Clubhouse Europe Magazine

Page 1


Full Conference programme announced – page 25


European Conference – have you registered yet? MDPs – CMAE goes back to the classroom Festival of Clubs – new event and trade show launches Industry insights – governance, management and performance




Fellow Club Management Leaders It is so encouraging to hear positive messages from the Club Industry across Europe and the Middle East. There is light at the end of the tunnel and the main challenges of the pandemic are slowly being put behind us. We are all now “living with Covid” as best we can and life must go on. We are so excited to begin our transition back to our face to face classroom experience in November for MDP Golf at St Andrews. A busy schedule is already in place for 2022 and we have been blown away by the expression of interest for all our programmes next year. (More will be announced) Our primary focus these last 18 months has been to continue to bring you the leading club management education pathway and high standard of learning through online platforms. The scoring and feedback has far exceeded our expectations in these difficult times. This was only achieved by a tremendous amount of hard work, resilience and energy by our professional team and dedicated speakers. We are going to follow our online 2020 European Conference with another virtual experience in a few weeks time. At this point there are still too many complexities to put together a large in-person event and so we plan to build on the success from last year to bring you another great conference. “Ain’t no mountain high enough” is an appropriate theme given all that we have been through in both our work and personal lives. Once again there will be a stellar speaker line up for you to learn from and online networking opportunities through Gatherly and Zoom. As many of you know, we are celebrating 20 years of CMAE and 10 years of MDPs this year. There will be a number of events to mark these significant milestones and how we got here throughout 2022. Full details to follow in the new year. In this issue you will learn more about our full conference programme, education plans for 2022, catching up with two of our CCMs and as always lots of experienced industry advice and best practice. Like many of you at your clubs we have also taken the opportunity to review our strategy in the short term and the Board is currently working on a plan to shape the future for the next three to five years. Our view on what that would look like has certainly changed with the pandemic and we will certainly be coming out of this crisis stronger than ever. Mental Health is being discussed and highlighted more than ever before. Openness, awareness and understanding are so important and this will be a major topic on our agenda for the future. We could all do with taking heed of this quote from Michele Obama – “We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” I hope you enjoy the issue.

James Burns CCM President, Club Managers Association of Europe

James Burns CCM

Ed Chapman CMDIP

Sean Ferris

David Foster

Debbie Goddard

John Lawler CCM

Michael McCormack

David Roy CCM

Ian Russell

Caroline Scoular

Jill Slingsby

Alex Woodward

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 Association Manager 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 25

5 News, views and industry insights Upcoming conferences, CMAE updates and supplier news.



8 CMAE goes back to the classroom MDPs get back to face-to-face business. Plus: New dates announced.

Are management, committee and board structures always as efficient, or as streamlined as they could be?

Alex Woodward CCM has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England. So what does his world look like now?

38 Celebrations for new CMAE manager CMAE member Ian Russell has been appointed as Club Manager at East Renfrewshire Golf Club. This is his story.

12 Education, education, education – Saudi style

14 It’s back! Royal Portrush Golf Cub is delighted to share that The Open is returning to club in 2025 for the third time. Here’s why.


HQ Building the Business is a free reader service in the UK, designed to help clubs with all their purchasing requirements, from latest launches to an energy comparison site.

36 Changing structures and streamlining systems

10 Golf Club welcomes new CCM Chief Executive

CMAE partner Golf Saudi is passionate about education. Clubhouse Europe catches up on just some of their ongoing projects.

35 Better Buying

17 Membership matters

39 It’s classified

The Narcissist and the Club of Mutual Distrust. A tongue in cheek reflection but with serious messaging. Just who are the main protagonists in these tricky situations?

Showcasing club-supporting suppliers.


19 Festival of Clubs With live events now back on the agenda, the Festival of Clubs promises to be an important new addition to club calendars. See you there?

25 CMAE European Conference Join up, join in. The European Conference 2021 is looking forward to welcoming you. Here’s the full schedule along with presenters and speakers. Register now.

31 Governance structures CMAE Conference speaker Ed Chapman CMDip shares findings of research which focused on governance structures, management practices, and organisational performance of golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.

34 Increasing female participation Group coaching experience,, has launched a new website to accelerate its mission to boost women’s participation in golf.


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 Sign up for the 2021 CMAE Conference The 2021 European Conference on Club Management will be held online on 15-17 November 2021. The conference, with the theme ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’, takes place over three days and combines impactful networking, seminars and workshop sessions. Amongst the many globally renowned keynote speakers are Ramus Ankersen, Meghan Reitz, James

Cronk, Gregg Patterson and Ian Peek. The 2020 conference attracted record breaking numbers last year with over 160 club managers, leaders and industry professionals gathering for the first ever online version of the annual conference. •Full details on pages 25-29, or to register, use this QR Code.

Alex Woodward CCM appointed as new Chief Executive at UK’s Walton Heath Golf Club

General Manager role for Jim Quinn CMDip

Alex Woodward CCM is the new Chief Executive of Walton Heath Golf Club, in Surrey, England. Alex, who began his new role in September, joins from Surrey’s Hankley Common Golf Club where he was General Manager, a title which he also held with his previous employer, Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club, Essex. In 2020, Alex became the 57th Club Manager to achieve a CCM . • More details on page 10 in this issue.

Kerry London renews CMAE bursaries Kerry London Limited, part of the Kelliher Insurance Group, is providing two CMAE members with the opportunity to virtually attend the three day Annual European Conference on Club Management on 17-19 November. The ECEF Board will select two successful candidates and Kerry London will cover the costs for the delegate fees. All first time attendees are eligible, and need to explain in 750 words their commitment to using the knowledge gained to improve their club.

Kerry London’s Regional Managing Director, Dean Calaz, said: “We understand that managers need the opportunity to continue their professional development in order to make better decisions on how to minimise risk and accidents. In supporting this award again, we want to help to ensure a Manager or Supervisor continues to have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and take that back.” Marc Newey CCM CCE, ECEF CEO said: “We are very pleased that Kerry London has

continued to support CMAE members in this way. Taking time out to attend Conference even online is a considerable time commitment for a Club Manager. The return on the investment is often questioned but the success of the CMAE online seminars this year has shown how vital it is to keep engaged and up to date. Thank you, Dean and Kerry London.” Kerry London offers insurance to clubs and stadia, managers and professional players. •

CMAE Job of the Month: Club Secretary, Cavalry and Guards Club Closing Date: 5 November, 2021 The Cavalry and Guards Club is one of London’s premier private member clubs, with members primarily drawn from serving and retired officers, their spouses and family members, of qualifying Regiments. The club prides itself in providing a ‘home from home’ for its members and their guests and has occupied its current

premises since 1890. The club is fully licensed for members and non-members alike and is a member of the Distinguished Clubs of the World Association. It also enjoys reciprocal arrangements with 47 other private member clubs around the world. • For more high profile jobs visit CMAE’s jobs board at jobs-board

Jim Quinn CMDip has been appointed as General Manager at Sutton Golf Club, Ireland. Jim, who has a history in both accounting and IT, was formerly the Secretary Manager at Black Bush Golf Club for nearly four years, before being appointed to Sutton Golf Club just north of Dublin. “Joining CMAE was one of the best decisions I made since moving into club management,” said Jim. “It is hard to quantify exactly how much it has helped but I know that without it, and the support of the IGCMA (Irish Golf and Club Managers Association) that I would not be in this position now.” Jim is a current CMAE member and CMDip, having completed Parts 1, 2 and 3 of the Management Development Programme. “The power of the tribe is also a fantastic part of being a member of CMAE. There is always somebody on the end of a call, text or email and you get access to 100s of experts, for free!” he said.“Our results are important in this context because they show that being able to spend time outdoors under conditions of lockdown has a beneficial impact on psychological wellbeing. “Being outdoors provides opportunities to escape from the stresses of being confined at home, maintain social relationships with others, and engage in physical activity – all of which can improve mental health.” CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 5

News from the frontline Toro becomes official supplier for 2023 Solheim Cup in Spain The Toro Company has been appointed as the official supplier of irrigation systems and turf equipment for the 2023 Solheim Cup, taking place at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Andalucìa, Spain, September 18–24, 2023. Finca Cortesin has also extended its partnership with Toro and local distributor Riego Verde S.A. (Riversa) to continue supplying the course’s fleet of golf course maintenance equipment. Established in 1990, the Solheim Cup is

held every two years, a transatlantic team match-play competition featuring the 12 best European players from the Ladies European

Tour and the 12 best US players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. •

Maintaining momentum through winter play

Golf Genius’ winter league package presents a golden opportunity to capitalise on the increased levels of participation seen throughout 2021, says the company. “The dynamic has shifted in the last two years with a lot of clubs experiencing growth

and a more active membership meaning they need to turn to reliable software in order to provide a great product this winter season,” said Craig Higgs, Managing Director of Golf Genius International. “It’s imperative to retain the interest and participation of this new and

rejuvenated golf audience by putting your best foot forward and giving players a reason to get to the course despite the cold weather and shortened days.” Email for a free demonstration.

