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THE GOLF CLUB

MANAGER I S S U E 2 8 | J U LY 2 0 1 9

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE GOLF CLUB MANAGERS’ ASSOCIATION

E BEST PRACT:IC SPECIAL N’T CA ADVICE YOUD TO AFFOR IGNORE

GRASS ROOTS

A ONE-OFF FIXTURE

H A M M A N O R ’ S M ATC H WITH A DIFFERENCE NEED TO KNOW

SLIP, SLAP, SWING SHARE THE SKIN CANCER MESSAGE INDUSTRY

MODERN AND MULTI-PURPOSE

PAU L T H O R N TO N O N H I S R O L E AT N O R W O O D PA R K

ED U C AT E | I N FO RM | I N S P I RE ‘


CONTENTS I S S U E 2 8 | J U LY 2 0 1 9

GCMA

CAREERS

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The latest from your chief executive

The latest jobs for GCMA members

NEED TO KNOW

GOOD PRACTICE

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How you can raise awareness of skin cancer

Your directory for the best advice

INDUSTRY

GRASS ROOTS

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Interview: Norwood’s Paul Thornton

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How you can template customer service

Ham Manor’s heartening success story

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WELCOME

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE GOLF CLUB MANAGERS’ ASSOCIATION GCMA Bristol & Clifton Golf Club, Beggar Bush Lane, Failand, Bristol, BS8 3TH Tel: 01275 391153 | hq@gcma.org.uk CHIEF EXECUTIVE Bob Williams - bob@gcma.org.uk COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Mike Hyde - mike@gcma.org.uk GOLF MANAGEMENT RESEARCHER Jim Cunning - jim@gcma.org.uk EDUCATION COORDINATOR Niki Hunter - niki@gcma.org.uk FINANCE ADMINISTRATOR Shirley Edmondson - shirley@gcma.org.uk COMMUNICATIONS EXECUTIVE Marie Taylor - marie@gcma.org.uk MEMBERSHIP SERVICES Julie Knight - julie@gcma.org.uk PRESIDENT JR (John) Jones 2019/20 CAPTAIN Ian Symington BOARD OF DIRECTORS Phil Grice, Amy Yeates, Andrew Rankin, Judy Barker, Stuart Leech, Brad McLean THE GOLF CLUB MANAGER IS PUBLISHED BY: SPORTS PUBLICATIONS LTD 2 Arena Park, Tarn Lane, Scarcroft, West Yorkshire, LS17 9BF, UK Tel: 0113 289 3979 | info@sportspub.co.uk PUBLISHER Tom Irwin - t.irwin@sportspub.co.uk EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Dan Murphy - d.murphy@sportspub.co.uk OPS DIRECTOR Will Shucksmith - w.shucksmith@sportspub.co.uk EDITOR Steve Carroll - s.carroll@sportspub.co.uk PRODUCTION EDITOR James Broadhurst - j.broadhurst@sportspub.co.uk CHIEF DESIGNER Andrew Kenworthy - a.kenworthy@sportspub.co.uk DESIGNERS Becky Clark - b.clark@sportspub.co.uk Vicky Jones - v.jones@sportspub.co.uk Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, but the publishers cannot accept responsibility for omissions and errors. All material in this publication is strictly copyright and all rights are reserved.The views expressed in The Golf Club Manager do not necessarily represent the views of the company or the editor. Every care is taken in compiling the contents but the publishers assume no responsibility for any damage, loss or injury arising from participation in any offer, competition or advertising contained within The Golf Club Manager.

THE GOLF CLUB

MANAGER I S S U E 2 8 | J U LY 2 0 1 9

THE OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF THE GOLF CLUB MANAGERS’ ASSOCIATION

BEST PRACTICE SPECIAL: T CAN’ ADVICE YOU TO AFFORD IGNORE

GRASS ROOTS

A ONE-OFF FIXTURE

H A M M A N O R ’ S M ATC H WITH A DIFFERENCE NEED TO KNOW

SLIP, SLAP, SWING SHARE THE SKIN CANCER MESSAGE INDUSTRY

MODERN AND MULTI-PURPOSE

PAU L T H O R N TO N O N H I S R O L E AT N O R W O O D PA R K

ED U C AT E | I N FO RM | I N S P I RE ‘

001 GCMA July 19 Cover.indd 3

25/06/2019 16:49

ON THE COVER: Paul Thornton

I S S U E 2 8 | J U LY 2 0 1 9

I

have to confess that July is probably my favourite month of the year. Other than being the month of my birth, it is that time when the Open takes centre stage - and hopefully fills the back pages. While I am sure many of you will have enjoyed the Women’s World Cup, as well as the Cricket World Cup, and, of course, Wimbledon, for many it is the Open that inspires so many aspiring golfers. This year’s event has obviously thrown up a number of logistical problems by being held in Northern Ireland but, having been lucky enough to have been invited over there a couple of times, I am convinced that Royal Portrush and the whole of the country will prove to be a most inspiring host for what we hope will provide a great event. As always, the National Captain, Ian Symington, and I will be in attendance to represent GCMA. Not only is it the venue for a world golfing event it also provides a focal point for all the golfing organisations to congregate and meet with one another. This year is no exception, with industry meetings generally filling our diaries for the majority of the practice days and the Thursday and Friday. By the time this magazine reaches your desks the newly elected GCMA Board of Directors will have held their first meeting. As we all know when a new Board or committee comes into power there is a period of time when the various characters

will all be eager to contribute to the future development of our Association. With a good mix of people from all walks within golf club management it promises to be an exciting time. However, I have to confess that I was somewhat saddened when past Manager of the Year Andrew Minty advised us that he has decided against taking up his position on the Board. I believe Andrew would have brought a different level of skills to the Board that we have not benefited from before. I take this opportunity to wish Andrew well for the future. Bob Williams – chief executive

“I am convinced that Royal Portrush and the whole of the country will prove to be a most inspiring host (for The Open)“


2019 GCMA GOLF CLUB MANAGEMENT AWARDS nominations are now open! join us in celebrating and rewarding excellence across golf club management

■ Manager of the Year

The outstanding manager of the last two years 2017 winner: Amy Yeates sponsored by

■ Newcomer of the Year

First golf club management job, and in post for less than two years 2017 winner Gordon MacLeod sponsored by

■ Team of the Year

Club manager; and at least two from course manager, club professional, bar steward or food and beverage manager 2017 winner: Pyle & Kenfig sponsored by

For more information, or to submit a nomination, visit:

gcma.org.uk/awards


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GCMA Everything you need to know about what’s happening around the UK in the world of the GCMA


GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

Pictures of the

MONTH

GCMA 2019 National Golf Day Despite a particularly ominous forecast, the field were relieved that only a handful of showers popped up at Enville GC last month, although conditions were

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still tough, with a persistent breeze throughout. The Highgate course was in magnificent condition, and drew universal praise from those in attendance. Two trophies were up for grabs, and John Cox

(Kirtlington GC) triumphed in the The Founders Cup, with a nett 77. An impressive performance from Ian Slater (North Downs GC) saw him retain the Greenshields Memorial Trophy.

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2019 CONFERENCE

10-12 NOVEMBER DeVere Cotswold Water Park

The biennial GCMA conference brings together golf club managers and industry professionals, offering invaluable networking opportunities alongside a programme of inspiring keynote speakers and industry led break-out sessions. Early bird registrations start from ÂŁ260+VAT, with day delegate passes also available. All accommodation is on site, and Monday will feature the Golf Club Management Awards.

To book your place, or for more information, visit gcma.org.uk/conference

Speakers include: Rob Hill Global Golf Advisors Gregg Paterson Tribal Magic Kevin Fish Contemporary Club Leadership David Bancroft-Turner Matrix TC Stuart Gillett Golf at Goodwood Mark Hunt Headland Amenity Steve Isaac The R&A Daniel Sommerville The R&A Iain Carter BBC Golf Wilma Erskine Royal Portrush GC Colin Burns Winged Foot GC Amy Yeates Moor Park GC Chris Spencer Glasgow GC Karen Drake Burnham & Berrow GC


“A great way of networking

with other managers from different regions and exchanging views and ideas, and to understand and learn better practices to develop myself, and to help the club run more efficiently.” 2017 Delegate Feedback

EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: 31 AUGUST 2019

BOOK NOW: GCMA.ORG.UK/CONFERENCE Conference Sponsor:


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Need to

KNOW All the relevant news, opinion, and expert insight from around the industry


GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

The‘C’word

IN GOLF Global rates of skin cancer are at epidemic levels and golfers are particularly at risk. A new campaign from Melanoma Fund is trying to raise awareness. So how can you play your part?

