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t the outset you may have noted the use of the word “Chair” rather than the former term of President. This change came about after a decision of the GMA Board to modernise the constitution to more appropriately recognise the role. In amending the constitution, the board having been conscious of the need to provide for an element of succession planning, also adopted to create the position of Deputy Chair. I am pleased then to state the board of GMA for the year 2017/2018 is as follows: Chair – Andrew Gay Deputy Chair – Paul Patterson Directors: Peter Busch, Brad Dawson, Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters and Aaron Muirhead. By now, those of who attended the National Conference, will have reflected on the benefits of our attendance. The post conference survey is an important tool to enable the board to evaluate the conference format and content and it is not surprising that overall a very high level of satisfaction for the conference has been reported. Planning for the 2019 conference is already underway with our conference management, All Occasions Group, having been contracted to manage the Melbourne conference. Recognising that good governance requires us to reflect on the pros and cons of the conference one of the lessons taken out of the 2017 event is that the board must be less operational through the planning process and trust our conference managers to do what they do best. Does this concept sound familiar to club managers? Whilst we will continue to review the conference survey feedback it is evident that it is impossible to meet the expectations of all the delegates. We come from a diverse background, our skillsets differ as do our priorities. That being understood we do appreciate the varying dynamics.

GMA Executive

In recent months, we have been researching the provision of a member support program. Appreciating the demands of being club managers we should also acknowledge the need to ensure we have a clear focus on work/life balance. Sadly today, the challenges we face in life can often result in unacceptable levels of stress and we are conscious that professional support can be a tipping point to getting back on the right track. GMA members will be aware that the AGCSA and PGA adopted to roll out a national

member support program and I am delighted to say that the board has similarly resolved to provide an alike service to GMA members. The program which provides initial consultation for our members provides for the cost to be borne by GMA. Further details can be read within this issue of the e-Mag.

About GMA Golf Management Australia is the professional organisation

Previously reported was our decision to also provide our members with the opportunity to gain the internationally recognised CCM designation. Our recent survey returns indicate a strong level of interest in participating in the training and I thank our Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters, John Stamp together with Cameron Wade and Paul Vardy from Golf Australia for their commitment in developing and introducing BMI to our members. With the first program to be rolled out during Spring 2018 our education group have a huge task ahead of them to implement this professional development which I urge all members to support. Undoubtable, is the need for our industry to develop a stream of qualified managers. Many of us and our assistants have formal qualifications however gaining specific industry accreditation will enhance the industry. I urge members to resolve to undertake the training themselves and/or facilitate for their staff to do so.

serving the needs of managers

By now, many of you will have noted the media release announcing the engagement of our new EO, Jim Cail. The appointment committee comprising of Paul Patterson, Peter Busch and I were all very impressed by Jim’s resume and enthusiasm for the role. Jim appreciates his appointment is initially for twelve months during which time he will focus on developing a business case to determine if GMA should recommend to the states that a unitary model should be implemented. There is much to be done to determine the way forward and members will be kept appraised of the progress.

Australia. We hope that the

Finally, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank John Stamp for his excellent work as EO – GMA, who held the role for the last 18 months. As many of you would know, John’s approach to the role, and his ability to build strong and trusting relationships will all stakeholders within the game, has greatly assisted GMA’s ability to support Golf Club Managers across Australia. GMA wishes John all the best in his future endeavours with Golf Victoria. In closing, I wish you all a very happy and relaxed festive season. Regards Andrew Gay

within Australian Golf. This e-magazine is now a major communications channel and deliverance of up-to-date information for managers involved in all areas of golf administration throughout Australia. Membership to GMA is open to all Golf Club Managers and administrators throughout e-magazine will broaden the resources available to managers – aiding the fulfillment of their occupational objectives.

Publisher GOLF INDUSTRY CENTRAL Morlo Pty Ltd ACN 123 872 784 ABN 1812 3872 784 PO BOX 4743, Robina Town Centre Robina, QLD, Australia 4230 Contents may not be reproduced without written permission. Views expressed in editorial contributions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this publication and it’s management.