England Golf on training volunteers England Golf is launching a series of Club Activator Courses to provide specialist training for volunteers who help their PGA professionals with recruitment drives and beginner sessions at local golf clubs. The scheme, supported by a £50,000 grant from The R&A and backed by the PGA and the Golf Foundation, scheduled its first event at the National Golf Centre, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire on 27 September. The courses, led by an expert team of tutors, provide interactive and practical advice to enable attendees to learn the skills needed to support PGA members as they endeavour to bring new golfers into the game, and aims to introduce a new workforce of 500 Activators over the next three years. “We all know learning to play golf isn’t easy and that professional tuition is the key factor in turning people into golfers,” said England Golf’s head of participation, Rob Drinkwater. “However, playing and practising are the other fundamental elements and making this as enjoyable as possible is where the activators come in.” PGA chief executive, Robert Maxfield said: “PGA members are the gatekeepers of the game of golf, they do an incredible job in helping hundreds of thousands of people to access the game through coaching. We want to help our members by providing them with a way to reach even more people, especially juniors. The Activator programme does just that.” England Golf is currently looking for facilities to host Club Activator Courses in 2022 and would encourage interested clubs to get in touch. •

‘More Than A Game’ series launches Danish golf footwear brand, ECCO GOLF, has launched a new video series which features personalities who have dedicated their lives to the game of golf, designed to highlight why the sport is ‘More Than A Game’. The first episode in the series showcases female caddie Fanny Sunesson, who broke boundaries in the game during an illustrious career on the bag of some of the world’s greatest golfers, including Sir Nick Faldo, Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer. Sunesson racked up 25 professional tournament wins, while 6 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

she also caddied in six Ryder Cups and one Presidents Cup, making her the most successful female caddie in the history of golf. The full More Than A Game series can be viewed at throughout the next year, and will feature personalities from all parts of the golfing world, as well as a number of ECCO GOLF’s Tour ambassadors. Timo Vollrath, Global Marketing Manager at ECCO GOLF, said: “ We are dedicated to highlighting stories of those people who have gone the extra mile to pursue the sport they love, people

for whom golf is More Than A Game. That’s why this new series is such an important project for us and one which we are very excited about launching.” Episode one featuring Fanny Sunesson can be viewed at •

Score 50% off BT Sport With Budweiser Brewing Group. Simply add a draught Budweiser Brewing Group Brand to your bar to qualify. 12 month plan. New customers only. Call BT Sport now on

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BT Sport on 12 month contract: This offer is available, at BT’s discretion, to customers who have qualified for the BT/BBG Additional BBG Brand Offer or the BT/BBG New Customer Offer before 30th June 2021. This will be applied following confirmation that your additional BBG brand has been installed. Customers who take this offer must sign up to BT Sport Total with a 12 month minimum contractual period. If you terminate the service during the minimum period, you may incur early termination charges. If you are a Pub, Golf Club or club affiliated to Corca your subscription charges will be based on the rateable value of your premises. Please call to confirm your rateable value and BT Sport subscription price. Not available in conjunction with any other offers other than those mentioned above. This offer is subject to BT’s Agreement for BT Sport – Commercial Premises (Single Premises) which can be found at, BT/BBG New BT Sport Customer Offer.


Management Development Programme The CMAE’s Management Development Programme (MDP) was hosted online for the first time in November 2020. And now, as Covid restrictions are being eased, we’re delighted to also to be able to welcome members back to the classroom. GET INVOLVED Interested in attending a course date? Then please do get in touch with us by email on

MDPs go back to the classroom by popular demand Four more CMAE MDP (Management Development Programme) courses will return to classroom learning in 2022, with MDP Part 1 taking place in Manchester, Part 2 taking place in Stirling and Dublin and Part 3 taking place in Prague. The MDP Part 1 The first step on the CMAE MDP pathway, this course focuses on club operations and takes place on the 24-28 January at the Marriott Victoria & Albert hotel in Manchester’s city centre. MDP Part 2 Two MDP Part 2 courses will take place in the early months of 2022. The first is being held at the Stirling Court Hotel in Scotland on the 7-11 February (fully booked), the second at Ireland’s Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links in Dublin on the 7-11 March. The MDP Part 2 examines how to build and manage the club team and will help Club Managers to improve their management and critical thinking skill levels, including time management, negotiation, team building and conflict resolution.

Demand is high for these course, many places already having been booked by those who had registered their interest in the courses previously during lockdown. CMAE is constantly reviewing demand and supply, so watch out for new course additions. MDP - PLANNED DATES



MDP Part 1 18 - 22 October 2021 22 - 26 November 2021 6 - 10 December 2021 24-28 January 2022 8-12 May 2022 August 2022 October/November 2022

Online Online Online Manchester, England Dubai, UAE London, England Stirling, Scotland


MDP Part 2 4-8 October 2021 1-5 November 2021 29 November - 3 December 2021 7-11 February 2022 7-11 March 2022 8-12 May 2022 November 2022

Online Online Antequera, Spain (in Spanish) Stirling, Scotland Dublin, Ireland Dubai, UAE Manchester, England


MDP Golf Management 29 November - 3 December 2021 28 March - 1 April 2022

St Andrews, Scotland St Andrews, Scotland


MDP Food & Beverage Management 14-18 March 2022 TBC 8-12 May 2022 Dubai, UAE

CMAE CMAE & Dubai Golf

MDP 3 Strategy & Leadership 17-21 January 2022 2022-2023

Prague, Czech Republic Budapest, Hungary


MDP Sport & Recreation 1 - 5 August 2022

London, England


To register your interest in attending any of the above courses please contact or use this QR code (see left).

Stirling, Scotland

Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, Dublin


MDP Part 3 This MDP focuses on Strategy & Leadership and takes place at the Hotel Majestic Plaza in Prague, Czech Republic on the 17-21 January. MDP 3 is aimed at managers who wish to enhance their management style and tap into their leadership potential in order to operate the club as a successful business. Commenting was CMAE Director of Education Torbjörn ‘Toby’ Johansson who said “We are taking our first steps into classroom learning again. We are proud over what we accomplished online the last 18 months but the demand for in-person training is overwhelming. We will continue to do training online, but hope to be able to launch all Management Development Programmes (MDPs) in all our locations in 2022. We will monitor the situation and also create new policies and procedures to


make sure the welfare of our delegates comes first”. • More information and booking forms for all of the CMAE’s MDP courses can be found at

BMI International The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) are excited to bring to you the 2022 Business Management Institute (BMI) International in Edinburgh, Scotland on 6-11 October 2022. Event highlights will include: • An opening reception at The Signet Library, one of Edinburgh’s finest Georgian buildings. • A visit to the New Club of Edinburgh. Despite its name, this is Scotland’s oldest club, formed in 1787. The premier city club boasts spectacular views of the castle. • A Gala Dinner on the Royal Yacht Britannia, the Queen’s floating holiday home for 40 years. • An evening of traditional Scottish Country dancing and an evening meal of traditional ‘stovies’.

St Andrews

Heights Restuarant, Apex Hotel

Timetable (subject to change) Day 1: Book Signet Library Day 2: MacDonald Holyrood Subject: Mentoring, young people & innovation Day 3: North Berwick Subject: Farm to fork Day 4: New Club, St Andrews + The R&A Clubhouse Subject: Change Management & Club Heritage Day 5: The New Club, Princes Street, Edinburgh Subject: Governance & Sociology

Day 6: Royal Burgess, Barnton, Edinburgh Subject: Women in Management Final dinner at Royal Yacht Britannia

• Full details can be found at: BMI-conference-schedule or by using this QR Code.

CMAA 2022 World Conference and Club Business Expo February 19-23, 2022 San Diego Convention Center, California Registration opens November 2021. Join club management professionals from the US and around the world for the club industry’s largest annual gathering, CMAA’s World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo. This annual event offers five days of unparalleled professional development and education, networking opportunities, hospitality experiences, and the latest innovations in the industry showcased in the twoday expo. As a club management professional, there are many people relying on your success, and you deliver day in and day out—making sure members are satisfied, staff is engaged, and your facilities are up to date. Continue to be the leader your club needs by keeping your skills sharp and your industry knowledge current. Attendance to World Conference is mandatory to any European manager who wishes to sit the Certified Club Manager Exam (CCM), and is also an

excellent event to broaden knowledge and network, with over 2,000 other club industry personnel in attendance. Registration – Registration for the World Conference is complimentary for anyone who has attended a CMAE MDP in the last two years (unless they used their free pass earlier). Anyone who has not attended an MDP course in the last two years but still wishes to go to the World Conference can do so at the regular rate. Certified Club Managers are entitled to 1 complimentary place at the World Conference every five years.

MDP delegates – If you completed an MDP in the past three years please use the code GLOBALBMI to get your complimentary education only registration. Please follow all instructions as every registration will be verified before confirmed. CCM delegates – If you want to use your CCM recertification to register for a complimentary education only registration, please use the code GLOBALCCM. • More details will become available at or by using this QR Code.



