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Join us at the networking event of the year Page 16


BMI International – coming to London Slow play – top tips on upping the pace Location report – city clubs are raising the bar

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Welcome to the first 2016 edition of Clubhouse Europe and my first message as President. The next few months are exciting times for CMAE as we move forward with our new strategic plan. With the help of new Corporate Partners GGA we have gathered lots of feedback from our various stake holders and this is helping us to move our Association forward. Thanks to all of you who have shared your thoughts and insights. As a result, we can – and will – deliver ever-more relevant and high quality club management education and certification across Europe, whilst also creating more networking opportunities (which our survey confirms is extremely valuable to all our members). On the theme of education and networking I am extremely excited about the prospect of the Business Management Institute (BMI) International event coming to London on 6-11 October. Run by our colleagues at the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) this sees over 50 top club managers from America coming to London for five days of education, bench marking and networking and we are hoping to match that number with European delegates. This event is renowned for broadening knowledge and international networks so do sign up now at https://www.cmaeurope.org/ newsevents/events-calendar/bmi-international. Still on education, so core to all that we do, I recently attended the CMAA’s World Conference on Club Management in San Diego with a numer of CMAE colleagues. The Conference never fails to impress. We were treated to an excellent array of education sessions covering the 10 core competencies of modern club management. This year, and as a CEO, what impressed me most was how many sessions related to the topic of club governance. It’s top of the agenda for all clubs in America and in Europe and we can learn a great deal from the governance structures adopted in the USA. Get your club governance right, and as a manager you are well on your way to operating a successful club. Members and their changing needs was also a key topic. Some of the conference buzz words were the three Rs; quite simply Recognition, Recognition, Recognition! Members expect to be recognised and made to feel special from day one – especially the Millenial group (19 -39 year olds). Amazing to hear about how technology dependent they are and how clubs have to adapt to attract them into membership. Technology, of course, keeps moving at a fast pace so another buzz word at the conference was ‘Friction Free’. This effectively means streamlining, making life as easy as possible for the customer. As a result, many clubs are developing apps which allow members to get club services at the touch of a button. (We have more reflections from fellow European managers who attended World Conference in this edition.) Lastly I must pay tribute to my predecessor Arnaldo Cocuzza CCM. He has just started his new role as Director of Club Operations at Charlotte CC, one of the top US Country Clubs, and was only able to secure the position because as a CCM he could compete with the US club managers. Well done Arnaldo! It shows just how valuable obtaining CCM is and I look forward to you showing me round your new club at the end of this month. Best wishes,

Marc Newey CCM

Mike Sean Braidwood CCM Ferris

Karen Foreman

David Foster

Jonathan Hardy

Rob Hill

Marc Newey

Leigh Ann Ogilvie

Caroline Scoular

Nick Sellens

James Stibbs

Scott Patience

Editor Caroline Scoular caroline@alchemymedia.co.uk Design David Foster Editorial Nick Sellens Sales and Marketing Manager Leigh-Ann Ogilvie Circulation Jonathan Hardy Administration Debbie Goddard Debbie.Goddard@cmaeurope.eu Publishing Director Sean Ferris sean@alchemymedia.co.uk;

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 e.info@alchemycontractpublishing.co.uk www.alchemycontractpublishing.co.uk

CMAE The Club Managers Association of Europe Office 8 Rural Innovation Centre Unit 169 Avenue H Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire CV8 2LG United Kingdom t. +44 (0) 247 669 2359 f. +44 (0) 247 641 4990

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.

President, Club Managers Association of Europe


Contents 6 News round-up News, views and events – CMAE’s Educational Calendar, award-winning clubs and the CMAA comes to town.


10 Industry Bulletin Supplier news – who’s doing what and why.

12 World Conference reflections The CMAA held its 89th World Conference in San Diego’s. Mike Braidwood reports.

18 Austria on a roll There’s everything to play for in this golfing nation according to KPMG’s Golf Benchmark Survey.

19 How City Clubs are raising the bar Clubhouse Europe takes a whirlwind tour of 11 clubs in six European cities.

24 Top tips on improving Pace of Play Is there really any excuse for unnecessarily slow rounds? And what can you do about it?

27 The value of strategic planning


34 Appreciating the value of volunteers

In a recent study of 100 top performing clubs, 79% of them are implementing a strategic plan. Here’s why.

James Stibbs, Head of Communications for the London-based Sport & Recreation Alliance, examines the importance of encouraging – and keeping – club volunteers.

29 CRM & Database Management

37 A week in the life of an MDP1 candidate

How well do you know your customers? ESP Leisure explains the role of Customer Relationship Management.

30 Data privacy

When Scott Patience won the inaugural Joe Perdue Bursary, he gained a sought-after place on CMAE’s five-day Management Development Program Part 1 course at the University of Warwick.

Just what are the consequences of data breaches? And what steps are users taking to avoid them?

38 Developing human capital

31 HTTPS – does your club website need it?


Keeping the club safe – encryption, privacy and web security.

BSc (Hons) Sport Management Golf students at Bournemouth University are looking forward to winning 40-week golf-industry placements. Gary Evans explains the value of student placement.

32 Theft – it isn’t always a stranger 42 Tribal Tuesday

Theft by an employee or club official is thankfully relatively rare but when it does happen it is particularly upsetting.

In October 2015 CMAE launched Tribal Tuesday, giving CMAE members an opportunity to share their Best Practice advice with other members. Could you be a contributor?

33 Membership matters Disciplinary processes are often time consuming and they can be expensive if handled incorrectly.



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


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News from the frontline Register now for MDP Golf Operations course

Learn from the Middle East

CMAE’s Golf Operations course will take place at the Home of Golf, St Andrews from 28 November - 2 December, 2016. Part of the CMAE’s Management Development Programme (MDP), the course is aimed at Managers with particular responsibility for successful golf operations. The course is fully endorsed by the CMAA (Club Managers Association of America) as part of the Management Development Programme that provides a pathway to the globally recognised CCM qualification. By attending this course, delegates will enhance their understanding of these cornerstones of a successful golf product at their clubs, including: • Golf tournament operations • Working effectively with your Course Manager • An understanding of turf maintenance challenges • Understanding expensive tools in the greenkeeping trade • Working effectively with your Golf professional • Understanding of retail and fleet management issues • The business of golf tuition at your club • The history and continued evolution of the game • The rules of golf the club manager needs to know • Principles of addressing slow play • The fundamentals and the myths of golf technology • Benefits of environmental & sustainability compliance • The missed opportunities of customer service in golf • Principles of yield management in maximising tee useage • Putting it all together

CMAE and Dubai Golf have added a further education session to the Management Development Programme (MDP) taking place at the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club from Sunday 29 May to Thursday 2 June, 2016. The session, called ‘Learn from the Middle East Golf Industry’, is part of the MDP 1 five day residential programme which focuses on Club Operations and the 10 core competencies of the modern club manager. The new session features a round-table debate on the club industry with Julian Small, MD of Jumeriah Golf Estates, Chris May, CEO of Dubai Golf, Mark Chapleski, VP Troon Golf and Nick Tarratt of the European Tour. Each will be giving details of their recipes for success in operating in the Middle East. CMAE’s Director of Education Michael Braidwood said: “The additional session will give delegates an excellent insight into what is needed behind the scenes to run a successful organisation in the region. This session also complements CMAE’s philosophy of positive networking at our programmes, so to have four distinguished industry professionals present will really add to the overall experience of the week. I believe

Delegates will also benefit from additional evening tours in this famous golfing town. The cost of the course will be approximately £1,100 + VAT. To register your interest visit https://www.cmaeurope.org/mdpregister-interest (Online readers – just click on the hyperlink). 6 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

this will make the programme extremely attractive to club industry personnel who are thinking about a career in the Middle East.” A Club Management Diploma is available to all CMAE delegates who attend MDP 1 and MDP 2 courses and who then pass the multiple choice exam on the 10 core competencies, fulfil the obligations of the group executive case study (including a presentation to a ‘Board’ on their findings) and finally submit and pass a work-based assignment of 1,200 - 2,000 words on a situation at their club that they have resolved using the strategic management tools learnt during the two programmes. Commenting on the forthcoming course, Dubai Golf’s Chief Executive Chris May CCM said: “We are excited about bringing club executive education to the Middle East. It is important to drive club management education here with clubs being such an important part of the tourism and corporate fabric of the region. I am looking forward to participating in the additional education session and networking with the delegates.” • For further details visit www.cmaeurope.org

Ultimate award for Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club has won the Ultimate Members Club at the annual 59 Club Golf Service Awards, held at the Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club, Warwickshire. Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club (pictured right) is the venue for the upcoming MDP1 five day

residential course. (See news story above.) The club’s parent company Dubai Golf won Golf Group of the Year for the second year running. Celtic Manor Resort was awarded the title of the Ultimate Golf Resort and 10 other venues received Gold Flag Awards – The Grove, Gleneagles Hotel, Monte

Rei Golf & Country Club, Belfry Hotel & Resort, Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel & Country Club,

Dubai Creek, Emirates, Stoke Park Country Club, Spa & Hotel, Wentworth Club and Al Badia.

CMAE courses and activities 2016-2017 calendar There’s an action-packed calendar of career-promoting events and courses coming up. CMAE members are advised to register early. • Visit www.thecmaeurope.org for more details.

Date 2016 Summer October 6 - 11 October 24 - 28 Oct 31 - Nov 4 Nov 7 - 11 Nov 21 - 25 Nov 28 - Dec 2 2017 Jan 16 - 20 Jan 23 - 27 Feb 7 - 11 Feb 20 - 24 Mar 6 - 10 May 21 - 26






London London Stirling Warwick Rome Marbella St Andrews

L&HC Region Scottish Golf Ltd. (SGL) L&HC / Midland & North Regions AITG / FIG CMAE CMAE / SGL

Provisional Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed

MDP 1 MDP 3 CMAA World Conference MDP 1 MDP 2 MDP 2

Warwick Edinburgh Orlando Dublin Stirling Dubai

L&HC / Midland & North Regions CMAE CMAA CGI SGL Dubai Golf

Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Confirmed Provisional

Marc Newey becomes 2016 CMAE President Marc Newey CCM, Chief Executive of London’s prestigious Roehampton Club, has become the new President of the CMAE. He takes over from Arnaldo Cocuzza CCM who has overseen substantial changes in the Association’s focus over the last two years. Marc’s Presidency term will run until 2017 and comes at an exciting time for the Association. Marc said: “I am delighted to have been appointed President. It is a great honour to lead such a progressive organisation. The work the Association has done in recent years to bring high quality executive education to club managers has been exceptional, as our Management Development Programmes go from strength to strength with an ever increasing number of attendees.” At the AGM Marc set out his plans for the future of CMAE which will see the revision and updating of the Association’s strategic plan, the growth of the delivery of Management Development Programmes and the strengthening of Regional networking. He also wants to see more recognition of good sports club management. “Since starting our Management Development Programmes in 2011 we have received a tremendous response from our City Club and Golf Club Members. I’m now very keen to build on that and become

even more inclusive, getting more sports clubs involved so they too can derive the benefits of the high quality education programmes we deliver. “One of the most exciting events to take place during my term as President is the hosting of the Club Managers Association of America’s BMI International Symposium in London in October 2016.This will be a great educational and networking event for both American and European Club Managers, where the American Club Managers want to see best practice from the best Clubs Europe has to offer.” • For more information about BMI International see the adjacent news story.

