analytics and performance measurement programmes. Through modern-day evaluative tools, their presence helps to drive standards of sales etiquette, with the capability to gather crucial performance data and compare themselves against some of the finest member and guest experiences across the golf, leisure, spa, hotel and F&B industries. Commenting on the partnership, CMAE’s Director of Education Torbjörn Johansson said: “59club is becoming a global brand and is also partnering with CMAA. Their product suits us perfectly with a Club/Golf, Leisure & Hospitality-specific benchmarking tool in the industry that allows you to not only analyse your own club’s service standards, but also compare your results to the industry standard, elite performing clubs and competitor venues of your choice.” Simon Wordsworth, the founder of 59club, said: “Our partnership with CMAE is hugely exciting for us. As one of the leading professional associations for the management of golf clubs, there is tremendous cross-over in our mutual clients. With our ability to drive industry standards in an affordable way, in addition to CMAE’s contact base, this will make for a very potent partnership. •

CMAE’s Young Managers end the year on a high The CMAE’s Young Managers Group (YMG) held their most recent event in London on 25 November, 2019. The YMG is a subgroup of the CMAE for members aged under 35 and was launched in 2018 to create a forum for them to meet and network with other like-minded young and aspiring managers. The group has gone from strength to strength since its inception with 25 people attending their most recent event at the In and Out Club for a one day workshop with renowned MDP presenter Kevin Fish CCM. Adam Walsh CCM, Chair of YMG, said: “The theme was extremely relevant to the Young Managers’ Group and was entitled “The Mistakes Managers Make”. Delivered by Kevin Fish CCM from Contemporary Club

Leadership, the group worked through the many pitfalls of club management, whilst having the opportunity to network and develop new tribes within the industry.

“Our next event will be at the Caledonian Club on 4th February 2020. If you are under 35 and work in the club industry, make sure that we see you there!” said Adam.

Golf At Goodwood appoints CMAE member as new General Manager Golf At Goodwood has announced the appointment of Gary Beves CMDip as General Manager. Gary, who is well known at the iconic West Sussex course, began his career at Goodwood in 2007 when he completed his PGA training. A keen golfer, he continued to hone his skills on and off the green gaining valuable experience in other businesses before returning to Goodwood as Membership Manager in 2016. His recent role as Assistant Manager involved working on the operations and the day-to-day running of the courses, while supporting The Golf At Goodwood Academy.

Gary Beves CMDip

Gary has attended parts 1 and 2 of the Management Development Programme and gained his Club Management Diploma through CMAE in 2019. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to take on the role of General Manager,” he said.

“Goodwood is a very special place to me, having been part of the business for a long time. “I am looking forward to establishing more memorable experiences for members, while continuing to drive the quality of our golf courses. The club is a wonderful part of this historic estate and I can’t wait to build on what has already been achieved.” Adam Waterworth, Managing Director of Sport at Goodwood, said: “We are all delighted Gary has accepted this appointment. We are ambitious for the future and I am convinced Gary can further develop all aspects of Golf At Goodwood.”

CMAE partners with global teetime booking platform The Club Managers Association of Europe is delighted to announce a partnership with teetime booking platform Greenfee 365. The Swedish based company runs a highconverting booking platform, targeting millions of golfers worldwide and provides them with a smart and easy to use booking platform. The website connects with golfers in 12

different languages, young and old, male and female and does the hard work in finding them and inspiring them to book golf, but the clubs are always in full control of their product. It’s free to join and 100% performance-based. Also commenting was Greenfee 365’s CEO, Marcus Ekeberg: “For us the partnership with CMAE was a very natural step and it aligns

very well with our long-term engagement in the industry. The partnership will allow us to support CMAE wherever we can, share insights and knowledge with a relevant audience as well as meeting many Club Managers face-to-face to always have our ears to ground.” • CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 5


Management Development Programmes The Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) has announced the dates of its Management Development Programmes (MDPs) from January 2020 onwards. The MDPs are created to develop the careers of those working in the club sector to the benefit of themselves, the club and the sector as a whole. DATE MDP Part 1* 27 - 31 January 2020 10-14 February 2020 2 - 6 March 2020 23 - 27 March 2020 10 - 14 August 2020

Management Development Programme teed off at St Andrews CMAE’s November residential training programme in Golf Management in St Andrews, brought together delegates from England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden, adding a real international flavour to the week. The programme focused specifically on golf operations and management, covering 15 subjects in five days including the Modernizing of golf and assessing the golf course, The golf business model, Course rating, Fleet management, Retail and customer relationships, Sustainability in clubs and R&A Golf development. Delegates were also able to experience the Old Course at St Andrews, with 18 holes of golf arranged during the week, a tour of Gleneagles Shop and Academy and presentations from Course Manager Craig Haldane, CMDip and PGA Head Golf Professional Andrew Jowett, CMDip. The programme facilitator and CMAE Director of Education Torbjorn Johansson, said: “It was an intensive week with the perfectly sized group for our MDP Golf Management and by the end of the week all delegates were closely bonded and learning from each other which is exactly the kind of dynamics we like to see on MDP. The itinerary we put on covered a lot of aspects of managing a successful golf operation and all of our educators demonstrated best practice in their discipline. What better place to host this course than at the home of golf in St Andrews.”

MDP Part 2 3 - 7 February 2020 24 - 28 February 2020 10 - 14 May 2020





Manchester, England Marbella, Spain Amsterdam, Netherlands Dublin, Ireland London, England

CMAE England AEGG (in Spanish) GCAE IGCMA CMAE England

Troia Resort, Portugal Stirling, Scotland Dubai, UAE


MDP Food & Beverage Management 10 - 14 May 2020 Dubai, UAE

CMAE/Dubai Golf

MDP 3 Strategy & Leadership 20 - 24 January 2020

Prague, Czech Republic


WORLD CONFERENCE 8 - 12 February 2020

Dallas, US


BMI INTERNATIONAL 8 - 13 October 2020

Edinburgh, Scotland


To register your interest in attending any of the above courses please contact or use this QR code (see left). *OBS – MDP Part 1 in Baku, Azerbaijan in April. Details to be announced. Check CMAE website for updates.

MDP 2 a sell out for Manchester CMAE’s latest Management Development Programme (MDP) Part 2 was a complete success when it was delivered at The Marriott Victoria & Albert hotel in Manchester on 11-15 November, 2019. The course sold out two months in advance and 26 delegates from the golf and city club industry enjoyed presentations by leading educators, including Bill Sanderson (Performance Management & Influencing Skills), Darshan Singh (Time Management and Communication), Kevin Fish CCM (Strategic Planning and Governance),

Torbjorn Johansson (Lumina Spark), Jules Murray (Team Dynamics/Customer Service), Rab Lindsay (Decision making & Report Writing) and Peter Kirk from Jonas (Technology in Clubs) whilst also working in teams on a case study problem solving exercise throughout the five day programme.

Food & Beverage MDP delights delegates in Marbella The CMAE’s education programme on Food and Beverage Management was recently completed in Marbella, Spain. Fourteen club industry professionals representing clubs from England, Ireland, Bahrain, Singapore, Spain, UAE, Hong Kong, Italy and Portugal took part in the five-day residential programme that covered a broad food and beverage based curriculum. This exciting step on the MDP Pathway aims to develop the delegates’ Food & Beverage knowledge providing in-depth sessions on F&B costings and


stock taking, HACCP compliance, transforming your F&B bottom line, special events planning, customer service, menu engineering and F&B marketing. Attendee Debora Drago, Operations Manager at The Army & Navy Club said: “As always being on a MDP course has exceeded my expectations. The programme has been a great mix of theory and practice which has developed my knowledge. Joining the CMAE tribe and taking part in their education programme has been one of the best decision I have ever made!”


