Club House Europe - Summer 2013

Page 1



Scotland leads in industry training –

Time out with Valderrama GM Javier Reviriego

see page 36

Location report – spotlight on Morocco

Wentworth CEO – on gaining with training




Daniel Asis Boyer CCM

John Bushell

Vince Golder

David Cook CCM

Kevin Fish CCM

Torbjörn Johansson

Jerry Kilby CCM

Guy Pelard

Javier Reviriego

Caroline Scoular

Julian Small

Michael Walsh CCM

Gregg Patterson

Lt. Col. J.C.F. Hunt

Sean Ferris

Dear club managers, It is with great excitement that I welcome you as a reader of the Club Managers Association of Europe’s (CMAE’s) new publication Clubhouse Europe. The CMAE has, over the last 12 years, communicated with members through our website and emails. As your President, I am extremely happy that we now have our own publication in which we can debate all of the major issues affecting clubs and club managers today. This publication will also allow our members and our corporate partners to get a chance to come closer together. I’m looking forward to seeing how, together, we can develop Clubhouse Europe over the coming years as our official publication with educational articles and news and case studies from clubs all over Europe, so we can learn from each other. I send a special thank you to our corporate partners and of course all the advertisers. Without your support this magazine couldn’t have become a reality.

Jörgen Kjellgren President, Club Managers Association of Europe General Manager, Båstad Golfklubb, Sweden

Editor Caroline Scoular Design David Foster Editorial Nick Sellens Advertising Steven Foreman Circulation Jon Hardy Administration Debbie Goddard Publishing Director Sean Ferris; CMAE CEO Jerry Kilby CCM

Clubhouse Europe is a joint venture between the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and Alchemy Contract Publishing (ACP). ACP Gainsborough House 59/60 Thames Street Windsor Berkshire SL4 1TX UK t. +44 (0)1753 272022 f. +44 (0)1753 272021

CMAE Federation House Gainsborough House Stoneleigh Park Warwickshire CV8 2RF UK 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.


Contents 6 News round-up News, views and events – Golf proves a hit in Brussels; CMAA draws 2,500 club managers to 86th World Conference.


8 What price an untrained manager? Lack of investment in training will have dire consequences, warns past CMAE President Lt. Col. John Hunt.

11 Golf makes an impact Golf contributed 15.1 billion to the economy of Europe over the last 12 months. Research from SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. examines how.

18 Time out with Javier Reviriego What makes the General Manager of Spain’s iconic Valderrama tick? Clubhouse Europe explores the world of Javier Reviriego.

23 Spotlight on Morocco In the first of our location features, we examine why Morocco is proving to be a draw for the European golf travel market.

30 Attracting new members – and keeping them

41 Why GAF Sweden is the centre of Swedish Golf

Attracting new members is a challenge and keeping them, an even bigger one. Enter referral marketing.

Torbjörn Johansson, CEO, Golf Club Management Association Sweden (GAF) on why he believes co-operation is key.

32 Staying buzzed ’til you’re old and geeky

42 The last word…

Advice from across the pond on how managers can stay at the top of their game – and keep the young pretenders at bay.

Jerry Kilby, CEO of the Clubhouse Managers Association of Europe (CMAE), explains why sharing best practice throughout the European club management industry should be – and is – at the heart of the association.

28 Gaining with training Wentworth Club’s Chief Executive Julian Small examines the importance of staff development and shares his best advice with Clubhouse Europe readers.


34 Facebook foundations With borders no barrier, social media is at the forefront of global communications. A ‘back to basics’ approach to harnessing the power of facebook.


36 Scotland leads the way How Scottish Golf blazed a trail for the rest of Europe, staging Scottish Golf Club Management Training Level One – the first comprehensive course of its kind in Europe.


39 The ever-changing world for Spanish club managers Daniel Asis Boyer CCM, Chief Executive Officer, Club Managers Spain, warns that now is not the time to hide your head in the sand (or even the bunker).

40 Club management in Ireland Michael Walsh CCM, President of the Irish Golf & Club Managers Association (IGCMA), on changing landscapes and how to cope with them.


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



News from the frontline European Parliament welcomes Golf: A European Success An exhibition celebrating the contribution of golf to Europe’s economic, social and environmental well-being took place on 6-8 May at the European Parliament in Brussels. Golf: A European Success was organised by the European Golf Association Golf Course Committee, a partnership of bodies including the Club Managers Association of Europe, The R&A, The European Tour, European Golf Course Owners Association, PGAs of Europe, European Institute of Golf Course Architects and the Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations. Research has shown that golf contributes €15bn to the European economy annually. Socially, there are nearly 8m golfers playing across Europe, and over 70% of the area covered by its 6000+ golf courses can be used for habitat creation. (Editor’s note: in-depth coverage of this research can be found on pages 11-15 of this issue). Doris Pack MEP, opened the exhibition. Speaking on behalf of the President of the European Parliament, Ms Pack said: “The popularity of the sport is growing across Europe and the world, including being reinstated for the 2016 summer Olympic

Above: Golf: A European Success was organised by the European Golf Association Golf Course Committee, a partnership of bodies which includes the CMAE. Below: The European Parliament building hosed the event.

Games in Rio de Janeiro. Under the patronage of the European Parliamentary Golfing Society this exhibition highlights golf’s contribution to Europe in economic, social, environmental and sporting terms. It is the first time we have seen anything like this in the Parliament so this is a big moment for golf.” Some 100 delegates from across the European golf industry attended the exhibition and break-out sessions which explored the challenges and opportunities for golf throughout the Europe.

Break-out sessions were chaired by Santiago Fisas MEP, European Parliament Rapporteur for EU Sports Policy, Toine Manders MEP, Member of the European Parliamentarians Golfing Society and James Elles MEP. Guest speakers included Sophie Anconie MEP Environment Committee and Vice-Chair European Parliament Friends of Sport; Pedro Velazquez, Head of Unity (acting) for Sport, European Commission; Tavish Scott, Member Scottish Parliament for Shetland as well as Alison Nicholas, European Solheim Cup Captain. The exhibition also hosted the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup trophies, celebrating the success of the European teams in their matches against the United States at Medinah last year and Killeen Castle in 2011 respectively. “Golf is truly a European success,” said Ms Pack. “It is not often you see the European flag being waved proudly and passionately, but at the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cups we had thousands of Europeans doing exactly that and what a remarkable sight it was. That European success is an inspiration for other sports.”

CMAA Conference proves hit with club Over 2,500 club managers attended the Club Managers Association of America’s 86th CMAA World Conference and Club Business Expo, held on 7-11 February at the Marriott Marquis & Marina, San Diego, California. Over 50 club managers from Europe attended. A highlight of the event was the International Symposium, a four-hour workshop which analysed global club management problems and solutions. Here, good news came for the UK and Ireland when their links courses were highlighted as world leaders in the use of natural hazards and pesticide use. Further good news came for European delegates with the proposition that European clubs do not need 6 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE

CMAE member appointed Secretary at UK Golf Club CMAE member Peter Foord has been appointed as Club Secretary at The Berkshire Golf Club, Ascot, England. This follows the retirement of Secretary and former CMAE President Lt. Col. John Hunt after 15 years of service. Mr Foord was previously Secretary of the Royal Mid-Surrey Golf Club, and, prior to that, Secretary of Chislehurst Golf Club, Kent. Club Captain, Martin Shuker, said: “An eight strong panel from the current Committee, past Committee and current Presidents interviewed the short-listed candidates and were unanimous in their selection of Peter. We remain indebted to John Hunt for his interim stewardship of the club whilst the

Chipping in Top issues for clubs – name and shame them! So what do you think are the issues which will dictate your club’s success or otherwise? Read on…

recruitment process was taking place, and for all his service over the years.” •Turn to page 8 for Lt. Col. Hunt’s analysis of training – or lack of it - in the golf sector.

Toro renews CMAE sponsorship The Toro Company has renewed its exclusive sponsorship of the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) until 2015. The company has been a key CMAE sponsor since 2007. Toro’s Andrew Brown (pictured left with colleague Barry Beckett and CMAE CEO Jerry Kilby, centre) said: “Managers are the lynchpins of a club’s business success and are increasingly being asked to form a holistic view on crucial buying decisions such as machinery and irrigation, so we’re proud to be

sharing our industry expertise. We look forward to continuing to work with the CMAE.” •For more information visit

managers grand club houses to sell membership fees, unlike their American counterparts. The seminar and workshop programme included an extensive range of topics such as leadership and management challenges, membership retention, financial management, governance, architecture and design, attracting females and families, running spas and fitness operations, course maintenance, successful food and beverage operations, an introduction to the world of wine, surviving an audit, teamwork, legislation and youth programmes. Andrew Whitelaw, General Manager of the Emirates Club, Dubai, said: “Having attended many other conferences, this conference

definitely ranks as the best with the quality of speakers and the amount of new information and ideas that are passed through the workshops it is a must for any club manager looking to help move his club forward. Apart from the educational aspect of the week the ability to network with fellow club managers from around the world and share information is an opportunity no club manager should miss.” •To register your interest in attending next year’s World Conference in Orlando (4-8 February, 2014) email

According to James Hankowski, from certified public accountants Condon O’Meara McGinty & Donnelly, there are 25 top issues which will ultimately determine a club’s future. These are a mix of strategic, financial and operational issues. “The list seeks to bring attention to these issues and provide insights on how to address them,” said Mr Hankowski, speaking at the CMAA’s World Conference earlier this year. (See news story left).

10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Top 25 issues

20. 21.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

Strategic Plan Conflict of Interest Policy Whistleblower Protection Policy Membership Development Plan Record Retention and Destruction Policy Asset Reserve Study Top Flight Management and Staff Disaster Recovery Plan Facilities Master Plan

15. 16. 17. 18. 19.

22. 23. 24. 25.

Annual Board Retreat Financial Reporting System Investment Policy Current Member Survey Accounting and Internal Control Procedures Manual Communications Plan Engaging Member Programs Long Range Financial Strategy Board of Governors Policy Manual Employee Policies and Procedures Manual Marketplace and Competitive Analysis Effective Nominating Committee/ Process Effective New Member Orientation Program Policy on Background Checks Public Relations Strategy Great Food

Would you add anything to this list? Contact us on CLUBHOUSE EUROPE 7


What price an untrained manager?