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ED U C AT E | I N FO RM | I N S P I RE


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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

P

erhaps you want a tan, perhaps you don’t want to get your grips greasy, perhaps you just don’t think it’s a problem. We all know the players, the members or visitors to our clubs, that refuse to put sunscreen on before getting out for their round of golf. Maybe that person is you? But you don’t have to get burned to damage your skin and as many golfers still refuse to heed the message about the importance of covering up they are storing up potentially huge problems for their future health. Did you know skin cancer is more common than all others put

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together? And golfers, a group that habitually refuses to wear sunscreen, are at the highest risk. Global rates of skin cancer are increasing all the time. Between two and three million nonmelanoma skin cancers, and 132,000 melanoma skin cancers, occur worldwide every year. Awareness campaigns keep pumping out the message but, despite their efforts, incidences have trebled over the last three decades. The trend shows no signs of slowing down. The Melanoma Fund’s Slip! Slap! Swing! Campaign, supported by nine of the UK’s leading golf organisations, including the

GCMA, is urging golfers to take sun protection more seriously. It’s a golf specific drive, using social media and posters in locker rooms, to try and change habits and club managers can play a vital role in spreading the word. Why is it so important? We asked Michelle Baker, chief executive of Melanoma Fund, to explain… What is skin cancer? Skin cancer is mainly caused by over exposure to UV light – in particular sunburn - which causes a mutation in the DNA of skin cells. This is both from ‘normal’ day-today exposure when outside, such as playing sport, as well as from

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What kinds of skin cancer are golfers at risk from? There are three main types… Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC)

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC)

Melanoma

Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) is a cancer of the basal cells and accounts for around 75% of all skin cancers in the UK. Most BCCs are very slow growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body. Occasionally, some BCCs are aggressive and, if left untreated, may spread into the deeper layers of the skin and sometimes to the bones. That can make treatment difficult, so it’s always best to catch them early. Initially, a BCC can take the appearance of a small ‘pearly’ bump, similar to a flesh-coloured mole or a pimple that doesn’t go away. They can look dark, shiny pink or appear in the form of red patches that are slightly scaly.

Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is our second most common type of skin cancer. It has a similar growth pattern and treatment outcome to a BCC but is more likely to spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Occasionally they can also act aggressively and spread at an earlier stage. A SCC can appear as flat, scaly skin patches, open sores, raised red lumps or look like a wart. While some have crusty, bloody or oozing patches, this type of skin cancer can also resemble mostly normal skin.

Melanoma is less common than the others and behaves very differently. It can grow quickly and therefore needs to be treated as early as possible. Melanoma develops from melanocytes that start to grow and divide more quickly than usual and spread into the surrounding surface layers of skin. When they grow out of control, they usual look like a dark spot or an unusual-looking mole. If not removed, these cells can grow down into the layers of the skin, reaching tiny blood vessels and lymphatic vessels which means they can to travel to other parts of the body.

sunbathing or sunbed use.

avoid this fearing they will get a greasy grip. Ultimately, we all love to play this sport in the sun and will spend prolonged time in it when we do – even when we’ve finished the round.

and this is something we have identified in our campaign. We are working with Solar Buddies Sport, a sunscreen applicator brand, to encourage golfers to use sunscreen and keep their hands dry. Lots of golfers have habits that stretch back to childhood. Apart from age spots, rough patches, wrinkles and general sun damage, they feel they are fine. They do not see skin cancer as a ‘dangerous cancer’, with many believing it is simply a small mole or patch that can be biopsied or burned off. This is not always the case. Skin cancer can be disfiguring, invasive and life-

Why are golfers so vulnerable? People who enjoy being outdoors, have fair or red hair, lots of moles or a family history of skin cancer, are the most at risk. But golfers are particularly susceptible because of three pivotal factors… When: It’s the time we play our rounds. It can often lead to prolonged sun exposure during the hottest time of the day Where: Golf courses provide little shade and grass, water and sand is highly reflective for ultra violet light How: Re-applying sunscreen is just as important as putting it on in the first place but players will

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Why is the message still not hitting home We’ve carried out lots of research, talking to golfers around the UK regarding their habits and how they feel the sun impacts their health. Many are in denial of the facts or the need to wear sun protection, which is still a common trend of the general population. We hear a lot about how applying sunscreen can give a ‘greasy grip’

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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

threatening - especially melanoma. Those who feel their skin is ‘seasoned’ from years of exposure, or protected by a base tan, need to look closely at their skin and see the damage in perspective. The highest mortality rates from melanoma are in older men, who are less likely to use sunscreen, check their skin, or visit their GP with a concern. There is definitely a message there. The importance of skin checking With all skin cancers, the most common sign is a ‘change’ of an existing mole or lesion or a new one, so it’s important to get to know your skin and what it looks like normally. Check your skin on a regular basis when you are in the bath or shower. To see difficult to reach areas use a mirror, or ask

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your partner or a friend to check these areas of your skin.

Launched this year by the Melanoma Fund, Slip! Slap! Swing! is a sun protection campaign for golf, raising awareness of the importance of sun protection and skin checking. Offering advice and tips, the resource aims to educate on the risks of sun exposure, helping keep golf a healthy sport for everyone. For more information on the campaign, visit melanomafund.co.uk/golf

Get into the sun protection habit When you’re focused on your swing, you’re not thinking about your skin, and this is a very real issue. However, reducing your risk of skin cancer, should be just as important as lowering your handicap. To help you achieve this, the Slip! Slap! Swing! campaign provides the following five key campaign tips: 1 Keep sunscreen (SPF30+), sunglasses, a hat and large umbrella in your kit bag. 2 Apply SPF30+ at least 20 minutes before teeing off to ensure it is effective. 3 Reapply SPF30+ every two hours or around the 8th or 9th hole. 4. Use a chubby sunblock stick to protect lips, nose and ears and a

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Case study

‘I consider myself lucky and so thankful for going to my GP when I did’

sun applicator to avoid a greasy grip. 5 Check skin every month or so and if you spot any changes, visit your GP immediately. How can club managers spread the message? You have an important role. Reminders regarding the UV Index and general weather could be printed off each day – as in hotels – and placed in reception. Information can be sent to members in newsletters, on the club website and on social media, and posters can be pinned in changing rooms. Offering free sunscreen to players that forget theirs is a good move. They say you never really get skin cancer until you get it, so let’s keep this in mind and become more sun smart.

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Kenton Wright, head professional at Driffield Golf Club, in East Yorkshire, has spent three decades in the sun. He’d never suffered from extreme sunburn, but had little regard for sun protection. “In 2015 I noticed a small mole on my right forearm, very slowly increasing in size and shape. Initially I thought nothing of it, however on particularly hot day I’d make sure the area was well protected with sunscreen. Over time I began to wonder whether to have it looked at; just a niggle at first, but the noise in my head got louder. I saw my local GP and he checked it against a list of possible cancerous moles. Having decided it was worth a second opinion, I was referred to my local hospital, where the specialist removed it and sent it away for analysis. Some seven days later (which felt a whole lot longer), I was asked to return to the hospital to be informed I had melanoma; the most dangerous form of skin cancer, which if not treated early could travel to my organs. Not a great day. I did my research and realised quickly how aggressive it was and how common it was becoming. I also realised that by simply using sun protection I could have avoided it and wished desperately I’d been more aware. Surgeons began by removing a larger area to make sure the cancerous skin was completely clear. None of the procedures were particularly uncomfortable, but it was an uncertain and stressful time for both myself, and my family.

On recognition of my condition, I have had consultations with suitably qualified staff to ensure I had no further developing melanomas and to advise me on how I need to be more aware of the risks and also be mindful that it could return. I now use an SPF50 sunscreen and continue to have regular check-ups, as well as checking my own skin – something I should have got into the habit of years ago. I consider myself lucky and so thankful for going to my GP when I did. Apparently, the skin has three layers and my melanoma had only penetrated the first; in other words, I caught it early before it travelled, so effectively that trip to my GP saved my life. My advice is that if you notice a changing mole or are worried about a new lesion, take professional advice, immediately. I also recommend upping your game when it comes to sun protection – why wait until you get a cancer diagnosis to start looking after your skin?