Walton Heath Golf Club Alex Woodward CCM has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England. We caught up with Alex to find out more about the man, his mission and the new job. Congratulations on the new job Alex. Please tell us a bit about Walton Heath Golf Club. Walton Heath is a 36 hole private members’ club steeped in a very rich history. It has been host to a large number of events such as the 1981 Ryder Cup, The European Open, The Senior’s Open and in 2023 will host the AIG Women’s Open. It has also hosted a large number of prestigious amateur events for both men and ladies. The Club has laid claim to some very accomplished and famous members too, along with none other than James Braid being their Club Professional until his passing in 1950. What will be your key priorities as Chief Executive at your new club? The key priorities will immediately be the oversight of a 26 week on-course installation of a completely new irrigation system to both courses. Away from this I look forward to immersing myself in the existing club culture, meeting members and familiarising myself with the 50 strong staff working there already. Walton Heath has already produced a Strategic Plan for the next five years and beyond, and it will be the highest quality delivery of this plan that will also be my main focus. The Club is a great venue for golf and membership, which I am relishing the opportunity to make even greater. You’ve been in club management for several years now, first at Boyce Hill Golf Club then Hankley Common. What was your background before you moved into the club world? Before working in Club Management I spent six years working for IMG and European Tour Productions, before setting up an exhibitions company in South Africa which delivered wine exhibitions all over the country. I am also an avid golfer, having gained a golf scholarship to study my degree in Sports Management & Business Administration in the USA and was Captain of Essex County here in the UK from 2013 - 2016.


You became a CCM in 2020, becoming the 57th Club Manager in Europe and the Middle East to do so. Did the CCM help with gaining your new role at Walton Heath? The tribe and CCM qualification have absolutely contributed to my development and ability as a manager and leader. To apply the learnings, speak to the network and having the safe environment to ask questions and ever continue my professional development has been immeasurable in my club career advancement. I am lucky that some of those I have met along the way, I can now describe as friends.

Chairman’s welcome “I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Alex Woodward as our new Chief Executive and Secretary. Alex was previously the General Manager at Hankley Common Golf Club, prior to which he was the General Manager at Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club, a James Braid designed Club in Essex. “Alex brings a wealth of experience to the role with us at Walton Heath. In the last few years, under Alex’s guidance, Hankley Common GC has hosted the English Men’s Amateur Championship and will be the venue for the Men’s Home Internationals in September. He has also worked closely with Mackenzie & Ebert to develop a Course Masterplan for the enhancement of the Course and in parallel has overseen the implementation of a new irrigation system. “Alex is also a very accomplished golfer playing off +1. He captained Essex County Golf from 2013 to 2016, and whilst at Hankley has represented their first team. I am sure that all Members will give Alex a warm welcome to Walton Heath and wish him a long and successful career.”



We were looking at a number of software products, but it became clear to us that Golf Genius offered the complete package. We see ourselves as a benchmark facility, setting the standard in the industry, and that perfectly fits with what Golf Genius are all about. The mobile app, personalised scorecards and digital leaderboards are extremely popular with bespoke branding on corporate days and charity events, WHS has worked great for members and guests which provide an enhanced golf experience and a added value to our events. The product is easy to use on mobile and desktop”

DANNY CHAPMAN Operations Manager


Golf Saudi steps up to the mark – with bells on It’s now been almost a year since Golf Saudi signed a bold new partnership with the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) back in 2020. In the intervening 12 months, both parties have been hard at work to implement a series of multi-level, certified Arabic language educational programmes, amidst new launches, new strategies, new goals and ambitious targets.


olf Saudi is as committed as ever to delivering a dynamic programme that transforms the golfing landscape by embarking on this training and education pathway. Becoming one of the most innovative golf markets in the world will only be possible through the upskilling of this domestic work force. Golf is good for business and can provide a direct boost to the Kingdom’s GDP, as well as providing lucrative jobs and creating new enterprise. The CMAE partnership has never been more important in terms of helping achieve Golf Saudi’s ultimate mission to develop Saudi nationals as leaders of the country’s golfing ecosystem. This is where the CMAE comes in, and by working together, Golf Saudi has already been able to make progress on core human resources targets of growing the domestic golf talent pool and ultimately creating new Saudi National Certified Club Managers. There is now an education and training pathway in place for Saudi Nationals to become equipped with the knowledge to embark on a role within the golf industry. As the priority for Golf Saudi is to have 2,250 Saudi nationals working in the golf industry by 2025 and to reach 3,750 nationals by 2030, our partnership with the CMAE is the starting point for this. The future of the game lies with the young, and if


Golf Saudi is to succeed, the organisation through CMAE’s assistance will need to convince as many young men and women as possible to not only take up the game of golf, but also believe that a future career in golf is as viable, as it is attractive. A busy year With all of this in mind, this has been another incredibly busy year for Golf Saudi, with the hosting of the Saudi International Powered by SoftBank Investment Advisors, the launch of the inaugural

Aramco Team Series the first ladies team event series of its kind, and the expansion of its National Sustainable Golf Strategy. As part of the National Sustainable Golf Strategy rollout, Golf Saudi has also launched new Green and Social agendas. These come together to create a singular golfing ecosystem which encourages best practice when it comes to environmental initiatives for golf course development as well as their operation. Since the formation of the National Sustainable Golf Strategy, it’s certainly been all systems go! Simultaneously, opportunities are being created via the Social Agenda, encouraging the population to pick-up the game for the first time, through education and training programmes, creating a national recruitment pool offering future careers in the golf industry for Saudi nationals. The launch of this Social Agenda in February 2021 was a vital first step in reaching our goals, as the programme is centred upon both the creation of employment opportunities and also education and leisure activities, which attract Saudis to the game in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Since its formation in 2018, Golf Saudi has organised a series of ambitious domestic and international events in order to entice the next generation of Saudis into the game with the goal of creating 20,000 new golfers over the next five years.

Showcasing the Kingdom By hosting events, Golf Saudi is able to showcase the Kingdom at its best with the events being shown around the world, enhancing Saudi Arabia’s reputation as a golfing destination for its citizens and international visitors alike. Following the continued success of the Saudi International powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers, first played in 2019, Golf Saudi wanted to expand its events programme to ensure that Saudi women were also fully encouraged and inspired to take up the game. This led to the conception and creation of the first-ever professional women’s golf events in 2020, with two back-to-back events in Jeddah – The Aramco Saudi Ladies International, presented by Public Investment Fund, and the Saudi Ladies Team International. The success of the team’s event led to the creation of the Aramco Team Series at the beginning of this year, which saw four tournaments take place across three continents in 2021, with the world’s best players teaming up with amateur golfers to compete for a $1m prize fund per tournament in London, Sotogrande, New York and Jeddah. Social Agenda and Mass Participation The Social Agenda is an integral part of the organisation’s plans to ensure Golf Saudi remains fully committed to making golf inclusive for all in the Kingdom. Funds, time and staff resources are not invested solely into events showcasing the progress the Kingdom is making, but to also enhance the Mass Participation pillar. Often run in tandem with tournaments, Golf Saudi’s Mass Participation activities range from the National Schools Programme, endorsed by the Ministry of Education, aiming to get over 100,000 school children learning golf as part of the physical education curriculum by 2025, to free access to golf mobile activation events. Many activation events are placed in high footfall areas that entice passers-by to try the game out for the first time. They take place alongside a vast urban golf strategy which focuses on developing facilities such as entertainment ranges, adventure golf, simulator cafes, indoor venues and other public access facilities such as municipal golf courses, miniature putting courses and short course layout, thus creating a golf touch point all corners of society. Other successful campaigns launched in the past 12 months include the award-winning, highly acclaimed Ladies First Club, followed by Let It Fly, which offers a complimentary pathway for Saudi Nationals to begin playing golf. Ladies First Club The Ladies First Club, launched in November 2020 at the Aramco Saudi Ladies International (presented by Public Investment Fund), is a world-first, aiming to provide 1,000 women in Saudi Arabia with their first golf club membership and a pathway to enter the game in the best possible manner. Everyone at Golf Saudi has been very pleasantly surprised by the high uptake from Saudi women with more than 1,000 new golfers signing-up in just four days. Since the official start of the programme in 2021, members have been given a digital ‘Introduction to Golf’ edu-