PGA Pro achieves CCM status Gavin Cook, the PGA Professional for Elie Sports Club in Fife, is the latest Club Industry Professional to achieve Certified Club Manager (CCM) status after passing his exam. Gavin, who has been managing the club operations at Elie since 2014, joined CMAE’s education pathway in 2012 and, over the last three years, has attended four Management Development Programme courses plus the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) World Conference in order to be eligible to sit the CCM exam. Gavin said: “I am delighted to have passed my CCM exam. The MDP pathway has given me so much over the last three years and this feels like a culmination and validation of everything I have done.“ He also praised the CMAE for its role in

maintaining Scotland’s high profile in the golf world. “Many people probably don’t realise the work which has gone on behind the scenes to get to the point where Scotland is leading the way in Europe, delivering the full MDP education pathway. Credit should go to all the early trailblazing CMAE Europe and Scottish region committee members, Scottish Golf and Michael Braidwood CCM, for getting us to where we are now,” he said. Gavin now joins an elite band of 35 Club Industry professionals in Europe who have achieved CCM status. CMAE’s Education Policy Board Chairman, James Burns CCM, said: “I am sure this will inspire many more from the PGA Professional sector to come to our MDP courses to further enhance their existing knowledge.”

Chipping in

BMI International coming to London The CMAE and Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) have opened registration for the 2016 Business Management Institute (BMI) International, to be held in London, 6-11 October. The line-up of top international speakers includes Sir Clive Woodward, Head Coach of the 2003 England Rugby World Cup winning team, tennis ace Boris Becker, Javier Riviriego, General Manager at Valderrama Golf Club, Spain, and Martin Guntrip, Club Director, All England Lawn Tennis Club. [Editor’s note: For Clubhouse Europe’s exclusive interviews with Javier and Martin see Volume 1 and Volume 2 respectively.] “The networking opportunities at this event will open doors for our attendees, while the programme of A-list speakers is something no one will want to miss,” said CMAE’s Mike Braidwood. “The event will also be inviting attendees to visit some

very important clubs, including the Royal Automobile Club, Caledonian Club, Roehampton Club, All England Lawn Tennis Club and Sunningdale Golf Club, all of which I’m proud to say are themselves members of the CMAE.” The cost for full delegates is £1425 inc VAT/€1825 inc VAT and for guests, £640 inc VAT/€820 inc VAT. • For more details see page 14.

UK’s National Golf Month May’s National Golf Month in the UK launches at the Houses of Parliament on April 27 with a chipping/putting competition for MPs, Peers and school children. Operated through Parliament’s All-Party Group for Golf, the official body responsible for promoting the sport of golf, the day will also provide the opportunity for MPs to learn more about the sport in their constituencies. The Group’s Chairman, Lincoln MP Karl McCartney, said: “The Parliamentary Group for Golf has a singular remit to support the sport. We encourage Members of Parliament to learn more about the sport and its importance to the nation’s health

and wellbeing, and understand that golf, as one of the largest sports in the UK and with thousands of clubs, is of vital importance to the local, regional and national economies.” The R&A CEO Martin Slumbers said: “I am very much looking forward to National Golf Month and the opportunities it provides to showcase the sport. To launch in the Houses of Parliament is welcome and important as a means to promote the game and I am sure the home unions will take full advantage.” National Golf Month is a British Golf Industry Association initiative. •For more information on how to participate visit www.nationalgolfmonth.com CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 7

News from the frontline Dates for the diary In addition to the important CMAE MDP Courses being run (see previous pages) CMAE continuously works to set up informative, educational and networking events for members. Here are a few key dates for the diary coming up. APRIL 7 CMAE London and Home Counties Golf & Networking Day

Join us for a golf day and network with colleagues and industry contacts. Royal Wimbledon Golf Club is the third oldest golf Club in England dating back to 1865 and is a hidden gem only five miles from Charing Cross. It has a rich history embracing both the evolution of the Club and the game of golf. “A wonderful place is this new Wimbledon course,” wrote Bernard Darwin in the 1930s, “for as soon as we are on it all signs of men, houses, omnibuses and other symptoms of a busy suburb disappear as if by magic.” Harry Colt, a member of the Club, redesigned the course in 1924. It continues to evolve to keep pace with the game and today provides a tough test over tight fairways with gorse and heather thrown in for good measure.

Venue: Royal Wimbledon Golf Club, 29 Camp Road, London SW19 4UW Time: 08.00 - 19.00. 08.00 - Coffee, bacon rolls and pastries on arrival; 09.00 - Tee off. Late lunch in the Dining Room - Jacket & Tie required. MAY 12 In-Depth Presentation Skills Part 1 Run by the charismatic and lively energetic Bill Sanderson. (Only 10 delegates will be taken for this training programme so book early.) The objectives of this seminar are to: • Provide delegates with a clear understanding of the role of presenting in and on behalf of their club. 8 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

• Equip individuals to be able to assess the needs of each presentation, be it one-toone, small group, large group, seminar, conference, planned or impromptu, internal or external audience and structure their delivery accordingly. • Provide a clear process for construction of high impact presentations. • Allow individuals to confront their personal apprehensions concerning presentations and provide personal ‘tools’ for managing them. • Provide a non threatening environment in which individuals can practice successful presentation skills. • Provide a template which will equip further development and learning for the remainder of their career.

Venue: TBC at time of going to press. Time: 09.30 - 17.00. Cost: £200 total for Parts 1-3 (Part 2, July 14; Part 3, September 8.) JUNE 9 London & Home Counties Region AGM and Whisky Tasting Golf Club Managers/Secretaries are cordially invited to the London & Home Counties Region AGM and Whisky tasting.

Venue: Caledonian Club, 9 Halkin Street, Belgravia, London - SW1X 7DR Time: 18:00 -20:00. Cost: Free to members. (RSVP required.) www.caledonianclub.com JULY 7 Lead and Develop Your Team An international approach to understanding human behaviour and what makes people tick presented by Darshan Singh. Darshan is a high energy, results-orientated

London & Home Counties Region AGM and Whisky Tasting, The Caledonian Club (June 9).

SEPTEMBER 8 In-Depth Presentation Skills Part 3 See 12 May above for content details. Venue: TBC. Time: 09.30-17.00. Cost: £200 total for Parts 1-3 (Part 1, May 12; Part 2, July 14.) Lead & Develop Your Team, Travellers Club (July 7).

management consultant and peopledevelopment professional with over 25 years of international experience in the UK, Europe, South-East Asia and Middle East across a broad-range of sectors. His passion lies in developing people to reach their true potential.

Venue: The Travellers Club, 106 Pall Mall, London, SW1Y 5EP Time: 09.30-17.00. Cost: £45 members; £65 non-members. JULY 14 In-Depth Presentation Skills Part 2 See 12 May above for content details.

Venue: TBC. Time: 09.30-17.00. Cost: £200 total for Parts 1-3 (Part 1, May 12; Part 3, September 8.)

SEPTEMBER 15 Delivering Exceptional Service Standards Presented by Knut Wylde from The Berkley Hotel and Dr David Dann. Venue: TBC. Time: 08.00-13.00. Cost: £45 CMAE members; £65 nonmembers. OCTOBER 6-11 BMI International 2016 The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and the CMAE are excited to announce that registration for London’s 2016 Business Management Institute (BMI) International is now open. (See page 14 for more details.) Venue: London – various (includes visits and tours of Royal Air Force Club, Lansdowne Club, Royal Automobile Club, Caledonian Club, Roehampton Club, All England Lawn Tennis Club, Sunningdale Golf Club, Houses of Parliament, Windsor Castle and a Thames River Cruise). Time: 09.00, 6 October - 14.00, 11 October. Cost: Full delegate – £1,425 inc VAT/€1825 inc VAT; Guest – £640 inc VAT/€820 inc VAT.

CONTACT DETAILS The All England Lawn Tennis Club – just one of the venues BMI International attendees are invited to visit.

For more information and bookings visit www.cmaeurope.org. London events can also be accessed at http://www.cmae-lhc.uk/whats-on/


Alchemy Contract Publishing Communications specialists and proud publisher of Clubhouse Europe t. +44(0) 1753 272022 e. info@alchemycontractpublishing.co.uk


New approach to coaching attracts female players A new golf coaching programme led by PGA Professionals launches this spring, designed to foster female participation. The programme, love.golf, is a franchise headed-up by award-winning PGA Professional Alastair Spink and follows a successful pilot programme run in autumn last year. It will now be expanded to target 50 PGA Professionals and golf venues in 2016. “love.golf is very different to traditional golf coaching,” said Alastair Spink, who is based at Fynn Valley Golf Club, Suffolk. “It’s about learning together and getting out onto the golf course as soon as possible, not spending hours hitting golf balls on the range. The teaching approach is also very different with coaches avoiding lots of technical interventions and instead offering on-course guidance and encouragement.” The programme is being supported by Syngenta as part of the global company’s ongoing commitment to invest in golf from the ground up. Simon Elsworth, Syngenta Head of Turf & Landscape EAME, said: “Alastair’s unique approach and academic research chimes with the findings of our female participation surveys. The purpose of extending this pilot programme, and sharing the results with the golf industry, is to demonstrate how a customer centric approach benefits business sustainability and successfully retains customers for the long term.” Research conducted amongst participants during the pilot programme revealed key success factors as a sense of togetherness, the relaxed format, unexpected fun and a

confidence boosting experience. The participants were also reported to learn faster and develop skills more effectively with the non-technical, play-based approach. A high proportion indicated they would continue with follow-on sessions and events, making them long-term customers. The benefits to PGA Professionals include generating immediate income, increasing long-term income and improving coaching skills. Spink said: “Importantly, the PGA Professional benefits directly because they are making a good hourly rate from the six-week programme - and the customer is happy to pay a higher price for a credible, branded product that meets the specific needs of women and gives them an experience they consider good value for money. “The golf course also stands to benefit and the venues that went out of their way to welcome their new female customers, in line with the findings of Syngenta’s market research, saw them gain from spending in the clubhouse and pro shop.” •To register your interest in love.golf email alastair@love.golf or call 07748 653002. • To download a free copy of Syngenta’s market report The Opportunity to Grow Golf: Female Participation, visit: www.unlockinggolfstruepotential.co.uk<http://www. unlockinggolfstruepotential.co.uk/>

Top London club saves on print London’s multi-sports exclusive members club, Roehampton Club, has recently boosted productively within its 100 acre site. “For any members club, print management can be a tedious task; unreliable devices, expensive running costs and the need to regularly order parts and consumables for an array of different devices,” said James Overton, DMC Canotec. “These are all issues that haunted Roehampton Club prior to their change.” Roehampton Club’s new system, implemented by DMC Canotec, now comprises of two new multi-functional devices and six desktop printers. Automatic toner ordering for all devices will save both time and stress for staff. “The new print solution installed by DMC Canotec will reduce our printing costs by up to 20% per year by reducing wastage and making sure that staff only print what is absolutely necessary,” said Marc Newey, Chief Executive at Roehampton Club and CMAE President. 10 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

Members at Roehampton are now able to print from anywhere within the club’s grounds from any device, including mobiles and tablets. The private members club has also benefited from builtin security software in each of their new devices, reducing data leakage, preventing print waste and giving full accountability of print usage. “We are now able to track all printing costs across all departments and offer our members a print solution which is quick and simple for them to use. So all in all, very pleased with the changes made by DMC Canotec,”said Marc. Following implementation of this new print management system, quantified savings of £6,400 per annum are expected. • For more information call James Overton, DMC Canotec, on 0208 253 4674 or email james.overton@dmcplc.co.uk

Toro extends agreement with European Tour

Pictured (left to right): Andy Brown, The Toro Company, Keith Pelley, European Tour & David Garland, European Tour.