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We can start working with you for as little as £600 p.a. Contact Matt Roberts, 59club Director

“The service from 59club has allowed us to embed standards, motivate the team and reward excellence. We are now amongst the very best venues in terms of the visitor & member experience in world golf.” Chris May CEO, Dubai Golf 01827 908349


Join up, join in – the value of MDP courses “

CMAE’s Management Development Programme (MDP) is an education programme for Managers in Europe, Middle East & Northern Africa. Not on the pathway yet? Have a read of these testimonials.* Having attended MDP 1, 2 and Golf, I was keen to experience Strategy & Leadership. The course was excellent from start to finish with takeaways from all the topics covered. The passion and delivery from the educators made it a fun learning environment and with likeminded colleagues in attendance it’s a must do course. It’s a full-on week of learning, which can only enhance your knowledge and it’s a great way to expand your industry network.

” “

Dean Nelson, Director of Golf, Hong Kong Golf Club, Hong Kong

Attending MDP3, Strategy & Leadership, was extremely enjoyable and hugely relevant for my current role within Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. I learnt an awful lot through the week and in particular enjoyed listening about Leadership versus Management and the benefits of coaching your colleagues to gain the best results. Lumina Leadership was also a very insightful session which continued on from the previous Lumina Spark topic. As ever, the guest speakers and presenters were of a world class quality, all delivering relevant topics to assist in the progression of our managerial skills within the golf industry.

Craig Waddell, Director of Golf & Leisure, Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, Scotland Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club

Hong Kong Golf Club

The MDP Level 1 course is without a doubt one of the best courses I’ve been on. I learned so much during the course of the week that I will take home and implement in my current role as Club Manager. The presenters were fantastic, especially Darshan and Kevin, who really knew their stuff and brought the best out in us. Another highlight was meeting so many new people and making contacts for life. Overall the whole week was such a good experience and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking to further their career.

A thoroughly enjoyable week of learning and fun. I met some great people who were like minded and happy to share their experiences and offered a lot of advice. A great first step towards your CCM qualification. John Herity, Food & Beverage Manager, The Caledonian Club, UK

John Jackson, General Manager, Grange Park Golf Club, UK

The MDP program reaches across all industries and teaches you the fundamental principles that you can apply to your day to day situation at work and at home. I am a golf course superintendent and took away just as much value as a club manager would from the education seminars. Those who deliver the courses do so with passion, knowledge and an appreciation for “real life” situations to apply this to. Do yourself a favour and invest in your future.

Craig Haldane, Golf Courses Manager, Gleneagles, Scotland


John Herity

*Since writing these testimonials, a number of these CMAE members have been promoted and/or moved onto other clubs.

Igassu Falls Golf Club

Phil Jones

The course content was excellent with a good balance between theory and practical application, which I think was a great way to learn. The material we covered was up to date and highly relevant to my role and the sharing experiences with tutors and delegates have given me valuable new tools and techniques that I seek to apply into my golf management activities.

Miguel Palhota, Golf Director, Igassu Falls Golf Club, Brazil

Excellent overview of club management, very interactive and would have you thinking what to bring back to your club every day! A defined career path with practical examples used throughout the entire week.

“ ” “

James Curran, Captain, Killarney Golf & Fishing Club, Ireland

Alessandro Napoli CCM, Director of Instruction, Canavese Golf & Country Club, Italy

A really enjoyable and educational week at MDP3. A strong mix of effective and varied presenting styles, interactive sessions, networking and social activities ensured the week was fully maximised – we even found time for our tribe to sample haggis on Burns night! Fraser Liston, Director of Golf, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, UK Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club

Phil Jones, General Manager, Dreamland Golf Club, Azerbaijan

The CMAE F&B course was a revelation, the attention and skills required to run a successful operation should not be underestimated, which is why I gave the speakers such respect. Their mentoring and understanding of our background made it all the easier to soak up the invaluable information throughout the week. I have come back with knowledge, a plan and a vision, thanks to the CMAE education programme.

James Fuller, General Manager, Parkstone Golf Club, UK

As someone with three MDP courses and the CCM already under their belt, attending MDP Strategy & Leadership was very much a choice rather than a necessity, but it was a week I had been looking forward to for a long time, and the course content and experience did not disappoint. Having recently stepped into a role where careful planning is crucial, the skills learnt will be put to good use immediately! Once again, CMAE has met and exceeded my expectations for facilitating personal and professional development. Thank you all!

Paul Adams, General Manager, Tucker’s Point Club, Bermuda

Richard Pennell CCM, Club Secretary, Woking Golf Club, UK

Thank you for organising such a fantastic week. It was a very inspirational time for me and made me realise how much I love what I’m doing now. There is still a lot to learn but I feel confident that with the support of the other delegates (rather friends now!) and Presenters I will be able to achieve all the goals I’ll set for myself. I look forward to MDP 2!

” “

The power of Networking! It was my 4th MDP in 14 months and in this period I’ve met a lot of people in every course... the constant rotation of delegates gives at MDP Education Programme a great appeal. The feeling? I want more!

The course was challenging without being too difficult and the speakers’ passion for the subject matter was impressive. The new app and learning material was cutting edge and it was great to be able to follow the course and schedule on my cell phone.

Marta Kepinska, Milltown Golf Club, Ireland

A fantastic week of learning at MDP Strategy and Leadership with great insight passed from the best in the business. As with all MDP courses, the subject matter, the sharing of experiences and the networking are essential for any successful club manager serious about progressing in the industry.

This was my first MDP and it was an excellent insight into our shared challenges of the world of private members’ clubs. I learned a lot both from the course, and my fellow delegates and would thoroughly recommend this to all those who aspire to a long and successful career in Clubland.

Milltown Golf Club

Claire Llewellin, General Manager, Hollandse Club, Singapore




Will millennials pay for club membership? As the largest generation since the Baby Boomers comes into its prime working and spending years, Syngenta Growing Golf asks ‘do millennials even want club membership? And if so, are they willing to pay for it?’


hree-quarters of millennials would consider joining a private club in the future, with nearly half (48%) intending to join within the next three to 10 years, according to a study by Global Golf Advisors and Nextgengolf that surveyed more than 1,200 millennial golfers in the United States. But while it is encouraging that millennials are interested in club membership, the report also made clear that how they would like to pay for and access that membership has changed significantly from previous generations. The Fee Factor Cost is a significant consideration for millennials. And while cost is frequently a top issue in any consumer research, for a generation that is famously struggling to get mortgages, club entrance fees can present a specific challenge. Henry DeLozier, Partner at Global Golf Advisors explains. “Millennials understand that membership has a price and most are willing to pay, but they may need a progressive payment plan in order to manage the joining fee,” he says. The average entrance fee millennials in the US are willing to pay is $5,886, the research found. However 43% of those surveyed said they would actually prefer to pay more annually, instead of an entrance fee. Alternatively, a flexible membership with a low social fee, allowing full access to the club and payper-use golf access, is also an appealing option for this generation. “They are very discerning shoppers,” says DeLozier. “They are not reluctant to pay, but they are

reluctant to pay for things that offer them no value. “When clubs understand millennials and how to communicate the value of the club, there is opportunity.” But what millennials value is not necessarily what most golf clubs offer today. DeLozier goes on to explain that the desire for a wider range of activities and amenities beyond golf has become a “universal truth”. The research found that millennials want additional amenities and opportunities to socialize, with

fitness (71%), access for the entire family (65%), a pool (62%) and social events (57%) being the most important factors. However the needs of millennials run deeper than just lifestyle. “People that are joining now expect their clubs to be ‘more and better’ than perhaps clubs were in the past,” says DeLozier. “The customer is expecting a more diverse club with different personalities, perspectives and backgrounds. There is a desire to see their club as a safe haven for their friends and loved ones.” Take Action This research points to a positive future of engaging with millennial golfers over the next decade, but only if golf venues are willing to adapt and create a golf product that presents real value for this generation, which may include: • An inclusive and family-friendly environment. • Plenty of opportunities for socialization. • A range of amenities that extend beyond golf (primarily fitness, dining, wellness). • A more flexible approach to membership and fees.