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The home of golf course rankings

GREAT BRITAIN & IRELAND 2020

Compiled by the most knowledgeable panel in the game Where: The Royal Armouries, Leeds When: Thursday November 21st Hosted by: The BBC’s Andrew Cotter

• See our top 100 list revealed in full and the winners being congratulated • Black-tie gala dinner with VIP drinks reception • Play golf at one of the best courses in Leeds the following day • Take advantage of a discounted rate at a city-centre Leeds hotel • Take the chance to network with representatives of the best courses in the British Isles • Attend an educational session packed with tips to help your course climb up the rankings in the future – delivered by industry experts who have been there and done it

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INDUSTRY The latest news, insightful opinions and in-depth features from the golf industry


GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

From the

ARCHIVES We scour the GCMA magazine archives to find out what managers were saying in years gone by Ten years ago In his monthly column in Golf Club Management, Stuart Phipps under the headline ‘Twitter – hitter or litter?’ referred to the rising phenomenon of the social media site, having been to a Golf Consultants Roadshow where clubs were recommended to use Twitter to publicise themselves. “I was baffled as to what benefit a golf club would get from an entry (or a stream of entries) on Twitter. But then, as a newcomer to ‘tweeting’, I don’t know enough about it,” he wrote. “Being a social networking medium, it seems to cater for friends who want to keep in touch every hour of the year – not golfers looking to play.” He concluded:“I would not deny that there may be benefits to clubs – but I don’t see them.” How the world has changed. 25 years ago We’ve seen the recent fires and heartbreak at Machrihanish and Glasgow Golf Clubs recently and an article in July 1994 looked back at a disastrous fire at Royal Winchester. The importance of reviewing

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insurance annually and ensuring adequate fire fighting equipment was on hand, and that staff knew how to use it, was stressed. The author wrote:“This was brought home to me at Peterborough during the breakfast during the Sunday morning of the conference when the chef managed to set the cooking oil

alight on the stove. Within seconds, a very large flame had developed and it was due to the fast action of the assistant manager and a waiter who quickly used the fire blanket to put out the blaze that very few people present actually knew what was happening or saw it happen.”

50 years ago At the annual lunch of the Association of Golf Club Secretaries, at Wentworth, Golf Illustrated editor Tom Scott warned that Britain, as a general rule, was not keeping up with the continent when it came to management efficiency and service in clubs. “This was not in the main the fault of the present secretaries,” he told his audience,“but much was to blame in the outdated system of administration practised in most clubs.” Doesn’t this sound familiar? He continued:“The trouble: too much interference in the day-today management and staff duties by well meaning committee members. Although the principle of control of the club by a committee was admirable, in general they should operate on the lines of a board of directors to any public company.” Scott concluded by stressing that once plans had been discussed and finances allocated “the club secretary or manager should be given full responsibility and left to carry out these resolutions without interference.”

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ICING ON THE CAKE! Steve Robinson (rijo42 National Accountants & Sponsorship Director) visits Burnham & Berrow Golf Club and speaks with Managing Secretary / GCMA South West Regional Manager, Karen Drake.

W

e took time out to visit Karen Drake the Managing Secretary of Burnham & Berrow GC, who also holds down the position of South West GCMA Regional Manager. Karen has been a customer of rijo42 for over 9 years, dating back to her time at Westonsuper-Mare. I asked Karen was it an easy decision to make when deciding which coffee company to use when taking on her new role at Burnham & Berrow GC “I had no hesitation in making that choice, rijo42 had consistently provided quality machines, service and above all a quality product, trust plays an important part in any supplier customer relationship and I’ve been hugely impressed with the level of commitment to service Steve Robinson and his team at rijo42 have supplied. On the rare occasion I’ve encountered a problem it has been dealt with promptly and efficiently,

KAREN DRAKE, OVER THE MOON WITH THE BRASIL AND OVERALL RIJO42 PRODUCT PERFORMANCE AND SERVICE.

they appreciate we have members who expect a level of service and quality that mirrors our clubs long standing reputation.” What are your thoughts on the equipment we have provided over the years? “The Brasil machine we have just replaced had dispensed over 100,000 drinks in the past five year period, which demonstrates the true value in investing in quality Swiss made equipment. We have recently agreed to upgrade to the new RSD Touch which comes with an enhanced GCMA pack, price card and initial free drinks package. After having the new machine on site for almost a month now its apparent that the new features have been a real winner, not only have our members noticed an improved taste they have really welcomed the addition of the flat white, double shot and decaf options. I personally am a big fan of the

RSD screen which now allows the display of any important information we feel would benefit our members. We currently have our club’s flyover video playing, which is great for visitors and members alike.” How have you achieved such great sales from your coffee offering? “The introduction of coffee and a cake has been a real winner, we either make cakes in house or buy cakes from a quality local bakery and it’s the perfect accompaniment to a great cup of coffee, we generate around £3,500 per year in cake sales and this obviously works both ways.”

CONTACT STEVE ROBINSON FOR MORE INFO: 07977 244621 / STEVEROBINSON@RIJO42.CO.UK


GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

In the

LOOP 1. Attoe completes wire-to-wire Seniors’ win What’s happened: Ian Attoe, the former secretary at West Byfleet and current GCMA Southern and London & Home Counties Region member, completed a remarkable win at the English Senior Men’s Open. What does it mean? Attoe, from Worplesdon in Surrey, was magnificent over three days at Holme Hall, in Lincolnshire, leading from the start and beating the field by eight shots. He was nine-under for the 54-hole tournament as he picked up his third championship since 2015. Attoe started with a sixunder 65, and added a one-over 72 at companion club Elsham, before finishing with a four-under 67. The win means Attoe has claimed a place in the England senior men’s team and he said: “That’s my annual ambition and about half way through the round I knew I was going to be in the top three and hopefully gaining enough points to play for England.” 2. England Golf:‘We look forward with confidence’ What happened: England Golf

The news you need to know from the last month in the golf industry…

chief executive Nick Pink said 2018 was a ‘year of success for golf in England’ as the body’s Annual Report was published. What does it mean? Pink, writing with chairman Nic Coward, said England Golf had been provided with a “strong foundation to meet the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead”,adding that the achievement reflected the commitment and determination of everyone involved in the sport whether volunteers, coaches or the people that run clubs and facilities.

Looking back on one of England Golf’s most successful years competitively, the pair praised the efforts to “refresh and improve the image of golf” - seen most notably in the first Women and Golf Girls’ Golf Week campaign. They added:“The results and reach were outstanding and reflect the enormous interest in developing the women and girls’ game and, in turn, family golf.” They also noted the relaunched Get into Golf campaign and spoke of the modernisation within the

Golf HR. The benefits of these sessions continue to be without question to Club Managers! Miss them - miss out!. @golfmanagergm

Always fantastic to have the opportunity to deliver #makeitfit & #customerjourney to the London Section of the Golf Club Managers Association alongside my good

@GCMAUK Possibly the best training session I’ve had in my 15 year @gcmauk membership yesterday about managing staff with psychological illness at Llanishen Golf Club by

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We want to hear from you! Send your correspondence, on any subject, to letters@gcma.org.uk

governing body, with a new look board. Looking ahead to the future, they said:“During 2018, we took a hard look at ourselves to prepare for all that lies ahead and to find ways to offer more value to individual golfers. We move forward as a streamlined organisation which is forecasted to spend less in 2020 than in 2017, while continuing to deliver our core strategic aims. We are far from complacent, but we look forward to what the future holds.” 3. intelligentgolf acquired by ClearCourse What’s happened: ClearCourse Partnership, which provides software, services and digital capabilities to the membership, events & booking and sports and leisure sectors, has acquired leading web-based golf club and competition management software company intelligentgolf. What does it mean? Jamie Abbott, founder and managing director of intelligentgolf, said:“By becoming part of the ClearCourse Partnership we will gain access to investment and resources that will enable us to accelerate developing

and building our services, so that we can continue to lead the market with our technological expertise.” 4. Toptracer celebrates landmark 50th install What’s happened: Forthview Golf Range, in Falkirk, became the 50th facility in the UK to install a Toptracer range. What does it mean? A number of GCMA clubs, including British Masters venue Close House and Ryder Cup hosts Le Golf National, have brought in Toptracer, which combines new ball-flight technology and fun to transform driving ranges into an entertainment destination. “The momentum is definitely showing no signs of slowing down,” said Toptracer’s European general manager Paul Williams.