The Toro Company has announced its renewed multi-year partnership with the European Tour through to December 2018, continuing its15-year relationship. The partnership includes the European Tour, Senior Tour and Challenge Tour across Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. “After a full market analysis, we are proud to see Toro come out on top and be selected by the European Tour as the best partner to meet their needs,” said Andy Brown, Corporate Account Manager for Toro’s International Business. “There was, as always, significant competition, but the quality of Toro products combined with local dealer support and the fact that most European Tour venues are existing Toro customers, we believe was a key differentiator.” Keith Pelley, CEO of the European Tour, said: “Having our golf courses prepared and presented to the highest standard is an essential part of providing the best possible playing experience for our members, which is one of our key priorities. Toro’s products and equipment play a vital role in us achieving this, so we are delighted to extend our long-standing relationship with them to help ensure these high standards continue to be met.” • For more information visit www.toro.com

Online flexible membership scheme launches A new online points-based membership called PlayMoreGolf, has been launched. The new concept was born out of the company’s work on the De Vere Club flexible membership product which attracted 18,000 new members to 12 golf clubs over a four-year period. According to the company PlayMoreGolf helps reduce flexible membership overheads for the clubs, adding new members and bringing in additional revenue from other partner venues. “ Potentially, membership revenue can grow by as much as 50 per cent inside just three years, while increasing the traditional membership base and reducing the average age of members by up to 20 years at the same time,” said Director Jamie Carroll. • For more details call 07825 057448, email sales@playmore.golf or visit www.playmore.golf

The next level of Club Management is in your hands

The CMAE Management Development Programme is a series of courses and learning opportunities designed not only for those working as club general managers, club secretaries and in other senior positions at sports, city and corporate clubs today, but also for those who aspire to these roles in the future.

The CMAE has developed a structured and comprehensive education programme for club managers GSZIVMRK½ve extensive classroom-based courses. Can you afford not to take it to the next level? Visit the CMAE website for details of the dates and venues of upcoming MDP courses.



World Conference reflections The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) held its 89th World Conference at San Diego’s impressive conference centre between 21-25 February. Forty CMAE members travelled to the States to join industry colleagues – around 2,000 of them – at the seminars, sessions and exhibitions. Mike Braidwood reports.


uring the action-packed five day Conference, delegates enjoyed a wide range of educational seminars, each focusing on one of the 10 core competencies of Modern Club Management. There were over 90 education sessions to choose from at the conference, delivered by club and business leaders. In addition to the education sessions there, a two day expo presented the opportunity to meet with suppliers to the club industry and to gen up on latest innovations and services.

San Diego Conference Centre

Daniel Asis CCM, Director of Golf, Oliva Nova Resort, Spain It’s hard to imagine that anyone could ever be disappointed by any of the CMAA World Conferences. (And this year, with seven Spanish club managers attending, the party kept going on throughout the day - and the night!).

As well as the sessions that we could call motivational, I enjoyed three educational opportunities in particular. Firstly, Jim James opened my eyes to the rigorous processes management at Augusta National. This a unique club which no one can compete with, but James and his team do not relax in their quest to


stay atop of the excellence game. Then, Kevin Carroll and Jimmy Cole, respectively GM and Director for Facilities Maintenance at the Atlanta Athletic Club, provided a detailed insight into the abilities and tasks that lead to offering perfect clubhouse facilities for members and guests. Finally, I found that accountants with a sense of humour do exist! Paul Butler offered a brilliant session on Business Financial Intelligence. The concepts were basic, but the results were hilarious, a great class on ‘financial intelligence’ promoting both interaction and laughter. Besides the education sessions we had the opportunity to deliberate on the strategic plan for the CMAE, the immediate programmes of the Education Policy Board, and on the best practices of other international associations working to establish the CCM path in their countries or regions.

Add to all that the networking with hundreds of experienced club managers, the innovations in products and services at the Club Expo, the joy of jogging early in the morning along the San Diego docks, the spectacle of watching the skilled surfers and the sea lions together in the waves, then you can easily understand why all the attendees this year are already looking forward to next year’s Conference in Orlando, Florida. Kevin Fish CCM, Golf Services Manager, Scottish Golf, Scotland My 10th World Conference has come and gone, and once again it will be the week of the year that has the biggest impact on me. It’s no surprise to me that I feel that I do most of my best work in the months straight after the Conference when I am super-charged about this journey we are on to change the perception of club management in Europe. At the Conference I noticed that one core competency continues to feature more frequently than any other; it is, of course, Club Governance. Ten years after first being introduced to the subject, it continues to pack delegates into seminars, workshops and panel discussions, reflecting just how challenging a task it is for club managers to get this area of club business right. I can categorically confirm that our teaching of this subject in Europe remains in line with current thinking in the States, but I do want to share one important distinction made by industry leader Kurt Kuebler CCM who highlighted that there are two things evident in the successful clubs he works with, and they are in this order: 1. Membership satisfaction levels. 2. Effective club governance and organisational structure. He observed that if this primary key performance indicator is in place, and the members are entirely happy, then club governance is quite rightly relegated to second place. But if the club is not in that happy position then it all comes back to effective club governance to help put in place the structures and protocols to achieve those satisfaction levels that dictate your club’s success. If anyone has any queries around club governance please feel free to dig out your MDP notes and give me a call. Russell Stebbing, General Manager, Farleigh Fox, England This was my first World Conference and the experience was exceptional. To be in the company of industry leaders and so many CMAA and CMAE peers was very rewarding and motivating. To pinpoint one session would be hard; I gained so much from so many. Listening to the likes of Jim James, Gregg Patterson and Damon DiOrio who have managed such great clubs was not only interesting but engaging and such a great learning experience. The biggest learning experience I took with me

Left to right: Daniel Asis, Lidia Munoz (who was also presented with her Club Management Diploma at the Conference) and Mike Braidwood. came on the last day and really pulled my week together. Sitting in Steve Graves’s (Founder of Creative Golf Marketing & Management) session reflecting on his Top 10 methods to retain members. Top of the list? ‘Let members win’. It made me realise what the whole week had been about. Not only did it open my eyes to how I can develop and run my club more efficiently, it also gave me lots of different tools and techniques to assist with this process. By applying the experience to my club, members, staff, the company and myself all win. It was an intense but great week where I made some vital and important contacts who I will keep in touch with for a long time to come. I will be back for sure and really look forward to Orlando 2017. John Lawler, Manager, Rathfarnham Golf Club, Ireland Being in a space occupied by so many highly qualified golf club managers from around the world was thrilling and motivating. Aside from the informal contact and more formal networking events that allow for conversation on the challenges and opportunities facing us all in golf club management, there was also a range of excellent presentations by guest speakers. From my perspective The Top Ten Methods of Membership Retention from Steve Graves, Creative Golf Marketing and Management, was the most useful. Too often, we focus on attracting new members without necessarily addressing the outflow of existing members. Equally, we work so hard to bring a new member from enquiry to conversion that we perhaps move on too quickly to the next potential applicant without ensuring that the journey of the new member is as expected. Are all of the things we promised at the sales stage being provided? Are their expectations being met? Steve also pointed out that the division of attention amongst members is important. Every club has members who

play frequently as well as less frequent visitors; both need attention. For those who play or dine regularly, a small thank you goes a long way (discounted rounds, food vouchers etc). But what about the ‘at risk members’? Those who we rarely see but still accept the annual subscription from? Again, Steve advised, small tokens or phone calls could make all the difference between retaining and losing their membership. Overall his message was one of appreciating and working hard for the members that we have, and not taking their continued participation for granted. Ascanio Pacelli, Manager Terre dei Consoli GC, Italy On the flight back to Rome I was contemplating how I’d just lived one of the most important experience of my life – The 89th World Conference on Club Management in San Diego. For those like me who believe in personal and professional development, attending the World Conference is crucial. Five consecutive days of learning, listening, talking, networking and, most of all,

John Lawler (right) with John Roche of CGI (left).




In the 10 minutes I had to present, I truly understood the fortune and the passion I have for my job as a club manager. Ascanio Pacelli, Manager Terre dei Consoli GC, Italy

Ascanio (right) with Jim Callaghan CCM, taking Clubhouse Europe's first ever selfies. sharing. To share makes you feel richer inside and above all gives you the opportunity to find solutions to your problems, while helping others find theirs. This year I went with a dual role, as a member of CMAE’s Board of Directors, as well as representing the Italian Managers Association (AITG). At the International Breakfast I was asked to present on the Italian golf situation and the projects CMAE, AITG and The Italian PGA are undertaking for the development of the MDP courses in Italy. In the 10 minutes I had to present, I truly understood the fortune and the passion I have for my job as a club manager. This, I believe, is because of the pathway through the Management Development Programme which I have found is the key to achieving results in life. The education sessions I focused on attending were on the subject matters of leadership skills and strategy that are helping me to prepare for my last MDP course (Strategy and Leadership) before my Certified Club Manager (CCM) final exam. However the session that most impressed me (and one I’m going to remember for my entire life), was the two hours spent listening to Amy Purdy and the greatest lesson that a person could give. She told us about her life – she contracted meningitis at the age of 19 and as a result lost both legs – and how despite this she went on to win a bronze medal at the Paralympics and second place in Dance with the Stars. Her steely determination was inspirational and made me realise the impor-


Ascanio with Amy – Italy’s #1 twitter star making Amy a star in Italy! tance of believing in what we do , and to give due weight to all things. Amy wrote a book called On my Own two feet. The prologue of the book starts by asking, ‘If your life were a book and you were the author, how would you want your story to go?’. Sharon Heeley, Senior Regional Manager, England Golf, England My favourite education session was Building your brand by driving excellence, presented by Jim James, Augusta National. Jim talked about the importance of giving attention to every single detail, every single day. It is everyone’s responsibility to maintain standards, from clearing away cigarette stubs to changing light bulbs. To achieve these standards, Jim has a process for everything – including a 7-step process to clean a toilet! He believes that people are the most important asset within a club but only if they understand the process, which

accounts for 70% of service delivery. The importance of this approach is highlighted by The Masters Tournament. Nothing is contracted out for this event. Everything is run by Augusta National, including 27 kitchens, 40 dining venues and a range of concession stands. Jim demands certain characteristics from the people he recruits for the event including integrity, judgement, humility, passion, loyalty, vision and intelligence (i.e.: the ability to get the job done). Every member of staff is given a clear process, the tools, the autonomy, trust and support, to deliver customer service at the very highest level. With just two days of training, the staff team deliver a world class experience. Perhaps if we all invested more time in our staff and created clear processes for them to follow, we would have happier, thriving teams and improved customer service. A favourite mantra? Sheik Mohammed: ‘In the race for excellence there is no finish line.’


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Austria on a roll Austria’s first ever bid to host the Ryder Cup might not have come to fruition, but as KPMG’s Golf Benchmark Survey in Austria 2015 reveals, there is clearly everything to play for in this golfing nation.


ccording to the World Tourism Organisation, Austria ranks eighth in Europe in terms of international tourist arrivals. Such numbers offer impressive potential, placing Austria not far behind major golfing destinations such as France, Spain, Italy, Turkey and the United Kingdom. The popularity of the game has also grown significantly among Austrians, with the number of registered golfers in Austria tripling in the past two decades, surpassing 100,000 players affiliated with the Austrian Golf Association. The number of golf courses has increased by 98% over the same period; the average Austrian golf club now has approximately 753 members. Andrea Sartori, head of KPMG’s Golf Advisory


Practice in the EMA region, said: “Our study reveals that Austria offers the game of golf a strong foundation to take itself forward with the next generation of golfers and development. Our analysis has also demonstrated that there appears to be significant additional development opportunities for golf in Austria.” Interestingly Austria, together with Germany, now has the highest concentration of women golfers in Europe, at 35%. Youngsters are being drawn into the game with the Austrian Golf Association’s ‘Hello Juniors’ youth programme. Launched to encourage children under the age of 12 to play golf, the programme is also designed to promote golf in the eyes of parents. This has received wide support from clubs, giving this important segment the opportunity to play free or at a discounted price. • For further details visit www.golfbenchmark.com

Dr. Peter Enzinger, President, Austrian Golf Association Golf plays a deeply significant role in our tourism sector, and given Austria’s passion for activity and the outdoors, it is no surprise that this sport has a firm place in our society. In order to maintain the high level of interest in the sport, in terms of development, the Austrian Golf Association is proud to have launched several beneficial programmes aimed at youth development and education. The sport’s barometer is, in essence, the Golf Club, but another such barometer is the involvement of youth in the sport as a means of sustainability and regeneration. All young people should have the chance to take part in the sport and to participate in tournaments, and the organised structure of the Austrian Golf Association can help turn this long-term strategy into a reality.