CONTACT DETAILS Syngenta Growing Golf is the global hub for ground-breaking insights, helping to arm the industry with the tools, tactics and advice to grow the game.For more market insights and case studies to help grow your golf business, visit:



It’s about obsessing over the little things, the details no one else sees. It’s never tolerating anything less than the best. Perfection is a mindset. And that’s worth being proud of.

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CMAE 2019 Conference review On 17-19 November, CMAE members from across Europe and the Middle East travelled to Cascais, Portugal, to take part in the 2019 Club Management Conference. Couldn’t join us? Then here’s how it looked!


he 2019 Conference, hosted at Portugal’s iconic Clube Naval de Cascais (CNC), saw Club Managers from across Europe and the Middle East coming together to develop new skills and share experiences, all under the CMAE tribal banner. The Conference theme revolved around the setting and striving for a ‘destination’ as the catalyst for growth and development. “We planned the Conference around the premise of setting and striving for a Destination as the catalyst for permanent growth and development,” said CMAE Director of Education Torbjörn ‘Toby’ Johansson. “We invited members to join the Tribe, and to collectively discover what success looks like.” The Conference hosted a broad range of presenters, from Club Managers and analysts to consultants and business coaches, each offering unique insights and techniques for delegates to absorb and take back to their clubs.





Conference Programme Sunday 17th of November 16:00 16:45 17:30 18:00

Presidents Cup – Beloura Golf Clube Naval de Cascais – Club History, Vision & Mission The Padel Explosion - Ricardo da Silva Oliveira, Portuguese Padel Federation Coffee & Networking Break Business intelligence for optimal Club operation - Joe Oswald, Jonas Networking Evening

Monday 18th of November 08:45 09:15 10:15 10:45 11:35 12:30 13:45 14:30 15:30 16:00 17:00 17:20

Opening session – What is “The Destination” The destination of successful clubs – Case studies, Rob Hill, Global Golf Advisors (Panel James Burns, Marc Newey, Javier Reviriego) Coffee and Networking Break Your destination - Service excellence levels in the best clubs – Simon Wordsworth, 59club Club House design in the future – Michael Healy, Architect & Designer Lunch The Destination of Club Manager Recruitment – Adam Keable & Biddy Lloyd Jones, CMM The Destination for High Performance Teams, Justin Hughes, Mission Excellence (former Red Arrows Pilot) Coffee and Networking Break The Social Contract - Josef Fahlén, Umeå University, Sweden Summary of “The Destination” CMAE Annual General Meeting Conference Networking Dinner

Tuesday 19th of November 09:00 09:15 10:00 10:30 11:15 12:15


Opening session A Sustainable Future for Clubs – Cindy Schoenrich, Gstaad Yacht Club Coffee & Networking Break Your ‘Purpose’ - everything from Golf Course to Clubhouse, and beyond..., John Kemp GEO Turning an event into a festival with world class hosting - Paddy Keane, GM Lahinch Golf Club Conference summary and conclusion



Reflections on 2019’s European Conference There are many good reasons why the association goes to the trouble to gather members at an annual conference and it is worthwhile reminding ourselves what these are. Outgoing President David Roy CCM explains.


he first, and most important reason for CMAE’s annual conference, is the gathering of everyone who has been involved with the MDP, whether that is delegates, corporate partners or speakers. We often have a sense of contentment when we spend time with our contemporaries from the club industry and to do so in such a splendid part of the world as Portugal is a genuine treat. Nobody can doubt the commitment to the club mission of all who travelled to Cascais in November. The event was timed to ensure that any absence from work was minimal, the proximity to a major airport kept transportation costs to a minimum and the use of a club facility helped make the entire event affordable. The entire event kicked off with an introduction to the club by our venue host, who casually explained that Clube Naval de Cascais was one of the premier yacht clubs in Europe and was currently hosting an international yachting class boat who would spend the month racing against local teams. I guess that this would be the equivalent of having a Formula One racing team based at your local carting club for a month. Quite a thrill. The conference has to tread a fine line between simply supplying information and sustaining the interest of the delegates. In truth, this equation always produces variables and whilst this was no less true in Cascais, we still managed to unearth some

genuine golden nuggets. In no particular order, here are some key learnings from the various sessions: • Sometimes the leader has to fly his own plane Justin Hughes explained that when the high performance fighter jet display team was enveloped in cloud so thick that they lost sight of the plane less than two metres away, the leader had to ignore the demands of the display and simply fly his own plane. As a metaphor for life, this is most

apt, for we are incapable of performing well as a leader if we are involved in our own personal plane crash. • Strategy is operational Rob Hill drew upon the commanding presence of three industry leaders to illustrate how best to implement effective club strategy. Javier Riviego, James Burns and Marc Newey all carefully explained that even the best club strategy will fail if it is not operationally effective and commands the support of the entire team. Each in his own way was able to illustrate how a club has to engage with all levels of staff to ensure the success of any strategic decision making, otherwise the entire project can fall at the first hurdle. • Mystery Shoppers are not a mystery Simon Wordsworth was able to display in stark graphic form the incredibly simple steps that seem to elude most club employees. Training staff to routinely upsell is not only quick and easy but given the tiny number of clubs who bother to do this, it will provide a significant market advantage. • Sustainability is not an option Cindy Schoenrich illustrated in unambiguous terms that the need to instil sustainability in our business plans is not only financially astute but quite simply the right thing to do. We are




unavoidably in a climate emergency and the need to act with urgency is vital to the point of being the core of the club mission. • Make it a Festival Paddy Keane not only entertained his audience with celtic witticisms and expertly produced video clips but the truth of his message lay in the fact that golf can be the catalyst for down to earth, old-fashioned fun and there can be nothing finer in life than mixing music, dance and a pint with the odd round of golf. The implied contract – Josef Falen Clubs will invariably be instituted with few, if any, rules and predictably generate more and more rules as the years pass. The concept of the ‘implied contract’ dictates that we sacrifice certain liberties in return for ‘member benefits’. Take, for example, a boys football team. A father may agree to take his son to each football match and at the same time pick up two other team members. Such an act is not defined in the entry procedure for the child to join the team and it is not expected that


the other fathers will reciprocate but instead, it is part of the implied parental contract. We all have innumerable examples of club members who eschew the rules to suit their selfish needs and yet scream with indignation when other club members intrude in a similar fashion. Take, for example, the long-standing and popular member who persistently brings his own gluten free biscuits to eat in the clubhouse because he a coeliac. The F&B manager, the Board and almost every other member is unperturbed by his behaviour but the angry, spiteful member is enraged by such behaviour and demands action. Reluctantly, the club manager introduces a range of gluten free cookies to the bar menu and the Board introduces a new clause in the Byelaws to prohibit the consumption of any food on club premises that is not purchased from the menu. Seemingly, all is well. However, sometime thereafter, the angry member who demanded that all food must be bought from the club has booked a wedding anniversary party and wishes to bring a cake made by his daughter. The club manager, with a certain degree of undisguised pleasure, informs the angry member that he cannot bring any food into the clubhouse owing to the Byelaw that he insisted upon being instigated. This scenario produces no winners. The wellloved coeliac is inconvenienced, the angry member is still angry and the club manager is diminished. How much better would it be if instead, the ethos, culture and moral code of the club could be clearly articulated and inculcated in new members at the time of application. It would be infinitely preferable for the club manager to be able to reason with the angry member that the club ethos is to be inclusive, fair and flexible when aspiring to meet the members needs. As long as the greater membership is neither inconvenienced, nor the club moral code broken, then the odd gluten free biscuit does not pose an existential threat. But how, as club managers do we generate the moral authority to command such respect? This is a much harder exercise in longevity, discipline and training. We must first completely understand the club mission, its subtleties, anomalies and quirks. We must learn how to communicate effectively, be diplomatic, persuasive and compelling.