Welcome to our newest GCMA members Mark Allden, at Camberley Heath, in London & Home Counties region Shahin Bani-Sadr, at Milford, in London & Home Counties region Daniel Boardman, at Phoenix, in Yorkshire region Nicola Brenchley, at Tenterden, in South East region Steven Christian, at Fiddlers Ferry, in North West region Joanne Cotton, at Silkstone, in Yorkshire region Tracey Faulkner, at Blankney, in East Midlands region Bryn Flanagan, at Leigh, in North West Nicholas Jones, at Long Ashton, in South West region Robert Julier, at Churchill & Blakedown, in Midland region Barry Lawson, at Marsden, in Yorkshire Christopher Morgan, at Kent & Surrey G&CC, in South East region Steven Peet, at Diss, in East Anglia region Penny Sambrook, at Stoke Park, in Chiltern & Home Counties region Geoff Southern, at Nelson, in North West

friend @LOBBandPARTNERS @ GCMAUK @rmsproshop @rmsgc_ course #thankyou Tim, Luke & Mo @EDI_ADI

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Great to listen to Kevin Fish today @EnvilleGolf in the last Governance workshop held by the @GCMAUK and @EnglandGolf @Ben_MartinPGA

Richard Weeks, at Hunley Hall Hotel & GC, in Northern region Mark Woods, at Longridge, in North West region

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The interview...

PAUL THORNTON The general manager at Norwood Park Golf Centre talks to Mike Hyde about his passion to grow the game

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ou’ve got an interesting set up at Norwood Park so tell us about the club… We are on a country estate in rural Nottinghamshire. There are other businesses that operate on the estate but we are all trying to work closely together under the banner of the Norwood Park Partnership. The golf course is one business, there is a fruit farm and an events and wedding business as well. With the course and events business, there is obviously room for the two to work together really well. We’ve got accommodation on site too so the play and stay business is something that I am looking at developing. There is an opportunity there to get golfers playing and then staying in the hall. There are 15 rooms in there and that’s a growth area we are trying to get off the ground at the moment. When we’ve talked to clubs that are one of several businesses, it keeps them honest because they are constantly challenged on the commercial side to justify spend and importance… That’s a good point. I meet with the family that owns and manages the Norwood Park estate monthly. Last year, all the businesses were tasked with constructing a fiveyear business plan and that was quite an interesting exercise from my point of view, and the golf course side of the operation, to look into the future. We are in year one now and it’s about making your case. We are not competing with the other businesses, we are all trying to work together, but it’s certainly been interesting. The Norwood Park Partnership is relatively new. It’s only two years old and, before then, the

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businesses were run a little bit more independently but now they are trying to work a lot more closely together and it’s been an interesting journey – not just in the last two but over the last 18 years as things have developed. I found it a really useful exercise, looking into the future, identifying the growth areas and the opportunities, the marketing and, obviously, how it looks from an accounts point of view going forward as well. It’s interesting times. You’ve won and been

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nominated for a lot of awards. What are the secrets to that? Because it’s a relatively new golf course, the owners and management, right from day one, wanted it to be available and golf for all. It’s a theme that I’ve taken forward, along with our golf professional. I have got a very forward thinking golf professional in Robert Macey, who is a good all round professional and particularly in retail. I work closely with him and Jackie Macey and, in the golf development area, we work closely with England Golf and jump onto

a lot of their initiatives, such as Get Into Golf and that sort of thing. It’s just to try and make golf available. It sounds a bit corny but it’s really trying to get as many people involved as possible. That means having as few barriers as possible, trying to keep the rules as few as possible. We want to make it as welcoming, as friendly, as affordable – in terms of value for money – as possible. At the same time, we are obviously delivering a quality product as well. There are a lot of families involved, which is great, and it is all

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going to take a load of shots?’ We’ve got the par-3 course and that probably helps. There is a natural progression from the driving range onto the par-3 course and so, when they get onto the 18-hole course, they’ve already had experience playing on a golf course. It’s important. That’s rather than just going straight from the driving range onto the main course, which is obviously a big gap to try and bridge in one fell swoop.

about having the right team and that’s something we have worked hard to do here. England Golf initiatives – such as Get Into Golf – are where we’ve got quite a lot of our members. That’s been through running coaching sessions and through our professional team. One important point is that, although our membership has increased over the last five years, a lot of those people were new golfers. So rather than just pinching them from other clubs, which isn’t really growing the game but just

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the same pool of golfers moving round different clubs, we’ve actually got a lot of new people into golf and of all ages as well. How does that mix of new and existing golfers contribute to the atmosphere at the club? The people that have been playing a long time – the well-established golfers – are great and very welcoming. They see what we are trying to achieve here and they do embrace new golfers with open arms – rather than thinking ‘are they going to be slow, are they

You’re consistently recognised for participation so can draw a clear line between those initiatives and the bottom line, which is a good justification to deliver those activities… Absolutely and, as I said earlier, it certainly has brought in a lot of our new members, which leads to other spends as well. A lot of the new members are after equipment and they also enjoy the social side of golf so they spend in the clubhouse and it’s increasing our membership figures. It has certainly worked for us. I suppose we’re quite fortunate in that we’ve got all the elements. We’ve got the driving range, the par 3 course and the main course and we can bring in these new golfers, which could be harder for other clubs. Maybe for the more traditional clubs at times, it could be a little bit harder for them to do that sort of thing although, having said that, there has been a lot more of that going on in recent years. It’s all about growing the game. You’re very involved in the East Midlands region, and nationally. How does that fit in terms of your career? I try and get involved in lots of different things. Obviously the GCMA is an organisation that is

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great for the sharing of ideas and I’m also involved with the PGA and England Golf. From a GCMA point of view, I’ve been to two conferences now and will be going to my third later on in the year. There have been a lot of good speakers there, from whom you can always take away lots of good ideas. Chatting to colleagues, and meeting new people, is always important. Sharing new ideas is absolutely invaluable. You aren’t in competition with the private members’ club down the road, and so are happy to share ideas… Definitely. Obviously you are a little bit guarded about giving away all of your best kept secrets but, at the same time, a lot of clubs in the county and in the region do look to Norwood Park for what we’ve achieved. That’s great to know and really quite flattering. As I’ve said, it’s all about growing the game and that’s what we’ve got to try and do. We compete against other sports more than anything. The sports that spring to mind are cycling, running and probably a couple of other ball sports, such as tennis. We all need to try and pull together as much as possible - all the organisations within golf – to try and get more people. There still is a little bit of a stigma attached to golf. The media, unfortunately, don’t always do us favours. But it is changing. A lot of the members’ clubs are starting to take on new ideas and be a little bit more forward thinking. Ten years ago I don’t think there was much of that happening but now they’ve realised they have got to be run as businesses and have to treat their members as customers. We are in the leisure industry and we are in the customer service scheme and you

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have got to give them what they want. Otherwise they’ll go and find somewhere down the road that gives them that if you are not. The other thing I would add – where golf still has a long way to go – is that it needs to become a lot more diverse. It’s still – and I don’t like to use this phrase – white, male-orientated. The number of ladies is getting better and, certainly at Norwood, we have seen more coming in over the last three years. But there is a long way for golf to go and certainly compared to the rest of Europe. That’s an area we have got to work on. We’ve got to get into schools

and get people early. That will help and there is a probably a little bit of a timelag on that. We need to try and get the message out there to more people of different backgrounds. The Golf Foundation do a good job of that and our professional Richard Strange is going into the schools. Has the club evolved as planned? The layout of the course has stayed pretty much the same. It was professionally designed and we don’t want to mess about with that too much. We’ve put in various new tees on the odd hole

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Who is Paul Thornton? Paul Thornton has worked at Norwood Park Golf Centre for 20 years – he’s been there from the start – and has been the manager for nine. The PGA professional at the club before becoming general manager, he emerged through the PGA programme and always held an ambition of getting into golf club management. Norwood Park Golf Centre Norwood Park opened two decades ago and was designed by the American course architect Clyde Johnston, whose other projects include a whole series of courses in the USA and partnerships with Fuzzy Zoeller. The Nottinghamshire complex comprises an 18-hole and 9-hole par 3 course, along with an impressive driving range and pro shop. In their relatively short life, the club have won a number of awards, including England Golf’s prized GolfMark accreditation. They have also been nominated as England’s most welcoming club and, in the last GCMA Manager of the Year Awards, were nominated in the Team of the Year category. For more, visit norwoodgolf.co.uk but the layout itself has stayed pretty much the same. The condition has got better year after year. We’ve got a good greens team in charge of the courses and in the 20 years it has been put together piece after piece. It was 9-holes to start with, then clubhouse, then the second nine, and then the par 3 course, driving range and pro shop has developed. Rather than doing it all at once, it’s been done in pieces over the course of the 20 years. I must also mention our great team of clubhouse staff that do a great job in feeding and watering all of our customers.

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For those people you’re not managing day-after-day, how do you keep them delivering that level of service? A lot of it is common sense. Obviously there is an element of training involved, which we tend to do in house. Also wherever you go nowadays you expect good customer service and we all, with our experience of going to other restaurants, learn how to look after customers well. Staff, with a little bit of guidance when they join the team, realise what we are trying to achieve – the Norwood ethos as I call it. It’s fairly simple.