In the first of our Viewpoints, Lt. Col. J.C.F. Hunt speaks out on why the lack of interest and investment in training and educating club managers and secretaries will have dire consequences. Be warned. As my time as a club manager of a premier club in the United Kingdom has now come to a close, I need to unload my frustration and disappointment in the lack of support given to the training and education of club managers/secretaries in our industry by both the National bodies and the committees that govern clubs. The majority of golf clubs in Europe are facing very considerable challenges in the current economic climate and no golf club is immune to the predicted continuing global financial difficulties. Club management has changed enormously in my almost-20 years in the business and when I took up my ‘second career’ (and I highlight this fact), I was entering a career for which I was totally unequipped for in terms of formal knowledge. I had been fortunate to have received a very general education as an Army Officer of 27 years service, and while I had many of the skill sets required, there were huge holes in my technical knowledge. My first club was, fortunately, a modest 18 hole club with deep traditions, a welcoming membership, and one which had an overwhelming desire that I succeed in my new career. It took me over a year to feel remotely ‘in control’. I knew nothing of employment law, how to read a balance sheet, how to run the computer systems, how to work out complicated food and beverage equations, what a course manager’s role was etc. But I was competent in writing committee minutes and how to lead a team, confident in dealing with people from all walks of life and able to run a double entry accounting system. As an added bonus, my golf knowledge was above average having captained the Army team, been involved in service golf over 20 years and a player of modest ability having a handicap of 3. To say the learning curve was perpendicular is to understate the reality. My first year was wholly taken up working long hours reading the clubs recent 70 years’ minutes, sorting out the archives which gave


John Hunt Recently-retired Secretary of The Berkshire Golf Club, Ascot, England and Past-President of the CMAE.

further insight into the club’s history and getting to grips with club insurances, bar license, health and safety, risk assessments, estate and building maintenance, franchise contracts, company law, share issues and formal personnel contracts (which were non-existent). The club committee was made up of 10 good men who had varying degrees of expertise and in my early days were of great help; but I soon discovered the many vagaries of committee governance. Club politics, power broking, past captains conclaves and the Ladies section all conspired to test one’s sanity and this particular facet, the committee, was perhaps my severest test as a new secretary. Now move on four years. I was very fortunate to have had an excellent grounding in my first club, and a selection committee at my current club were generous enough to give me the opportunity to run a much larger and complex 36 hole private members club. The pathway to my retirement at this club has been the most rewarding and happiest 12 years of my working life. Why you may ask? Because my employers had a dynamic governance structure which met infrequently, delegated responsibility, allowed me to work to a general directive and established policies, use my initiative and – most importantly – allocated resources which allowed me to train and be trained on a continuous basis. When I was in the Army my forte was training, preparing young men to go into battle and there was nothing more important than training, so why should this not be so in our industry? Hence when I came into this golf industry I was simply appalled, as time went by, to discover absolutely no worthwhile system of training and education for club managers existed. The Golf Club Managers Association runs a week-long introductory course for aspiring club managers and holds a bi-annual conference. There is also a recent innovation is an on-line education programme with a university, but frankly little else.

It was in 2003 that the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) was founded and the godfathers of this association were drawn from highly experienced London club managers and a handful of senior golf club managers. The founders had all been fortunate enough to have been exposed to the Club Managers Association of America, and it was with the Americans’ help, both advisory and financially, that the CMAE was born. The association is today at a watershed in it’s development, has a rapidly growing membership across the UK and in Europe, is now providing formal training and education and the facility to award, through a formal examination, a world-wide recognized qualification, The Certified Club Manager (CCM). There are 10 core competencies that the Americans model their education and training on and CMAE has adopted exactly the same competencies. An experienced club manager has to be able to demonstrate a high level of ability to simply qualify to sit the exam let alone pass and this can take as long as six years of pre-education to reach the competency level required. What our industry gains is a highly qualified (technically) club manager. All that remains when hiring the ‘best person for the job’, therefore, is to decide if the character of the individual fits into the differing club environment. I come back now to my own personal experience of 16 years in the industry. When taking up my current position my predecessor was a wise and highly experienced club manager who was retiring after 26 years in the industry. He had written the first formal guide The Way Ahead to running a golf club and I still read through this every year to ensure I am meeting the needs of my club. He also told me I should take every opportunity to attend any gathering where education and networking opportunities were taking place and this I have done. My club has allowed me to seek knowledge wherever and whenever I have felt it appropriate, and in return I hope my club has benefited by my commitment to this path. But this is only a part of the whole issue of professional development. The training of all staff in a club must be encouraged and forcefully pursued. My course manager was a Master Greenkeeper who was afforded the time and encouragement to attend formal education and write the exam. The House Manager is on an education path in CMAE which has seen him so far learn about health and safety, risk assessments, manual handling, fire marshalling, first aid,

“I am saddened by the apparent lack of interest many of the managers in our industry show for education and continual professional development for both themselves and their staff... What a sad state or affairs for our industry, especially in times of dramatic change and new challenges to retain our members and attract new people into the game of golf.”

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!” Peter Drucker, economist and philosopher cellar management and wine menu development and he has been on an exchange visit to a very prestigious club in Scotland to experience the highest levels of service in our industry. Greenkeepers who show the aptitude are all on NVQ training and, having a Master Greenkeeper as their superior, have on-site continuous development. Junior chefs are continually sent on one day courses as far afield as Harrogate and this helps me in the essential requirement to continually improve the service to the club member. SO WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? As a past-President of CMAE I am saddened by the following matters: • The apparent lack of interest many of the managers in our industry show for education and continual professional development for both themselves and their staff. They mistakenly believe that they already know all the answers to all the questions, and they cannot learn anything new any more. What a sad state or affairs for our industry, especially in times of dramatic change and new challenges to retain our members and attract new people into the game of golf. • The lack of support provided by club committees, both financially and in time for their staff to improve and educate themselves. Does a club committee really believe that once they hire their club secretary/manager, they do not need to ensure that the manager, and the other members of the management team do not need to participate in a continual learning process? More importantly, for CMAE to meet the goals of improving the professional standards of club managers, and for the industry to develop an educational pathway for the club secretaries and managers of the future, there is a need for financial support. The cost of providing top level instruction, on line learning modules, formal education in club management and networking events is currently being met by some very generous commercial sponsors and individuals’ annual membership fees. The CMAE Board has recently been turned down for funding support by golf ’s august bodies, who would not survive without the clubs that are the bedrock of the industry. This, I believe, reflects the malaise of the industry at the highest levels and does little to help in reducing the terrible turnover of managers in the golf world. This is a huge waste of money for clubs, does not encourage the young manager and does a disservice to the thousand of club members who deserve better. To echo the words of economist and philosopher Peter Drucker: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!”.




Golf makes an impact Golf contributed €15.1 billion to the economy of Europe over the last 12 months, according to new research from SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. Here, Managing Director John Bushell reveals golf’s impact across Europe – from investment and development to employment and training.


olf is making a very considerable contribution to the European economy, to job creation – it provides employment for a minimum of 180,000 people – and to charitable giving. Add the economic impact to its health and social benefits and it is clear that the game of golf is a major positive for Europe. It has withstood the economic downturn to a strong extent, and golfer numbers have in fact increased in recent years. The game looks to be on a sound footing to benefit further when European economies are more buoyant and there is a return to sustained commercial European growth. In order to understand the comparative scale of the golf economy in Europe, it is worth considering the €15.1 billion impact in context. In 2012, Spain’s defence budget was €10.5 billion and the UK’s protection budget (police, fire, criminal justice, prisons etc.) was €16.9 billion. ECONOMIC DOWNTURN There has been a slight reduction in the value of the golf economy in Europe since 2006, and much of this can be explained through the impact of the international economic downturn particularly since 2008, which has impacted on the global economy as well as particular areas within Europe on a more significant scale. The fall is due to there being less money around and to the need, therefore, for competitive pricing. This is true of most industries across Europe. For example, the strong golf tourism markets of Portugal and Spain have seen substantial pressures on these elements of the economy impact-

ing on investment on golf real estate, as well as overall demand influencing pricing and margin throughout all elements of golf tourism.

relatively recession resistant when compared with most industries, particularly those which are hobby related.

REGISTERED GOLFER NUMBERS RISE The core of the sport – namely golfer numbers – has shown a strong performance with the number of golfers throughout Europe remaining strong. Registered golfer numbers – those affiliated to the national Federations – have increased by 7% during this period. Golf indeed has been

OPPORTUNITIES FOR GROWTH The sport is getting older in many of the established markets as the average age of players increases – this should also be put in context in that across Europe the average life expectancy is increasing, and one of the strengths of golf is the ability for the sport to be played into old age.

One of the strengths of golf is its ability to be played into old age.












































European Total















Don’t turn your back on women; the potential for growth is enormous.

JUNIORS – THE FUTURE Only 10% of registered European golfers are juniors. This creates an opportunity and is positive for the long term health of the game. Ensuring these golfers continue to play, and are welcomed into the sport, the more secure golf ’s long term future becomes. WOMEN A KEY TARGET The game continues to be heavily male dominated, even at junior level. This is particularly true in GB&I (Great Britain and Ireland). Plainly if the game of golf in GB&I, and in other heavily male dominated markets, could be made more attractive to women without being made less attractive to men, the potential for growth is enormous. There are, of course, a number of initiatives currently underway looking to achieve this and there may well be further lessons that can be learned here from the countries that have a more even gender split among golfers. There are a number of strong markets and models of success across continental Europe. (See Table 1).


courses or courses designed to be played in an hour (playing 6 holes or with reduced overall distances) would also provide an easier and alternative cost-effective route into the game. There are many golf course architects looking at the shorter & more environmentally friendly, less water-focused and easier to maintain course options as we move further into the 21st Century. The more easily accessible routes into the game, including mini/adventure golf which can be an effective way of tempting children to first swing a club, work particularly well for those who would like to try the game. Those who participate in mini-golf only, or who only play on a Par-3 course or driving range have not been included in the total golfer numbers. These are excellent trial or entry points for the game, and so the sport has the potential to reach significantly more than the 7.9 million stated. CHANGING PERCEPTIONS The sport needs to continue to focus on changing the perception that the sport is expensive or difficult to take-part in – whether due to the complexities of playing the sport or the perceived negative attitudes and welcome that new players may receive at the venues where the sport is played. There are significant opportunities for the game to grow in the markets where there is not an established golf heritage, and this impact is slowly starting to emerge. This is particularly true of the EC economies which were either formerly part of the Soviet Union or strongly linked to it politically, socially and economically.

ACCESSIBILITY – NEW ROUTES Further growth of driving ranges, with professional support provided by the PGA professional, and other short forms of the game such as par-3 Expect further growth of driving ranges, with professional support provided by the PGA professional.

EMPLOYMENT A key part of the broader economic impact of the game of golf is in the provision of long term career opportunities. In Europe, golf is responsible for a minimum of 180,000 full time equivalent jobs and employee wages of not less than €4.4 billion. The game has an impact across society from venues, to service industries, from infrastructure to manufacture, and employs a significant number of people in different services and organisations. The game is creating a very wide range of employment types, permanent and temporary,

clerical and manual, many of which offer long term sustainable careers and opportunities to train, both on and off the job, as well as providing aspirational career paths. Table 2 includes employees working at golf courses, for golf institutions and Federations, for manufacturers of equipment and machinery, in dedicated television production, for agencies, and in retail. This is an estimated staff cost of almost €4.4 billion in the last 12 months. The total staff wage bill for golf courses (Table 3) is almost €3.7 billion. This is 83% of the total wage bill and economic impact of golf related employment in Europe.


CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTION With an annual contribution of not less than €85million (and potentially considerably more), the game of golf can legitimately claim to be one of Europe’s major donors to European charities. The R&A reinvests in the game by funding development projects globally, with money invested within Europe as well as taking the sport to new markets across the seven continents. Ryder Cup Europe is also a substantial investor in charitable projects aimed at developing the game.












Europe excl. GB&I


Europe excl. GB&I


Total staff wage bill (millions)


* F.T.E. is Full Time Equivalent







Staff Wage Bill

€ 3,688.13

€ 0.546

€ 469.53





Europe excl. GB&I




“Golf is responsible for at least 180,000 full time jobs across a broad spectrum of disciplines.”



EUROPEAN GOLFER NUMBERS The figures in the table below highlight a number of positives for the game. REGISTERED GOLFERS


% of Total


of which are Males


% of Males


of which are Females


% of Females


of which are Juniors


% of Juniors



% of Total



TOTAL GOLFERS Population Golf Courses

CORE GOLFERS (12 + times per annum) Independent Driving Ranges

• The number of golfers in Europe has increased in the last decade • The number of golfers compares very favourably with the number of active participants in the vast majority of sports in Europe • The game remains strong in its traditional major markets of France, GB & Ireland, Germany, and Sweden. It is also seeing growth elsewhere,

7,853,700 510,800,000 6,757

% population that are golfers Average registered golfers per course

1.54% 651

Average total golfers per course


% core golfers


3,201,300 1,200

however, with the potential for real expansion particularly in the increasingly western style economies of Eastern Europe • The healthy proportion of junior players is a positive for the long term sustainability of the game. (It is an accepted fact that people introduced to golf as a child are far more likely than those who were not introduced to play the game once they reach 45 and over, even if other

commitments have kept them away from the game for a period) • The sport continues to have a male bias in many countries, including established markets such as GB&Ireland, indicating that the game can grow indigenously by increasing the participation of female players. If the same level of participation can be achieved amongst women as men, there are

Additionally, the charity foundations bearing the names of European golfers – for example the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and the Lee Westwood Foundation – generate considerable revenue for their charitable aims through their fundraising activities. At a local level, many individual golf clubs across Europe play host to charity fundraisers, often – though not exclusively – in support of a charity nominated by the captain for the year, which will often be a locally based charity.

Golf is one of Europe’s main contributors to charity. (Pictured: Wrag Barn Golf Club, Swindon, UK, presenting a cheque for £9,108.11 to the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and Cancer Research UK last year.)


TOURISM Within the golf economy, golf tourism has seen a major impact of the economic downturn, especially as the two key European golf tourism destinations, Spain and Portugal, have seen their economies particularly badly hit. Tourism remains important to the economic

TABLE 4: TOTAL TOURISM REVENUES The healthy proportion of junior players is a positive for the long term sustainability of the game.



Domestic Golf Holidays

€ 397.53



Europe excl. GB&I


Non-Domestic Golf Holidays

€ 1,155.02

GB&I Europe excl. GB&I TOTAL TOURISM REVENUES GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€129.51 €1,025.51 € 1,552.55 €229.25 €1,323.30

Core Golfers only account for 41% of total golfers in Europe, and by increasing play frequency amongst current golfers and increasing the proportion of the core golfer players will have a positive impact on the economy of golf across Europe.

ed that there is a belief that the worst is over in terms of negative impact on the economy, and there is a positive view that things are getting better again. The key markets of Spain and Portugal are also taking a number of steps to bring visitor numbers back up again, including more competitive pricing and offering a greater range of packages to the marketplace. Competition from other locations, most notably Turkey which is outside of the markets being covered in this study, is also strengthening. The Turkish golf marketplace is likely to become stronger still in the years ahead with EU membership a strong likelihood in the next decade. Turkey is also investing significantly in major sports events with a major new European Tour golf tournament in 2013, and a possibility that Istanbul will host the 2020 Olympics which will include golf as an event (2016 in Rio is when golf is reintroduced to the Olympic Games movement). Another trend identified is that long lead-time holiday bookings are reducing considerably, with an increase in last minute bookings being made if weather conditions and package prices are attractive.

impact of golf, and golf has long been a significant contributor to tourism numbers in Europe (particularly in the now hard-hit Spain and Portugal). The economic impact for the last 12 months has been almost €1.6 billion or 10% of the impact on Europe in total. The key markets are the winter sun destinations of Portugal and Spain, although France, Ireland, Scotland and Wales are also significant and important. Scotland in particular has many world renowned golf courses including five Open Championship venues, and the home of golf, St Andrews. The economic downturn has inevitably impacted on golf tourism which is not as buoyant as it was at its absolute peak in 2003 and 2004, though it does match the €1.6 billion contribution to the European golf economy which SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC estimated in 2006. The golf tourism market continues to be a huge revenue generator, and the research indicat-

COMPARISONS WITH OTHER GOLF ECONOMIES The golf economy in the United States is considerably larger than in Europe, whilst the Australian golf economy is considerably smaller. Latest available economic impact estimates are €52.6 billion in the USA (Source: The 2011 Golf Economy Report by SRI International) and €2.3 billion in Australia (Source: The Australian Golf Industry Report 2010). There are 26.2 million golfers in the USA compared to 7.9 million in Europe, and so the comparable impact per million golfers is very similar. In the USA the economic impact is €2.01 billion per million golfers compared to €1.91 billion in Europe. The Australian report does not compare against previous research. The American report, however, does compare 2011 with 2005 and its findings are very similar to the European economy trends. The golf economy in the USA has been hit by the global

almost two million potential new recruits to bring to the game.

economic crisis, with real estate and tourism particularly badly hit. The industry, however, has survived the downturn better than most and player numbers are holding up well. SOCIAL AND BEHAVIOUR BENEFITS It is worth reiterating that the economic benefit for Europe of the game of golf is only one of the ways in which the sport impacts positively on our society. The game is also a positive influence on public health. It is a sport which can be played later in life than the majority of sports and can more easily than most sports be played by people of varying abilities. With an ageing population, and the media reporting of isolation felt by the younger members of society, and also some abandonment felt by the older generation, this is also one of the very few games which the young and not so young can enjoy playing with and against each other. Often, through the institution of a golf club, it is the older members working in parallel with the PGA professional that are introducing golf to the next and younger generations. As well as being a catalyst for interaction between age groups, golf is also one of the few sports that men and women can play together, on an equitable basis through the handicap system. In continental Europe, many club competitions are now open to all ages, and both sexes, and are fully inclusive. The sport also promotes high standards of behaviour with a heavy reliance on self-regulation and an expectation that people will follow established codes or rules of etiquette. This has a positive impact on the social behaviour of participants and is beneficial to the local social fabric.

• The Economic Impact of Golf on the Economy of Europe report, undertaken by SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, was commissioned by European golfing bodies and led by the PGA of GB&I. The chief objective was to estimate the financial contribution that golf makes to the European economy, while also recognising its additional benefits such as public health, encouraging social interaction and enabling players of different sex, ages and abilities to compete against each other. For further details, contact SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC (see Contact Details below).

CONTACT DETAILS John Bushell, Managing Director of SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC, has been involved in the golf industry since 1995 and as a director of the company since 2000. SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC. is a leading sports research consultancy servicing the sporting goods, sports lifestyle, sports facility and sports tourism industries with particular focus on, and experience in, golf. For more information: t. + 44 (0) 1932 345 539 e.




Revenue generation analysis T

he following information from SPORTS MARKETING SURVEYS INC show that Food & Beverage revenues are second only to membership fees, which account for 52% of revenues (see Table A). However, when membership fees and green fees are combined, they account for almost 70% of total income. (The comparable proportions in GB&I are 43% and 67% respectively.) The golf course inventory in Europe has been divided into High-End courses – which are the more expensive and exclusive venues and would include most Trophy Courses – and what has been termed Mainstream Courses (see Table B). Whilst Mainstream Courses generate the greater revenue for Europe providing 74% of the total Facility economic impact; on a per facility basis, the High-End Courses generate 63% more revenue.







Green Fees GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€ 1,399.20 €807.38 €591.82

€ 0.21 €0.26 €0.16

€ 178.13 €192.23 €161.92

Members Fees GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€ 4,299.26 €1,501.09 €2,798.17

€ 0.64 €0.49 €0.76

€ 547.33 €357.40 €765.58

Food & Beverage GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€ 2,178.62 €1,068.68 €1,109.94

€ 0.32 €0.35 €0.30

€ 277.36 €254.45 €303.68

€ 341.85 €92.21 €249.64

€ 0.05 €0.03 €0.07

€ 43.52 €21.96 €68.30

€ 8,218.94 €3,469.36 €4,749.58

€ 1.22 €1.13 €1.29

€ 1,046.34 €826.04 €1,299.48

Driving Ranges and Golf Lessons GB&I Europe excl. GB&I TOTAL FACILITY OPERATIONS GB&I Europe excl. GB&I




High-End Courses GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€ 2,168.48 €1,042.52 €1,125.96

€ 1.78 €2.61 €1.39

Mainstream Courses GB&I Europe excl. GB&I

€ 6,050.46 €2,426.84 €3,623.62

€ 1.09 €0.91 €1.26


€ 8,218.94 €3,469.36 €4,749.58

€ 1.22 €1.13 €1.29


Independent Driving Ranges GB&I Europe excl. GB&I TOTAL BY FACILITY (including Independent Driving Ranges) GB&I Europe excl. GB&I





€ 216.00 €151.20 €64.80

€ 0.18 €0.18 €0.18

€ 8,434.94 €3,620.56 €4,814.38




Time out with...

Javier Reviriego Javier Reviriego, General Manager of Spain’s iconic Valderrama, admits to being a workaholic. As vices go, it’s not a bad one to have. Here he shares his views on management, business life and the universe with CLUBHOUSE EUROPE’s Caroline Scoular. 18 CLUBHOUSE EUROPE


I normally arrive at the club between 8 and 9am. The first thing I always do is walk around the club and speak to the staff. Then I usually take a buggy and drive at least 9 holes around the course.


You’ve been at Valderrama now since July 2011. What would you say were your biggest challenges when you first arrived? There were many challenges. The first was of course the pressure of living up to the reputation of Valderrama. It is legendary place and the expectations from members and visitors are extremely high.


And from a management perspective?

From a management point of view the main issues were staffing, financials, the course itself and service. Beginning with the staff; most employees had been at the club for a long time and some were lacking motivation and direction. Also, many staff had a completely different business or corporate mentality to mine. I had to do a lot of training, and I changed the organisation chart so that everyone had very clear responsibilities. We also faced the challenge of being overstaffed in many areas, so we initiated a plan to reduce the staff levels and improve productivity. This was probably the toughest part of the job since we had to lay off some staff.