We must have a store of real-life examples of how an overly bureaucratic governance model can stifle the lifeblood of a club and prevent any flexibility that accommodates the eccentrics amongst us from being allowed to take an active part in club life. However, there is one lesson that the implied contract teaches us that defies any governance model and it is crudely that some members simply don’t fit and should leave, whether voluntarily or forcibly. Our standard Victorian rules-based club system dictates that a member must first demonstrably contravene the rules and be formally charged, judged and sentenced to eviction. This is so challenging that it is rarely induced and usually enacted badly. A far more humane system would be for the implied contract to be upheld and for the club leadership to police their fellow members sotto voce, moderating the poor behaviour of members and celebrating those who exemplify the club ethos. Returning to the world of football, the angry player, who consistently gives away penalties and is sent off is rarely a hero. By contrast, the player who displays consistent club loyalty, is community minded and helps nurture the young players will forever be well regarded. The lesson for club managers is that it is not enough to have a well-crafted set of Byelaws and that a club must also have a clearly expressed moral code that can be used to modify behaviours and strengthen the ties that bind members.




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Free EV Car Charging Why should I install Free EV chargers at my organisation? • Lower your club’s carbon footprint and improve your green credentials. • Free or low-cost EV charging is an extremely affordable perk to offer as part of an attractive benefits package for staff. • Run your club’s vehicles in the most cost-effective and environmental way. • Clearly and obviously demonstrate your commitment to climate change. • Create an additional revenue stream by charging for your EV charging services. (T&C’s Apply.)

Tips for Savings There’s no denying that clubs are expensive to run. The Carbon Trust estimates that the annual energy costs for the small businesses exceeded £1.3 billion as of 2018. So if you’re one of these feeling the pinch. Here are a few ways that you can reduce your costs.

“David and the HQ team have been very successful in reducing costs for our members. They specialise in the field of energy management, however, within the company they also are able to reduce costs in other key areas as well. Find the time to have a conversation with David. It will pay dividends!” Dave Edmundson, Chair, Spring North

Lower your heating costs Try to avoid overheating your corridors and offices. You should be aiming for a temperature between 19-21°C. Any higher and it can become uncomfortable for your staff and members. Grants and funding schemes are still available subject to survey, credit and application process, please contact us for more details. Get Smarter with lighting Cut the cost of lighting by installing occupancy and

daylight sensors. Smarter lighting will ensure that your lights are only on when they are required. Take this tip to the next level by replacing your lights with energy-saving equivalents – such as T5 tubes or compact fluorescent or LED lamps. Doing so could reduce your electricity consumption by up to 80% as well as lower wasted heat.

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Our services include: Energy Management • Office supplies Telecoms • I.T and digital support • Waste management • Fire equipment & maintenance • Boiler & air-conditioning replacement and maintenance • Renewable technologies • Health & Safety • HR • Transaction Handling • Food • Drink • Business insurance • ANPR/Parking facilities • Refurbishment • LED projects • Energy compliance.



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Stop thinking ‘retention’, start thinking ‘relationship’ Retention is something of a time-selective phrase in club management. Its definition has, arguably, become too closely rooted in taking action (usually) at the time of membership renewals to ensure that as many existing members continue their membership as possible. GGA’s Ben Hopkinson explains.


he side effect of only taking retention action at time of membership renewal is that it can begin to build a perception among members that you only care about them when it is in the club’s financial interest to do so. So how can you go about changing that? By facilitating meaningful relationships. From the moment they join, for the life of their membership. The relationships your club cultivates for and with members are essential in developing and maintaining relevance – a key factor in positioning your club to achieve high levels of member satisfaction, retention, and recruitment. Create the social links Your priority in the early stages should be to integrate the new member into the social fabric of the club. It’s easy to slip into thinking a member’s perception of the club’s value to them will revolve around the golf course or particular amenities and services you provide. But these tend not to be key factors in deciding whether to stay or leave, especially if they can experience them elsewhere. What really sets your club apart is the existing membership base: the internal club networks and friendship groups that have established over time. This is the one thing that no other club can imitate. The more you can nurture and facilitate these inclusive and accessible networks, the stronger the emotional connection you can begin to create between new members and the club. With that in mind, here are some useful ways to help facilitate the kinds of relationships that will instil loyalty and exceed the expectations of new members: • Invite them along to new member events (where they can get to know other new members). • Identify other like-minded members or members of a similar age to engage or play a round of golf with the new member. • Encourage or create opportunities for their family members to engage with the club at an early stage, through new member events, social events or simply by inviting them along to experience the club. Develop the connection to expectations Fast-forward the clock. These new members are no longer new members and have settled into life at the

What really sets your club apart is the existing membership base: the internal club networks and friendship groups that have established over time. This is the one thing that no other club can imitate.

club. Hopefully, by this stage, they will have established meaningful relationships with fellow members and will be enjoying all aspects of membership. Now is not the time to become complacent. As Michael Gregory, GGA Director of Private Club Services, points out, “If you’re not exceeding the expectations of a member, then they are an ‘at risk’ member.” But how do you keep exceeding expectations? Here’s some thoughts to consider: • Assess their satisfaction through a general member survey, or even through a dedicated survey for those of a similar member profile. • Identify areas of improvement through the survey and act on them. There is nothing worse than providing a forum by way of a survey but not following through on what your members are telling you. • Monitor individual engagement with the club, and look out for any profound changes of usage and utilization. Where there are changes, take the time to understand these and go the extra mile where it’s appropriate to do so. Deepen the sense of belonging Once members notch up 10 years or more, it’s safe to assume the club has become an integral part of their social life and, hopefully, their family’s too. They have likely forged a number of friendships, become attached to internal networks, and continue to enjoy the services offered by the club.In this case it would likely take a significant event or set of circumstances to cause their departure. However, as with any member, this should not reduce how attentive you are towards to this group. This is a group that will likely engage most with the club and have a greater sense of belonging, but also carry a greater influence – and this can be positive and negative.

So how do you manage this group effectively? • Have them play an active role in welcoming new members to the club. This will continue to enrich their relationship with the club, bestow a sense of trust in them, and retain a feeling of freshness. • Make them feel special. Organize specific events or social opportunities such as father/son or mother / daughter competitions, themed nights or games nights geared towards enhancing the emotional connection they have with the club. • Give them a voice – at this point in their member lifecycle they have a wealth of experience to draw from. Ignoring their suggestions can result in the emergence of vocal minorities, so give them every opportunity to serve on committees/boards and take an active role in the programming at the Club. Retention is something managers focus on when renewals come around; relationships are something they develop year-round. If you can switch your focus to building and developing the relationships your members have with and at your club, you can continually exceed their expectations and create a sense of belonging that they will find difficult to live without. GGA (formerly KPMG Golf Practice) is the largest professional advisory services firm in the world dedicated to clubs and golf-related businesses. From their offices in Dublin, Toronto and Phoenix, GGA has served more than 3,000 clients worldwide. They specialise in; strategic planning; governance; business intelligence and analytics; membership planning; and operational performance analysis. •