Where does your positivity come from? You’ve got to be a people person. To be a successful manager, in whatever you do, you’ve got to like people. Whether that’s customers or your staff, you’ve just got to look after them. I guess it comes fairly naturally, and probably from my family and parents, and I enjoy what I do. I am passionate about growing the game. I’ve worked and have been playing golf for 30-odd years and it’s just through passion and determination.

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How templating your service can help

YOUR GOLF CLUB Gregg Patterson, Founder and President of Tribal Magic, reveals his secrets to systemising customer service

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Needing templates You’re an old, geeky, long-in-thetooth, never-been-fired General Manager. You’re meeting with your good friend who was recently promoted to General Manager at the XYZ Country Club. He tells you that the Board told him that job one was to professionalise, organise, systematise and energise the service experience for members and their guests... and that job one of job one was to conduct an audit and deliver a report PRONTO. So newbie has asked you to help him create a quick-and-dirty audit template for evaluating the service experience at The XYZ Country Club. You explain that he should start by creating a couple of level one ‘Keep it Simple Stupid’ audit templates he, the team and the members can use to examine where the service is, where it needs to be and how to get there. Template basics You explain that all level one Keep it Simple Stupid service templates follow a few basic principles. 1. The template principles will be short and simple. 2. The template principles will be catchy. 3. The templates will have a from the member’s perspective orientation. 4. The templates principles will be a series of questions. 5. The template principles will be

easy to memorise. 6. The template principles will be applicable to every service encounter. 7. The templates principles will be translated into tactics for a given service encounter. You tell the GM that these templates can be used anywhere, anytime by anyone to audit a service experience. You tell the GM that each service template translates the basic service principle into a five part grid. Column one being where the audit is being conducted, column two the service principle, column three is what should be done, column four is what’s done now and column five tactics for improvement. There can be lots of issues in columns two, three and four but column two is basic, the first principle that drives the details. You scratch out an example (see table below). The starter collection of level one Keep it Simple Stupid service templates You tell the GM that the best service templates are team created in a facilitated, highly interactive round table setting by those who are delivering a given service encounter. And because they’re collectively generated by the people who’ll be delivering the service, team buy-in is assured. Then you outline three of the Keep It Simple Stupid templates

you’ve used to deliver great service for decades. The G.E.G. service template You explain that G.E.G. is the simplest and most basic of your service templates. Were You Greeted? Eye contact. Smile. Hello. Were you engaged in conversation? Ask questions. Listen attentively. Expand on what’s been said. Ask another question. Were you given a proper goodbye? Eye contact. Smile. Wave. Goodbye. The Seven Principles of Service template You explain that this template is a more thorough examination of the service experience. Were the staff happy and did they make you feel happy? Warm. Friendly. Upbeat. Engaging. Smiling. Laughing. Did they give you dignity? Provided a personalised service experience that made you feel special. Did they anticipate your needs? Knows what the typical person wants there and then. Conversation and drinks at the bar. Menus, water and bread at the table. A golf shirt with a logo from the pro shop. Did they deliver big clean? Physically clean. Cleanly answers questions. Clean priorities – people before stuff. Did they know and do the

WHERE CONDUCTED

THE SERVICE PRINCIPLE

WHAT SHOULD BE DONE

WHAT’S DONE NOW

TACTICS FOR IMPROVEMENT

The car park

Was there engagement?

Eye contact

Looking at shoes

Daily role playing

Greet

No hello

Supervisor examples

Ask questions Say goodbye

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Discussion during upbriefs and debriefs

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details? Knew how to deliver whatever it is that the service experience was required to deliver. Were they a presence? Physically and mentally present during the service encounter. Did they see the things that needed doing – and did they do something about it? Saw things that need correcting, then initiated actions that make correcting happen. The Six Es Service template You tell the GM that The Six Es template blends the practical/must do/ground zero side of the service experience with the touchie-feely added value side of the staffmember encounter. You explain that the basic Three Es are ground zero – expected. They’re called dissatisfiers. The added value Three Es are the above and beyond that generate memorable moments. The basic Three Es: Did they deliver “the stuff” equal to your expectations? Knew what the member wanted in that place during that service encounter. Clean table. Hot soup. Fresh coffee.

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Was “the stuff” delivered effectively? Delivered “the stuff” ordered. Was “the stuff” delivered efficiently? Delivers “the stuff” expected in a timely way. The added value Three Es: Was the staff engaging? While delivering “the stuff” the staffer talked enthusiastically to the member about the member’s outside the club experiences, about the club and about “the stuff” being delivered. Did the staff enlarge the service experience? While delivering “the stuff”,the staffer explained underlying details about the items delivered and the place where the service was provided. Why this golf ball is manufactured as it is. Why the shaft of one set of clubs is lighter and more responsive than others. Did the staff enrich your service experience? The server stimulated curiosity and gave the member a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the club experience. Build your template You tell the newbie that

service templates should be simple, memorable and useful, personalised and customised to his club culture. They’ll be a roadmap for discussion and can be used to evaluate, train, affirm and improve the service experience. You explain that he will need to work with the staff to create the service templates that are right for The XYZ club. You tell the newbie to map the member journey using the service template. To train to the template. To refer to the template. To test service encounters using the template. You tell the newbie to tell the members which templates will be used, why the team will be using them and what they mean. You tell the newbie to tell the members they’ll used as secret shoppers, as every day auditors and will be surveyed using the templates. Gregg Paterson will be presenting at the 2019 GCMA Conference in November. Visit gcma.org.uk/ conference to book and for more details.

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Updating your Golf car fleet?

Introducing the new GCMA Business Partner. Speak to Yamaha today about the unique GCMA Member benefits, and a lease or purchase plan to suit your business. www.yamaha-motor.eu/uk www.golfcars.co.uk

01932 358095

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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

What’s happening with

GOLF COURSE 2030?

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or those not familiar with Golf Course 2030 (GC2030), it is the industry initiative facilitated by The R&A that is considering the impacts, both positive and negative, of the changing climate, resource constraints and regulation on course condition and playability. Its aim is to produce a roadmap that will steer the sport to address the challenges and take

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advantage of the opportunities that these issues present and to secure optimal course condition and playability for this and future generations of golfers. GC2030 is being piloted in Great Britain & Ireland and, in 2018, 25 industry stakeholder organisations (including GCMA) agreed on priority issues for investigation. These are: Communications: making

GC2030 relevant and compelling to key audiences, notably decision-makers at golf facilities and golfers Course condition and playability Resources – pesticides, aggregates and labour Water – scarcity and too much Coastal change GCMA is a member of the GC2030 Working Party, which advises on the management of

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In the third article outlining the industry roadmap on our changing environment, The R&A’s director of sustainability, Steve Isaac, reveals what has taken place to date

the GB&I programme. Action Plans for each of the GC2030 priority issues have been delivered and are available from The R&A website at randa.org/en/ sustainability/gc2030/action-plans Recommended actions from these Plans have been reviewed. Potential projects have been identified and these are subject to a call for proposals. For more information on this call, visit The R&A website at randa.org/

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Sustainability/GC2030/Call-ForProposals Expect to see outcomes from some of these projects early in 2020. Other projects will continue for a year or more, though updates on progress will be provided in relation to all projects. Implementing the Communications Plan will require expert input and a small Comms Group is being formed to move the recommendations from this Action Plan forward. There are recommended actions from the Resources Action Plan, which need further development for them to be delivered as projects or initiatives. Consequently, two advisory groups will be formed to take this forward and these will be:

by delivering firmer, drier and healthier turf. Whatever the change we see to our golf courses over coming years and decades, golf club managers will provide a bridge between their fellow decisionmakers and golfers when it comes to disseminating the messages coming out of the work supported by GC2030. Play your part and keep informed about the initiative through the updates provided by your association and by regularly visiting The R&A website. Further updates will be provided at key moments of delivery of the GC2030 plans. For more information, visit randa.org/en/sustainability/ golfcourse2030.

Resources Advisory Group - to review Synthetic Plant Protection Products and Aggregates recommendations Education Advisory Group – to review all Greenkeeping Workforce/Education Projects from the Resources Action Plan.

What is Golf Course 2030? Golf Course 2030 is a process that will put together an industry roadmap to address challenges and present opportunities from the changing climate, resource constraints and regulation to secure optimal golf course condition and playability for current and future generations. In a recently published R&A vision for growing golf, chief executive Martin Slumbers set down a challenge for the organisation to be inspired to play its part in driving forward the necessary change that will be required to ensure that golf continues to thrive in 50 years’ time.