You mentioned the financials. What did you face there? The club was not in great financial health when I started two years ago. We had member attrition, lower green fee sales and very high operational costs. In 2011, together with my Board, we developed a three year business plan that included higher green fees and pro-shop sales, lower operating costs and a new membership plan. We have managed to reduce general expenses by over €1 million and our green fee/pro-shop sales have increased by more than 20%. The club has basically gone from yearly losses to a very respectable operating profit that is allowing us to make investments.


Everyone reading this magazine will appreciate the iconic nature of the course itself. Would I be right in thinking there wasn’t much work to do here? We all know that Valderrama is a fantastic course with a great reputation but the fact is that there had been no investment for the last few years. In order to elevate the quality of the course and maintain our prestige, we developed a five year investment plan to upgrade the course and facilities. So far we have installed a brand new pumping station and we are currently in the process of remodelling all the bunkers on the course. Many more works will follow to make Valderrama even better.


So with staffing streamlined, financials under control what else had to be done to raise the game? Valderrama has always been known for the golf course but not so much for its service. My goal since I started working here has been to have the same comments about our service as about our course. We are now offering a full Valderrama experience – not only on the course but also on the other amenities. We are now providing fantastic F&B service and attention to our members and clients. We cannot expect to charge €300 for our green fees if we do not provide a full five star experience.


One of the other major changes this year to life at the club, of course, must have been when founder Jaime Ortiz Patiño died in January. Well, obviously it was a very emotional moment when he passed away for staff and members. He was very respected by everyone and his legacy is fantastic. We received many emails and letters from all over the World as well as requests from journalists and different media.

Breakfast is always work related, normally with the Greenkeeper or Operations Manager. I check emails and then I usually set up meetings (never more than two per day). I try to be very visible for members around the club in the ‘ hot hours’ (between 12 and 4pm). The afternoon is usually spent in the office, working with my staff on different issues. I normally leave the club around 8pm, unless we have a special dinner or function at the club in which case it will be later.

Every Tuesday I also have a Heads of Department meeting with the staff. We meet and discuss issues and upcoming events. Even if we have no major issues, I like to meet to see how everyone is doing. Many times we find ourselves even talking about matters not related to the club; the main thing is that we have a relaxed 30 or 45 minutes and that everybody feels like we are a ‘ team on a mission’ .




Señor Patiño was not involved in the management the last few years but he very much enjoyed going on the course and making suggestions to the Greenkeeper and me. He always had a special eye and was able to analyse the condition of the course in great detail. He is very much missed and much remembered.



Having to dismiss some staff members during the restructuring phase.

What are the current objectives/ priorities for Valderrama? Now that our financial situation is healthy and we have the proper staff structure to face the future our main objective at the moment is to raise the level of quality of the course and the service we provide.


What would you say is the best thing about your job to date? I’d say it’s the welcome I have received from the members and also seeing that the hard work is paying off and we are having positive results.


And the worst thing?


If you weren’t running Valderrama, what would be your top three courses/resorts you’d like to run? Pebble Beach, Pine Valley & Olympic.

ON GOLF TOURISM Q. What percentage of business comes from golf tourism? A. 30%. Of this, 30% is domestic, 70% is ‘rest of Europe’. Q. How do you achieve the perfect balance between members, visiting players, ‘tourism’ and Tournaments? A. Lots of planning and communication...and patience. Q. How do you maintain the Valderrama exclusivity? A. Protect the brand. You must always make sure you oversee how others are selling your course (images used, text used, etc.). The most important thing is to maintain quality at all levels. And if you overcharge clients the market will eventually ‘hit’ you (Quality always wins).

PERCENTAGE OF BUSINESS REVENUES? • Membership 50% • Food & Beverage (all forms)10% • Green Fees 25% • Pro-Shop 15%

GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES? We want to continue to improve. Our goal is to offer the best possible experience for our members and visitors.

BIGGEST ISSUES? VAT is a big issue (VAT increase on Green-Fees increased from 8 to 21% in 2012). Also the lack of professional tournaments that promote the game and the destinations.

ON TRAINING? I’m a great believer in training at all levels. A good professional should never stop learning and getting better. CMAE is a good example, proper training – and specific to golf industry – can only bring good things for the sector. Better Managers = Better Companies

UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL Where were you born? Madrid. Education? Florida A & M University / Florida State University. What is your biggest strength? Hard to answer that. I guess it would be that I’m very determined and have great self-confidence. Weakness? I’m a workaholic. This is not good. First ever job? On a golf course, helping the maintenance crew.

What is your dream car? Aston Martin.

Who has been your biggest influence in your working life? My father.

If you had to choose another career (not golf-related) what would it be? Finance.

What book are you reading? Steve Jobs biography.

If Mariano Rajoy or Brussels offered you three wishes on behalf of the golf club industry what would they be? Tax reductions for companies that sponsor golf tournaments, campaign to promote the environmental advantages of building golf courses and more investment in public golf facilities.

All time favourite film? The Godfather. What is the first record you ever bought? The Joshua Tree – U2. What gadgets couldn’t you live without? i-phone and lap-top. If you had only five items of food to live on for a week what would they be? Fruit, pasta, steak, bread and any kind of cheese. Favourite drink after a hard day at work? Red wine – Rioja. How do you relax? Spending time with my wife and daughters (seven and four years old), playing golf and going to dinner with friends.

Biggest changes you’ve noticed in the golf sector in the past 3 years? Internet bookings, more difficulty from golfers to find time to play the game and new golf destinations all over the World. Favourite golf club outside Spain? Seminole, Florida, USA. Who else do you admire in the golf world? I admire the CEO of the US PGA Tour. It is definitely a position I would like have in the future... also the European Tour...

Where will you go on holiday? Always the US. What will you do on your next day off? Day off??? What is that??? (Play golf with friends!). If you won the lotto – what would be your first purchase? Time (if possible).



Spotlight on Morocco Year-round sunshine, quality courses and short flight times has seen Morocco become an exciting, upcoming golf destination. In the first of our location features, we examine why Morocco is proving to be a hit with the European golf travel market.


he golfing experience in the North African country of Morocco is broad thanks to its diverse terrain, and is marketed as such. There are, says the National Tourist Office, four ways to enjoy golf in Morocco – ‘the sunshine of the Atlantic coast, beside the Mediterranean, in the cultural cradle of Morocco’s ancient imperial cities, or at the foot of the Atlas Mountains’. The first greens in Morocco appeared in Tangier in 1917, under the auspices of the renowned UK course designers Cotton & Pennink. Now, there are 26 golf courses with nearly 15 more underway, ready to tap into the burgeoning golf tourist market, from beginners through to scratch players. In fact, the market for golf is growing 2.5 times faster than the overall tourist market, so Morocco’s projects are scaled to respond to this, with the construction of 4 and 5 star hotels, as well as spas and adventure activities. Notable in this growth strategy is the Blue Plan (Plan Azur) which has the specific aim of developing Morocco’s seaside resort facilities, including the building of six resorts along the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.

AGADIR Dunes Golf Course Created in 1991 by Cabell B. Robinson, the 27-hole course covers 101 hectares on a hilly terrain, planted with eucalyptus, broom, tamarisk and palm trees and has four lakes to negotiate. Neighboured by Golf du Soleil (see right). Course/holes Par Blue (9) 36 Yellow (9) 36 Red (9) 36

Metres 3,124 3,068 3,175

Yards 3,416 3,355 3,472

Golf du Soleil The Golf du Soleil courses, designed by Fernando Mueller and Gerard Courbin, are designed to test every club in the bag. The courses take players through a varied landscape and cater for all levels of players. At the heart of the Blue course is a luxury hotel and spa (50% discount on green fees for guests). Also: Riu Tikida Beach Hotel with four restaurants, three bars, sports activities, a fitness centre and private beach. Course/holes Blue (18) Red (9) Yellow (9)

Par 72 36 36

Metres 5,539 2,951 3,025

Yards 6,058 3,227 3,308



Many Moroccan courses cater for everyone from demanding scratch players to less experienced golfers. Pictured: Golf du Soleil, Agadir (details on previous page).

Hotel, it has a luxurious clubhouse, restaurant, golf academy and 30-bay driving range.

Agadir Royal Golf Club Founded in the 50s, the well-established 9 hole course boasts fairways surrounded by pine, eucalyptus and mimosa. The club established a now-renowned Academy which aims to promote the game of golf in the region, attracting young people and children from surrounding villages (and others from disadvantaged backgrounds). Course/holes Par 9 36

Metres 2,681

Yards 2,932

Golf de l’Ocean The club’s 27 holes are made up of three 9 hole courses. Designed by Belt Collins in 2009, players tackle natural hazards such as dunes and pine trees amidst panoramic views. Part of the luxury Atlantic

Course/holes Desert (9) Garden (9) Dunes (9)

Par 36 36 36

Metres 3,067 3,128 2,962

Yards 3,354 3,421 3,239

and multi-sports centre. The course is floodlit for evening rounds of golf and is approximately 30 minutes away from Rabat and Casablanca. Course/holes Par 9 35

Metres 3,040

Yards 3,325


Ben Slimane Royal Golf Designed by David Coen and Robert Van Hagge around a huge lake, water hazards are a feature of this course, along with cork oaks, pines, eucalyptus trees and flowering meadows. The 8th is a signature hole (180 m, Par 3) with the green set on a on a small island planted with papyrus.

Anfa Royal Golf Opened in 1942 in the heart of Casablanca, the 9 hole course designed by Nessim Kouhen, covers around 27 hectares with lakes and bunkers. The clubhouse has been refurbished, with views of the impressive flower garden and the minaret of the famous Hassan II Mosque.