How City Clubs are raising the bar You may be forgiven for assuming that City Clubs will be cramped, crammed into tight spaces and always keeping a careful eye on numbers in and numbers out. However, as Clubhouse Europe discovers on a whirlwind tour of 11 clubs in six European cities, this is far from the case. Read on... AUSTRIA RED BULL SALZBURG Salzburg, Austria

Red Bull HQ, Salzburg Salzburg’s Ice Hockey Club is flying. In April last year the Red Bulls re-took the national ice hockey crown after four years, becoming Champion of the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga for the fifth time and Austrian Champion for the sixth time. Their home, Salzburg’s Ice Rink, was built in the 1960s and modernised in 2002. It offers a wide variety of ice sports activities, such as activities for the public, ice hockey, figure skating, curling, short track speed skating and formation skating. During the ice-skating season, the hall is working to full capacity from 8am to 12pm. The Red Bulls Juniors have completed their first year at the newly opened Red Bull Ice Hockey Academy, demonstrating strong performances by winning both the U-18 Erste Bank Juniors League and the U-16 Bundesliga (1st division) and coming second in the U-20 Erste Bank Young Stars League. FC RED BULL SALZBURG Salzburg, Austria FC Red Bull Salzburg was first formed as SV Austria Salzburg in the 1930s after the merger of the city's two clubs, Hertha and Rapid. The name change came about when Red Bull decided to back the club, the global drinks company having its Head Quarters just outside the city centre. The club has a loyal following – 21.5 thousand

followers on Twitter for example – and the ninetimes Austrian champion and triple Austrian cup winner plays in the Austrian top flight. THE RAIFFEISEN VIKINGS Vienna, Austria American Football has a strong following in Europe and Vienna’s Raiffeisen Vikings are recognised as one of Europe's most prominent clubs. Founded in 1983, the Vikings are part of the Austrian Football League (AFL) which came into being in 1984, playing by the rules of the US’s NCAA(National Collegiate Athletic Association). Attendance at games regularly hits between 20004.000 visitors.

In terms of the club itself, the majority of team players come up through the ranks, with junior coaching starting from the age of 10. The inclusive club’s philosophy is built around the ideals of ‘success, sportsmanship and true amateurism’. In 2009 the club opened its own practice facility with two state of the art artificial turf fields, a gym and offices. INTERNATIONAL SPORTS CENTRE (ISC) Vienna, Austria

ISC is perhaps the perfect fitness centre for those who like to mix exercise with a little shopping. Right in the city centre, the club is set back from Mariahilfer straße, one of the city’s main pedestrianised shopping streets. Club membership is flexible with six month options available. Fees start at €30 per month and the club opens from 8am to 10pm Monday – Friday with slightly shorter hours at the weekend.




ENGLAND ROEHAMPTON CLUB London, England Roehampton Club was first formed as an officers' polo club in April, 1902. Its facilities then included three polo grounds, a racecourse, showground and an area where women could practice driving, tilting and jumping, all in stunning parkland. Now, the South West London club enjoys the same setting but focuses on four core sports – croquet, golf (18 holes; par 71), squash and tennis. There are two swimming pools, a state of the art gym and a fitness studio, as well as the Sports Bar (overlooking the 18th green), the Juice Bar (in the Health Club) and the Club Café which opens all day (from 8am for breakfast). Juniors are an important part of club life with Junior golf, squash and tennis sections. The Sports Hall is available for indoor Junior football and tennis. There’s also a playground for 3-10 year-olds plus a Crèche.

GOLDEN LANE SPORT & FITNESS London, England Golden Lane Sport & Fitness works alongside a Sports and Community Development team and the City of London Corporation to develop sporting and physical activity opportunities for the community.

Opening between 6am and 10pm Monday – Friday (and 8am to 10pm at weekends), potential members can try out the club’s facilities on a free two-day pass. Existing members are encouraged to increase their frequency of visits with incentives and competitions. Facilities include: • Accessible services. • Group Exercise Studio.


• • • • • • • • •

Gym. Indoor badminton courts. Multi-use courts and games area. Outdoor netball courts. Outdoor tennis courts. Short mat bowls. Sports hall. Swimming Pool. Therapy Room.

HUNGARY ACADEMY GOLF CLUB Budapest, Hungary The Academy Golf Budapest (pictured above and below) is the most centrally located city golf course in Budapest and benefits from a spectacular location with panoramic views. The 9-hole course (1,602m; par 30) is open year round and the clubhouse offers high quality catering with exceptional views. Visitors are welcome and coaching for all ages and all levels is encouraged. There is a large driving range (28 covered tees) and over 2,000 square metres of practice areas including chipping, pitching and putting greens. Annual membership is around €570 with family membership coming in at €791. Green fees for 9 holes range from around €19 to €24 depending on the day.

GILDA MAX FLÓRIÁN Budapest, Hungary This is the flagship operation in Budapest’s Gilda Max Fitness network. The oldest and biggest of its centres, it can be found in the Flórián Business Centre where it takes up a total of 2500 square metres over two floors, comprising the aerobics, fitness, cardio and training gym plus the newer Combat Sports centre. There are over 40 forms of movement and exercise available at the 24-hour operation, from traditional classes to contemporary trends such as TRX and bootcamps. Activities and facilities include: • Body gym – Strength and conditioning machines, functional frame, personal training. • Cardio gym – Running machines, elliptical trainers, step platforms.

• Aerobics gym – Fat burning and figure shaping, step, dance, hot iron, aero kickboxing, yoga, pilates, zumba, pregnant mother and mother and baby classes, spinning, spin race. • Functional gym – TRX, sparrowbag, bootcamp, cross training, spartan athletics. • Combat sports centre – Boxing, martial arts/k1, kempo, xma. • There is also a squash court, sauna, solarium, child-minding facilities and catering. • Day passes start at under €5 moving up to annual passes at around €580 euros.



FRANCE CMG SPORTS CLUB Paris, France CMG Sports Club is a network of 23 state-of-theart health and fitness clubs in Paris located around key Parisienne landmarks including the Champs Elysees and the Louvre. These locations mean extra revenue opportunities with tourist day passes at €29. Annual membership is €990. The clubs collectively boast 80 activities, classes and facilities including: • Seven heated pools. • Hammams and saunas. • 14 indoor cycling studios.

• Large cardio areas. • State of the art machines with video screen. • Training rooms for body-building, free weights and abs-stretching. • Classes for all levels and all abilities. • Fitness-to-music classes from Body Balance and Body Combat to Body Pump and Strala Yoga.


EDINBURGH SPORTS CLUB Edinburgh, Scotland Edinburgh Sports Club is a five minute walk from Edinburgh Castle and busy Princes Street, sited on an island in the city’s Water of Leith, a World Heritage site. Squash, racketball, padel tennis, tennis, table tennis and exercise classes are all on offer, as well as a suite of health and fitness services. The club has seven squash courts, three floodlit tennis courts, a hardball doubles court, table-tennis, snooker tables and a gym. The clubhouse includes a bar, restaurant and barbecue area and describes itself as ‘a good old

fashioned members club’ with organised activities, from club nights and handicap tournaments to tours and international events. The clubhouse bar is a hub for social activities such as Burns Night celebrations, Edinburgh Festival Fringe events and screening of top sporting action. And, within easy walking distance of Scottish Rugby’s home Murrayfield Stadium, members are encouraged to book lunch at the club and watch the pre-match analysis before heading off to the game: “ You might even pop by after the match for a few refreshments to debate the performance!”

EDINBURGH NORTHERN RUGBY FOOTBALL CLUB Edinburgh, Scotland Founded in 1920, the club’s first home ground was Warriston Park before moving to its current home at Edinburgh’s Inverleith Park in 1926. In 1953 a post-war facility at the west entrance of Inverleith Park was rented and this is still in use today (although much renovated and upgraded). The clubhouse has a fully licensed bar and the club boasts a lively social membership for nonplayers, organising parties, nights out and tours abroad. Regular events including Burns night, club dinners, race nights and ladies nights. The club runs a 1st XV, a 2nd XV and The Gents, a veterans’ team for over 35s. It also hosts Scotland’s largest annual 7s competition. Eight Edinburgh Junior Sides contested the first tournament back in 1955 and the current format, dating from 1981, follows that of the Hong Kong Sevens. Over 1520 ties have been staged in the main Tournament with the 1000th tie kicking off on 18 April,1998.




Toptipsonimproving thePace of Play Pace of Play is a perennial hot topic for golf clubs all over the world. Yes we all know that a round takes longer than it used to – thanks in the main to longer courses – but is there really any excuse for unnecessarily slow rounds? CMAE’s Mike Braidwood says no.


hilst golf’s governing bodies continue to pander to the slow play needs of our global superstars (in my opinion at least) the same speed of play cannot be entertained with our less feted ‘ordinary’ members. We all want to ensure that they have a thoroughly enjoyable time on the course without snarl-ups ahead. So in the absence of a motorway-style variable speed limit – now there’s a thought! – here are 10 ways to improve the flow of play at your club, and to ensure even more happy customers. 1. Communication (Part 1) The first thing you need to do is measure and analyse where your issues lie. Communicate with your membership that you’re keen to understand the issues surrounding Pace of Play and get their buy-in to the solutions. You’ll need them to record their round times on their score cards and hand them in at the golf shop or bar before they leave.


2. Measurement (Part 1) When measuring Pace of Play, make it as easy as possible for members to log the time it took to go round. Ideally include a place to write down the start and finish time on the score card (finish time box should be next to the signature lines or total score) or simply staple a tear off slip to each card and ask the players to drop the slip into a box back in the golf shop or bar. Date: ________________________________ Number of players in group: _______________ Format played: _________________________ Tees played from: _______________________ Weather: _____________________________ Stop after 9 / at half way house: ___________ Start time: ____________________________ Finish time: ___________________________ Total time of round: _____________________ Comments: ___________________________

If you can carry this survey out for a decent period of time – a whole season would be great – you’ll find the data gathered will be extremely valuable. And you’ll start to notice an improvement in the Pace of Play by simply putting your survey into place. Log the data and start looking for the trends. 3. Identify your problems and make a plan to improve Often it’s not the golfers who are the problem, but how the course is set up. So before setting stringent time targets for members, take a look at your course set up and plan how to make it more player friendly. There is nothing wrong with making a golf course easier. I’ve never played a course that is too easy – and I don’t get many people complaining of having too good a score! Take a cold hard look at your course; you are most likely punishing the players who have enough problems as it is without tour pro pin positions and

knee high rough. So your course overview should look at: • Rough / width of fairways (especially landing zone of high handicappers). • Paths – are they the most direct route from tee to green? • Pin positions – is your green keeper briefed on appropriate pin positions based on the weather and number of players playing on a particular day? • Tee positions relative to weather conditions – move some tees forward on windy days. Your course rating is on total length with a 10% variance; therefore, if your course is 7,000 yards long you have up to 700 yards to play with on windy days.




Slope Rating

Recommend ability




Professionals and amateurs with handicap < 6




Gents handicap 6 to 17




Gents handicap 18 to 27 Ladies handicap < 12




Ladies handicap 13 + Gents handicap 28 +

greens on downwind holes). For holes that have a long carry to the fairway consider moving the tees forward (they do this in the Open!).