Club managers will play a vital role in engaging with and promoting GC2030. There will be few working at courses that are or will not be impacted by the issues being investigated. Mitigating actions may sustain the sort of course condition and playability we now enjoy. They could improve playability

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What happens if you get your

TIMING WRONG? In the first of a series of a regular contributions, Fortress Wealth Partnership discuss judging the current global economic and political climate when making personal investment decisions

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avers who are put off investing by current global political and economic worries can learn some lessons from the past. Making the decision to invest your money can often be a tough one. There is always the worry that you will be the unlucky one, investing your money one day, only to see stock markets fall significantly in the days or weeks immediately after. It’s the reason many shy away from investing at all. After all, behavioural scientists reckon the psychological pain of losing money is about twice as powerful as the pleasure of gaining. Indeed, the last 30 years or so have included some of the biggest stock market crashes in history – providing plenty of shocks that might have put people off investing. With the US/China trade war unresolved, and the huge uncertainty about the UK’s exit from the European Union at the end of March, who knows when or what the next market shock will be? Of course, the alternative to investing is to remain in cash, perhaps waiting for the ‘perfect’ time to invest. There is no perfect

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time to put money into the stock market, and the risk of holding out for one is that savers remain in cash forever, harming their personal wealth for decades to come. So, what has happened in the past when investors have picked what looked like the worst time to commit money to the stock market? The Black Monday crash of October 1987 saw the FTSE All Share index drop 23% in two days; the fastest and biggest fall

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in history. The market eventually dropped nearly 34% before staging a recovery. Yet, an investor who put £100,000 into the market just before the crash would have seen their money grow to £318,000 in the decade that followed. They would have grown the real value of their money significantly; the fundamental reason why we need to invest. Similarly, the Global Financial Crisis saw the UK stock market fall over 41% between October 2007 and February 2009. What would that have meant for an investor who ‘got their timing wrong’? Over the next decade, an investment of £100,000 in the UK stock market would have returned £171,000, comfortably beating inflation despite that terrible start. Bringing the picture up to date puts these events into a long-term context and shows how investors have been rewarded for holding their nerve. These two examples prove the value of the adage that it is time-in, not timing, the market that really matters. One other way to reduce the worry of investing at the wrong time is to drip-feed your money into the market on a regular basis. You can do this through a savings plan or by automating the transfer of funds from cash into the stock market over a number of months. “To create real wealth, you need to take some measured risk, and you need to allow your investment time to weather the peaks and troughs of stock markets,” said Rob Gardner, Director of Investment Management at St. James’s Place. “We don‘t know whether Brexit or some other event will present the next challenge to markets, and some investors might therefore be

tempted to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach. But as previous market events illustrate, what might feel the worst time to invest is still likely to prove a better long-term decision than leaving your money in cash, due to the eroding effects of inflation.” Fortress Wealth Partnership LLP, who will sponsor 2019 GCMA Newcomer of the Year award, is an Appointed Representative of and represents only St. James’s Place Wealth Management plc (which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority) for the purpose of advising solely on the Group’s wealth management products and services, more details of which are set out on the Group’s website: www.sjp.co.uk/products Please be aware that past performance is not indicative of future performance. The value of an investment may fall as well as rise. Returns on equities cannot be guaranteed. Equities do not provide the security of capital characteristic of a deposit with a bank or building society. FTSE International Limited (“FTSE”) © FTSE 2019.“FTSE®” is a trade mark of the London Stock Exchange Group companies and is used by FTSE International Limited under licence. All rights in the FTSE indices and/or FTSE ratings vest in FTSE and/or its licensors. Neither FTSE nor its licensors accept any liability for any errors or omissions in the FTSE indices and/or FTSE ratings or underlying data. No further distribution of FTSE Data is permitted without FTSE’s express written consent. https://www.finance-monthly. com/2017/10/black-monday1987-in-numbers

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ADVERTORIAL

Smarter payments can be a game changer for GOLF CLUBS

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o you ever get frustrated when friends imagine your job is a walk in the park? If only they knew the full story – you’re managing staff, customer service and maintenance, as well as running a club shop, driving range, equipment hire and potentially much more. It’s like a dozen micro businesses rolled into one. But the good news is that Elavon can help any golf club in more ways than you might realise. As a top five acquirer in the US and Europe, Elavon is delighted to be the new payments partner to the GCMA. Already, we support

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around 360 golf clubs in UK and Ireland, from smaller clubs to the likes of Celtic Manor Resort with its three world-class championship golf courses and extensive facilities. With our help, the resort now has a single, seamless payments solution for everything. This makes running the business so much simpler, more efficient and insightful too. So how can we make your life better, easier and more rewarding? Here are three ideas: #1: Grow your club Every club has to attract and retain members and visitors by giving them a great golfing experience. Now, fast and secure payments

must be part of this — with members able to make payments across your property, on your website or over the phone. Increasingly, today’s golfers demand choice, speed and convenience. With Elavon, you can say “Yes” to cards, contactless payments and mobile wallets, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay. You can even give guests from overseas the option to pay in their own home currencies for extra comfort. That’s great if – like Celtic Manor – you want to keep attracting tourists and business travellers. We also make it easy to set up options for different membership packages, from

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It’s easy to get run off your feet managing a golf club. But rethinking the way you handle payments can save you precious time, delight members and help you to grow your club one-off charges to monthly subscription payments. And it’s also possible to track member and visitor behaviours so that you can rewards and incentivise their club loyalty, as well as useful tools for stock and staff management. How would you like to receive your money faster too? With Elavon, you can boost your cashflow with same day settlement depending on the time you run your end-of-day batching report. #2: Get actionable insights With Elavon, you can say goodbye to the hassle of trying to manage and reconcile all your card payments across your club. We bring reporting all together in one place – and make everything available online. Just log in any time

of the day, wherever you are, and check performance and club sales. Our solutions integrate seamlessly with your golf club, giving one view of all payment activity across your whole club for easy management, reporting and reconciliation. As well as saving hours of time, you’ll unearth valuable intelligence. Immediately, you can spot which aspects of your club and membership types are thriving – and which need attention. It’s a great way to spot trends and identify new ways to develop your club successfully. With Elavon, you’ve also got instant access to accurate reports on your club’s financial performance that you can share with your club’s chairman and committees.

#3: Build a true partnership Elavon is refreshingly different in the way we treat golf club managers. From the minute you sign, you receive regular reviews and dedicated relationship management to make sure your payments solutions evolve in line with your club’s success. “We feel like a partner, rather than a customer.” That was a recent comment from Carl Stockden, Director of Finance at Celtic Manor Resort, and it sums up our approach. We believe in the power of human connections and we build long-term partnerships where your business is our priority. We provide 24/7 support, expert advice and the inspiration to achieve your ambitions. Let’s talk today With Elavon, payments can be a real game-changer. We’ve got the tools, skills and experience to help you to thrive — whether you’re a small golf club looking for fresh ideas, or a large resort battling with the complexity of looking after multiple courses, restaurants, hotels and spas. Get all the answers in one place. Call our friendly team on 07879897762, email GCMA@elavon. com or visit elavon.co.uk

Elavon Financial Services DAC. Registered in Ireland with Companies Registration Office. The liability of the member is limited. United Kingdom branch registered in England and Wales under the number BR009373. Elavon Financial Services DAC, trading as Elavon Merchant Services, is authorised by Central Bank of Ireland and the Prudential Regulation Authority and subject to limited regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. Details about the extent of our authorisation and regulation by the Prudential Regulation Authority, and regulation by the Financial Conduct Authority are available from us on request.