Course/holes Par A (18) 72 B (9) 36 t. 00 212 (0) 5 23 29 72 25

Course/holes 9

Metres 6,065 2,990

Yards 6,632 3,269

Par 35

Metres 2,710

Yards 2,964

EL JADIDA BOUZNIKA Golf de Bouznika Bay Built in 1998 this 9 hole public course was designed by Robert Van Hagge and is part of a beach resort


Royal Golf d’El Jadida With a backdrop of the Atlantic coast, the course is described as both wild and beautiful with some testing holes and spectacular links. Opened in 1993,

From dramatic coastlines to the Atlas mountains, Morocco’s varied terrain allows for a broad variety of golfing experiences.

the course was designed by Cabell B. Robinson. The on-site Pullman Mazagan Royal Golf and Spa has 121 rooms, plus gyms, tennis, swimming and conference facilities. Course/holes Par 18 72

Metres 6,226

Yards 6,809

Mazagan Golf Club

Said to be Morocco’s longest course, designed by Gary Player, the Mazagan is part of the Mazagan Beach Resort run by Troon Golf. The 18 hole links course with its spectacular views of the Atlantic is designed to challenge all levels of player. Paspalum grass is used for its resistance to salt water, and the club uses recycled water as part of its eco-friendly strategy. On site is a large clubhouse (resembling a citadel), The Grand Riad hotel (490 rooms), villas, pool and spa, nightclub, restaurants and sports activities. Course/holes Par Metres 18 72 6,483

Yards 7,484


Golf de Mogador Founded in 2009, Golf de Mogador was launched with a focus on sustainable tourism and promoting the region as a golfing destination. A golf academy aims to encourage local youngsters to take up golf. The Gary Player-designed North Course is a challenging links (but six sets of tees allow for less-advanced golfers) while the South Course is higher up, offering exceptional views of the grounds and the ocean. A 40 minutes flight from Casablanca, the resort offers luxury hotel accommodation (Sofitel), private villas, gym, spa, pool and restaurants, sports activities and kids’ club. Course/holes Par Metres Yards North (18) 72 6,608 7,227 South (9) Under construction

MARRAKECH Golf d’Amelkis Opened in 1995 the course is 12 km from the city centre with a notable kasbah-style clubhouse whose terrace views overlook the course and the Atlas mountains. Designed by Cabell B. Robinson, wide, undulating fairways, bunkers and lakes, create a ‘links’ feel to Amelkis. The course has incorporated existing 11th century irrigation works as part of its course maintenance. Course/holes Par Blue (9) 36 Green (9) 36 Red (9) 36 t. + 212 (0) 5 24 40 44 14

Metres 3,692 3,756 3,631

Yards 4,038 4,108 3,971

Golf de la Palmeraie Robert Trent Jones designed the original 18 hole course with seven lakes, numerous white sand bunkers and thousands of palm trees. A later 9 hole course is designed to be used for tournaments in combination with the last nine, featuring four large lakes. Different tee boxes will make it playable by

everybody. The Palmeraie Golf Palace hotel has a 5000m² spa with an indoor swimming pool, hammam, sauna, hot tub, fitness centre, kids’ club, equestrian centre, hair salon and free Wi-Fi. The eight restaurants offer an eclectic mix of cuisines, from traditional Moroccan to tapas, Italian, French and Brazilian fare. Course/holes Par Metres 27 72 6,200

Yards 6,780

Royal Golf de Marrakech First created in the 1920s, Arnaud Massy (the first non-Briton to win the Open Championship) is credited with redesigning the course in the ’30s. Cypress, eucalyptus, palm, olive, orange and apricot trees adorn the course, with strategically placed bunkers around the greens. Winston Churchill, David Lloyd George and Ike Eisenhower are among some of its most famous players. One of the oldest clubs in Morocco, a new 9 hole course has been added, designed by Thierry Sprecher and Géry Watine. Facilities include a clubhouse and bar. Course/holes Par Old course (18) 72 Menara Course (9) 36

Metres 5,429 2,809

Yards 5,937 3,072




Samanah Golf and Country Club Opened in 2009 and created by Nicklaus Design, the long desert-style course with dunes and palm trees is built to USGA standards and boasts a David Leadbetter Golf Academy. The resort has five star hotels and villas, shops, restaurants and tennis courts as well as a kids’ club. The club’s main emphasis is on club members. Course/holes 18

Par 72

Metres 6,800

Yards 7,437

Golf Al Maaden The 18-hole course was designed by Kyle Phillips and opened in 2010. Created to give the feeling of walking through a Moroccan garden, the course has unusual geometric water hazards, 104 bunkers and elevated tees and greens. It is bordered with medinas and villas with a stylish clubhouse, spa and restaurants. Course/holes 18

Par 72

Metres 6,644

Yards 7,266

Atlas Golf Surrounded by palm and olive trees with views of the Atlas Mountains, the course is fairly flat with bunkers and water hazards. Created by Alain Prat, the course is designed to appeal to all levels of players. The resort’s distinctive architecture combines traditional architecture and modern comfort, with prestigious apartments, villas and ryads. Course/holes Par 9 32

Metres 2,299

Yards 2,514

Assoufid Golf Club Designed by Scottish PGA professional Niall Cameron in 2012 the new course is part of a 222 hectare resort with a luxury hotel and spa plus private residential developments. A creek runs through the course, which incorporates palm and olive groves in its undulating landscape. Course/holes 18

Par 72

Metres 6,420

Yards 7,020

MEKNÈS Royal Golf de Meknès Created in 1971, the course is set in the heart of the city (a UNESCO World Heritage site), surrounded by the green tiled roofs and minarets of the medina. At the 6th hole a door leads to the Moorish Royal Palace. Olive trees, palms, orange, plum and apricot trees and flowers make for a picturesque course with


floodlights for playing at dusk. The clubhouse is set within the city’s ramparts, with lounge bar, restaurant and panoramic terrace views. Course/holes Par 9 36

Metres 2,610

Yards 2,854

Royal Golf de Settat The club was established as part of Settat University’s sports and studies program. Designed by Rob Fream the public 9 hole course is 70 km from Casablanca and spread over 40 acres. With wide, flat fairways, large greens and water hazards, it is described as a very technical course with 6, 7 and 8 being particularly challenging. Course/holes Par 9 37 t. +212 (0)23 40 07 55

Metres 3,215

Yards 3,516

MOHAMEDIA Royal Golf de Mohamedia Founded in the 1920s, the coastal course was flooded in 2003 and subsequently completely redesigned (a Hirigiven/Lambert partnership) to create fairways surrounded with pines, eucalyptus, bunkers and water features. With views of the Atlantic, Mohamedia is likened to a Scottish links course. The club has a restaurant and welcoming clubhouse. Course/holes 18

Par 72

Metres 5,870

Yards 6,420

RABAT Royal Golf Dar Es Salam Designed by Robert Trent Jones, the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam is 15 minutes from Morocco’s capital Rabat. Its 440 hectares Red Course is noted for its treacherous bunkers and water hazards, demanding accurate and strategic play, while the Blue Course is more forgiving for beginners/intermediate golfers. Home to the Hassan II Trophy. Course/holes Par Red (18) 73 Blue (18) 72 Green (9) 32

Metres 5,549 5,410 1,895

Yards 6,068 5,916 2,072

TANGER Royal Golf de Tanger Founded in 1914, the Tanger Royal Golf Club was renovated in 2001 by Peter Harradine. Just 3km from the city centre, the British-style parkland course has panoramic views of both mountains and sea, and winds through a hilly terrain with cypress, pine, fir and eucalyptus trees. The clubhouse includes a stylish restaurant. Members’ children (aged 7 – 14) are offered free lessons. Course/holes Par 18 70

Metres 6,100

Yards 6,671

LARACHE Golf Port de Lixus Set in 82 hectares by the sea, Enrique Saenger designed the course with large, undulating greens and 95 sand bunkers. The club also caters for short games (a putting green plus a green approach), has a 325m-long driving range and recently hosted the Lixus Open (German PGA Developmental Tour). The clubhouse includes a restaurant and bar. The course includes private villas. Course/holes Par Metres Yards 18 72 6,885 7,530

SAÏDIA Palmeral Golf Saïdia Created in 2008 by Spanish designer Francisco Segalés, the 18-hole American style championship course has a signature lake, island greens and spectacular views of the Mediterranean. Its practise facilities include putting greens and practice bunkers. It lies a few miles from Oujda airport and is managed by Troon Golf.


Course/holes Par Metres Yards 18 72 6,160 6,737

Course/holes Par Metres Yards 18 72 6,834 7,474

Golf de Cabo Negro Designed by Cabell B. Robinson the first 9 run alongside the coast with challenging strategic bunkers, while the back 9 open up a panoramic view of the mountains. Property is available on site, as well as the clubhouse, pro shop and golf academy.



Pebble Beach Company


Gaining with training CLUBHOUSE EUROPE welcomes Wentworth Club’s Chief Executive Julian Small. In the first of his regular series of articles, Julian tackles the thorny issue of staff training and development.


have worked and collaborated with the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) on many occasions over the years and I’m delighted to be able to contribute to Clubhouse Europe. Through these pages I hope to be able to pass along ideas concerning some of our strategies at Wentworth and the benefits – both to the club, its members and employees – that continue to bear fruit. I hope also that it serves to stimulate healthy debate within the CMAE community. If you’ll indulge me for a moment, I’ll tee off with a tale of five frogs sitting on a log. Yes, bear with me. The five frogs have been sitting there for a while, wondering what to do, when suddenly three decide they are going to jump off. How many frogs are left sitting on the log? No, not two. There are, in fact, still five frogs sitting on the log. The reason being that there’s a world of difference between deciding to do something and actually doing it. My theme for this first article is staff training and development. We all know that the way forward for any club or business has got to be to train and develop your staff and use that as a tool to motivate them. Essentially, if you invest in them as people and improve them as people, they will feel valued. We all know it, but do we do it? Let me share with you some of the training and development ideas that we have used to great effect here at Wentworth over the last two or three years: • We introduced a mystery guest programme to identify training needs in customer-facing areas. In our business, you are as good as your last five minutes and these snapshots clearly illustrate the customer’s experience. • We have a training and development plan that addresses the needs of the business. This ensures you don’t get lost along the way and you invest your time and money wisely so as to get maximum benefit. • Commitment to training exists within all areas


The tale of five frogs – ‘thinking’ or ‘doing’?

of the club and is led from the top, but energized throughout. Leadership is essential, especially in overcoming the initial resistance of some individuals, but for training to become part of the culture of your business, it has to be embraced by everyone. • Training takes place at all levels of the business, from the executive team to new joiners, to ensure we all continue to learn and improve. We live in a changing world and you are never too old to learn or to improve the skills required to succeed. Personal development has to be a way of life. • We developed a team of departmental trainers who champion training within the business. Due to the diversity of Wentworth, we have a team of 26 here who, with their heads of department, are responsible for implementing the training and development within their areas. • Our training is simple, quick and relevant to the current needs of the business. We are all busy people, but by delivering training in-

house, we ensure it fits around the business and focusses on the areas we need to address. • We financially incentivise people to ensure that training is ongoing, utilising monthly balanced scorecard principles for managers and monthly commission for departmental trainers for completing training sessions. It matters more to people when there is money on it! Our management team and departmental trainers are financially rewarded each month if they effectively complete the agreed training. A departmental trainer can earn £1,000 per annum commission. • We keep records of the training completed and track its effectiveness. This assists in monitoring the financial incentives to the trainers and managers, but also identifies who is being trained in specific areas so that a profile can be created of the skill set of all staff. • We use training as a means to identify and develop the talent that exists within the business and promote those people who deliver results. Internal promotions are low-risk and

Wentworth Hospitality Academy Graduates 2013 receive their certificates in the Ryder & Curtis Cup room. The Academy is aimed at customer facing front line staff, providing the skills and knowledge to deliver exceptional customer service to members. The bespoke programme includes NVQ Level 2 for customer service, Technical Certificate 2, key skills Math and English, master classes, complaint handling, winning principles and customer service competency. These delegates will become key customer champions within the business. From left: Pedro Da Silva, Wentworth Grill; Tracey Weeks, House Keeping; Marian Majerak, Café; Monica Ruminska, Café; Charlotte Wood, Facilities; Julian Small, Chief Executive; Louise Ward, NVQ Assessor; Rebecca Knight, Crèche; Diego Rodriguez-Ricco, Banqueting; Linda Hermanspann, Burma Bar.

low-cost and talented young people will be inspired by working in an environment where they progress. Internal promotions ensure you get a return on your investment and maintain continuity. Conversely, if people we train continue to perform poorly, if we cannot change the person, we can always change the person! • We celebrate success. Whilst it is essential that we focus on the areas that need to be improved, it is important that we acknowledge, through employee and team recognition awards, where we are successful, as it energises and motivates us to overcome challenges.