In 2020 the Saudi Ladies Team International was launched, part of Golf Saudi’s aim to inspire Saudi women to take up the game. cation pack, along with access to monthly golf clinics once a month, as well as an on-course induction for all participants and the chance to play 9-hole round. Let It Fly Following on from this success, Golf Saudi wanted to build on that early traction within its Mass Participation programme, leading to the launch of the Let It Fly campaign at the 2021 Saudi International, powered by SoftBank Investment Advisers. This brand-new concept aims to introduce, entertain and educate Saudis about golf. Golf Saudi CEO, Majed Al Sorour believes that that when Saudi citizens play a sport, if they have fun, it is far more likely that they are going to come back, pursue it and potentially become future golfers. That is exactly what Golf Saudi has set out to achieve with the rollout of Let It Fly. The campaign has been rolled out across schools, clubs and throughout major cities in Saudi Arabia this year. Through modern and smart equipment, Let It Fly has been adapted to suit the needs and abilities of all age groups and technical abilities. Those that then enjoy and continue with the game can join Golf Saudi’s elite development programme, becoming future Saudi golfing stars in the process. Environmental innovation The team at Golf Saudi has also been working closely with the GEO Foundation this year to ensure that high standards and significant environmental innovation is built into the development and operations of all its events, programmes and facilities. This is a vital element within the Green Agenda. In parallel, there are important new aspects of research and development underway, widely relevant to golf, such as a new venture with Atlas Turf to develop the region’s first internationally licensed golf and sports turf farm in Saudi Arabia, distributing some of the world’s most cli-

matically adapted turf species. With the first sprigs being planted in the first of many locations in August 2021, the Turf Farm will allow each individual golf development to eliminate the requirement to establish project based turf nurseries thereby reducing use of natural resources, fertilizers, chemicals and so on. It is this central thinking that is the main benefit of a national turf farm. The creation of the turf farm follows key principals for sustainable practice. From site selection to operation, every step is being developed through the lens of sustainable practice and aligned with the National Sustainability Strategy. Ecosystem restoration through golf, harnessing renewable energy, comprehensive water resource management and building circularity into golf’s supply chain all form the backbone of the world’s first national golf sustainability programme. These efforts led Golf Saudi to sign-up the United Nations Sports for Climate Framework, demonstrating the organisation’s commitment to sustainability, with announcements that will accelerate action and results across a range of priority environmental and climate issues. All of this is vital if the organisation is to successfully secure the legacy of golf within the Kingdom, protecting the game for future generations. The growth of the partnerships within the Green Agenda, and with over 20 new facilities currently in various stages of development, all aligned with the National Sustainability Strategy, Golf Saudi’s need to furnish these facilities with a Saudi national workforce equipped and ready to operate has never been more important. Golf Saudi is at a crucial junction, with the need to educate and train people vital to future success. So all in all, there is lots going on and there will be even more progress to come in 2022. The future of golf in Saudi Arabia is currently burning very brightly.




Two years in the life of a CCM General Manager John Lawler CCM was delighted and proud to be appointed General Manager of Royal Portrush Golf Club in October 2019. Now, two years in the role, he shares his experiences with Clubhouse Europe.


have enjoyed the challenges presented by managing a Club of the scale and stature of Royal Portrush immensely. And like every other Club Manager, the effects of the pandemic over the last 18 months have required us all to think on our feet and find creative ways to deal with the restrictions imposed on our Clubs. As a Certified Club Manager, I have found the support of my colleagues in the Irish Golf Club and Managers’ Association [IGCMA] and the Club Managers’ Association of Europe [CMAE] invaluable. I speak frequently with some of my colleagues in Ireland and further afield and, as the saying goes, a problem shared is a problem halved. There is a fantastic support network with trust at its core that allows me to pick up a phone, and equally allows others to contact me to share ideas and challenges. We all face common issues and the proactive efforts of the CMAE and IGCMA in keeping us all talking and sharing, albeit remotely, during the last 16 months have been greatly appreciated. I was appointed as General Manager during the


week of the Open Championship in 2019 and was not part of the build up to or hosting of the 148th Open. I had the incredible experience of getting a course tour on the morning before my final interview a month before the Open and the sight of enormous grandstands and massive infrastructure served to remind me of the scale of this job and the excitement of having an opportunity to take on the role. My predecessor, Wilma Erskine, has done an excellent job in putting Royal Portrush on the global map for golf and I am excited to take on the challenge of continuing her hard work. I am fortunate to be surrounded by a dedicated team of hard working and enthusiastic people. I see one of my key roles as creating an environment for everyone at the Club to do their best work and we all work hard to support each other working towards our collective goal of ensuring Royal Portrush is one of the world’s leading golf clubs. I can genuinely say it felt thrilling when we were first approached about hosting the 153rd Open in 2025. It is one of the world’s great sporting events

and for it to return to this small corner of Northern Ireland is a remarkable tribute to the hard work put in by everyone in the lead up to the 148th Open. Starting with the Members, the team here and to the wider community – everyone embraced the Open, and the recurring comment I hear is that it felt like a festival of golf. Everyone bought in to this positive shared experience and were proud to show the world everything that Royal Portrush, the Causeway Coast and Glens area and Northern Ireland has to offer. We have barely caught breath and it is coming back in 2025. I am excited by the journey that the next three and a half years will bring me and the Club as we prepare to host this storied event again. We are fortunate that no major course changes are required as significant work was carried out in advance of 2019, and any work in the lead up to 2025 will have less impact on day to day golf for our members and visitors. Part of the enjoyment of working in golf club management is the wide range of areas that you are involved in. This is a topic that I have discussed with

We have developed very ambitious plans to get the Club to carbon neutral status… As our Captain often says, we are only custodians of this land, and it is our responsibility to hand it on in safely to the next generation.

my colleagues in the industry, and we are fortunate to be presented with new areas for our input and management on a regular basis. The same is true of Royal Portrush, and one of the big items I am currently working on with our Course Manager, Graeme Beatt, is our drive towards carbon neutrality. We have developed very ambitious plans to get the Club to carbon neutral status. This will include smaller items such as improved waste recycling and the reduction in the volume of waste we generate, but also bigger items such as making use of solar power to run more of our operation and the introduction of an electric fleet of course machinery. The potential in this whole area is huge. It is a fast moving space with lots of new ideas emerging that require consideration, but it is such an exciting pro-

ject and shows the Club’s commitment to protecting the local environment and behaving responsibly in how we look after this precious site and the local area. As our Captain often says, we are only custodians of this land, and it is our responsibility to hand it on in safely to the next generation. Royal Portrush is not immune from the issues of staff shortages experienced throughout the UK and Ireland at the moment. The area of food & beverage in particular has been impacted significantly by a move of people out of this industry. It has been a long summer for the team here and we have had to reduce our normal opening hours and availability of services to ensure days off while we continue our recruitment process. The Members have been very supportive, and we have tried to communicate fre-

quently and effectively to help them understand the challenges that we are currently facing. 2022 will be a busy year for the Club with the expected return of overseas visitors and a full range of Member competitions and we are looking forward to having our normal service levels restored in time for this. The two years since I moved from The Island Golf Club in Dublin have flown by, and my wife Vicki and I are very happy in our new home in Portrush. It is a staggeringly beautiful part of the world and even now, I still stop to take photos. The support shown to me by the Officers, Council, Members and the team I work with has been fantastic and I describe it as an atmosphere where you feel people want you to do well. That is a wonderful environment for me and the team to be in and I enjoy coming to work every day and seeing what challenges lie ahead. The lead up to 2025 will be very busy with lots of member golf, excited visitors arriving and preparations for The Open. And I am looking forward to it immensely!




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The Narcissist andthe Club of Mutual Distrust Within every club, the opposing tensions of mutual distrust and narcissism prevail, warns David Roy CCM. Tongue in cheek but with serious messaging, here he identifies the main protagonists.


he members who group together, agitating and conniving to bend the decision makers to their will, do so purely to shape the club to suit their needs. They profess in the most earnest tones that the changes in policy they seek are ‘common sense’ and ‘what the members want’. Howling with indignant rage, they stalk the lounge and locker room searching for allies and beam with contentment whenever they ‘win’. These bands of malcontents are easily defined as follows: 1. The Club of the Parsimonious No amount of financial prudence is ever sufficient. It is easy to make the mistake that the miserly are content with the lowering of standards to avoid a subscription increase but this is rarely the case. Admittedly, there are always a few cranks who would be satisfied to sit in a garden shed and play golf over a ploughed field but these eccentrics are never representative. Similarly, it is just as dangerous to dismiss the ungenerous, who can be a useful counterbalance to the spendthrifts. 2. The Pack of Cliques The first tee is the fiefdom of a whole range of members whose lifestyles coalesce around a certain pattern. The early birds who play directly after finishing nightshift, the mid-morning grandparents and the heavy drinkers who enjoy an afternoon round so that they are finished in time for a session at the bar. Distress, misery and anguish will befall these members should anyone audaciously take ‘their’ tee times and they will growl, snarl and yap at any figure of authority to preserve their status as overlords of the first tee. Their demands can never be reconciled and it is pointless to try. 3. The Gang of Committed Socialisers To some, the clubhouse is their domain and they view the playing of golf as a necessary evil to be endured to enable them to enjoy life in the lounge. No menu can ever be elaborate enough, no bar price cheap enough, no amount of social functions are sufficient. They are bemused at why so many of their fellow members would choose not to spend any money in the lounge, which they see as the primary element of club life. However, the barflies can often be charming,

and be relied upon to support the summer barbecue just as much as the New Year Ball, and their support can be very useful. The problems caused by these members are significant and tiresome. At times, they simply depress the spirits of staff and volunteers but at their worst, can negatively impact the business of the club and with it, the lives of the families of the staff who depend on the wages. The problem is universal and undying but well worth tackling with energy and vigour. Improved member engagement, member surveys and effective communications all help but the root of the problem lies in the membership contract. Most clubs are very poor at clearly articulating their abiding culture and consequently, tend to try and be all things to all people. The most successful clubs are the best at avoiding this pitfall and are perhaps unembarrassed to be single gender, or proudly heavy drinking or pleasantly rural. The trick is to find an unambiguous way of illustrating the style and nature of the club, ensuring that no new member can be under any illusion as to what is being offered.