Once you have your own house (course) in order you can then go about working out what the acceptable length of time should be to play your course.

7. Tee boxes – ability tees Advertise your teeing grounds based on ability as opposed to gender. If you have large teeing grounds of more than three teeing ground options then put out more than three sets of tees. More senior players may enjoy a shorter course to play on, for example. Also contact your national golf union to get them to slope rate your red tees for both ladies and gents.

4. Measurement (Part 2) – how long should it take to go round? This is not an exact science, but start with a 4 ball playing stroke play. Using the very simplistic model of a 6,600 yards par 72 course made up of 4 par 3s, 10 par 4s and 4 par 5s, this should work out as follows: Par 3 (150 yards) @ 9 mins x 4 holes = 36 mins Par 4 (400 yards) @12 mins x 10 holes = 120 mins Par 5 (500 yards) @17 mins x 4 = 68 mins Total = 224 mins/3hrs, 44 mins (You may want to add in some time for a stop after 9 holes.) Play around with this model, refine it to suit your course, and then set your Pace par for your members to achieve. Many clubs have already set a Pace par, but avoid being too generic. You need to set Pace pars for a variety of scenarios as below. (These numbers are standard targets only; they will vary daily depending on the weather conditions, format of play, the number of players on the course etc. Put a notice in the shop or at the starters box detailing the expected Pace for the day.)

inform the customer that their round is expected to take, for example, 3 hours 44 mins. Pace of Play should be referred to on booking confirmation letters, score cards, on the club web site, on notice boards etc. You could even have a notice on the first tee sponsored by a brewery saying your next pint will be in 3 hours 44 minutes!

5. Communication (Part 2) Now you have your Pace par in place you can start your communication strategy to your members and visitors. Everyone needs to buy into this for it to be a total success. Members need to be written to and notices put on boards. Your pro must reaffirm the Pace of Play for each group teeing off and you should still insist on everyone recording the time it took for their round. Also, when taking bookings

6. Course set up – to suit the event/conditions We have mentioned course set up before, but this should really be a consideration on a daily basis. This needs strong communication between the club manager, golf professional and green keeper. The more information the green keeper has the better he can set up set the course up for each day/event. If strong winds are predicted, then pin positions in the centre of greens are better (or at the back of

White tees (Medal tees)

Yellow (Regular play)

Red tees (Ladies, Juniors, Seniors)

4 ball stroke play

3hrs 44 mins

3 hrs 36 mins

3 hrs 24 mins

3 ball stroke play

3hrs 36 mins

3 hrs 28 mins

3 hrs 18 mins

2 ball stroke play

3hrs 24 mins

3 hrs 20 mins

3 hrs 12 mins

8. Education Pace of Play is an ongoing educational process. It is well worth running some Pace of Play presentations in your club house (something for people to do in the winter evenings). Provide tips and advice on how to speed up play along with detailing the changes you have made at the club to address the issue. Indeed The R&A have an excellent video on how to improve Pace of Play and the USGA has recently introduced a Pace of Play campaign (http://www.randa.org/en/rules-and-amateur-status/pace-of-play.aspx ). Don’t forget to get the pros involved. If they can introduce Pace of Play tips in their coaching sessions then we’re on the right path to eradicating this problem. 9. Make a campaign of it One of the most innovative ways I have seen at one club was to develop a whole campaign around a mascot, Toby the tortoise! When golfers fell behind the Pace of Play they stuck a stuffed toy tortoise on the roof of the golf cart of the offending golfers. This light hearted approach was received well with humour while also making the point.

10. Make it fun to improve Pace of Play Show some funny you tube clips in the club house, the Ben Crane ones are excellent – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cl7B55srBhs Run a speed golf tournament to raise awareness. And why not present an award to the most improved slow golfer or slow 4 ball? So there you have it. As you can see there are plenty of initiatives that can help improve the dreaded slow play issue; give it a try this season.



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Top performing clubsshow value ofstrategic planning In a recent study from GGA’s Institute for Best Practice which examined the behaviours of 100 of the world’s top performing clubs, 79% of those clubs in Europe (including the UK) stated that their club is currently implementing a strategic plan. “Is your club following the example set by these leading clubs?” asks GGA Partner Rob Hill.


sked if they’re following the examples of the world’s top performing clubs, most club executives, course owners and operators would probably say they do. But do they really? If a strong strategic plan is in place, then the club committee/board/ownership and management should be very clear about three things: 1. The club’s competitive position in its market Some club leaders misjudge their market position

because there is no reliable data that refute or confirms their ambitions. As such, the club is priced improperly against its value proposition. In the same study cited above, just 43% of clubs stated their strategic plans were guided by thorough market research. 2. Members’ priorities What tops members’ wish lists and what are they willing to pay to ensure the club continues to meet

their expectations? Member surveys are critical tools to measuring and monitoring member expectations and needs. 3. Projected revenues How does the club plan to add members and finance needed capital improvements for the next five years? Clubs that don’t have a clear understanding of these three foundational elements most likely don’t



STRATEGIC PLANNING have an adequate strategic plan guiding their future direction. They’re also putting their business in a vulnerable position. What is strategic planning? Strategic planning is simply the process of defining long-term goals and identifying the resources needed to achieve those goals. A strategic plan is the document that results from a strategic planning process and defines the following: • The club’s vision or purpose for being in existence. • Where the club wants to be in five years in terms of its membership and financial position. • How it intends to get there through a set of prioritized actions. But what is simply stated is often much more complex in its development. For example, a strategic plan would anticipate and address questions such as the following: • Is the club operating with a current capital expense plan and budget? • Is a new clubhouse or a clubhouse renovation planned? • What are the club’s membership goals? • How do revenue forecasts compare to projected expenses? • How does the club plan to deal with agronomic issues that will affect course conditions and its ability to increase dues? • Is the club taking steps to be environmentally sustainable? • What happens when unforeseen circumstances create financial instability? • Does the club have a current crisis communications plan? Why a strategic plan is important? On the subject of change, esteemed management consultant Peter Drucker once said: “It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” We feel just as strongly about strategic planning, which often calls for changes in the ways a club thinks and operates. It’s only important if you want to give your facility its best chance to succeed. In today’s fragile economy and club environment, the greatest threat to survival is financial instability. This is a condition that is brought on by any number of factors and circumstances. In communities where a single business or industry dominates, if a major manufacturer cuts back on its workforce, the trickle_down effect will be felt all the way to the club. Or, if a group of influential members decides that the clubhouse needs a renovation and ramrods approval of a capital expense that revenues cannot match, the club might suddenly find itself on shaky financial footing. Unfortunately, we see examples of these scenarios – some unforeseen and unavoidable, others selfinflicted – on a regular basis. For clubs that find themselves in these situations, a carefully developed strategic plan will help them survive; it may have even helped them avoid financial calamity in the first place.


Five elements of strategic planning There are five key elements of an effective strategic plan. Each defines a specific phase of the strategic planning process and collectively they help clubs avoid the fatal flaws of strategic planning. 1. Market analysis Start by comparing the club’s vision and mission statements to market reality. Is the club correctly positioned in its market? Does that position align with its vision and mission? Or has the market shifted (a common occurrence in recent years) to such an extent that the mission and/or vision needs to be revised? In the same study cited earlier, just 43% of club’s base their strategic plans on thorough market research. 2. Financial analysis Compare the club’s financial performance to documented and well-researched best practices to gain a thorough understanding of the business and how well it is performing. 3. Board retreat and focus group meetings Solicit opinions on club direction, needs and priorities from an ad hoc group of board members. The board retreat is followed by focus group meetings with a randomly selected cross section of club members based on gender, age and length of membership. Input from these sessions provides the basis for the questions that make up the member survey.

market segment. Clubs that are not best in class gravitate toward the middle of the market, where the majority of clubs reside. The middle of any market today (aka, average) is a confusing, costly and ultimately debilitating place to compete. It’s where clubs go to die. Who should develop the strategic plan? We are often asked by prospective clients, “Couldn’t we do this ourselves?” The answer is a qualified yes. Yes, most club management is fully capable of developing a strategic plan. But in our opinion it’s not advisable to do so. Admittedly, this is a highly self-serving opinion. But it’s one we unabashedly espouse after spending years watching clubs struggle through the process on their own, trying to find the three to four months of dedicated time it requires, trying to be honest with themselves about the strengths and weaknesses of their facility and trying to remove any and all vestiges of bias from their recommendations. Summary A strategic plan helps a club understand its competitive position, members’ priorities and financial position. It defines vision, aspirations and the steps the club needs to take to reach its goals. The plan is the result of a disciplined process that carefully considers market and financial conditions and members’ expectations. In a fragile economy and club environment, a strategic plan gives a club its best chance to grow and achieve best-in-class status.

4. Member survey A strategic plan focuses on the most important issues facing an organisation. The member survey should do the same thing. We consider the member survey the cornerstone of the strategic planning process because it helps uncover members’ expectations, how they define value and their tolerance for fees and dues increases. It tells the board what the majority of members want from their club and distinguishes the opinion of the silent majority from that of the vocal minority. 5. Board presentation Once member survey results are compiled and analysed, develop a recommended course of action for presentation to the committee/board/owner. These action steps might include such things as restarting and re-targeting the membership marketing process and program, refining the scope of services at the club and aligning club programs and pricing to the priorities of the member audiences that are being served. Approval of the recommended course of action gives the green light to begin development of the strategic plan. In total, the steps described above generally require three to four months to complete. The process is facilitated by open and clear channels of communication between those developing the plan and those providing input. It is exacerbated by the lack of the same thing. The plan charts a course for the club to be best in class in the market segment it wants to own. Best in class should be the goal of every club, regardless of

Rob Hill

CONTACT DETAILS GGA (formerly KMPG Golf Industry Practice) is the largest consulting firm in the world dedicated to golf and club-related businesses. From offices in Ireland, USA and Canada the firm provides advisory and support services to more than 2,700 clients worldwide. GGA specialises in strategic planning, non-profit governance, membership and operational performance analysis. They are a CMAE Corporate Partner. t. +353-1-44-33-603 e. rhill@globalgolfadvisors.com www.globalgolfadvisors.com



CRM & Database Management

Do you know your customers? Are you doing all you can to capture, utilise and maintain your customer data? ESP Leisure explains the role of Customer Relationship Management.


he core of your Business is the Customer. Retaining your existing Customers and attracting new Customers is an important ingredient in achieving success. Understanding who your Customers are assists in the management of marketing campaigns and structuring of budgets across the estate. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an avenue to managing your company’s interaction with current and future customers. It often entails using technology to organise, automate, and synchronise sales, marketing and customer service. ESP Leisure provides powerful and effective Management Software solutions to many leading organisations and Clubs. With over 25 years at the forefront of the industry, the knowledge and experience to deliver tailor-made systems that are easy to use and represent excellent value for money, is why we are the preferred partner for many Local Authority Sports Facilities, Members Clubs, Universities, Leisure Trusts, Spas, Hotels and Golf Clubs. ESP’s Elite Club Management System ensures that the client database retains necessary information within its administration module that is instantly accessible to staff in managing client profiles, historical, transactional and marketing information. The ability to target individual members and user-defined segments provides innovative means of staying in touch with your customers. ESP’s Elite CRM and database management allows the following benefits:

• Multiple address capture • Family and corporate record links of which the system easily identifies linked profiles, providing effective administration of family and corporate members • Document storage against specific records, whether they’re created within the system or created externally and imported, by which eliminates manual filing systems • Views of booking and attendance history, enables statistical analysis and provides the function to analyse by individuals or groups • Flexible customer searches, enables tailored marketing campaigns by defined segmentation to specific audiences • All record amendment data • Mail merge with MS-Word, easy to use integration allows you to produce personalised documents and mail shots This is just a small part of what Elite encompasses, our solution has many elements including, Food & Beverage, Stock Control, Bookings, PMS, Spa Management, Access Control, Kiosk software as well as Table ordering solutions to online member services. The list is endless....