This combined strategy helps perpetuate a circle of virtues. Every club wants to increase its efficiency and well-trained people are more efficient and productive than non-trained people. What’s more, an effective training programme helps spread unity and a commonality of message among the many staff within the organisation. It prevents conspiracy theories and negative overtones from getting up a head of steam, so to speak. So there you are. I’m not sure there are many new ideas here, but I hope that this helps you jump off the proverbial log! And in these challenging times, use training as a cost-effective way

to motivate yourself and your teams to advance your business. I look forward to contributing again to the next issue of Clubhouse Europe.

CONTACT DETAILS Julian Small Chief Executive, Wentworth Club t. + 44 (0)1344 842201 (Reception) f. + 44 (0) 1344 842804




Attracting new members and keeping them! With a tough economic climate throughout Europe, attracting new members is a challenge – and keeping them, an even bigger one. Enter referral marketing. CMAE Chief Executive Officer Jerry Kilby and referral marketing expert Vince Golder explain why your existing members could be your biggest sales arm, as well as your most effective membership retention resource.


n average, 80% of companies get 70% of their business through referrals from customers and contacts. The real influence of word of mouth is when a current member refers a first-timer to your club. Not only do you have a new member, but you’ve also won another new referral source. This is why referral marketing is so powerful. It builds upon itself with each new member turning around and making more referrals, creating new members and then more ‘referral introducers’ and so on. Putting time and effort into making your existing members want to mention you in the same breath as their favourite football team (or anything else they may be passionate about) means


that your club can minimise their spending on marketing and advertising. Top tips on referral marketing Research has shown that a happy customer will pass on their good experiences to up to 12 people and that those 12 will tell 12 more – and so on. The same research unfortunately shows that people are more likely to talk about the club when they’re unhappy with it, than when they’re happy with it, so for a healthy and vibrant club membership, make sure you do customer service – both inside the club and outside on your golf course or sports facilities – really well! If you want to build your referrals, you must actively cultivate your referral sources.

Here are 10 points to help you get started: 1. Keep in regular touch with your members. If you have their email addresses (and their opted-in permission to use the email address for marketing purposes) send them regular news, special offers and updates – a club e-newsletter is perfect for this. Don’t send them too much information, rather keep a fine balance of information that will interest them and importantly keeps them thinking about you and the club. 2. Try Referral Vouchers which regular members can put their name or reference number on and hand out to people they know. Referral vouchers can offer a special incentive for an event, or a

David Cook CCM General Manager, Burhill Golf Club, Surrey, England

There has never been such an important time for membership retention. Communication is the key. Burhill GC recently carried out a detailed on-line survey among the membership, asking about the golf courses, the club’s current and future facilities and service. There was a high response and I in turn created a paper which was published and sent out to all the members answering some of the key issues with short, medium and long term actions. This information was also shared at the club’s two AGMs, committee meetings and Captain’s dinner. This enabled us to silence all of the potentially destructive whispers and rumours which can cause ill feeling among club members and drive people away. We are now in the process of circulating news on the current actions being taken by the club’s management team following the survey, and we do this regularly through notices around the club, in the club’s newsletters and on the web site. This creates a sense of understanding and belonging and I am pleased to say membership numbers remain strong and future enquiries are consistent.

meal, or a game of golf and if used by a new customer and that customer decides to become a club member then the referrer gets a special deal as well. You must look to the long term using incentives and consider it a small investment to gain a potential long-term club member.

6. Ask your members for testimonials and use them on all marketing media.

3. Display a Customer Charter notice prominently at your club that states a brief mission statement of what the club offers, any referral programme you operate and your complaints procedure etc. This professionally shows you care about your members and that you have an official process to meet their highest satisfaction.

8. Network; always be on the look out for the opportunities to build good relationships.

4. Consider operating a simple member loyalty scheme which awards points for the number of visits to the club. 5. Consider linking up with other businesses in the area to reward your members for referrals, loyalty etc. Provide your corporate clients with your special offers too which they distribute to their customers.

7. Ensure you are recording all referral information and doing something with it – e.g. update and thank the person who made the referral in the first place.

9. Find out who the influencers are and cultivate relationships with the movers and shakers in your community. 10. Instead of treating people the way you’d like to be treated, put yourself in their shoes instead. It’s important to be able to relate to them because the referral business is an emotional process. It’s important to remember what they want and need. Finally, remember, when you fully focus on your members, your members will fully focus on you. That means referrals, satisfaction and above all else, loyalty.

Chris May CCM Chief Executive Officer, Dubai Golf (Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club)

At both Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and Emirates Golf Club we have a very strong membership base that has been built up over the past 25 years. Our membership retention rates are extremely positive. However we are always looking at new ways to improve retention still further. In 2012 we introduced a number of initiatives including golf cart fee hire in the price of full membership and allowing complimentary access to night golf on the Faldo course at Emirates Golf Club to all golf members across both clubs. We also provided reciprocal playing arrangements to members of Emirates at Dubai Creek (and vice versa) midweek, in addition to unlimited access to the gym, pool and driving range. Members-only social events were introduced, we increased the dining discounts and added flexible membership payment options. Dubai Golf also invested in improving dining facilities and the conditions of all of our golf courses, as well as installing a new irrigation system at Emirates Golf Club. Member feedback is extremely important to us and we receive this on a monthly basis from our Members Consultative Committee and also our annual survey which is then analysed by senior management who put initiatives in place to improve our services and facilities.

Guy Pelard General Manager, Golf de Fourqueux, Paris, France

Membership in our golf club has slightly decreased since the beginning of the economic recession in 2008. Over the three last years, we have lost about 80 members. There is no miracle cure for this, because the members who leave are either too old, too ill or have had to move away from Paris to find another job in other parts of France (or in other countries). The most difficult part is the acquisition of new members. Last year I had the idea of contacting some small 9-hole golf courses in the area and proposing to their golf coaches that they and their students come to play our 18 holes for a very good price. In this way they learn about our club, enjoy it and then become a member. This has been very successful and we are now close to having our membership full again.

Daniel Asis Director of Golf, Oliva Nova Golf & Beach Resort, Valencia, Spain

Our best retention strategy this year has been: 1. To be more flexible with annual membership fee payments (with a slight increase to those paying in three or six instalments). 2. To raise the green-fee for outsiders so that members have a better perception of their paying rights. At the same time, we have launched a programme with unexpected surprises for players. We set up a table at our 8th tee offering anything from seasonal sweets and snacks to wine and champagne… all complimentary! Members and non-members alike are spreading the word… It’s the best promotion for us as well as a great way to help keep them faithful to our club.


Jerry Kilby CCM Chief Executive Officer, Club Managers Association of Europe t. +44 (0) 1428 606466 m. +44 (0) 7821 908597

Vince Golder Managing Director, Goldnet Referral Marketing m. +44 (0) 7799 348642



Staying buzzed ‘til you’re old and geeky Today’s managers are fighting to keep their place firmly centre stage. Gregg Patterson, General Manager, at The Beach Club in Santa Monica, USA, explains how to fight off those ambitious youngsters, hungry for their share of the spotlight.


anagers are in a pressure cooker every day, ‘on stage’, coordinating a thousand pieces of club culture, juggling assignments, re-prioritizing the priorities, doing more with less, working 20 hour days seven days a week. They’re walking a tightrope, performing a balancing act between work and play, family and friends. It’s a tough life, often stressful, always draining and sometimes debilitating. It can be a killer – emotionally, mentally, physically. But managers should expect no sympathy from the members. Members are, more often than not, oblivious to ‘manager beat down’. From where they sit the job’s a snap, filled with interesting people, crazy stories, free meals, unlimited golf, the ‘happiness business’ and an easy way to earn a seven figure income. Burn-out you say? That’s for people who really WORK! Members want passion and creativity from their General Manager (GM) and are unforgiving of age, family demands or the energy-sapping day-to-day nit picking of the club experience. They want to be led by a professional who has enthusiasm, endurance and positively glows with good health. They want The Big Cheese to radiate animal magnetism and ooze confidence. They want their manager-leader to have The Buzz and don’t take kindly to low energy, moaner-groaners types. Tough job. Tough life. A recipe for burnout. And for managers who’ve crested 60, who go to bed earlier and wake up later, who feel the ache in the joints and the midriff bulge, the life of a GM is particularly tough. They’re competing with ‘young talent’ in the ‘prime of life’, well educated professionals who are lean, hungry and eager to compete, warriors with six pack abs and low body fat, youngsters who want to make their mark, spank their elders and earn the big bucks. So to do good in an ever more competitive world, managers need to feel good and look good or be left behind in the unending battle to get the job, keep the job and make more money.


HERE’S HOW. Keeping the edge Managers who want to avoid Burnout and stay Buzzed focus on The Fundamentals... Love the business Hospitality and clubs are right for some and not for others. Professionals who’ve ‘chosen right’ see hospitality as Meaningful Work, a ‘mission from god’, bringing joy to the world. They love the stories, the people, the relationships, the community of members and staff. And for managers with Buzz, ‘club’ is their niche of choice. Embrace uncertainty – and prepare People are weird and stuff happens. The future is a mystery and ‘there be dragons’. Get used to not knowing, and prepare for the worst. Put on a happy face Life is neutral. The way one sees ‘the way it is’ is everything. Happy people see the lessons in defeat, the comedy in the madness. Happy people hang around with happy people, socialise with optimists, flee negativity and avoid nay-sayers like the plague. Cultivate a ‘big fish’ way of seeing Every experience is a big deal when you find the profound in the ordinary, discover that every story’s a parable, brimming with meaning. Big Lives are more entertaining than small – but the size of one’s Life Experience is in the eye of the beholder. Control your wants Stress arrives when wants become needs and the two of them diverge from reality. Make sure your ‘wants’ are achievable. A Toyota instead of a Benz. A bungalow instead of a mansion. A bike instead of a Porsche. Then love what you’ve got. Right the balance sheet Be financially grounded. Distinguish between needs and wants. Keep your

appetite in check and live below your income. Reduce debt. Save more. Buy lots of insurance. Sleep better knowing you’ve got cash in the bank. Tune the engine Maintain your good health. Eat right, sleep right, exercise. Split up your day with an hour in the gym. Bike to the club. Play three holes of golf during lunch hour. Swim thirty laps. Eat food, mostly plants, not too much. Stretch Take breaks during the day, get away from the desk, yap with people, wander, unwind. Let serendipity happen. Pay your passions first Identify your passions and find time to pursue them. Like reading? Start with a half hour each morning. Like travel? Calendar it in. Identify your dreams and figure out tactics for turning hope into reality. Find the right geography Travel lots and find a geography that’s right for your psyche. Like heat and humidity? Live in Florida. Like mountains and deserts? Live in Arizona. Like snow and cool temps? Move to Maine. Working in the right geography does good stuff for the psyche. Diversity the portfolio Have lots of interests outside of work to divert and entertain. No time for one, then do another. No time for fishing? Go biking. Bike on the fritz? Do a power walk. No time for books? Read magazines. Variety is spice. Start dreaming Dreams are about the future. Possibilities. Do-able goals. And ‘hope’ is about the tactics needed to make dreams happen. Write them down, review them each day, make them happen.