Look again at your website. Do you make promises that can’t be delivered? Does the application form explain what is expected of the members? At any point of the application process, does anyone spell out what the club culture is? In fairness, most clubs haven’t worked out what they are and by extension, what is required of each member. In a perfect world, this work can be facilitated by industry experts but it is hard to persuade a committee to spend money on such an esoteric project. It is therefore perfectly acceptable to fill this void with your own perceptions of what your club is. You have the opportunity to be the editor of your club comms and should use it. It is surprising how quickly a club can be shaped though the natural membership churn. If every new member is provided with a written explanation of the club culture, within a few years, there will be a couple of hundred members who will find great difficulty in complaining that they have been ‘sold a pup’. Andrew Carnegie famously stated that ‘Mutual ignorance breeds mutual distrust’. In an age when it has never been easier to communicate, there is no excuse for ignorance within a membership.



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The Festival of Clubs November 25-26, 2021 With events now back on the hospitality agenda, the Festival of Clubs promises to be an important new addition to Clubland’s calendar. See you there? he Festival of Clubs is a series of events, from trade shows to celebratory dinners and business-building ideas, all designed to welcome back Clubland in a safe, fun, free and invaluable two-day event, all built on the ever popular Club Awards and annual Beer Festival. The Festival brings together clubs, associations and suppliers, all keen to network, celebrate and join together to help each other bounce back from the lates, long lockdown.


THE STORY SO FAR The Club Awards, owned and run by Club Mirror, are the only awards serving the UK’s buoyant club sector. The eagerly awaited annual event, launched to great acclaim back in 1992, continues to represent an exclusive, rare opportunity to bring together the independent club sector and suppliers at one venue.




AND NOW IN 2021 Due to Coronavirus, the 2020 Club Awards were unable to take place. Throughout the pandemic, clubs across the land were busy working within their communities, from setting up food banks to acting as vaccination centres. At the same time, they have been refurbishing and revamping their clubs as they prepared for the long-awaited reopening. Our annual event in 2021 is therefore a celebration of clubs across the land.

EVENTS TIMETABLE DAY 1: THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2021 • Club Association Lunch (12.30pm2.30pm) • Club Business 2021 trade show (3pm7pm) • Club Mirror Beer Festival (3pm-6pm) • Club Awards Celebratory Dinner Drinks reception (6pm-7pm) • Club Awards Celebratory Dinner (7pm - late)

DAY 2: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2021 • Raceday – Free tickets for attendees of Day 1


Club Business 2021 The inaugural Club Business trade show will see clubs and club-supporting suppliers seizing the opportunity to network with their peers, club associations and industry experts, all with the aim of building club business, protecting the bottom line and ensuring that members can enjoy the best possible experience as they come back to their favourite club. The show takes place on Day 1 of the first-ever Festival of Clubs, where clubs and suppliers can share news, swap views and discuss latest updates on what’s on the market in an infomal setting.

CARE TO JOIN US? Whether you’d like to visit Club Business 2021 or celebrate in style at the Club Awards Celebratory Dinner, just drop the team a line and we’ll book you in. e. t.+44 (0) 1753 272022




Introducing new trade show Club Business 2021


FESTIVAL OF CLUBS 2021 Ticket Requirements • CLUB AWARDS CELEBRATORY DINNER•HAIL THE ALE • CLUB BUSINESS 2021 TRADE SHOW Please note (and with the pandemic in mind) that all monies will be refunded should the event be unable to take place for any reason.

Join us and clubs from around the country as we come together at the club event of the year – the inaugural Festival of Clubs from the team at Club Mirror and the Club Awards. Use this form to book your tickets or just email us at

Name: __________________________________________ Job title/role: ________________________________________ Club Name: _________________________________________ Address: __________________________________________ _______________________________________________ ____________________________ Post code: _____________ CONTACT DETAILS: Please contact me via:

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Email – Email: _____________________________________ Text – Mobile no: ___________________________________ Post – (as above)


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(State number) .......... ticket/tickets @£66 (£55+VAT) 1 x Table of 10 @ £528 (£440 + VAT) Other (please state) .......................................................................................................................... Yes please, I would like free tickets to the Raceday on Friday November 26


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Hail the Ale Beer FestivAL Club Business 2021

We look forward to hearing from you.

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Building on Success – European Conference 2021 2020 was the year that most of us will remember but hope to forget. Lockdowns, restrictions, the unknown, mental struggles, job losses, cancelled events and so much more became the story of that year. How will 2021 be described? The 2021 CMAE European Conference will explore the past, present and future.


lthough Coronavirus restrictions are loosening and countries are opening up their boarders once more, we don’t see the numbers of cases dropping to a level we were all hoping for. We must however – and will - remain positive and keep moving forward. Like the rest of the world, CMAE had a really tough 2020. January and February were amazing, but then it all stopped. We turned to webinars, trying to give what we could at that point in time, and, by the end of the year, we had delivered an online European Conference attended by record numbers. We also managed the transition from classroom MDPs to MDPs online thanks to much dedication and training. We can now look back on a year where educational deliveries online became the norm. But now the transition back to the classroom has started, as you’ll see from the MDP Programme in this issue (see pages 8-9). The European Conference is staying online one more time, however. With some uncertainty still surrounding international travel and quarantine requirements, we couldn’t guarantee that an event of this size could safely take place. It’s essential that our delegates feel comfortable at an event which is so full of networking opportunities and relaxed, engaging conversations. This year’s theme is ‘Ain’t no mountain high enough’, which can and should be interpreted in your own way. We could talk about the career development, always going after bigger and bigger jobs. Instead, though, you should actually find your own mountain and match the job to what you can deliver. We could also talk about professional development, climbing that mountain and how to prepare, how to plan and what to have in your backpack. There are numerous other ways that people may interpret the theme (and thanks to Debbie Pern, CCM who came up with it). The Conference will focus on the 11 core competencies with seminars and keynotes in all of them. We will record all sessions so you don’t miss any seminars while choosing one over the other. Also, if you have a meeting at work – you can still do that and not miss a keynote. The three days are designed similarly to last year with a few changes and additions. Monday 15th November will have more keynotes and seminars to get the first day off to a great start. The main day of keynotes and

CONFERENCE DATES AND TIMETABLE DAY 1 – Monday, 15 November Education 09.00-18.45 then After Education

DAY 3 – Wednesday, 17 November Education 09.00-16.45 then After Education

DAY 2 – Tuesday, 16 November Education 09.00-18.00 then After Education

For full details visit cmae-conf-2021-programme or use this QR code.

seminars will be Tuesday 16th while Wednesday 17th goes deeper with workshops. Delegates will have the option to participate in at least three full workshops (or join all six). We are proud of this year’s hand-picked presenters, a balance of professional speakers and managers sharing best practice. Internationally well-known

people such as Megan Reiz and Rasmus Ankersen will be joined by top-rated speaker Ross Matheson and club industry guru Gregg Patterson. With a truly international flavour, speakers will join us from the US, Canada, Hong Kong, UAE, Qatar, Denmark, Italy and many other countries. We look forward seeing you – join us.




DAY 1 – 15 NOVEMBER, 2021 09.00-09.45


Open CMAE Meeting – Information about European Conference 2021 + CMAE 2022- Strategic Plan – MDPs - CMAE Portfolio

“The manager in the arena: high performance performance in a competitive environment” KEYNOTE SPEAKER Ian Peek MSc., MPGA This keynote speech is about creating and sustaining a successful management career. The arena is the manager’s workplace and positioning among their colleagues. The content of this presentation comes from the 60+ hours Ian has spent interviewing 15 of the world’s leading professional Golfers on how they made it to the top in their chosen arena. But this presentation is not about playing Golf. It concerns itself with the personal and professional decisions these individuals made to create and sustain successful careers. Drawing on his PhD research into these high performing individuals Ian analyses their strategical and operational frameworks during four career phases: • Entering the arena:belonging or not belonging? • Adapting to the challenge: learning the rules of success • Taking the audience acclaim: when are you at the top of your game? • Leaving the arena: when and how?

10.30-11.30 Seminar – “Eating the Big Fish” Sandra Tinari & Jack McCluskey, Dubai Golf How video marketing can fit into your marketing plans for the club. Seminar – “Committing to the future” The pros and cons about committing fully with technology at the club Rhys Beecher CCM & Nico-James Visser With a multitude of software’s available to the club managers, what key decisions are involved and how can we make sure the technology is working for us? How do you decide what is in the best interests of the consumer and what helps enhance operational efficiencies? In an environment where software providers are updating and adding new features at the same rates as iOS! Making the best use of your technology requires commitment from your respective teams. This means not only being aware of what the technology is providing to your members or guests, but also ensuring your team have ownership and training to drive the usage.