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Good

PRACTICE Advice on golf club management issues – from finance to clubhouse rules and employment law


GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

Your best practice

DIRECTORY

W

hat you should consider if staff are working alone Working alone is common for many employees of a golf club, particularly if they are maintenance or green staff, and as recent events have shown it can also be high risk. Working alone is not in itself against the law, however the law

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requires employers to consider carefully, and then deal with, any health and safety risks for people working alone. Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers can be different from organising the health and safety of other employees. They should not be put at more risk than other people working for you. It will often be safe to work

alone. However, the law requires employers to think about and deal with any health and safety risks before people are allowed to do so. Things you should consider, to ensure lone workers are not put at risk, include: Assessing areas of risk including violence, manual handling, the medical suitability of the individual to work alone and whether the workplace itself

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The GCMA’s golf management researcher, Jim Cunning, rounds up the best advice for golf club managers Lamplugh Trust. How to take minutes at meetings It is common at many clubs for the manager to undertake the preparation of all minutes, based on a long-standing layout and style. They will type them or arrange for them to be typed up by an assistant so that they are neat and easy to read. However, the job of drafting can in some cases fall to a committee member. Anyway, there is no reason why a chairman should not decide that he wants to alter the layout of the minutes to improve their efficiency.

presents a risk to them Requirements for training, levels of experience and how best to monitor and supervise them Making sure you know what is happening, including having systems in place to keep in touch with them Detailed guidance is available from the HSE and advice on personal security when working alone is also available from the Suzy

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The eight purposes of minutes are: 1. In general - to record the activities of the meeting 2. To fulfil any legal requirements or requirements of the club rules 3. To record decisions on matters relevant to that meeting 4. To identify individual responsibilities for implementing such decisions 5. To set out the timetables for decisions to be carried out 6. To record the voting on any item that requires a vote 7. To provide a document against which progress can be monitored 8. To, once agreed, provide a historical record of management decisions for members

The actual composition of the minutes should be as follows: a) They should be concise, recording: the brief facts on a particular point, the decision that has been taken, how that decision is to be implemented b) Sentences should be kept short and simple c) Plain English should be used. Avoid padding and waffle! d) Comments and opinions should be avoided e) Use the past tense f) Only use names where this is absolutely necessary g) Items should be clearly numbered and headed If necessary, the chairman should summarise a particular point at the end of any discussion, so that the minute taker can record an agreed precis. Lastly, minutes should be prepared, ideally the day after the meeting, while memories are fresh. Copies should certainly be circulated within a few days of the meeting so that people can read and check them while they can still recall what was agreed. Remember that minutes are confidential at that stage and should not be left lying around or discussed with people other than meeting members. Once they have been agreed as accurate by the meeting’s participants it is good practice to make them available to the membership.

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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

Keeping Meeting Records - Check List Are meeting minutes circulated promptly? Do they clearly identify the person responsible for implementing each decision? Are they laid out in such a way that it is easy to refer to previous minutes i.e. clearly numbered and headed? Are they concise and written in short sentences? Enforcing confidentiality It is accepted within our industry that high levels of membership satisfaction at clubs are generally underpinned by effective collaboration between staff and volunteers. A duty of loyalty requires directors, officers and committee members to act in the interest of the club and not in their own interest or in the interest of another person or organisation. In exercising this duty of loyalty, these members must act in a manner they believe is in the best interests of the club, without taking their personal interests into account. They should not use their privileged position to make a personal profit, gain or for any other personal advantage. Another important component of that duty of loyalty is a duty of confidentiality. The duty of confidentiality is essentially a duty not to speak about matters discussed in meetings to others unless authorised by the meeting to do so. Similarly, the presence of staff and other guests at meetings can inhibit discussions as open dialogue is crucial to deliberations. If it is not felt that meeting

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conversations are private, or that the confidentiality of discussions will not be respected, there may be pressure to avoid certain topic areas or to hedge comments in a way that does not serve the club’s best interests. To avoid breaches of the duty of confidentiality, clubs should adopt a confidentiality policy and have directors and officers sign a commitment that they understand and will follow the policy. This by no means ensures compliance, but it can help to emphasise the importance of maintaining the confidentiality of meetings and ensures all directors and officers are aware of their duty to protect confidential information. A sample confidentiality policy can be found in the GCMA members’ library.

bar areas – without entry fee was exempt under Section 72 of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act. Previously only the Performing Rights Society Performing Rights Society (PRS) and Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) have collected licence fees from hospitality venues for music broadcasts. This all changed in 2016 when Section 72 was amended (an indirect result of The Licensing Act 2003). The change leaves the broadcast itself exempt but not the rights of the owners of films and (as was

Do we have to pay a fee for showing TV in the clubhouse? Many clubs have received a letter from the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC) claiming that a licence fee is due to them for showing television broadcasts and any film contained in the broadcast. Many managers have been sceptical that this licence is genuine, however, except for the exceptions below: it is! It is an infringement of copyright to broadcast copyright works in public without consent from the owner. Broadcasts are copyright works, as are films and the individual works created and used within the broadcast – the work of directors, scriptwriters, graphic artists, designers, actors and so on. For many years, the broadcast of ‘films’ (which includes films and programmes) on television in a public place – including hotel foyer, lounge, gym, reception and

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previously the case before the amendment but not enforced) the rights of individual copyright owners whose material is used in the broadcast. So far, only the (MPLC), a collection society, has issued letters regarding the payment of a licence fee, but a separate organisation, Filmbank, also offers a similar service and the British Film Institute (BFI) could become involved at some point. The main thing for clubs to note is that the MPLC has confirmed it does not require a licence for sports and dedicated news or music

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channels. However televisions should be locked to these channels to avoid copyright infringement. However, please note an MPLC licence will cover only the films and programmes it represents, not the many other shows shown on television. Therefore the worst-case scenario could be that three or four licenses will be required in order to legally show all television broadcasts. MPLC is not an enforcement agency, although they can refer cases to the Federation Against

Copyright Theft (FACT). General information from the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) about the changes to copyright law can be found here: gov.uk/ government/uploads/system/uploads/ attachment_data/file/537453/section-72broadcasts.pdf If you have a question for Jim, submit it via the GCMA helpdesk in the members’ area of the website.

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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

From the

HELPDESK This month: Consent to publish and... can we ban buggy use on the golf course? Do we need consent to publish photos of members and their guests (adults only) on our club Instagram account? If the image can be used to identify an individual and tell you something about them, it is likely that it will be personal data for the purpose of the Data Protection Act and should not be published. People can obviously be identified from names but may also be identified from contextual information e.g. the caption reads: ‘This photo shows golfers from …………. Golf Club’. In this case you require consent. Where an image is clearly of an individual or group of individuals, who are the focus of the image, it will be personal data, and consent is required to use it. Although the Data Protection Act does not specify that consent should be in written form it is strongly recommended that you obtain written consent so that you have a record, in case of subsequent disputes. Consent forms must explain clearly and fully how the image will be used and how long it will be retained e.g. I give permission to ………… Golf Club for my photograph to be used on their social media platform(s) website] and other promotional material for which it may be suitable. Images

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will be held and used in publicity for up to X years. Signed, Print name, Date. It will not normally be necessary to obtain the specific permission of all who appear incidentally in the background of publicity shots where they are clearly not the focus of the image. Where an image does not focus on one individual or group of individuals, the data is unlikely to be personal data. In addition, it may not be practicable to obtain the consent of every individual. However, it is good practice to ensure that there are clear signs around the venue indicating that publicity photos are being taken. Publishing an image on the web is a potential disclosure to the world at large. Particular care must be taken therefore to obtain appropriate consent where the image constitutes personal data. In cases of doubt you should err on the side of caution and not publish the image. It may not be appropriate to ask celebrities to complete consent forms, in which case it should be sufficient to obtain verbal consent. Although the Data Protection Act does not specify an age limit where images of children are being taken it is important to obtain written consent from the child’s parent/guardian.

We have a member who is threatening to take the golf club to court over restricted access to the course as we banned buggy use from early December. My understanding of the situation is that we only have to make provision for disabled golfers. The member has sought legal advice and has been told he has an 85% chance of winning the case in court. We banned buggy use due to the fact the golf course took a hammering last summer and was burnt to a crisp. Can you please help as I want to make sure we are following the correct procedures? Please see library document 3087, gcma.org.uk/library/3087/ which gives some guidelines on buggy use and links to further information. You are correct in that a blanket ban on buggies for those that officially cannot play golf without one, i.e. disabled, is not an option, unless the risk assessment indicates that all 18 holes are unsafe, so you could be found to be discriminating against the buggy users. However, if the member is only preferring to use a buggy and can play golf without one, as you imply, then there is no discrimination and therefore no case to answer.

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business partner

from A-Plan Insurance Are you looking for a solution to add value to your membership and provide protection for your members and golf club?

“I contacted Alex in late 2018, after reading about the Membership Insurance Plan in the GCMA magazine. I recommend to all new members when they join, and existing members on renewal, that they should consider Golf Insurance. It is such a simple process, and after a month or so, from instigating the discussions, we had signed up sufficient members to take advantage of the Club Policy. I have published the documents on our website, and it is starting to sell itself with the low cost, and extensive cover. To date, since November we have signed up nearly 130 policy holders, and the feedback has been great. I highly recommend talking to Alex and having this invaluable benefit available for members to purchase.”

Steve Murphy | General Manager | Shirley Park Golf Club • Take this policy out at your golf club today and cover your members as beneficiaries • Stand out from the industry and add these members benefits into your membership package PLEASE NOTE: Terms and conditions apply, for full details of policy cover/benefit limitations and exclusions, please refer to our policy wording and summary of cover, a copy of which is available upon request.