Go slow and go deep Take the time to absorb and reflect. Get focused – one thing at a time. Forget mindless multi-tasking. Read more, write more, talk more, walk more – and shut off the phone, shut down the tweets, turn off the Crackberry. Go slower and go deeper. Find an emotional centre Find the right person to share The Journey and stick with them. Find ‘communities of like values’ – your church, your club, your work – and stick with them. Enrich your relationships by giving them the time and attention they deserve. Develop the network Stimulating people makes for a stimulating life. Build a network of ‘The Stimulated’ and connect with them often. Find a ‘zone of tranquility’ Modernity’s a mess, filled with clutter. Noise. Tweets. Cell phones. E-mail. People. Managers need to escape from the madness to calm the nerves and re-charge the batteries. Alone time. Brew and stew time. Your time. Give back Those who give back and make the world better feel good. Donate time, talent or treasure to others who need and to the next generation. Give until it feels good. You’ll walk taller and feel better knowing you’ve done good for something larger than yourself.

Keep teaching. Nothing gives professionals a greater zing than going deep into something you know – financial statement analysis, fine wine, lease negotiations – and then giving those insights to others. Teaching is not about giving to those who are taught, but giving the buzz to those who are doing the teaching. Keep searching Insatiable curiosity is an expression of ‘buzz’, the continual asking of ‘what’ and ‘how’ and ‘why-for’. Identify problems, then take classes, attend seminars, Google for new ideas to find the answers. Completion Managers do stuff that’s unsatisfyingly unending. Projects are delayed. Lawsuits drag on for years. Managers need to do something – each day – that they can actually finish, look at and say ‘I done good’. Change tires on the bicycle. Make dinner. Sweep out the garage. Wash the van. Stress is relieved when something is started, finished and looks good to the do’er when done. Join the laugh club Laugh lots. At people, at stuff, at failings and at follies. Purge the demons by telling your stories, seeing the humour in the pain, the humour in the humour, the humour in the madness. Bridge players irascible? What a hoot! Twenty hour day without a shower and a shave? Ha! Ha! Fender bender in the parking lot?

Yuk, yuk! Laughter makes everything better. Educate those who’ll be judging Managers need to set expectations about lifestyle and balance, about their needs, wants and expectations. They have to establish the basics up front – time of arrival, time of exit, days off, vacation, work habits, daily routines, family priorities. The members, the board, the staff and the family all need to hear your ‘what’ and your ‘why’ and to get educated on ‘who you are’ and what you need to avoid burnout and stay buzzed until you’re old and geeky. Stay Buzzed Times are tough. Whether you’re young and hungry or old and weary, the members want Buzz. The crunch is on. You need The Edge. The buzzed win. They live happier, longer, better. They smile more. Laugh easier. And they get the job, keep the job and make more money. So reduce the stress and heighten The Buzz. And enjoy the journey. Gregg Patterson is the General Manager of The Beach Club, Santa Monica, California. He is a teacher and presenter on club management principles, has taught all over the world and visits Europe regularly to engage with European club managers. e.




Facebook foundations

– back to basics With borders no barrier, social media is at the forefront of global communications. Love it or loathe it, it’s here to stay. Lawrence Hardcastle, MD of UK web agency Larrytech, offers a ‘back to basics’ approach to harnessing the power of facebook, and explains how to maximise the club’s marketing potential using this powerful tool.



acebook was launched in 2004. This Social Networking website is now used for everything from catching up with old friends to gaining leads for business. For clubs of all sizes, Facebook provides an extremely effective marketing tool and an excellent way of integrating with members. By using their Facebook page as a marketing tool, clubs are exposing themselves to a whole new customer base as well as cementing their relationship with existing members. When launching a presence for your club on Facebook, the most important thing to do is to make sure you have the page ready to go once it is launched. The worst thing you can do is launch a new Facebook page that is underdeveloped. Consider a website; you would not launch a website without relevant text and images so why launch a Facebook page without relevant information? Top tips to get your Facebook page started • Make sure you have a profile picture – a big question mark is not going to make users want to visit your page. • Include plenty of relevant information about your club on Facebook without bombarding your visitors with too much. Definitely include a strapline about your club, contact details and a link to your website as a starting point and an absolute minimum. • If you have tabs that are empty then delete them. The last thing people want to see is a tab that has no relevance to it. • Post links and interesting stories on your wall initially to ensure there is some content on there. Once people start interacting you will not need to do as much, but initially it is important otherwise you just have a big blank wall with nothing on it which will not inspire people to interact and certainly will not encourage people to come back to your page. • Make sure the content you add to the info tab is useful, as this is where users will likely look when trying to find out what a page is about. The better the information here, the more chance you have of people reading more about you – and consequently the more likely they are to Like and interact with you. When you have a Facebook page that is primed and ready to go, launch it and then make sure you are promoting as much interaction as possible on your page. Whilst it is important to post about special offers to more actively promote these, you may also want to post about interesting, relevant topics. For example, a rugby club may want to post regularly about recent results. A good post about a relevant topic may result in people commenting on the post which in turn would promote interaction. Having a presence is necessary even if it is there more for informational purposes than anything else. There is likely to be a good deal of information written about your club round the web that you have no control over, no matter how helpful or detrimental it is to your image. As a

result, it is important for you to have your say and show how the club is really run. By keeping an eye out for any negative publicity you may see on the internet, you can be aware of what is being said about your club and respond accordingly. Think carefully about who has access to your account and who can post on behalf of your club. The last thing you want is for one of your staff who has access to your account to write either negative or incorrect comments about your club that could be detrimental to your club’s image. And they’re off... So now you have everything in place on your Facebook page and are raring to go, looking forward to turning your page into more business. Now you need traffic to your Facebook page and to encourage people to Like you. Here are a few tips to increase the amount of users on your Facebook page. • Add all your friends. By adding all your personal friends on Facebook (and getting your staff to do the same) you will be amazed at how many ‘Likes’ and visits your Facebook page will get. The ‘snowball effect’ will then begin to gather speed as friends of friends start to Like you. This is a simple but very under-used way of gaining visibility for your Facebook page. • Add a Like button on your website as this will encourage visitors to your website to visit and consequently Like your Facebook page. • Integrate with other social media platforms (e.g. Twitter). By using other forms of Social Media, you are exposing yourself to a whole new wave of potential business and traffic to your Facebook page that is likely to result in new business in the future. If you use both Twitter and Facebook effectively, you could open a lot of potentially untapped doors into your potential membership base. • Like other businesses in your local area. This can be a fantastic method of gaining interaction and, therefore, business to your club. When you Like other local businesses, they are likely to at least look on your page even if they don’t Like it straight away. On the back of this they may Like your page, refer it to one of your friends or better still, visit the club. • Promote special offers/events on your Facebook page as this will give visitors an incentive to come back to your page. If you promote a 10% discount for all users who Like your page, for example, they may come to the club and sign up, or look on your page again in the future to see if you are doing similar activities that they could benefit from. • Email your subscriber list about your Facebook page. Keeping a database off members is a must now for any club – big or small. Sending an email promoting your Facebook page to your whole subscriber list will offer the benefit of increased traffic to your Facebook page. That will then facilitate the ‘snowball effect’ or ‘virtual cycle’ to help your Facebook page gain additional Likes, recognition and, most importantly, interaction.

Maximise success Once you have your page up and running and you have your traffic and Likes to your page, the next step is to maximise your success by making your page as fun and interactive as possible – encouraging Likers to return. Here are a few suggestions to promote interaction: • Upload photos of quiz nights, theme nights, events etc. that you have hosted and make sure you tag people who you know or Like your page. By doing this and encouraging people to tag their friends, you will increase the level of interaction and consequent interest in your club’s page even more. • We all have the one club whose page we signed up to once and we then receive an invite to an event every week. Do invite Facebook users to visit the club and keep them informed of all your events – but don’t hound them. Once a week may be too much if you don’t have new and exciting things to talk about. • Updating your status is an excellent way of getting on people’s news feeds and if your statuses are interesting enough people may start to Like and comment on your status – again promoting interaction. • Think about when is the best time to update your status. If you’re trying to attract the Saturday night crowd, for example, perhaps update your status with a special offer for anyone who Likes your page on a Saturday at 9pm. That way, people may see this update on their smart phones and decide to choose your club over a local competitor. So there you have it, a guide to getting started on Facebook and then how to maximise your return in the time you will invest in it.

CONTACT DETAILS Larrytech Ltd Calverley House, 55 Calverley Road, Tunbridge Wells, TN1 2TU t. +44 (0) 1892 888 011 f.+ 44 (0) 1892 888 012 e.




Scotland leads the way In November 2011, Scottish Golf blazed a trail for the rest of Europe after successfully staging Scottish Golf Club Management Training Level One – the first comprehensive course of its kind in Europe.


lub managers across the globe are under greater pressure than ever from their committees, owners and members to create and implement business strategies that guarantee the continued success of their clubs. This is no different in the Home of Golf, which is why the Scottish Golf Union (SGU) and Scottish Ladies Golf Association (SLGA) joined forces with the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) and many other industry organisations to stage and deliver the CMAE’s first Management Development Programmes to Scottish golf club managers and potential managers.

and membership and marketing. Such was the demand and positive feedback following the Level One course, a repeat course was scheduled for the following March – and now, after these successful pilot courses, the Level One course is held annually in October/November and the Level Two course annually in March. The Level One training course is targeted, in particular, at those managers who are either new to their post, recently appointed or simply want to enhance their knowledge to better serve their club committees. “I learned more about what my

“This is the first programme recognised by CMAA in Europe and I can confidently say that it met all of the CMAA audit requirements. The Scottish Golf Union must be recognised for their ground breaking work in Europe and their significant contribution to the global golf community.” Jason Koenigsfeld, Senior Vice President for Education, CMAA In November 2011, delegates (pictured above) gathered from across Scotland at the University of Stirling Business Management Centre to recognise the importance of serving their club and club members with the most up-to-date education in the industry. The week-long training course focused on the 10 key core competencies areas for club managers – such as club governance, accounting and financial management, strategy and leadership, golf operations, facilities management


job should be in five days than I learned in the previous five years,” said Tom Cummings, Secretary, Kirkintilloch GC, who attended the November course. Scottish Golf Development Manager Andy Salmon said: “It is a stated aim of the SGU and SLGA to increase the number of people playing golf and to grow golf club membership, and this means we need to have strong clubs, led by managers who have been introduced to best practice in every area of their role.”