12.00-12.45 Alliance Partner Meeting

13.00-13.45 Corporate Partner Meeting


15.30-16.30 “Do you really ever reach the summit?” KEYNOTE SPEAKER Ross Matheson – AELTC GM Ross Matheson (AELTC Club Manager) talks about the latest journey in the delivery of the 2021 Championships and how we managed to look after over 300,000 tennis fans! Sometimes with all the preparation, planning and pre paving there are many outcomes you simply can’t predict.

How does a Club Manager work with his team to get ready, what’s the advice when you are about to embark and when things go wrong, how do you change course, learn and react quickly? Take some more steps with me in my brief presentation as we all reach upwards towards our next summit.

17.00-18.00 Welcome to CMAE European Conference 2021 Torbjörn ‘Toby’ Johansson, James Burns CCM Adam Rowledge – If you want to reach your five star dream, you need to build a FIVE STAR team If you expect your team to deliver a five-star service and achieve five-star results, then you need to embed a FIVE STAR culture first. If you want a culture of empowerment and engagement in your business, then you need to focus on your team in the same way that you focus on your members. It’s essential to prioritise personalised employee experience development over standardised customer service training in order to maximise the potential of your people. If you do, expect higher sales, lower costs, increased member satisfaction and reduced employee turnover. No matter the size or scope of your club, Adam has helped businesses from boutique bed and breakfasts to retail multinationals with his 8-lesson methodology.

18.00-18.45 After Work – Tribute to Corporate Partners 2021

18.45 Open platform >

DAY 2 – 16 NOVEMBER, 2021 08.45-09.45

Coffee Break – Gatherly

“The ABCs of managing your 2ICs (second in command)” KEYNOTE SPEAKER James Cronk Does the idea of lounging on a beach make you sweat… or sweat with worry? Do you wonder if your managers are stupendous... or maybe slightly stupid? Having trouble keeping your management team on-task, accountable and focused on their mission? In this session you will learn some of the ABC’s for successfully managing your 2ICs (Second In Command’s… i.e. Golf Professional, Superintendent, F&B Manager, Chef, Sales Manager, etc). You will learn some of the best practices for setting measurable KPI’s, establishing effective two-way communication tools, writing contracts and job descriptions, and even how to hire (and fire) them if needed.

“Hunger in Paradise” KEYNOTE SPEAKER Rasmus Ankersen While organisations talk a lot about how to achieve success, they talk way too little about the consequences of success. About the complacency, arrogance and resistance to change, which often follow as a shadow of success. In his new book “Hunger in Paradise" Rasmus describes how successful companies can stay successful and eliminate complacency. In his dynamic and engaging keynote, Rasmus Ankersen brings to life the lessons to be learned from some of the worlds most successful organisations.

Coffee Break – Gatherly


10.15-11.15 Seminar 1 – “Operations Excellence” Dan Naudo CMDIp & Brad Gould Operational Excellence has played a pivotal role in both our careers and we want to share our insights on successful methods to get the best from your operation. There isn't one operational facility we have spoken to over the last 18 months that hasn't experienced difficulties within service levels or employee life cycles and the balance that comes with leading your team whilst maintaining KPIs within the business. We hope that by sharing some of our best practices around operational excellence you can implement these in your facility and make a difference for your staff, members and guests.

10.15-11.15 Seminar 1 – “Skills over structure: protecting the future of your club through governance” Ed Chapman CMDip In this fascinating and interactive presentation, derived from a 24-week Master’s degree research project, you will learn how governance structures and board composition affect organisational performance; what golf club managers see as the key challenges facing them; and the use, or lack of use, of corporate management practices.

10.15-11.15 Seminar 1 – “If you had the chance to start from scratch, what would you do?” Ed Edwards CCM, COO Golf Saudi Listen and participate with Golf Saudi COO Ed Edwards and hear how they are building golf in Saudi Arabia. A number of his amazing Team of people will share their stories and how it all ties back to sustainability. What would You do if you had a blank piece of paper? Would you start with your WHY? This session is not to be missed.


Lunch – Gatherly

Seminar 2 – “The truth about working abroad” Brodie McDonald CMDip & David Shepherd The real truths about working abroad. “We will bring to life our experiences, both good and bad of living in Southern Europe, Scandinavia, Middle East and Asia. We will share thoughts on choosing the right role, venue, employer, owner, timing and what to expect as individual or family.” Practical hints and recommendations for the best way to secure your dream job abroad.

13.15-14.15 Seminar 2 – “Leading your committee” Alex Woodward CCM This seminar will highlight roles and responsibilities in the committee room, and reflect on Guiding and Influencing to get the right results. Also: how you can use the alphabet to describe the role of a GM with committee and members, and the importance of educating staff and evidence your committee.

13.15-14.15 Seminar 2 – “10 Golden Rules for not getting hacked” Les Durno & Paul Mainstone Facts, figures and statistics around cyber in small businesses. The difference between hardware and software defences and those needed from people; Cyber Essentials and how it helps; a quick demonstration of Cyber Smart and why it is important; plus Q&As. Les shares his experience on being hacked and the implications while Paul will help delegates make sure it won’t happen to anyone else. Coffee Break – Gatherly

14.45-15.45 “Speaking truth to power” KEYNOTE SPEAKER Megan Reitz

Megan is Professor of Leadership and Dialogue at Ashridge where she speaks, researches, consults and supervises on the intersection of leadership, change, dialogue and mindfulness. Speaking truth to power is extremely topical at the moment. “With my research partners, I have been examining the consequences of staying silent on matters of misconduct, the need for people up and down the formal hierarchy to speak up with disruptive, innovative ideas as well as the ‘conversational habits’ we hold personally, in our teams and organisations, which include or exclude diverse voices. Coffee Break – Gatherly

15.00-16.00 Seminar 3 – “Becoming a Golf Club General Manager : The Trials and Tribulations from moving from General Industry to the Golf Industry” Adrian Wood CMDip & Michael Braidwood CCM How can you support someone interested in moving from General Industry to the Golf Industry – real challenges and solutions. Also: discussions and facts about working in the two industries which are so similar but worlds apart: what Golf Managers should know!

15.00-16.00 Seminar 3 – “The science behind Boomers and Swingers – why understanding human behaviour and emotions can lead to bigger profits” Nick Solski CCM Nick runs Boomers and Swingers, described as ‘The Best Ball Whacking Field in Manchester’! “Everyone is welcome here at Boomers & Swingers, whether you're a seasoned golfer or just want to hit balls at tanks!” This is a session where you will laugh, as well as come out with a bunch of new ideas that might be possible to turn into your own.

15.00-16.00 Seminar 3 – “The future of IT in the club space” Richard Clements & George Stavros, Pacesetter With digital trends already in place at many clubs, the entire industry needs to be aware of the possibilities to engage with the membership/visitors. Some of the trends spoken about on this seminar will be instant messaging, Mobile security, food deliveries and personalization and fitness. Not all them will probably apply to your club, but there will be nuggets to think about and possibly implement within the next few years. Coffee Break - Gatherly




16.15-17.15 “Climbing The Mountain” KEYNOTE SPEAKER Gregg Patterson Living the brand - Gregg is one-of-a-kind. Listen to his take on the theme of the Conference and absorb some of the passion and energy that he possesses for this industry. These are challenging times, and challenging times are an opportunity for the prepared, the creative, the enthusiastic and the resilient to do good and

flourish. Tools are needed to power through the obstacles and climb The Mountain. This seminar will discuss the tactics managers can use to boost their energy, roadmap the journey, build the team, sustain the effort and climb The Mountain called SUCCESS.

17.15-18.00 After work – Gatherly

18.00 Open platform >



“Demystifying ‘The Knowledge’” Richard Cudlip Listen to an active manager talking about “the knowledge” and how that could be utilised. In this workshop Richard will talk about the way a brain can be trained. Specially the case of London Taxis drivers. That training can then be used in your everyday life. After the workshop you should be able to: 1. Understand how London Taxi Drivers learn and retain a huge amount of information and the key role that rigorous testing plays in this process. 2. Recognise that part of the learning process is finding what works for you, rather than follow the accepted route. 3 Demonstrate that your brain is capable of amazing things and challenge what you think you can achieve.

“Resilience” David Carry, Track Record Three time Olympic Swimmer David Carry will draw upon his heritage within elite sport and explore the topic of resilience. Your resilience capacity can be thought of as the amount of energy you can store in your inner battery. By increasing your resilience capacity, you will be better able to maintain long term levels of high performance through periods of challenge and learn skills to optimise self-management for life. This applies to individuals, teams and the environment they create for others. During his Olympic Swimming career, spanning three Games, David developed a love for understanding and enhancing performance alongside capturing consistent traits amongst elite performers. It was the realisation of the power of coaching that triggered his study and a career as a performance coach. Alongside his sporting career, David completed his ILM level 7 In Executive Coaching and Leadership Mentoring following studying Business Studies at RGU.