Club Awards 2019

And the winners are... The CMAE and Clubhouse Europe team were out in force at the 2019 Club Mirror Awards at Doncaster Racecourse on November 28, where we celebrated all that’s great about clubs. A number of CMAE clubs and members were nominated and the night saw them march up on stage to accept their well-deserved trophies, earning their place in the Club Mirror Awards Hall of Fame. The night began with a Beer Festival courtesy of Marston’s Beer Company and a photo opportunity with some fine silverware, courtesy of BT Sport. The 2020 Awards will include an International category, so to nominate a club or enter your own, email






COMMUNITY CLUBS OF THE YEAR Hawthorn Recreational Social Club (above left) and RAFA Club Kirkby (above right)



GREEN CLUB OF THE YEAR Datchet Water Sailing Club

RUGBY CLUB OF THE YEAR Dudley Kingswinford Rugby Club

CRICKET CLUB OF THE YEAR Great Brickhill Cricket Club




GOLF CLUB OF THE YEAR (Under £1m turnover) Bush Hill Park Golf Club and Leeds Golf Club

GOLF CLUB OF THE YEAR (Over £1m turnover) Moor Park Golf Club and Formby Golf Club

SPORTS CLUB OF THE YEAR Cookley Sports Club and Sale Sports Club



SPORTS & SOCIAL CLUB OF THE YEAR King’s Heath Cricket & Sports Club


KING OF CLUBS Roehampton Club

2020 AWARDS – CALL FOR ENTRIES CMAE members are invited to nominate themselves or fellow clubs for the 2020 Club Awards. Just email with your nomination. Nominations are also being taken for International Club of the Year. CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 23



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A word with David Roy CCM David Roy CCM is Secretary Manager at Crail Golfing Society and has held this role for over 14 years. He has also held General Manager roles at Shirley Park Golf Club and Linlithgow Golf Club and has a background in green keeping before that. David has been on the CMAE board for 10 years and has served the past two as President. In this Q&A he reflects on his time as President, after stepping down at CMAE’s recent AGM in Portugal. Having been on the CMAE Board for 10 years in total and serving the past two as President, what do you think the biggest achievement has been in your time? Employing Debbie Goddard full time for CMAE. It was quite a gamble for her to take but it looks like the finances have stabilised and we can look forward with confidence that as her role develops, so the Association will grow.


You have become a regular presenter on the CMAE’s MDP since its inception. Has this helped you develop your skills as a presenter and how has that transferred to your job at Crail? It hasn’t necessarily helped me in my job but Crail has definitely benefitted. I have now addressed delegates from well over 30 countries and am always introduced as manager of Crail Golfing Society, which will have significantly enhanced the profile of the club. In terms of my skills as a presenter, the mentoring from the likes of Jason and Bill Sanderson has been immeasurably helpful. I have a far better understanding of how to deliver the learning outcomes and hopefully keep the delegates engaged. How did your background in greenkeeping help most when you first entered club management, and what was the biggest gap in your knowledge that you had to plug? My greenkeeping background was the reason I was employed at Crail and at my previous club in Croydon. It makes a massive difference to be able to sit at a Board meeting and argue for increased resources for the golf course when you understand exactly what the benefits are. Along with your job at Crail, your role as President of CMAE, an EPB member, an MDP presenter, Chairman of your Drama Club, Board member of the Fife Golf Partnership and treasurer of your local curling region, how do you manage a healthy work/life balance? Sadly, I fail miserably at this. However, I greatly enjoy everything I do and I get the chance to meet

very interesting people and stretch myself in many different areas. I have a theory that spending time being creative improves your problem-solving abilities and keeps the right side of your brain active. Your CMAE commitments require a certain level of support from your club captain and committee in terms of time away from the club. How did you manage to gain that support and what advice would you give to others looking to do the same? To get the chance to be the President of CMAE is a genuine privilege and honour but also provides tangible benefits that I hadn’t anticipated. For a start, the role provides an insight into the challenges of being the leader of a voluntary organisation with

paid staff. Secondly, the fact that the role is voluntary results in time being very limited and strategy becomes incredibly important in this context. In many ways, the tenure as President can be viewed as invaluable training for a serving club manager and there any number of ways in which a club as an employer of the President will benefit. However, the one piece of advice I would give is that any President cannot fulfil their duties without the wholehearted support of their partner. The time away from home is significant, along with the time spent on correspondence and reading papers. I have enjoyed my time as President immensely and look forward to supporting the new President James Burns in whatever way I can.




Content marketing –howtodoit Are you looking to gain more traction with the content you publish to generate more website traffic and greater brand awareness? This article has a few useful hints and tricks to help your content work harder for you, says Studio 44’s Doug Rubashow.


et’s start with writing informative, useful content. This one sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But in reality, it’s still too easy to write content for the sake of it and just jot down words that don’t mean very much to your audience. You may get more visibility in search engines by publishing high volumes of content but you’re unlikely to get high levels of interaction and engagement if this is how you run your strategy. Most businesses who write content don’t realise that not everyone has the skills and knowledge they have built up in the years doing what they do nor do they understand that this knowledge and experience is most effective is shared with their audience as it significantly adds to the credibility of the business. If you know you need to be publishing more content as a business then think carefully about what you can share so it’s not just content for the sake of content, but something useful for the visitor. Linking internally Linking internally within your own website is an excellent technique for optimal user experience as well as ensuring your website has maximum crawlability. You can take users on a journey through your site as I did in the previous paragraph where I linked back to an old article. Not only does this allow the user to navigate their way around your website seamlessly, but search engines will crawl your site more efficiently, so it’s a win-win! I read a great article earlier in the year about topic clusters. The gist of it was you have a main topic page which gives an overview of a topic and then subtopic pages that would go into more detail on individual areas of the topic. A good example of this may be a Personal Trainer at a sports club who is trying to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise. They could have a main topic page of ‘upper body fitness’ and then subtopic pages which focus individually on exercises for chest, back, arms and shoulders. All these pages would link to one another which would help a user find all the information they need easily as well as helping search engines index your site. You would also be able to focus each page on individual keywords, which we will cover later in the article. So instead of creating a page for each topic you want to


talk about, see if you can split this into several that all link to one another.

• Multiple times within page content, and preferably within the first 100 words

Linking externally Linking externally to other websites that back up your opinions and thoughts is another great way of ensuring an optimal user experience and showing the credibility of your site to search engines. Consider that search engines are looking for the best, most relevant search results to any query entered on their search engine. If you buy into this then linking to relevant external resources suddenly becomes a great thing to do… if you link to an external site and the visitor then spends a lot of time on the site you send them to, you’re telling a search engine that you: • Carefully research around your topics to show you’re giving website visitors the most relevant information. • Are prepared to send your visitors to external sites because you think there’s a great source of information. • Are happy to share your traffic with other websites for the sake of the visitor. All of the above send positive signals to search engines and show to them you’re focussed on providing useful, relevant content to the user which is what search engines are looking for so should only help your rankings.

Ask questions as your titles Asking questions in your titles if you’re writing a blog is a great way of ranking in search engines for specific keywords. Many visitors use search engines by writing a question as a search query. A non-club specific example could be someone in the early stages of thinking about selling their business. They may type in a query like “What are the steps to selling my business?”. If you’re an Accountancy firm who specialises in supporting clients when they sell their business, you could write an article with that exact title and give information on the steps of a business sale. If your content is useful and informative, you may well get that enquiry. So think about what questions your audience may typically ask and make these the titles of your articles!