Our partnership with ESP has been established for 12 years. During this time we have introduced the Elite product to all areas of our diverse business. As a business we now have complete control and integration of our entire customer base allowing us to work more efficiently and effectively. Having all this information in one place and the reports provided by the Elite product means we can make informed decisions to ensure our customers have a first class experience. Dean Bennett – China Fleet Country Club, Saltash, Cornwall

CONTACT DETAILS For more information on ESP’s Elite Solution for your club, please visit www.e-s-p.com or contact a member of the sales team on 020 82515 100.



Data privacy – livingbynewrules AIIM’s report, Data Privacy – living by new rules, examines the consequences of data breaches and asks what steps users are taking to avoid them.


he amount of personal data stored by clubs, companies and governments has soared, and the value of that data to thieves and fraudsters has multiplied as more and more personal business is transacted on the internet. Identity theft has become a major new crime. Ensuring data privacy has never been easy. The increasing use of cloud and mobile devices for content access and collaboration puts additional demands on security and protection at the club. As the Report reveals, insider threats from staff members are more likely than attacks from external hackers, and the likelihood of data loss through staff negligence is higher still. Creating balanced responsibilities with cloud providers and outsourcers is difficult, particularly when huge corporations are involved. Encryption is important, but using and managing it brings its own problems.

Security and cloud • 72% of respondents feel that security measures taken by cloud providers are better (44%) or the same (28%) as their own. 15% don’t use cloud or SaaS because of data protection concerns. • 31% need cloud data centres to be in-country or in-region. 18% would use a hybrid model to protect PII. 73% would like to see cloud providers do more to re-assure data controllers.

KEY FINDINGS Governance of personal data • The operations of 38% of organisations surveyed are highly dependent on sensitive personal content, such as healthcare, financial, claimant, etc. 33% have some sensitive customer or client data; 20% have just basic HR content. • 36% of smaller organizations, 43% of mid-sized and 52% of large organizations have reported a data breach in the past 12 months. 19% reported a loss due to staff intent and 28% from staff negligence, compared to 13% from external hackers. • 26% suffered loss or exposure of customer data and 18% lost employee data. As a consequence, 10% received action or fines from the regulator, 25% saw a disruption to business and 18% a loss of customer trust. • 24% of respondents feel that their senior managers do not take the risks of data privacy breaches seriously. 13% consider that operational considerations override compliance. • 34% feel that social networks undermine data privacy rules and 43% agree that over-zealous ID checks have a negative impact on customer experience. 68% would like to see governments encourage stronger, tamper-proof encryption.

Industry • 46% are (or were) using Safe Harbor agreements to comply with data protection requirements for European citizens, although not exclusively. Standard Contractual Clauses are used by 62%, and individual consent by 46%. • 11% consider the recent European Court ruling on Safe Harbor to be a disaster. 67% are placing increased reliance on other measures. 33% are waiting for a renegotiation of Safe Harbor, or clarification through the GDPR.


Storing Data on Europeans Outside of Europe – Safe Harbor • Of the 15% of responding organizations storing data on Europeans outside of Europe, most are storing HR records (53%) or using offshore data centres (24%). 24% use SaaS payroll or HR apps, and 18% use SaaS for CRM or sales.

Storing Data on Europeans Within Europe – GDPR • 37% of those storing Europeans’ data are not familiar with forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations, including 11% who (mistakenly) think it will not apply to them. 11% are making changes now, and 12% are already in good shape. • The right to be forgotten raises the biggest issue for 41% of our respondents, as will email addresses being considered personal data. Being able to provide an electronic copy of personal data is an issue for 36%, and data export restrictions for 32%.

• 35% are expecting GDPR to have a financial impact, including 9% where it will be considerable. 39% are of the opinion that harmonizing European regulations will cost businesses less in the long term. Encryption and correction • 62% do not encrypt email addresses, and 25% do not encrypt credit card data. 64% claim to encrypt all PII, rising to 75% for sensitive personal data. • Persuading staff when and how to use encryption is the biggest issue, then dealing with forgotten passwords or lost 2-factor devices. Dead or inacessible content is cited as an issue by only 10% of organizations. • 20% rely on metadata and content types to drive security, but half admit to poor metadata standards. 18% are already using metadata corection tools, with a further 13% having immediate plans to do so. • 46% rely on passwords to secure content in place. Only 7% use in-document security. Spend • Mobile device security is set for the biggest spend increase, along with data security products and then encryption. 14% plan to increase spend on external staff training.

AIIM is a non-profit association dedicated to nurturing, growing and supporting the information management community. The full report is available free to AIIM Professional Members. AIIM Europe The IT Centre Lowesmoor Wharf Worcester, WR1 2RR t. 01905 727600 www.aiim.eu


HTTPS – does your

clubwebsite need it? Encryption, privacy, web security. Even if the importance of these issues evade the average Internet user, there is no denying it is a popular theme in the media, as well as being high on the government agenda for the next five years. So what does this mean to clubs? Larry Hardcastle explains.


he idea of some unknown third party intercepting communications between a user and the websites they interact with stirs up strong emotions. Much the same as you would want the contents of a private conversation between you and your better half kept just that – private – it is generally accepted that the interaction with a website should have similar standards. An insecure website served only over HTTP protocol can foster a sense of distrust and unease amongst those visiting it. This is something that all Internet users will be more conscious about avoiding in the future since there is a big industry push towards having all websites ‘secure’. For a website to be secure, it needs to have a security certificate installed, often referred to as the ‘SSL certificate’. This allows for data to be ‘scrambled’, with the key to ‘unscramble’ this data being only accessible to the user and the website. So this means that any third party trying to intercept data sent back and forth between a user and a website will only ever see it in its ‘scrambled’ form. But what has this got to do with your club website? Well, whether you should consider implementing it ultimately boils down to how your club leverages its existing web presence, so we’ll look at a number of cases. NO: YOUR CLUB WEBSITE DOES NOT NEED HTTPS Assuming your website only acts as a simple point of reference – containing contact details, details of upcoming events and any other marketing materials – there will not be a pressing need to set up HTTPS as a matter of urgency. This is because a visitor will not be submitting any confidential information; they will just be reading the information you have presented. It is worth mentioning that this advice may not be valid in the near future, considering the pace of adoption in the wider Internet industry – a recent example being Wikipedia’s announcement that anyone who reads their articles will have encryption enabled by default. This suggests that setting up HTTPS on a simple site could well become a necessary requirement rather than an optional consideration.

YES: YOUR CLUB WEBSITE NEEDS HTTPS If your club website happens to provide anything more than a point of reference, perhaps basic functionality that lets somebody fill out and submit a simple form, then enabling encryption ought to be a serious consideration. If you don’t currently have HTTPS enabled on a club website that offers more in-depth features and functionality such as a booking system, then you should be aware that your members’ login details will be vulnerable to interception. Implementing encryption may therefore instil a greater sense of trust on behalf of members using the website on a regular basis. Any effort or small cost expended on setting up HTTPS may also boost your club’s search engine presence. This point is aligned with Google’s announcement in August 2014, where they said that a website served over a HTTPS connection will rank higher than one served insecurely through HTTP, all things held equal. A valid SSL certificate also has the added benefit of letting a user know they are talking to the right website, and have some assurance that they are dealing with a legitimate business. This is opposed to a website masquerading as a club, perhaps hiding some

DEFINITIONS 1. HTTP is used to send and receive webpages and files on the Internet. 2. HTTPS is just a secure version of HTTP, encrypting information in transit to stop hackers from stealing it. more sinister intentions. All things considered, we highly recommend getting your club website secured. The real question should be a matter of when; do you implement it now and start receiving the outlined benefits, or implement as a reaction to a member’s data being compromised – a realistic worst case scenario?

CONTACT DETAILS If your website is looking a bit tired and outdated and you’re after a brand spanking new site or, if you want to add more features or just want to discuss how your current site could be updated, please get in touch with Larrytech by email to sales@larrytech.com or call the team on 01892 888011.




Theft –it isn’t always a stranger Theft by an employee or club official is thankfully relatively rare but nonetheless we see a number of these claims every year. These crimes are particularly upsetting as they are often committed by people considered to be close friends so discovering that money or stock is missing often comes as a massive shock, says Andy Kitchener of Aon UK Limited.


e all think we are reasonable judges of character and these situations often leave you questioning your own judgement and wondering how you could be so wrong. Also these matters can be extremely delicate in that they affect personalities within the club so care needs to be taken. What should you do if you suspect internal theft is going on? 1. You should always contact the police in the first instance 2. You should then contact your insurance broker to report the claim 3. You should then call your insurers legal expenses team to again report the incident and obtain any advice from them regarding disciplinary action to be taken against the employee/official. For an insurer to ensure ALL claims are paid promptly and without incident then you will have need to comply with all conditions of your insurance policy. No matter who provides your club insurance there will be conditions attached and these can change over time so should be reviewed each year. Making the small print BIG print so to speak. We thought it would be useful to highlight some typical conditions which may appear in policy wording. You should of course refer to your own clubs policy wording for a definitive guide. There will be special conditions which make you aware of the checks and systems you should have in place. If you aren’t operating in this way then the claim could be repudiated. For example one of the most common reasons a claim can fail is that the club have failed to get adequate written references for employees or officers. Typical conditions include: • The fraud or theft would need to be committed during the Period of Insurance, even if it is discovered later. Your policy may have a maximum


timeframe after which claims can’t be made. • When you discover any act which may give rise to a claim you should immediately take steps to prevent further loss. • Before engaging any employee or club officers a satisfactory written reference should be obtained covering their previous employment. This may need to be produced in the event of a claim. • There could be a stipulation that money is handed to an authorised employee or banked within a specified time frame, e.g. 24 hours or within three days of receipt. • Cash book entries and other records of money received should be fully checked on a regular basis. This is often stipulated as every month at least. • Often there is a condition that stock should be independently and physically checked at least annually.

You should be aware of some of these conditions before a claim is made rather than afterwards when it may be too late. It is important to make sure that you understand your obligations and discuss them with your insurer if necessary.

CONTACT DETAILS Andy Kitchener Aon UK Limited m: 07714 180 551 e: andy.kitchener@aon.co.uk Whilst care has been taken in the production of this letter and the information contained within it has been obtained from sources that Aon UK Limited believes to be reliable, Aon UK Limited does not warrant, represent or guarantee the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or fitness for any purpose of this or any part of this letter and can accept no liability for any loss incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may rely on it. In any case any recipient shall be entirely responsible for the use to which it puts this letter. This letter has been compiled using information available to us up to 11th January 2016.