Call Alex and his team today to find out how: 01527 868160 |golfplan.co.uk Golfplan is a trading name of A-Plan Holdings, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Office; 2 Des Roches Square, Witney, OX28 4LE • Registered in England • Registration Number 750484


GCMA RECRUITMENT

FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE VACANCIES BELOW, VISIT GCMA.ORG.UK/JOBS

LUTTERWORTH GC ::: CLUB MANAGER

We seek to appoint a Club Manager with an engaging personality and hands-on approach to leadership. The successful candidate will have at least three years’ management experience and will demonstrate the financial, commercial and legislative acumen required to run a small business. S/He will be able to manage the team of staff and service providers, building strong relationships with members and visitors, while enhancing the reputation of the club. For details of the role and how to apply, please visit www.gcma.org.uk/jobs/ lutterworth-gc-club-manager/

Region: East Midlands | Salary: Competitive | Closing Date: July 31, 2019

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Partner Network The GCMA’s Partner Network supports the association’s work to professionalise the industry and promote a culture of excellence in golf club management. Thank you to all our partners who continue to support the association.

strategic partners

business partners

official suppliers

gcma.org.uk/partners


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My success story...

PAUL BODLE

Sponsors of My Success Story

Ham Manor member Andy Gilford proved the inspiration for an event that is breaking down disability barriers. General manager Paul Bodle tells Steve Carroll about a ‘humbling’ day

T

o say that Andy Gilford found his golfing home at Ham Manor would be an understatement. A sight impaired golfer with a B2 classification – that’s defined by some paralympic committees as having around 3 to 5% of functional vision – he was welcomed with open arms at the West Sussex club. “His wife lines him up and puts his club down behind the ball and he is ready to go,” explains general manager Paul Bodle.“It’s an amazing achievement. “We tried it. We got some glasses that were blacked out and, bearing in mind our scratch team are fairly decent golfers, we couldn’t hit the ball. “It’s so difficult. We think we swing the same way all the time but, until you are actually looking at the ball, you can’t picture where it is.” Gilford’s an active member – playing in competitions from a 17 handicap and also being a regular fixture in the club’s weekly roll-up events. Then he came up with an idea that thrilled Bodle, and has started what is likely to be an annual event at the Worthing-based private

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members’ club. Why not bring a team representing the England & Wales Blind Golfers, of which he is a part, and have them take on the Ham Manor Scratch team on their own course? The format saw the respective teams field eight players and they went up against each other in a fourball betterball match play, with stroke allowances. Gilford’s team of sight impaired and blind golfers included the World Blind Golf Champion, Jason Bastable, along with the current English and British champions. Bragging rights were well and truly on the line. “It was a fabulous occasion,” added Bodle of the event, which took place in mid April. “The support from the club was amazing. “It wasn’t the nicest of days and

“It was certainly a humbling experience to see the team of blind and partially sighted golfers handle the Ham Manor course”

we had lots of people coming round to watch. It was absolutely fantastic. “It was also very competitive. My partner and I were 4 down after 9 and it was almost like ‘should we go in?’ “We were then 6 under par gross on the back 9 to get a half. The standard of golf was just incredible.” The England & Wales Blind Golfers eventually triumphed on the day, winning two and a half matches to one and a half, and they were presented with the newly created BlindHam Trophy, which will be inscribed with the words ‘seeing is believing’. Bodle said:“It was certainly a humbling experience to see the team of blind and partially sighted

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The beautiful Tyneside Golf Club is a stiff test of golf

golfers handle the Ham Manor course. “These guys tackled it with skill and enthusiasm, and should we ever be about to complain when we miss a putt, shank a shot or push it into the trees, first we should remember these golfers have far more cause than we ever will to moan about a poor shot.” “One of the competitors, Jason (Heathfield), had been a pilot in the RAF only two years ago,” he continued. “He thought his life was over when he lost his sight. “He was a golfer before and

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thought everything was finished until he got in touch. “He now enjoys golf all over the world and is English champion. He went for a simple eye test – a routine eye check – and they told him his sight was going within weeks. “The (current) world champion was a butcher not five years ago and now his sight has completely gone but he’s a world champion and that’s truly magnificent.” With club members flocking to watch the games, and enjoying the fulsome banter in the bar afterwards, Bodle has confirmed

that the club are looking for the competition to become a regular feature on the Ham Manor yearly calendar. “It was though we’d all been mates for years,” he concluded. “We all had a beer, a laugh and something to eat. “The England & Wales Blind Golfers are a genuine inspiration to us all, and we’re very much looking forward to seeing them all again in spring next year for the next BlindHam Trophy match.”

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GCMA | NEED TO KNOW | INDUSTRY | CAREERS | GOOD PRACTICE | GRASS ROOTS

Meet the

MANAGER

Sponsor of the 2017 GCMA Manager of the Year award

With Andrew Grimmitt, general manager at Rushden, in Northamptonshire

Winning the Captain’s Cup at GCMA AGM with Wellingborough managing director David Waite and GCMA national captain Ian Symington

H

ow did you get into golf club management? From a young age, I’ve always been interested in golf. I started at Wellingborough when I was a junior and have been there for 18 years but I always wanted to be a private members’ manger. Everything at A-Level was golf based and I went to Bournemouth University to do

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sports management with golf operations. It all went from there. I did a placement at Burhill and the experience definitely helped in getting the job at Rushden. What do you like most about your role? I can’t imagine myself not being in the industry. The people, and the friendliness of the club, are what I like a lot. I’m very customer facing and like pleasing people. I’m a yes

man where I need to say yes. How do you deal with the challenges? It’s about managing expectations – what you’ve got in the financial budget and what you can do with the course and the staff levels that you have. It’s trying to make the most of what you’ve got. How do you see the state of golf at the moment?

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It’s stable. At Rushden the membership is slowly increasing. You do have those that come out in the renewals process, and possibly throughout the year, and you look to find those extra people to make the numbers go the right way. It’s a great thing that Tiger Woods has won the Masters as he has such a pull factor in the sport. It was why people like Jon Rahm got into golf. They wanted to follow in his footsteps. It does have an impact. You need those role models for people to look up to. For participation levels to go up, people need to see it on TV – not necessarily go to the events. You have to pay for the packages. Sky is very expensive and, predominantly, that’s where it is showed. BBC had the Masters but it was only the last two rounds. It is getting the accessibility for those players to start to play golf. What will golf club managers be doing in 20 years’ time? I think it will be fairly similar to where we are at the moment. I’d like to see them become much more active on the junior side of things – so liaising very closely with the junior manager, or being there while they have got their junior matches and competitions – and being very active in trying to promote junior golf and intermediate golf. It’s trying to drive that age range from 18 to 30 forward. I know it’s very hard because they are at the

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“For participation levels to go up, people need to see it (golf) on TV – not necessarily go to the events”

Andrew Grimmitt

age where they are starting to settle down and their disposable income is halted through family. Is it a different membership category that would appeal to them? Flexible memberships are very much at the forefront of golf at the moment with PlayMore Golf and schemes like that. Do you take the hit from the current membership? It’s weighing that up and it is a definitely a balancing act in golf club management. What opportunities lie ahead for the GCMA? The pivotal thing are the links that they bring. I know the commercial

partnerships really help when trying to find the best solutions for golf clubs. Whether it is coffee machines or waste management, anything that would help the golf club to increase profits is really helpful. It’s also about sharing best practice. The regional meetings are very important to attend. I’ve been a member of the GCMA for just over a year now. I spoken to people, gained ideas from them and I’ve taken four or five things from the meetings, brought them back to the golf club, and they have worked. That’s very helpful – that network of availability and sharing best practice, whether it is using social media, or developing a WhatsApp group with managers where, if you’ve got an issue, you can post it there and you can get 15 to 20 replies of things people would do in that situation. What is your favourite golfing memory? I’m a very traditional club member so any time I have won a competition and been able to get onto the board – being part of the history of the club – is important. So my favourite memory it is being able to win the second division championship at Wellingborough. Get In Touch To contact Rushden, visit rushdengolfclubonline.com

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May 2019

STATISTICS UK&I 27,580

Hole-in-ones made during April competitions

Total competitions recorded

GENTS:

LADIES:

16,051 11,529

432

913,025

total rounds of golf recorded

LOWEST EXACT HANDICAP

Gents

Ladies

-5.0 -5.0 222,561 Downloads of HowDidiDo app

5,749

eagles or better

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329,485 birdies

3,084,072

Stats provided by HowdidIdo.com

pars

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Profile for Golf Club Managers Association

The Golf Club Manager: July 2019  

The Golf Club Manager: July 2019