Keywords We briefly mentioned keywords earlier in the article, but every single page on your website, whether that’s a service page, case study page, homepage or article page is an opportunity to rank for keywords and ideally you shouldn’t be targeting too many keywords on an individual page. There are loads of keyword tools available to identify those you want to target, our favourite is Moz and once you have a list of keywords to focus on, start incorporating these into new pages you create. Ideally each page should include the keyword in the following places: • Page Title • Meta Description (although this is less important these days) • URL Slug • Header tag

Keep your content visual and break it up Wherever possible, try to include some visuals in your content, unless your audience just wants to read pages upon pages of text. Think about infographics you can include to describe a process, images that would be relevant or consider something like video content, making the page look less intimidating to visitors when they land on it. Also consider breaking up your content if you can into smaller chunks, so there are sub-headings. This both makes a page look more visually appealing and allows a website visitor to head straight to the heading most appropriate to them if they wish. So there you have it, we hope this article proves useful to you and gives a good insight into how to maximise your content marketing strategy!

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Enter the 2020 Awards




Tradition v modernisation We’re just a stone’s throw away from 2020, says Club de Golf Escorpión’s Marcos Lería Couderc. So looking back to the year 2000, just what has changed? And what does the future look like?


ooking back over the past 20 years, it is easy to assume that the golf industry has changed more in that period than in the second half of the 20th century, even though the total number of courses and players in golf-consolidated countries has remained the same. So, what’s changed? The answer is simple; many things, but mostly, in my opinion, the way golf clubs are being managed. To assume that the number of golf courses has not increased in 20 years is equivalent to admitting that the golf courses have simply grown 20 years old, and that only those which have done their proper homework are in a position to grow healthier. The main difference in our management philosophy, however, is the problems we face. Ownership and Boards of Directors have, in most cases, adapted to changes in the golf industry, and are willing to implement modern tools and strategies. But, at the same time, they try to maintain traditions and identity signs that gave prestige to their clubs. Another important factor is that valued staff from 2000 are now 20 years older, perhaps looking forward to retirement more than to new tendencies towards customer satisfaction, as often required by the club’s President. This is the key I want to focus on: how to implement modern solutions while avoiding possible boycotts by older staff The first bright idea that comes to mind is to promote proper staff rotation to bring younger employees to the front line, who will easily adapt to changes in society. But (there is always a “but”) members who


Marcos Lería Couderc use the club more often are in the Senior category, even if we have been successful in implementing new-member programs. This large group rather enjoy the familiarity of those employees who easily address them by their last name and ask them often about their families. So, a quick renovation of the staff is not easy. Promoting early retirement looks like the best option, but it can bring extra expense, something

which recent labour laws are raising. At the same time, we face new and important education expenses. Every club is familiar with the importance of maintaining employees’ knowledge of new software, technology, course maintenance, personal data protection, safety at work - all of which are considered basic for proper teamwork. But now we also need to help our co-workers gain a better understanding of their role at the club, helping them manage stress, raise emotional intelligence, improve conflict resolution techniques and use positive language, amongst all the other attributes which they may need to meet the growing expectations of members and guests. Department heads have a new role in helping their staff understand, comprehend, and supervise new ways to develop their job. Otherwise, traditional change-rejection by older employees will slow the process and increase pressure on new staff members. The Club Manager has an extremely important role in this process. More so in clubs with over 100 employees. It is his job to reinforce the message and instructions issued by department heads, and also to correct and admonish attitudes which slow the intended re-education process. The most important tool here is the continuous communication with every employee, stating and reminding them of the club’s goals, policy, and reasons for change. Job performance interviews are an excellent way to confirm that everybody’s attitude is aligned to the expected path. These one-on-one meetings with every staff member help the Manager gain awareness of potential conflicts which, if dealt with promptly and efficiently, will not spark bigger fires.

It’s a task that requires time and dedication. Even the most expensive refurbishments and improvements in club facilities will bring little satisfaction if the club does not focus on educating those staff and teams who will make these improvements shine. This is even more the case if the staff in question feel that the money put into the improvements should have been used to grow salaries. I improve workers’ benefits (not salary linked), such as subsidising private medical insurance if certain variable results (total profits, for example) have been achieved. Such a proposal was accepted this year by 60% of the staff at the club I manage. In the two previous years 70% and 100% of the staff were awarded the subsidy. This can be built and relayed by, for example, a staff-only web site (where employees can verify their bonuses and/or update their personal data) or via more informal social media such as WhatsApp groups. Management must, at the same time, remain vigilant of potential weakness, such as dissident employees who might use the communications mediums to exaggerate situations, to criticize, or to diminish the overall efforts of the team. All of this cannot be achieved in one day, of course. Department heads must share the same vision and opinions, and – in just a few years – the results will reward this effort. The Board’s support is also essential – even more so in those difficult moments when a serious workforce restructure is inevitable. Salaries are, on average, 50% of the total expense at the club. If income is usually stable, doesn’t it make sense that we dedicate 50% of our managing time to make sure things are done as expected, and to manage our human resources?

IDepartment heads must share the same vision and opinions, and – in just a few years – the results will reward this effort. The Board’s support is also essential – even more so in those difficult moments when a serious workforce restructure is inevitable.



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Sustainability and green schemes Clubs with large grounds have all the challenges of maintenance, but by the same token, they often have the natural resources to employ sustainability programmes and green activities to improve the habitat, save money and reduce carbon footpints. THE OXFORDSHIRE GOLF CLUB Thame, Oxfordshire The Oxfordshire Golf Club, Hotel & Spa is employing the club’s natural resources to reduce its energy bills by one third. Working with Geyser Thermal Energy, the club is using water from a lake on its golf course to provide energy, replacing the need for oil boilers. The Oxfordshire’s General Manager Ryan Bezuidenhout said: “There are those in the leisure industry who think that this can only be achieved with a new-build, but with the expertise of Geyser Thermal Energy, we are confident of seeing a very noticeable difference from the moment we switch on our new, much greener energy system.” A retrofit includes installing high efficiency heat pumps which are expected to reduce utility bills by 33% in year one, lowering the high-energy boiler use from 1160kW to less than 100kW. Data will be supplied to the club so that the new system can be fine-tuned on an ongoing basis. Bezuidenhout said: “This exciting new investment is going to make a direct, positive impact on our bottom line and take a big step towards sus-

taining our business as we free ourselves from the inevitability of soaring utility bills. “This is just the beginning. As we strive towards our long-term goal of reducing our dependence on the national grid, we’ve chosen technology that can easily be upscaled.” • More information is at or by email –

DATCHET WATER SAILING CLUB Datchet, Berkshire Installing water fountains and eliminating the sale of bottled water is just one of Datchet Water Sailing Club’s many green initiatives, which includes a ‘Sustainable Clubhouse’ scheme. “This includes a solar panel system on the roof and water-sourced heat pump system which we use for our central heating and hot water,” said Manager Gabrielle Boase, Honorary Secretary of CMAE’s London & Home Counties region. “It means we are paying nothing for heating and in fact we’re making 27% back on our investment.” A highlight in the club’s green schemes was when last Summer, the club opened its doors to 300 children from all around the country for a week-long sailing event including camping on site and evening entertainment. Keeping it green was core to the week. No plastic cutlery or packaging was used and a club member secured Drinking Water fountains with refillable water bottles for the event (no plastic water bottles were on sale during the event). Many members lent their time, setting up the campsite, others loaned their boats to help ensure a successful event and Thames Water, the club’s landlord, provided water conservation goodies. A highlight of the week proved to be a trip to local




amenity, Liquid Leisure, Europe’s largest Aqua Park. Rather than coaching them to the venue, the club kept it green footprint down by walking all 300 children around the crest of the reservoir and down to

the road where community police ensured safe crossing. “This was truly a community event for sailing and our club community,” said Gabrielle. AFC BOURNEMOUTH Bournemouth, Dorset AFC Bournemouth is a professional football club based in Bournemouth, Dorset, that plays in the Premier League. Formed in 1890 as Boscombe St. John’s Institute F.C., the club adopted its current name in 1972. Nicknamed The Cherries, since 1910 Bournemouth have played their home games at Dean Court. ‘Together, anything is possible’ is the club’s motto and this was the thinking behind installing several EauVation filtered water systems. Paul Fudge, Head of Catering Operations explained: “At the club we are conscious of the need to reduce the amount of single use plastic being used by our staff, and our players. Our solution – we have sited EauVation systems throughout the club and are currently looking to install more systems for visitors to the stadium. “Our view is that every little thing helps and if we offer our staff and players an alternative to single use plastic, then together we can make a difference.” By all accounts Within the club’s accounts department an EauVation SmartTap has been installed giving staff access to boiling and chilled water. Staff are able to enjoy the purest of drinking water, says EauVation, purer than bottled water brands, and when making tea or coffee the flavour is enhanced too. Question time The Media Suite at the club, where all of the pre match interviews take place, has been installed with EauVation’s TableTop system, declared a perfect option for replacing pre-bottled water: “With its high-performance ice-bank refrigerator it delivers large volumes of water at consistently low temperatures, ideal for the media team and press when carrying out a lengthy interview! “The system’s modern, elegant and compact design has been an ideal solution suite, not only by