Membership matters Excluding people from your organisation or membership is never pleasant. Disciplinary processes are often time consuming and they can be expensive if handled incorrectly. They can also damage the goodwill of your business and leave people feeling resentful, explains Alex Peebles, from Irwin Mitchell’s*. Fair Process Members are entitled to a fair process. This will usually include the ability to state their case in writing or orally at a meeting before a final decision to exclude is made. The way in which the fair process is forwarded is largely a matter for your organisation. There is not a set way to do it but the process should comply with the following principles. Clarity The process must be clear. It is sensible to have a written policy and you should take reasonable steps to ensure that all members have access to the policy by, for instance, circulating the policy by email and placing the policy on your website if you have one. You should also notify members of any changes. The policy should be approved by your club’s executive or management group. Send a written copy of the policy to the member who will be subject to the proceedings so that they know what to expect. This could also be enshrined in the rules/constitution of the organisation to ensure transparency. Consistent Ensure that the policy is followed in all cases or any reasons for departing from it are explained and justified. The policy should make the exclusionary and disciplinary process clear. A sensible approach in most cases will be to advise the members concerned in writing that they are subject to a disciplinary or exclusionary procedure and invite their comments. It should be made clear that the disciplinary or exclusionary committee will proceed in their absence if they do not respond. Time limits should be set. Conduct The policy should also make clear the types of allegations and conduct that will lead to the instigation of the procedure. If your organisation wishes to provide that certain types of conduct, for instance unpaid subscriptions, constitutes “never events” for which exclusion will be automatic then this should be made clear in the policy. Hearing Most organisations will not be under a public law obligation to allow the member to put their case forward orally. The important thing is that there is some mechanism where members can provide representations as to why they ought not to be excluded. An oral hearing can be useful both for your organisation and the member concerned. Many

legal challenges arise in circumstances where a member feels that they have not been able to put their side of the story and allowing them an oral hearing is one way of avoiding this. Again, the majority of clubs will not be under any specific obligation to allow the member legal representation at the hearing but allowing legal representation may be one method of deflecting subsequent criticism that the process has been unfair. An alternative might be to allow representation by a friend or union representative. Information Members should be given sufficient information so that they can put their case. In most cases the details of the allegations, including the person who has made the complaint, should be provided at the earliest possible opportunity. There may be circumstances where this is inappropriate, perhaps because the allegations relate to child protection. Any exceptions should be noted in your policy. Findings of fact Don’t fall into the “fact trap”. Decisions to exclude are often challenged because the organisation has not made it clear whose version of events it prefers. In some cases there will be no dispute about the material facts and the real question will be whether the conduct is so serious that exclusion is the only option. But in cases where facts are disputed you need to decide which version of events you think is the most credible and why. Bias Organisations should, try to avoid any allegations of bias, try to ensure that no one who is a witness or party to the dispute is involved in resolving the case. Equality Act 2010 Organisations should be aware that the Equality Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of (amongst other matters) sex, disability and sexual orientation. The basic requirements imposed by the Equality Act are now generally well known. What is often overlooked is that the Equality Act also imposes obligations on organisations to make “reasonable adjustments” because of a disability. This can be relevant to actions under a disciplinary or exclusionary process and to your organisation generally. What is a “reasonable adjustment” depends on all the circumstances of the case but the following are examples of adjustments that the law is likely to expect you to make if you can:

Members should be given sufficient information so that they can put their case. In most cases the details of the allegations, including the person who has made the complaint, should be provided at the earliest possible opportunity.

1. Provide your policies in large print for people who are partially sighted; 2. Placing hand or “grab” rails on stair cases; 3. Providing accessible bathroom facilities for disabled members and customers Remember that your obligations under the Equality Act apply to existing members, potential members who wish to apply for membership and your customers. Organisations are often concerned that by allowing disabled members full access to the premises or facilities they run the risk of claims for falls or injuries. There is also the potential for claims under the Equality Act if such practices or policies are discriminatory. The law is not straightforward and specialist advice should be sought if you wish to restrict or limit access to your facilities or membership package for people with disabilities unless this is for an obvious reason. *Please note... This advice comes from a UK-based legal expert. Your club may be subject to different/additional requirements depending on your country of operation, your constitution, membership agreement and the sector in which you operate. Alex Peebles is a solicitor in Irwin Mitchell’s Public Law Department, specialising in regulatory and disciplinary work. t. 0191 270 0092 e. alex.peebles@irwinmitchell.com



Appreciating the value of the volunteer Would it surprise you to know that there are nearly 3.2 million people volunteering their time in the sport sector in the UK alonei? Or that the estimated economic value of all those volunteers is around £53 billionii? James Stibbs, Head of Communications for the London-based Sport & Recreation Alliance, examines the importance of encouraging club volunteers.


o say that sport and recreation relies heavily on the efforts of volunteers is an understatement. In fact, even these efforts in terms of time given are not enough to support all the sport and recreation clubs nationwide who rely on volunteers in order to provide their activities and services. Even those clubs and organisations that are in the fortunate position of having a good network of volunteers will be affected if even only a few drop out, so retention of volunteers is also an issue that clubs need to be aware of whatever your club.

Recruiting Volunteers Take the UK as an example. The average UK sports club has around 24 volunteers and 204 membersiii. This equates to one volunteer creating capacity for 8.5 members. The more volunteers you have, the more people can take part in and enjoy the club's activities. Looking at Alliance member, Parkrun, a not-forprofit organisation which organises running


events, has over 325 events taking place in the UK each week, seeing over 72,000 participants get their running shoes on. All of these events are arranged and managed by an army of volunteers around 6,000 strong. Were it not for volunteers, these great events would not be able to take place. So how can clubs go about finding volunteers? Accessing online communities and forums is one of the best places to start. Following the impact that the London 2012 Games Makers had, national governing bodies of sport are keen to tap into the enthusiasm and value that volunteers can bring to their competitions and sport. The Rugby Football Union has its “My Rugby” microsite where people can go and register their interest in becoming a volunteer. England Hockey has a similar approach. Through its Hockey Maker initiative, people can again view the latest opportunities to volunteer at hockey events up and down the country.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance has itself worked closely with Step Up To Serve’s #iwill campaign, a campaign designed to “make social action [volunteering] part of life for as many 10-20 yearolds as possible by 2020”. We created a pledge that clubs can support, promising to create opportunities for young people to volunteer in sport and embed youth social action into sport and recreation activities. Campaigns like this seek to create opportunities for people to volunteer as there is increasing awareness of the benefits volunteers extract for themselves through their activities. So if the demand is available, how do organisations connect with volunteers? Make the connection Unsurprisingly, online campaigns and resources are the best way for connections to be forged. Dedicated volunteering campaigns have been setup in order to grow the volunteer workforce in

sport and also marry up would-be volunteers to opportunities near them. The Join In campaign is just one example of this kind of campaign in action. Join In, the nation’s charity for local sports volunteering, has a mission to recruit and retain 100,000 volunteers in community sport each year. Using a two-pronged approach, individuals can find volunteering opportunities local to them while clubs can create a page and list the skills and number of vacancies that they are looking to fill, all from the same website. The tools available to both would-be volunteers and those looking for them have never been so sophisticated. However, finding a volunteer is one thing, ensuring they regularly come back and dedicate their time is another challenge altogether. And this is a truism whatever your club and in whatever country you are reading this. Retention to detail As with many commitments, the initial burst of enthusiasm is the easiest to act on. Think of New Year gym memberships for example. The same is true with people new to volunteering. If their first experience is not a particularly rewarding or enjoyable one, they are unlikely to continue to devote their time. All of which means creating a volunteer proposition and environment that is rewarding and keeps people coming back. A key and often missed component to ensure that clubs are delivering the right propositions is the tracking and monitoring of the volunteer workforce in the first place. If you can see how many volunteers you have and how frequently they give up their time, you’re in a bet-

ter position to be able to discover and create ways to entice and retain other volunteers. In the UK, companies like VolunteerKinetic (www. VolunteerKinetic.com) a volunteer management software company, enable organisations to take this kind of control over their volunteer proposition and data. From its own data, VolunteerKinetic have found a few simple things that keep volunteers engaged and coming back. Things like a low cost reward or incentive can really help motivate a volunteer to go above and beyond, so clubs should think about linking this to a system whereby you can give tangible rewards to volunteers in exchange for hours logged. Volunteers are giving up their time and skills; it is not at all unreasonable to expect them to get positive and affirming experiences in return. Even rewards like free access to club facilities, a small credit at the bar or waiving of annual subs work. One of the easiest ways to retain volunteers is also one of the simplest; making sure you say thank you to your volunteers, personally and through your management tools in obvious and public ways. Volunteer management platforms enable organisations and participants to thank their volunteers using feedback, and in addition, they are able to leave a few words of appreciation. Volunteers only see their positive responses and this accumulates on their achievements page and helps push up their volunteer achievement level along with their logged hour total. This gives a clear line of progress for the volunteer and constantly affirms their decision to volunteer. If you want to retain your great volunteers and build a lasting community keep in mind the mantra, affirm, reward, return. It is also important to remember that volunteer-

If you want to retain your great volunteers and build a lasting community keep in mind the mantra, affirm, reward, return.

ing is not a one-way street in terms of deriving benefit. Volunteers themselves accrue benefits from their activities. The economic value of a volunteer and the improvement in their wellbeing and mental health as a result of their activities, has been worked out to be £2,974 per volunteer. Equally, our own research has shown that employers value volunteering when it comes to improving job and careers prospects. Around 87% of UK employers believe volunteering can have a positive impact on a person’s career progression, while 80% value seeing volunteering information when it is on an applicant’s CV. When it comes to volunteering, the situation is clearly a win/win for all concerned. i

Join In - Hidden Diamonds Report Sports Club Survey 2013





Aweekinthelifeofan MDP1 candidate When Scott Patience, Club Manager at Reigate Heath Golf Club, won the inaugural Joe Perdue Bursary, he gained a sought-after place on CMAE’s five-day Management Development Program Part 1 course at the University of Warwick. One of 18 delegates covering CMAE’s 10 core competencies of club management, he’s now a great advocate of both the course and the qualification. Day One Michael Braidwood, Director of Education, welcomed us before introducing former journalist Bill Sanderson who got straight down to business, covering the management of change and the holy grail of delegation. (And following Bill’s perceptive views on time management, we all wished we could stick to Bill’s 40 hour week!) An intense first day culminated in the subtle art of wine tasting from Tolchards. Day Two Food and beverage expert, Steven Brown, shared his passion for service and together we tackled the pros and cons of keeping catering in-house or franchised out, whilst understanding the bottom line impact of such a decision. This proved fruitful as everyone’s set up was different - from commission-based contracts to in-house subsidies. (We even sharpened the pencil on working out the gross margin on chilli con carne!) High standards were key and the seven signs of poor and high service is something my team have already put in to practice. Day Three A busy day with six presenters. Jim Croxton, CEO of The British and International Greenkeepers Association, touched on their role within the industry before introducing Alastair Higgs, Course Manager at Windlesham GC, who gave a dynamic presentation on the ever changing role of Greenkeepers. Xact presented on everyone’s favourite subject, Health and Safety, with common sense advice as well as demonstrating the company’s own system. HR followed, covering club legislation and staffing issues, and David Colclough of The Professional Golfer Association then gave an insight into the key role the Golf Professional plays at the club. Finally, Eddie Bullock, Director of The Golf Club Managers Association, joined us for the evening, sharing his passion on high levels of service.

Scott receives his MDP1 certificate from CMAE President Marc Newey (left) and David Balden (right). Day Four Duncan Ritchie presented on all things finance with great gusto and enthusiasm. His engaging story telling turned a heavy topic into an entertaining journey of how to read and understand your accounts. Bill Sanderson then shared his thoughts on marketing covering various stimulating topics. Day Five The final day had slight tension in the air as all 18 delegates had to sit their MDP 1 exam after the morning’s presentations. Kevin Fish, Club Development Manager for Scottish Golf, covered how to turn poor practise into effective governance, asking some key performance questions of your committee. David Roy, Secretary of Crail Golfing Society, provided sound advice on systems for facilities management; ‘a wait ’til it breaks policy’ only leads to more costs down the line or even legal implications because of injury. All delegates then sat through the quietest lunch of the week whilst fastidiously reading all their notes before completing the Part 1 test. After handing in our papers, Michael Braidwood went on to wrap up the week with tar-

geted career development advice, and advice on how we should manage ourselves and our careers. Both motivating and helpful, this left us all feeling very positive after a fantastic five days. Finally, in addition to the excellent speakers, the opportunity to share ideas and best practice with the other delegates was invaluable. With colleagues working in a variety of sectors in both club management and different countries, we enjoyed lively discussion on many topical issues. So not only have I taken away some great ideas but I’ve made new friends and new contacts. I am delighted to say I passed my MDP Part 1 and look forward to putting into practise what I have learnt and to continue my professional development through CMAE.