10.00 “It’s all in your head, right?” Tim Ladd & Nathan Shearman Red Umbrella proves first aid training in mental health and wellbeing. “In this interactive workshop we'll discuss what mental health is, how it affects people, and the signs and symptoms to look out for. We'll talk about how to initiate conversations about mental health, and how we can create a positive culture around mental health in our organisations.

11.00 “Planning & Measuring a Sustainable Future for Your Club – Climate, Nature, Resources & Community” John Kemp CMDip & Howard Craft CMDip Sustainability is central to the way we run our clubs, the decisions we make every day, and the priorities our members and customers have in their lives. Every day we are more aware of the nature, resource, social and climate issues we face. The presentation will include case studies from CMAE members who are leading the way and the big and small commitments they have made to make their own club more sustainable.


13.00 Creative Marketing – “Improving member loyalty through emotional awareness” Steve Graves Being a member of a Club is much, much more than simply ‘how much golf do I play at the club.’ This workshop will outline specific strategies that can be used at your club to greatly enhance how your members/golfers feel about your club and with that feeling will come a much more dedicated member for both usage as well as the promotion of your club. It has been stated that ‘innovation produces traffic and traffic produces habit.’ You can create a similar element of habit at your club through the emotional connection of your members/golfers/visitors to your club. This workshop will provide you with tangible, logical, practical and workable strategies to enhance the emotional connection of your members/golfers to your club. Once logic overcomes emotion you are fighting an

uphill battle to recruit and maintain your members and/or golfers.

14.00 “Challenge the norm” Annette Whittley & Steven Brown Meet two F&B gurus in an exciting debate and discuss the current situation in the Club F&B world. Annette from a US perspective and Steven from a UK perspective. What can be read from the current data or emotional responses by people from within the club and also members/visitors? What can be done about staffing as most clubs/businesses are under pressure? What about mental health, reservations and table service? We will also put them in the Hot Seat to answer YOUR questions related to F&B.

16.00 Final Session – Wrap up Bonus Session – “What will be the most important part of Member retention and member loyalty post-covid?” Shannon Herschbach & Mike Phelps You need to have an onboarding process in place at your club – you can craft a system that delivers a consistent, repeatable experience to quickly turn new members into raving fans. Also create engagement – Build buzz and generate demand and affinity for special events, capital projects or clubs within the club.

17.00 - 24.00 Open platform >

Sandra Tinari

Jack McCluskey

Rhys Beecher CCM

Nico-James Visser

Ian Peek

Ross Matheson

Adam Rowledge

James Cronk

Dan Naudo CMDip

Brad Gould

Ed Chapman CMDip

Ed Edwards CCM

Rasmus Ankersen

Brodie McDonald CMDip

David Shepherd

Alex Woodward CCM

Les Durno

Paul Mainstone

Megan Reitz

Adrian Wood CMDip

Michael Braidwood CCM

Nick Solski CCM

Richard Clements

George Stavros

Gregg Patterson

Richard Cudlip

Tim Ladd

Nathan Shearman

John Kemp CMDip

Howard Craft CMDip

David Carry

Steve Graves

Annette Whittley

Steven Brown

Mike Phelps

Shannon Herschbach



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Governance, management and performance This article from CMAE Conference speaker Ed Chapman CMDip is based on his research project, ‘The effect of governance structures on management practices and organisational performance: a survey of golf clubs in Great Britain and Ireland.’


his is an abstract of the research project I undertook, conducted as the final paper in a Master’s degree in International Business Leadership and Management. I hope you enjoy reading the article as much as enjoyed conducting the research, and I’m sure some of the findings will surprise you while others will reconfirm your own beliefs and experiences. Abstract This research focused on governance structures, management practices, and organisational performance of golf clubs in GB & Ireland. This was done through a review of relevant academic literature combined with the collection and analysis of

empirical data, a questionnaire and interviews with club managers. The findings from this research provide evidence that the performance of golf clubs (GC) can benefit from modernised governance structures and that all types of golf clubs can benefit from a for-profit mindset. The main conclusions drawn from this study are that golf clubs need to select their board members based on skill and expertise, and have a strategic plan in place to protect the future of the club. What did the literature review reveal? There were three key findings from the literature review – a process where you critically read academic papers on relevant topics and then synthe-

sise the findings – that this article will focus on. 1. Different governance structures had no correlation to board performance, however, structural dysfunction and both input and process variables were significantly correlated with board effectiveness. What were these variables? 1.1. Staff communication channels to feedback on how strategies and policies are being implemented and their performance. 1.2. Obtaining members’ views, i.e. surveys. 1.3. Clear roles and responsibilities for board mem-



GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES bers: selection based on skills; experience and timecommitment; and a periodic review of board performance. 2. The importance of using financial ratios as key performance indicators for club operations. What are the benefits of using ratios? 2.1. Ability to benchmark against the industry, either as a whole or against similar club types. 2.2. Helpful in predicting future performance. 2.3. Gaining preferential loan rates. 2.4. Comparing departments internally. 2.5. Assist managers in making fact-based decisions backed up by data and presenting benchmarked data to their boards for easy performance comparison. 3. Operating with a for-profit mindset and using corporate management practices to elevate the performance of clubs, both equity and non-equity. However, non-equity clubs need to be careful not to focus exclusively on the bottom-line at the expense of members, and staff, satisfaction. 3.1. Planning and using a budget were highly ranked for frequency of use and importance for management competency in equity clubs by managers. With rolling budgets and zero-based budgeting gaining wider adoption in the corporate world for the agility they provide. 3.2. Positive member experiences are key for attracting and retaining members, which is partly driven by continual facility improvement: this requires capital expenditure which in turn requires revenue to be turned into profit. This can also provide a financial safety net for any exogenous events, such as a global pandemic. 3.3. Best practice for tracking performance was defined as continuous tracking and communication to all staff using a range of visual management tools. Targets were considered best practice when they were a mix of financial and non-financial, with the latter often being more inspiring and challenging.

Findings and discussion A questionnaire was sent out, with 52 usable responses returned. Four club managers were interviewed to gather empirical data to be analysed against the literature review findings. The most interesting findings will be discussed in this article. The need for modernisation of governance practices was frequently cited in the interviews as key for performance, which aligned with the literature review. One of the key findings is that the structure of the board is not the key component, but the people on the board and the continuity that this offers, or not. Having board members selected based on skills only was cited as key to success in both the interviews and in the literature, with a nominations committee providing this. One of the key roles for boards cited in the literature, survey and interviews was that of strategic planning. A lack of strategic planning and the problems this causes were frequently commented on as a major issue at clubs and the knee-jerk decision making this creates. This ties-in with the importance placed on member surveys with 74% of clubs using them and 76% of those clubs citing them as being very or extremely important in influencing strategic planning. This leads to another finding; a correlation between employee and membership satisfaction. This matched with 85% of managers seeing staff retention and satisfaction as very or extremely important to the level of service, financial performance, and member/guest importance. However, this importance did not match with the employee feedback channels used, which were very limited and only 23% of clubs measure employee satisfaction/engagement. With 78% of clubs reporting an increase in the number of rounds played in 2020 vs 2019, retaining staff and keeping them motivated will be critical to take advantage of this unique opportunity. However, with the mental health challenges of Covid-19, the associated lockdowns, uncertainty and burnout levels from overworked staff, it is important to regularly check-in with your staff and make them feel valued. There is a distinct lack of corporate management practices used in golf clubs. Only a small number of clubs use any financial ratios, which

A for-profit mindset does not necessarily mean compromising member experiences and can, in fact, offer the opposite with continual facility improvements and having enough funds in hand to survive low-probability events like a global pandemic.


are the backbone of benchmarking performance versus the industry. The interviews indicated that a combination of a lack of knowledge of ratios and worrying that the board might not understand them, as key reasons for not using them. A surprising finding was that 10% of clubs operate without a budget, which is antithetical to the literature review finding of planning and using a budget being a top competency of club managers. Clubs need to act with a for-profit mindset to generate enough profit for capital investment and continual facility improvement, with bigticket items such as irrigation systems requiring replacing on occasion, and the need to be ready for these. There was a statistically significant positive correlation between clubs returning a profit and making capital investments, not surprising that a club that makes a profit is able to invest in the facilities. However, 35% of equity clubs stated that returning a profit as either not at all, or only slightly, important. Whereas the clubs that stated making a profit as extremely important more often make capital investments higher than 10% of operating profit and have higher member satisfaction and retention levels than those that rank making a profit as not at all important. A for-profit mindset does not necessarily mean compromising member experiences and can, in fact, offer the opposite with continual facility improvements and having enough funds in hand to survive low-probability events like a global pandemic. Recommendations Two key recommendations for practitioners were identified from this research. Firstly, a nominations committee to recruit board members with the correct expertise and skill set. The involvement of the board in items such as strategic planning is important, and having experts on the board to capitalise on their experience and knowledge can be invaluable to both the GC and the manager, as well as clearly outlining this as being the role of the board, and the day-to-day running of the club as being the role of the GC manager. This links to the second recommendation which is for GCs to have a strategic plan to protect the club’s future and guide it there. Without a strategic plan to formalise a vision and objectives, it is difficult for decision making and spending not to be reactive. This links to employee satisfaction/engagement because if there is no clear vision or purpose for objectives to be linked to then staff can become demotivated and disengaged due to not seeing the value or purpose of the work they are undertaking.