SUSTAINABILITY SNAPSHOTS All around the world, golf clubs are playing their part in sustainability and green schemes. Take a look at just some these global examples, courtesy of OnCourse.

WILDFLOWERS TO SAVE BEES Golf Les Iles, Italy In 2018 Golf Les Iles identified some large areas of rough, alongside the walkways, in the woods and around the lakes. The club decided to leave these areas uncultivated in favour of the natural flowers. This strategy has reduced maintenance costs, reduced noise pollution, increased the fun of players and protected pollinators – particularly bees. Greenkeepers and golfers take immense pride in their club doing something positive for the environment. This generates a good reputation for the club and helps attract new players. This all demonstrates that golf clubs can be managed for both high quality playing conditions and environmental benefit. FROM WASTE TO COMPOST Terre Blanche Golf, France Terre Blanche prides itself on the way in which it manages waste, using strict internal procedures and four driers (each with a capacity of 100kg) to recycle and manage organic waste by dehydrating it and reusing it as compost. The organic waste is collected and dried then mixed with earth and sand to make compost. This is then used to create flower beds and to maintain the borders along the resort’s paths. Simultaneously, employees have been asked to stop using plastic cups and bottles, further helping to reduce the amount of non-recyclable waste.

providing top quality, filtered water on demand but also eliminating the need for storage, transportation and recycling expensive pre-bottled water.” The same system has been installed in the gym and in the players’ lounge, giving players’ access to delicious, chilled, filtered water on demand. By all accounts the players love it. Boot it The EauVation undercounter system has been installed in the club’s boot room and is a perfect solution as there is limited space. “The compact system fits perfectly and supplies premium quality, chilled, filtered water to a stylish bar tap. The players have been making the most of this system by mixing the water with their nutritional powders and protein shakes.” Branded water bottles At Bournemouth Football Club there are several rooms, suites and a board room which are available to hire for meetings and conferences. Within this area an EauVation undercounter system has been installed and there are Bournemouth Football Club branded water bottles for guests to use throughout their meeting or conference. Next steps? The club is now looking to install several more EauVation systems in the concourses at the stadium to provide chilled, filtered water to all of the club’s visitors. These will be the new EauVation systems which will be either freestanding or built into a wall and these will have a display screen which the club will be able to advertise on.

HABITAT CREATION Centro Nacional De Golf, Spain Thanks to the investment of the Real Federación Española de Golf, a former landfill site on the outskirts of Madrid has been transformed into an ecologically rich space that provides healthy recreation and employment to hundreds of local people. The 43 hectare site now features restored grasslands, wetlands, walls and boundary features all within a semi-urban landscape under pressure from development. REDUCING SINGLE USE PLASTIC Jumeirah Golf Estates, United Arab Emirates Jumeirah Golf Estates has historically given each golfer two bottles of water for their round of golf. That translated to up to 150,000 single-use plastic bottles per year. The club has partnered with Dell Technologies to remove single-use plastics from its golf courses by issuing free stainless steel reusable bottles to all members and guests. These can be refilled at the locally-sourced recycled plastic water towers. This initiative forms part of the club’s determination to remove all single-use plastic from its club, including plastic straws and drinking cups from its many food and beverage outlets. Fauna Repository Finspångs Golfklubb, Sweden Many insects are dependent on access to decaying wood for their survival. In many woodlands and leafy areas, however, old trees and fallen tree trunks are quickly tidied away. By creating strategically placed fauna repositories it’s possible, at a low cost, to help many of these species survive, populating an area and also creating a better environment for both birds and mammals. Finspångs’ course has created three such repositories. They consist of trunks from different kinds of broadleaf trees such as birch, oak, aspen etc. Near the repositories, there are information signs explaining their purpose to visitors. The fauna repositories are designed to not only attract insects and birds but even hedgehogs, amphibians and other animals. In this way the club hopes to contribute to the diversity of animals on the golf course.




They’re back! Welcome to the Clubhouse Awards 2020 The Clubhouse Awards were first launched in 2006 to applaud excellence in golf clubs across the UK. Now the Awards are back – and with a vengeance!


he Clubhouse Awards 2020 are now open for entries. From owners and club managers to business development teams and membership managers, these unique Awards underline the significant role that the golf clubs are playing in the UK and Europe. From the big hitters to smaller, communityfocussed clubs, the Awards are hard-fought and much prized and now include a number of International Categories.


Our last tournament hosted 88 golfers from clubs around the country. Held on the day of the Awards, the Clubhouse Classic is open to all-comers. HOW TO ENTER To nominate a club or enter your own, just email us with your name, job title, club and email address, along with which categories you would like to enter. Categories include • Business Initiative of the Year • Green Club of the Year • Marketing Initiative of the Year • Youth Initiative of the Year • Catering Club of the Year • Community Club of the Year • Refurbishment of the Year • Manager/Secretary of the Year • Steward of the Year • Chef of the Year • Golf Group of the Year • Clubhouse of the Year • Social Media club of the Year • Website of the Year • International Venue of the Year • International Clubhouse of the Year • International Social Media club of the Year • International Website of the Year

CLUB HOUSE Awards ’20

To enter, please email CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 35



Volunteers –keep them onside Volunteers are more likely to stay at your club if they have a fun and rewarding experience, says Sport England. And with more than 32 million over-16s giving up their free time in England alone, the industry body offers top tips on attracting and keeping young volunteers.


esearch shows that sports volunteers give more time per week and volunteer more frequently than the average volunteer. Making their experience as fun as possible and recognising their incredible commitment is, therefore, vital. Unfortunately, this isn’t always what happens. In fact, sports volunteers are far more likely than volunteers in other sectors to quit – largely because they feel undervalued, unrecognised or because they’ve had poor experiences in an unorganised environment. So, what can you do to make sure this doesn’t happen at your club? There are plenty of ideas you can employ to provide a fantastic experience at every point along a vol-


unteer’s journey. It doesn’t have to be lots of work, and it is often the little things that make the biggest difference. Providing a great experience won’t only help keep volunteers at your club, but they’ll also become your best ambassadors for recruiting volunteers in the future. The welcome Welcoming your new volunteers is vital to making a good first impression. A well-planned welcome process, or induction, can help a new volunteer feel supported, informed, valued and can enable them to make a contribution straight away. Use the Induction Checklist to structure your

introductions and make sure you don’t miss anything out. Why not ask your current volunteers to think back to when they were new and ask them to suggest ideas which will help others feel welcome and supported? Continue the connection Setting aside some time to communicate with, and more importantly – listening to your volunteers will help them remain motivated and committed to your club. It will allow you all to be working towards your shared club goals together. Volunteers may have different ways they prefer to stay in contact - from texts and emails to social media. It’s a good idea to check what works best for them.