STOP PRESS... Since writing this and achieving his MDP1, Scott has been appointed as Secretary/Manager at West Surrey Golf Club. Scott firmly believes that the bursary and MDP 1 helped support the club's decision-making process.



Developinghuman capital BSc (Hons) Sport Management Golf students at Bournemouth University are looking forward to winning 40-week golf-industry placements after the successful CMAE accreditation of the Programme on 23 June 2015. And that’s all helping towards investing in a bright future. Gary Evans explains the value of student placement around the globe.


he first BSc (Hons) Sport Management Golf students to become eligible for CMAE Associate membership graduated last year, receiving the CMAE Certificate of Consulting Practice. Now, they are looking forward to industry placements. CMAE awards the Certificate for one of the standout units of the course, recognising the management capabilities and competencies demonstrated by students who successfully complete their final year. The students undertake a 13 week consultancy unit, with some projects completed in CMAE member organisations. The placement process Organisations offering a BSc student a placement will find the student to be focused, motivated and keen to impress. The student joins the organisation after successfully completing the first and second years of BSc study, having covered units such as financial reporting, golf club management, sport marketing, event


management, financial appraisal, personal and professional development in sport and the contemporary golf industry. Whilst all units are important to industry, it is the professional practice, personal and professional development in sport which prepares students for their placement. This includes people management and organisational behaviour topics relevant to professional practice, such as change, conflict resolution, employee relations, leadership, management, motivation, organisational culture, organisational justice, performance management, recruitment, selection and induction, team development, and training and development. Industry experts deliver guest speaker slots, with Michael Braidwood, CMAE Director of Education, delivering thought-provoking sessions on how to learn from work-based experiences, and International Golf Consultant Eddie Bullock, providing a stimulating session on how students should develop themselves as ‘Me as a Brand’. It is fair to say

students are usually involved in golf, some playing off good handicaps, working in clubs and well connected to members and golf professionals at their clubs. Their aim and objectives with placement is to professionally upskill to progress their careers and achieve positions of responsibility in the Golf or Club Management sectors. It is not about employability or work experiences per se, but about professional practice to upskill students for careers in the Golf and Club Management industries and to develop BSc students as early career professionals. What’s involved? The placement is for a minimum of 40 weeks (40 hours per week including evenings, weekends and bank holidays), and ideally for a full 52 weeks. We find the longer a student is with a host organisation the better the returns are for both parties. Interested organisations just register their interest with us and send us their placement advert, job description and personal specification. The Faculty’s

THE PLACEMENT PROCESS IN A NUTSHELL • Placement is a minimum of 40 weeks, 40 hours per week. • Bournemouth University insures all BSc students when on placement. • MyCareerHub will advertise the placement opportunity to students. • Organisation recruits and selects its placement student. • Visa and Commonwealth Office requirements complete by the student (where necessary/needed). • Agree SMART objectives during the induction, and nominate the WBL. • Faculty appoints a PDA who will liaise directly with the WBL and student. • Student completes all the placement forms for the organisation and PDA. • On placement the student will maintain the highest professional conduct. • Organisation completes three performance reviews and sets new objectives. • Organisation provides a reference at the end of the placement.

Careers Team then post these on MyCareerHub once all criteria has been satisfied (see https://mycareerhub. bournemouth.ac.uk/employers for more details). Students will then apply directly to the organisation and are interviewed if shortlisted (this can be via Skype if the organisation is a Member State, or an international organisation). Most organisations will offer basic financial assistance to students and this varies from £2,000 to £12,000, because organisations recognise the added-value a BSc student brings to the organisation. Offering financial assistance will also help to increase the number of applicants.Ultimately, though, it is down to the goodwill of the organisation. (An example of a CMAE member organisation that meets basic living expenses is the Roehampton Club, London, negotiated by its CEO and CMAE President Marc Newey.) Once an organisation has completed its recruitment and selection process then objectives are agreed with the student. The BSc student will notify the Careers Team who will allocate a Placement Development Advisor (PDA) to him or her, before agreeing these objectives, and, if an international placement, will apply for the appropriate visa and complete any requirements for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, for example, vaccinations and travel insurance. All BSc students are covered by Bournemouth University insurance when on their 40 week placement. Reviewing performance The SMART objectives should cover the initial months of the placement, and the student has a standard form to complete to record the agreed objectives. We expect the objectives to be reviewed at each of the student’s performance reviews, about every three months, or what we call the employer feedback,

SUCCESS STORIES The Pro-Golf Tour is still a good employer of BSc graduates, and we are keen to develop other openings in the Golf and Club Management industries. There are many success stories to share. Tim Hung, for example, won a placement as a Golf Instructor at Mission Hills, the renowned luxurious Hotel and Golf complex in China. Tim impressed his team leader to such an extent that he was offered a full-time position as a Golf Instructor and remains there today. Tim is keeping his eye firmly on the future and has the CMAE clearly Tim, pictured with two ex-Liverpool footballing legends who recently stayed at in his sights. Mission Hills. and the student will complete the relevant Employer Feedback Form for pre each session (EF1, EF 2 and EF3). Alternatively, an organisation may choose to capture a student’s performance as part of its own performance management cycle, providing the student can evidence his or her performance reviews. Completion of the Employer Feedback Forms and student monthly diaries is reviewed by the student’s PDA and the PDA will ensure the SMART objectives are achieved by the student and new ones agreed. The PDA is also the point of contact for the organisation and will liaise directly with the organisation’s nominated work-based learner (WBL), to ensure a student’s placement is going to plan. (I must stress though, the responsibility for completing all placement forms is that of the student.) The organisation provides a reference for the student at the end of his or her placement. For us the really win-win placements are the ones which identify projects for students to plan, organise and deliver, such as corporate hospitality events, feasibility studies for a club upgrade, golf development programmes, golf tournaments, market research, member surveys, sales campaigns or a new social media strategy. These projects generate excellent returns on investment for both the student and the organisation. It is worth mentioning that when students are on placement they are subject to an organisations standard operating procedures and policies, for example, health and safety, data protection, grievance and discipline, and any other conditions set-out during the placement offer and acceptance. In this respect students are no different from an organisation’s employees and golf professionals, and will also be answerable to the Faculty should there be a misdemeanour whilst on placement. MSc in Sport Management students If an organisation’s placement needs are complex and require something a little different, then there is always the option of an MSc in Sport Management student. Our MSc students are mostly from Member States, or the Far East, and already highly skilled in areas such as customer service, finance, human resources, leading teams, marketing communications and PR, project management, social media, strategy

and web-design and web-analytics. Most of the MSc students have international company backgrounds, and are bi-lingual or multilingual. These students are pretty much at the standard of management consultants and can work effectively individually or as part of multi-functional team. They are studying the MSc to work out how best to transfer their skillsets into the Sport sector, as well as the skillsets they are acquiring by studying the MSc. Our MSc placement criteria is the same as for BSc with the exception that the placement duration is 30 weeks (because of UK Tier 1 and 2, visa restrictions). Current examples of MSc placements are in corporate events and social media. MSc students are analytical, diligent, enthusiastic, hardworking and motivated with excellent organisational and time management skills. They are a joy to work with and recommended for organisations with projects that demand a tactical or strategic focus with a range of skillsets. (Organisations have the option of engaging an MSc student to complete a project as a consultancy unit opportunity rather than as a placement should that be a preference.) To conclude... Offering a BSc/MSc placement will certainly help develop the Golf and Club Management industries’ human capital. Our students can help organisations with their projects and make a contribution to organisations’ business objectives. It is a commitment, certainly, but organisations will be taking on good students to work with who are relishing the prospect of winning a placement with CMAE member organisations. This is a genuine opportunity for all of us – organisations and students alike – to help develop tomorrow’s human capital. So get in touch and see how we can work together.

For further information contact Gary Evans, Senior Academic in Sport Management, Faculty of Management, Bournemouth University (lecturer in compliance and professional practice). e. gevans@bournemouth.ac.uk



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Set up your golf course for success In October 2015 CMAE launched Tribal Tuesday, giving CMAE members an opportunity to share their Best Practice advice with other members. In this issue, Niall McGill shares his thoughts on setting up a golf course for success.

CMAE wants to hear from you!


eciding upon the way your golf course is going to be set-up is one of the most important decisions a golf club can make and this decision must be strategically thought out and written into your business plan. Catering for your core golfer is absolutely key and you must be very careful if changes are being considered to attract a new target golfer, whose potential requirements may differ from the majority of current players. In the golf business as in all business, you cannot be everything to everyone. If you are a club full of mid handicap players, then do not go out chasing after category 1 golfers, just aim to be the best, most enjoyable members club in the area. As we all know, golf is a pretty hard game. Losing a ball in the rough when it’s just a few yards off the fairway is no fun for anyone! Golfers have egos and knocking these by making the course more difficult than it needs to be, is not going to encourage them to play more. In fact it will have the opposite effect. The key to setting up a golf course, is to make it look more difficult than it actually plays. This way you get to massage a golfer’s ego, by allowing him to tame a course he perceives to be harder than it is. You want a Championship course look, with a member’s course playability. In over two decades of working in the golf industry, I have never had a golfer come off the course following a great game and complain to me that the golf course was too easy. Following a bad score... well that’s a different story. Take each hole of your course individually and go on a customer journey. I’d suggest setting up a small group, made up of a mixture of handicaps


and gender. This should also include your head green keeper and Pro (if you have one). Walk the course and then play the course, taking down notes from all involved A golfer will always see the course through their own eyes and with their own golfing ability in mind. Being objective and seeing each hole/situation from another player’s perspective can be difficult and this is why it should always be a group effort. By involving various sections of your membership, you will also create some meaningful engagement and if the group members are chosen wisely, you can spread this involved feeling far and wide throughout the various wee groups within your club. How has this approach worked for me? The golf course at North Inch had previously been set-up in a way that was too difficult for its core golfers with lots of deep rough closely bordering fairways and this had led to a declining membership and a significant drop in visitor income. Since implementing our new course set-up strategy in March this year, we have seen dramatic increases across the board. We have signed up 120 new members and our visitor income is up over 50%. The feedback we have received from our members has been overwhelmingly positive and is testament to the changes that were made. • Niall McGill PGA, is the owner of Noah’s Ark Golf Centre, a 22 bay golf driving range, retail store and Adventure Golf Putting Course. He also manages North Inch Golf Course, in Perth and is co-founder of golf statistics system LowerYourScores.com

Since launching Tribal Tuesday we have received some excellent submissions from members who have proffered some great pieces of advice on the 10 Core Competencies of Modern Club Management. These tips have been sent out to the CMAE database on the first Tuesday of each month and then stored in a library of Best Practice (on the members section of the CMAE web site). CMAE’s Director of Education Michael Braidwood CCM said: “There are so many excellent ideas and best practices taking place at clubs throughout Europe. I believe it’s important that we share them. Over time we’ll build up an excellent library resource on our web site. After each Management Development Programme I write to our delegates to encourage them to submit their Tribal Tuesday piece.” CMAE members who have their Best Practice E-Bulletin published will receive two Association Education Credits. SUBMISSION DETAILS Tribal Tuesday articles can be emailed to Michael.braidwood@cmaeurope.eu Word length – 500 words (approximately) Topic – thoughts on any best practice you use that has a positive impact on your business. The article should cover details of the best practice and how you have implemented it as well as how the best practice has positively impacted your business, possibly with some examples of business results / customer feedback. Photos – images of yourself (with a 50 - 100 word bio) and ideally a photo of the best practice in action. • Visit: www.cmaeurope.org/best-practice

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Club House Europe Issue 7  

Club House Europe Issue 7