CONTACT DETAILS Ed Chapman MSc, CMDip, PGA m. +852 6926 2841 e.


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New website set to increase female participation in golf Group coaching experience,, supported by Syngenta, has launched a new website to accelerate its mission to boost women’s participation in golf.


ew website,, portrays the diverse nature of participants with an array of new images, videos and stories, plus additional features such as health and wellness content, all designed to enhance and deepen the sense of community amongst love.golfers. Supported by Syngenta, is a group golf programme exclusively for women, designed to replace traditional instruction with the freedom to explore new skills, discover untapped potential and bond with a supportive group of like-minded women. Coach ‘Superstars’ coaches feature prominently as part of the new design. Each licensed coach has a dedicated profile page for prospective customers to learn who they are, where they are and book experiences directly with them.


Head Coach and Founder of, Alastair Spink, said: “We’re incredibly proud to showcase and celebrate the growing community of participants and coaches. “Evidence suggests more and more women are looking for a golf experience in light of the pandemic, and added to the latent demand that already exists, this is the ideal time to accelerate our efforts.” Hannah Crump, a coach at Stonebridge Golf Club, said: “The new website is a true celebration of diversity, community and sense of belonging. It provides a clear, simple and easy pathway into the game for women looking for a new experience, and I’m excited to welcome more newcomers to my club.” Group coaching should be ‘on everyone’s radar’ The 2020 GB&I Golf Participation Report highlight-

ed significant participation increases across all forms of the game, and while this is encouraging news for the industry, Spink highlights the need to capture this demand while it exists. “Demand has spiked which has led to a lot of coaches being inundated with requests, particularly for individual lessons. While that is encouraging and good for business (in the short term), there is unfulfilled demand out there, “ he said. “As we come into the colder months, group coaching should be on everyone’s radar to meet the increased demand and introduce newcomers to the game in a sustainable way.”





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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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Changing structures and streamlining systems While there are excellent examples of structures changing at proactive clubs, some structures aren’t always as streamlined as they could be, muses CMAE’s Torbjörn ‘Toby’ Johansson.


board should have an overarching role and not involve itself in the details of day-to-day management – unless the club needs it (for example, small clubs with volunteers helping out a lot). However, there can be tendencies – or wishes – by some people and/or boards to micromanage. I think that change can be affected in this area from a confidence in management being able to do its job. In this sense, education has the task of upskilling existing mangers and equipping new additions to the management fraternity with the required skills to do their jobs properly and make the required difference. Certainly, hospitality is a large part of what clubs offer – or should be offering! – and of course for many clubs, especially resort clubs, tourism plays a huge role in their day-to-day operations and CMAE has modules covering both of these aspects of management. Making change Talking about golf specifically for a moment, I believe that golf can ‘freshen-up’ in many areas and is trying to do so. R&A are leading the way with some excellent projects at this very moment and we try to support them as much as possible. I do think that the nations which have adopted golf more recently, predominantly those on continental Europe, might be best placed to initiate change, as they are not quite so connected – or dare I say it, burdened – by the weight of golf’s history as might be the case with clubs in the UK and Ireland, for example. Committees and boards The impermanence of committees and boards can cause issues unless there is a very clear legacy policy to avoid changes being made without proper consideration. It’s clear that we need to educate both boards and management to ensure that both understand their respective roles and that they have the required skills and understanding to perform effectively. That responsibility, by the way, does not only lie with the board or committee, but also with management to make sure everyone understands their roles at the club. Financial issues Financial issues can result in ‘sacrifices’ needing to be made and can adversely affect the balance in skills in the personnel required to run a facility effectively.


Where this is the case, micromanagement becomes almost inevitable and often just adds more problems rather than solving them. There are good examples of appropriate and market-related salaries being paid at a lot of clubs, but sadly too many give the General Manager or CEO a too-low salary, which is then reflected throughout the organisation. Recruiting the right people While club boards will always try their best to recruit well, that can sometimes be within a recruitment process that no one has any experience of. Clubs must have a clearly defined set of goals. If they don’t, it is impossible to find the right skills or blend of skills sets. With a master plan in place, the course and club operation should include an effective recruitment process and strategy for every area within the organisation’s structure. The bottom line here is very clear – with no plan, you are heading towards seriously rocky waters. Education Management needs to keep abreast of changes and developments, and courses and programmes must also move with the times. We need to prepare graduates to be more effective in the workplace from day one, while at the same time providing existing management with intel and skills that can bring immediate and practical benefits to their working environment. As educators we need to be constantly vigilant and prepared to adapt programmes, courses and content that reflect that we are in an ever-changing environment and which will not become outdated and ineffective over time.

We believe in KAIZEN, which in summary embodies the concepts of change for the better and continuous improvement. It is a good model to use in most things. Personally, I feel that all programmes should be: • Based in reality and on actual case studies • Able to be converted quickly into useful tools for the club • Provide a win-win for both the club and manager • Focused on the need for there to be a long-term strategy mixed in with shorter term goals and improvements • Built for a learning environment, where a manager’s current competences also are used i.e., not the university model where the professor tells you the what the truth is! • Face to face, with possible e-learning to be added into the mix • Residential – ‘real world’ to give face-to-face networking a big role in the training. This hasn’t been possible during the pandemic, but the need is certainly there to resume these levels of interactions as soon as it practical and safe.

CONTACT DETAILS Torbjörn “Toby” Johansson Director of Education, CMAE t. +46 70 910 57 94 e.


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Celebrations for new CMAE Manager and club Centenary CMAE member Ian Russell has been appointed as Club Manager at East Renfrewshire Golf Club. This is his story.


feel privileged to be given this opportunity as Club Manager at such a wonderful club. I have received such a warm welcome from all the members and staff and they have made the transitional period very easy. In my first few weeks I have spent a lot of my time learning about the club and meeting many members and staff whom have given me a fantastic insight into the general running and also the history of this great club. This is never more prevalent than now, as the club enters its Centenary year in 2022. I feel honoured to be in this role, as everyone connected at the club looks forward with excitement to the celebratory year. History – the club The club was founded on the 18 January, 1922 and the club is proud to have over 600 members with 60 of these life members who have been with the club for over 40 years. I am sure there will be many members enjoying a dram on the 1st tee or the 18th next year to celebrate the history and rich tradition of the club. Located to the south west of Glasgow just 15 minutes from the city centre, the course is a James Braid design built on moorland with tree-lined setting and views across Glasgow to the backdrop of Ben Lomand and surrounding mountains. The course has hosted many regional and national amateur championships over the years and has recognised members such as Craig Watson and Paul McKellar whom have both represented GB&I in the Walker Cup.

East Renfrewshire Golf Club


only this year retired to concentrate on my career with the golf club. I thoroughly enjoyed my time playing for many teams in Scotland and believe, like many footballers, I learned fantastic transferable skills over the last 22 years. Throughout this time I managed to travel all over the world, seeing many different countries and also meeting many different people and these experiences has shaped me into the person I am today. I was fortunate to captain several clubs towards the latter stages of my career which enabled me to develop leadership skills that will certainly help me in this role. I also believe having being involved in football my whole life, I understand the great benefits that sport has to offer. From a physical side to the mental health side, golf like so many sports is a game that can be enjoyed by anyone and is a wonderful way to meet and catch up with friends whilst also keeping fit. Before and after your round meeting friends in the clubhouse is just as important to many golfers as the round itself. Ian Russell A par 70, it is officially and annually recognised as the first in Renfrewshire by all major course rankings. The 13th Par 3, at just 123 yards, is the shortest hole but is recognised as our signature hole with Ben Lomand in the back drop. History – me I played professional football from the age of 16 and

CMAE and me If it wasn’t for CMAE I would not be in this position I am today. CMAE was first mentioned to me by Claire Middleton, a speaker on the course three years ago, and from the moment I spoke to Toby [Johannsen] I have been inspired to develop a career in this wonderful industry. I sat MDP1 at the beginning of this year and it was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I met so many people on the course, from club managers to course managers and golf pros to the guest speakers for that week. I continue to keep in touch with many of these people on a daily basis. They continue to inspire me and also make me hungry to progress. I am fortunate to call many from my tribe mentors and friends, always on hand and supporting each other as we tackle challenges together. I am now excited to be sitting MDP2 in 2022 and would encourage anyone to join the tribe and start the educational programme. Finally, I would like to thank the board of directors at the club, Gordon, Cammy, Clare and Gordon along with Kevin Fish from CCL, all of whom have been extremely supportive through these early stages. From the initial interview through to my first month at East Renfrewshire, I am grateful for the continued support shown as we all look forward to a wonderful future at the golf club.


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