Volunteer Induction Checklist The first priority when introducing a new volunteer to the club and their role is to give them a full induction when they start. The aim of this is to ensure that the volunteer understands the way in which the club works, the place of their role within this, and that they have a full understanding of their role and responsibilities. Below are several ideas which can be used and adapted to most situations.

n n


n n n

Why volunteers are a vital part of the club What benefits they will gain from volunteering at the club Volunteer support available

The Club

Ways to to stay in touch with your volunteers include: • Social media Facebook or Twitter and other Social Media sites can be great ways to keep your volunteers updated, as well as interacting with them on a range of topics. • Meetings Informal meetings, as a group or individually, will give volunteers a chance to ask any questions they may have, and suggest new ideas and projects. • E-mail The majority of volunteers will have email addresses so this is a good opportunity to keep them updated and help them stay in touch with each other. • Social events This is a good way to informally engage with your volunteers and participants. It is a great place for them to meet other volunteers, and it’s fun too! Make them feel valued As simple as it may sound, thanking volunteers for their time and effort is often forgotten about or overlooked. You could do this in a formal or informal way. Some ideas include: • Volunteer award evenings. • Volunteer recognition in newsletters, or other club communications. • Personal thank-you letters. • Regular ‘shout-outs’ at the end of activity sessions. A successful volunteer programme is a team effort, so share information about the vital role of volunteers, and the difference they are making to the club with staff, Board members and members,. Recognising young volunteers If you have young people volunteering with you, a great way to recognise their efforts is through vInspired awards, a charity which pairs organisations with young volunteers (14-25 year olds). Through vInspired, young volunteers can work towards their V10, v30, v30 and v100 awards, showing how many hours they’ve spent volunteering, which look great on CVs and as a discussion point in job interviews. So, if your club currently has 14-25 year olds volunteering with you, or it could do in the future, you can sign-up with vInspired as an award provider. If

your young people also sign-up with vInspired, they can start working towards their awards. Around 850,000 young people aren’t in education, employment or training. At the same time, communities are struggling. Volunteering, says vInspired, helps young people thrive, and transforms the communities they live in. It teaches them vital skills and prepares them for the future. There are already more than 32 million over-16s volunteering. They make a massive contribution to communities, charities and individuals across the country. Last year, vInspired helped 31,439 young people do 460,611 hours of voluntary work – the equivalent of over 52 years working flat out. It partners with over 4,400 charities around the UK and works with young people from the ages of 14 to 25, offering a full path toward training and employment. Leadership, mentoring and coaching Whatever role a volunteer takes on at your club, chances are they will be responsible for a particular things and this is likely to include supporting and working alongside others, whether it involves linemanagement or not. They will be developing leadership skills, such as prioritisation, time-management, delegation, trustworthiness and self-motivation, as well as, soft skills like problem-solving and adaptability. Take the time to discuss with your volunteers what they are looking for from a role; for example, if there are particular skills they would like to develop or improve upon. Check-in with them regularly to see if they’re happy with how they’re developing. In this way you can help create a meaningful, valuable experience for your volunteers.

MORE INFORMATION Sport England Visit or use this QR code vInspired Visit or use this QR code

n n n n n n n n n

Club vision, values and development plan Club size, age-groups, opening times, playing programme (sessions, competitions etc.) Club background, history and people Personal introductions Dates of upcoming meetings or competition/social events List of key contacts within the club and externally, if relevant Club financial procedures, if relevant Tour: toilets, parking, equipment, buildings and facilities

Club Policies and Procedures

n n n n n n

Governing documents and club rules Codes of Conduct Health and Safety (including fire evacuation and emergency procedures) Insurance Safeguarding and Welfare (including DBS check if applicable) Diversity and Inclusion Confidentiality Expenses

Their Role

n n n n n n

What do they hope to gain from their volunteering experience, i.e. what are their motivations? What will their volunteer role involve and what are their responsibilities? Time commitments and expectations What skills, experiences or qualifications do they have? Would they be interested in additional training, development opportunities? Who is their main point of contact and who can they turn to for assistance and advise? What should they do if they have any questions or problems?

This is an example checklist – please adapt this template to suit your club’s needs.



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Sport – a force for good Physical activity can allow people with dementia to connect with other people by creating a shared experience. This is why visiting a sports club, leisure centre or gym is one of the top activities that people with dementia want to do, explains Jeremy Hughes CBE, Chief Executive Officer, Alzheimer’s Society, explains. And golf too is playing its part.


ementia is one of the biggest challenges we face in society today. It can affect every aspect of a person’s life and often prevents them from doing things that many people take for granted. For example, people affected by dementia often have to give up things they want or need to do due to a lack of understanding and stigma, as well as inaccessible and unsupportive environments. For the sport and physical activity sector, becoming more dementia friendly means providing opportunities to support every person with dementia, whether they are a customer, volunteer or spectator. We need to make sure all sport and physical activity providers train their employees to be aware of the impact of dementia. They must also adapt their programming, and consider environments and processes, to tackle the challenges that their customers and employees face.

Keeping active can reduce the risk of dementia, and evidence suggests that being active can slow the progression of dementia. The sport and physical activity sector can therefore play a crucial role in tackling the social and economic impact of dementia. From golf clubs to gyms, and leisure centres to football clubs, the entire sector has a part to play. Defeating dementia won’t just happen in a lab or a care setting. The [UK]Prime Minister’s Challenge on Dementia states that by 2020 the UK will be the first dementia-friendly nation. This means providing opportunities to support every person with dementia to continue to do the things they enjoy and to retain their independence. With the number of people living with dementia in the UK set to increase to over a million by 2021 and over two million by 2050, there has never been a more important time to take

Jeremy Hughes action and improve the lives of people living with dementia. We need a step change in the way people think, talk and act about dementia – the whole of society has a role to play.

DEMENTIA-FRIENDLY GOLF Since the launch of the dementia-friendly sport and physical activity guide in February 2019, Alzheimer’s Society has been working closely with England Golf to help bring the world of golf together to unite against dementia. Terry is a golfer. He is also 57 years old and was diagnosed with early onset dementia in 2014. He keeps enjoying his golf with the support of his friends, and in particular his best friend, Dave. They make sure to get out on the course a couple of times a week at St Ives (Hunts) Golf Club in Cambridgeshire, where they are members. With small adaptations and additional support from his friends and the club Terry can keep playing golf and be an active part of his community. Alzheimer’s Society are working with England Golf and Sport England to ensure more golfers and golf clubs can adapt and support people living with dementia to continue enjoying golf. England Golf Chief Executive Nick Pink, speaking at the launch of the first ever dementia-friendly sport and physical activity guide by the Alzheimer’s Society, said: “We would encourage any golf club or facility to get involved as a dementia friend and use the support guide to help them, their golfers and the local community. Dementia is something that affects every household and golf can help, both by reducing the risk of dementia and supporting people with the condition. There is strong, good practice in many golf clubs in England and we want to shine the light on this and, where possible, encourage it to be shared and replicated.”

Terry (pictured top left and above middle) and his best friend Dave (above right) play golf a couple of times a week at St Ives (Hunts) Golf Club in Cambridgeshire.

To watch the video of why golf is so important to Terry and Dave and how more can be done to help people living with dementia start or continue golfing, visit Dementia Friendly Golf at or use this QR code.





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Alchemy Contract Publishing proudly presents Clubhouse Europe in association with the Club Managers Association of Europe


Clubhouse Europe FREE cost reviews – page 17


CMAE Conference – review and picture gallery Club Mirror Awards – and the winners are? Going green – sustainability and green schemes Management Development Programme – latest updates Volunteers – how to keep them onside

To see what Alchemy Contract Publishing could do for you please call Sean Ferris on +44 (0) 1753 272022

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