Scottish Golf Club Development Manager Kevin Fish, CCM, (left) who oversees the delivery of the courses, added: “Club secretaries and managers invariably come into the industry with strong skill-sets and this new comprehensive training programme can now supplement those skills. Europe is a long way behind the USA in training club managers. It is our aim to close that gap and whilst Scotland is at the forefront of that drive, we hope that this can be replicated across Europe.” The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) has embraced its role as auditing this global standard of education, and Senior Vice President for Education Jason Koenigsfeld left Scotland with a ringing endorsement. “This is the first programme recognised by CMAA in Europe and I can confidently say that it met all of the CMAA audit requirements. The Scottish Golf Union must be recognised for their ground breaking work in Europe and their significant contribution to the global golf community,” he said.

CONTACT DETAILS • For a more details of the club management training courses across Europe (including delegate feedback and a short video) visit



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

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



Scotland leads in industry training –

Time out with Valderrama GM Javier Reviriego

see page 36

Location report – spotlight on Morocco

Wentworth CEO – on gaining with training

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


Theever-changingworld forSpanishclubmanagers Just how clued up is your club when it comes to managing change? Daniel Asis Boyer, Chief Executive Officer, Club Managers Spain, warns that now is not the time to hide your head in the sand (or even the bunker).


here is a video on the Internet at the moment which acts as a reminder of how different the Baby Boomers and Generations X and Y really are ( Yet shockingly, no matter how often we hear it, we don’t seem to take these difference fully onboard. At least not fully enough to start thinking about how our way of doing business is going to cope with the future generation of club users. That is, if they ever care to visit a club. Or if each of us is smart enough to provide them with the entertainment they expect to find. Club managers across Europe will, of course, extract different conclusions from the video according to the different traditions, cultures and mentalities we are brought up with. The Spanish view, however, would be tarnished by two relevant facts: 1. Spanish golf in the 1950s was predominantly member oriented, while today over 80% of the facilities are business oriented. 2. Spain is amongst the top three Golf destinations in the World for tourism, with over 1 million people visiting our courses with the main purpose of playing golf. (I’m sure you are already picturing a golf industry which is very different from the traditional club atmosphere.) Bring the two equations together – new business models and new/voluble-future customers spiced-up with the day-to-day changes in technology – and you can imagine how important ongoing education will be for club managers in Spain. We’d better get used to:

• Tour operators and green-fee selling companies being both a stairway to the heaven of wealthy sales and the worst nightmare as they break the sweet balance we try to maintain with local customers and members.

• As many types of membership categories as members/customers we have at the club.

• And, of course, we’d better get used to the devil in the mobile phone that allows you to discuss business – even under the shower!

• Never-ending negotiations with never-ending lists of companies trying to grab a piece of the business.

Watch the video. Let it soak in. Picture your club (no matter what country are you reading this magazine in) as a leisure facility of choice for

that generation. Now roll your sleeves up and start convincing the board and the employees of the many changes you’ll have to put in place. And put on an even bigger smile. After all, Life is about change, isn’t it?

CONTACT DETAILS Daniel Asis Boyer Chief Executive Officer Club Managers Spain



Club management in Ireland The landscape in club management in Ireland has changed dramatically in the past five years. Michael Walsh CCM, President of the Irish Golf & Club Managers Association (IGCMA) examines how the golf sector has coped.


ince the collapse of the so called Celtic Tiger ( the period of rapid growth between 1995 and 2008) the knock-on effects have been felt throughout the Irish economy. Harsh budgetary measures, coupled with fixed/declining incomes, no wage increases and high unemployment, have all played a role in determining leisure activities and use of leisure facilities. Golf clubs have been to the forefront of this decline. In 2011, golf club membership declined by 6,000 members. As at 31 October, 2012, membership numbers had fallen by a further 7,300, bringing the total loss in golf members to 37,000 since the peak of 177,000 in 2004 (and this is just men by the way; source: GUI Annual Report to 31 October. 2012). Factor in a general decline in green fees, the disappearance of corporate days and a decline in overseas visitors, and the complete picture begins to emerge. Clubs whose business model consisted of high green fees subsidising members’ subscriptions began to face a new reality. As green fees declined, incomes fell. Any attempt to increase subscriptions were met with a stonewall refusal. Cutting costs immediately resulted in a number of managers being made redundant and their roles taken over by volunteer members and committees.


This short-sighted, short-term solution resulted in costs to the clubs through pay-offs, and then, further down the road, the stark realisation that it was a mistake in the first place, with the added costs in finding a new manager. A number of clubs have already gone down this road, reverting to rehiring a new manager, but often at a lower cost than before. Through all this mayhem, one manager, who had been made redundant by his club, saying they couldn’t afford him following their too rapid expansion in a new clubhouse and changes to the course, took the club to court (having lost his case at the Employment law tribunal). The Judge found in his favour, saying he could not be blamed for the expenditure undertaken and therefore should not suffer the loss of his job as result. He was awarded two years salary plus costs. Clubs please take note! The club business is a leaner, more efficient business now. The IGCMA has regularly run seminars on Cost Cutting and Revenue Generation, using mangers to share their secrets. These have proved most popular and beneficial, to those who have attended. When CMAE had an Irish region here some years back, we did a survey and found that 33% of those who paid their annual subscription had never once attended any CMAE run function in Ireland.

Nowadays managers are more likely to attend and learn than ever before. Our region is rightly proud of the fact that it has eight Certified Club Managers (CCMs) amongst its members, with another two waiting in the wings. So we’re obviously doing something right in the Emerald Isle! Full membership of the IGCMA (which was a merger of the Irish Association of Golf Club Secretaries and CMAE Irish Region four years ago) now has 74 active members. This is down considerably from other years, but we are confident that it will remain at that level now for some time to come. Education is a priority and our current committee has a full plan now for the coming year, under the leadership of our Education Chairman and CMAE Board Member James Burns CCM, from Milltown Golf Club. Michael Walsh CCM President, Irish Golf & Club Managers’ Association (IGCMA)



Why GAF Sweden is the centre of Swedish Golf Torbjörn Johansson, CEO, Golf Club Management Association Sweden (GAF) explains how – and why – co-operation is hitting the sweet spot in Sweden.


o the right you’ll find the organisational chart of Swedish Golf. As you can see, GAF Sweden is the centre of attention and everything revolves around us. Well... okay... that’s not quite true. It would be great, but it’s not really the case. What is true though, is that we communicate ourselves as being the same core in the golfing world as the clubhouse staff is at a golf club. If the general manager and/or the management staff don’t have good relationships with the restaurant staff, or with the trainers/coaches, or the greenkeepers – or the members and the board – the club will not be highly successful. Therefore it is hugely important for us that we have a good relationship with the SGF (Swedish Golf Federation), the PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association), the SGA (Swedish Greenkeepers Association), the FSG (Golf Course Owners), the SGR (Golf Restaurant Owners) and the FSGA (Architects) as well as being an organisation with strong values and raising our own brand. When we talk about relationships, it is important that we also keep it professional and fill it with content. For the last two years we arranged the Meeting Place Golf together with the SGA and this year we had our Spring education days and annual meeting together with the SGR and the FSGA. Next time we might also join forces with the FSG.

GolfTräffen 2013 at Hooks Mansion One of the examples of great teamwork has been the national Golf Club Manager education programme. Together with the PGA, we joined forces with the IHM Business School which provides advanced training in marketing, finance and business. We three, together with the Federation, put together a very modern program based on the CMAE’s 10 core competencies. Another example which I have to write about is what we call the historical agreement between GAF and the SGF. We have worked together throughout our 28 years of existence, but in 2012 we signed an agreement that meant us working together not only in education but in business. The federation has seven full time employees working with business deals (65 in total) while we have two full time employees doing everything. Now we support each other with deals involving the clubs. We talk to our members which assures the quality of the deals before they are signed. We also try to have tie-in deals for our members; instead of trying to sign up a competitor, we now join forces. As we see it, co-operation strengthens everything we do – for the good of the clubs and for the good of the members.

CONTACT DETAILS Torbjörn Johansson, CEO, Golf Club Management Association Sweden (GAF) Kevinge Strand 20 Danderyd,18211 Sweden t. +46 (0) 8-622 15 06 f. +46 (0) 8-755 84 39 e.



Best practice tops agenda Sharing best practice throughout the European club management industry is one of the central objectives of the CMAE, but this is easier said than done, says Jerry Kilby, CEO of the Club Managers Association of Europe.

We hope that this new magazine – Clubhouse Europe – will have made a significant step forward in our determination to share best practice, and we intend to keep improving the sharing of knowledge on club management strategies and tactics to help you, as an existing or aspiring club manager, in your job, and to help the clubs that employ us to become even more successful businesses. The club managers of some of Europe’s most prestigious clubs – Javier Reviriego at Valderrama, Julian Small at Wentworth and others – have taken the time to share their thoughts, ideas and experiences with our readers in this issue. We thank them for their contributions and their insights. If you would like to make an editorial contribution or if you have any comments or thoughts you would like to share with other club managers in Europe, please email the Editor, Caroline Scoular, at Clubs, like all other businesses, have to adapt to the continuing challenging economic climate that has affected most of the globe, but the good news is that some are not just surviving, but even prospering. How is this possible as a time when many clubs are struggling to retain existing members – and attract a steady flow of new members sufficient to replace those who are leaving? Well, it seems that those clubs that continue to do well are those who offer excellent value for money, first class customer service and good quality facilities. Their management is dedicated to continuous improvement in everything they do, and they are continually seeking to learn from others how the day-to-day problems can be solved in new and innovative ways. Within the CMAE and our network of national club managers associations throughout Europe, those club managers who participate regularly in the locally-organised seminars, workshops and networking events, as well as those who attend the more formally organised club management courses (like the CMAE’s Management Development Programme) tend to be those that are solving the problems at their clubs, are valued by their club boards and members and are responsible for the management of the most successful and vibrant clubs in Europe.

John Hunt’s excellent article in this issue – What Price an Untrained Manager – illustrates this perfectly, and we suggest that club managers consider sharing this article (and others in this magazine perhaps) with club committees and board members, club presidents and chairmen – we really will be sharing best practice if we do. Jerry Kilby CCM Chief Executive Officer, Club Managers Association of Europe

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The CMAE wish to thank the following g companies for their invaluable assistance e in the development of the Managementt Development Programme and otherr education programmes forr European Club Managers..




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