Andrew Gay Chairman

Anthony Masters Director

Cathy Neagle Director

Paul Paterson Deputy Chair

Aaron Muirhead Director

Brad Dawson Director

Peter Busch Director

Jim Cail Executive Officer





AUSTRALIA’S NEWEST GOLF COURSE, CATHEDRAL LODGE, OFFICIALLY OPENS Inspired by owner David Evans’ affinity for Augusta National, Cathedral Lodge sits two hours north-east of Melbourne on the banks of the Goulburn River, near Alexandra in the Murrindindi Shire, and leaves nothing to the imagination. Carved out of natural canyon land and intersected with flowing creeks and an endless array of colours, it’s a course tipped to rival Norman’s famous Kerry Packer project, Ellerston. But any comparisons to the country’s No.6-ranked course should stop there, says Norman.

“Kerry just said, ‘Build me a f—ing great golf course,’” he recalls. “Playability wasn’t an issue for Kerry. He just wanted a tough course, a course that even I would find difficult as the world’s No.1 player at the time. I remember he’d stand there and say, ‘OK, son. How would you play this hole and how would you make it tougher for yourself?’ That was Kerry. I built a course to match his personality of wanting to challenge anything and everything.

“The Cathedral Lodge property is unique in that it’s a canyon shape with a ridge running through the middle of it, where you go up the ridge on one side of the valley and back down it on the other side of the valley,” says Norman. “Ellerston, meanwhile, was so spread out, so vast, so big and a totally different story.” Adding to the contrast, Norman says the design blueprint for both projects couldn’t have been further apart. 4


“Conversely, David wanted playability with Cathedral I


Lodge – and he was there every step of the way, walking with me during the entire design process. “The easiest thing in the world to do is build the hardest course in the world. The hardest thing to do is build a balanced golf course. Catering for someone who only carries it 80 metres and those who bomb it 300 metres – these are the complexities of being a golf course designer in today’s game. But I enjoyed the challenge with Cathedral and I think the end result could be one of my favourite courses.”


MOUNT LAWLEY & VICTORIA GC – TWO OF THE WORLD’S CREEPIEST COURSES In October, in the spirit of Halloween, elected the nine scariest courses around the world, listing Perth’s Mount Lawley Golf Course as number five.

The golf channel motivated their nomination with the many alleged ghost encounters on the course’s infamously difficult 11th hole. “The 11th hole is known as Clooties Elbow, a nickname derived from the Gaelic word for devil. Over the years, countless golfers playing the mid-length par-pour have recounted feelings of terror and foreboding. There’ve been ghost sightings, too, but since those are hard to verify, we’ll settle on a story from the early 1930s, when the dead body of a young man who’d consumed poison was found prostrate on the green.”

The Lawley golf club officially opened May 31 1930 but saw itself featured in the headlines months before. At 8:20am on the 10th of February the club’s greenkeeper James Elliot Tinlin was doing his morning work when he stumbled across a body in some scrub between holes. Next to the body was a partially empty bottle. The body was later identified as Michael Kelly, a middle aged out of work sawmiller. The coroner’s inquest came to the conclusion of suicide by poisoning. It is stated the body was found near hole 11. Just above Mt Lawley in 4th place on the list is Sleepy Hollow Golf Club, N.Y. The Course qualified based on the “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”, a short story of speculative fiction by American author Washington Irving. In the story, Irving gives life to the story of a headless horseman riding through the misty night of the New York countryside, across the very landscape where this Golden Age design now lies.

How about their club logo? Spooky!

Last on the list another Australian course can be found, the Victoria Golf Club in Cheltham. “Late one night in 1936, a nurse named Doris Gravlin ambled out onto this sandbelt course to meet with her estranged husband, Victor. She was never seen again. But her spiritual form has been spotted plenty. Some who’ve spied her say that she’s like Casper, a friendly ghost. But others insist that she’s grown more menacing over the years.” Read the full list here.





QANTAS GOLF CLUB BEGINS NEXT PHASE WITH TEE TIME PARTNER GOLFNOW Utilising GolfNow’s Industry Leading Technology and Largest Marketplace of Online Tee Times, Qantas Golf Club Aims to Connect More of its Frequent Flyers with Australian Golf Clubs, and Attract Golfers from the U.S. and Around the World to Australia.

The Australian golf industry also will benefit with GolfNow’s global database of 3 million-plus golfers now provided access to discover and book tee times online at participating Australian courses. GolfNow’s leading technology and marketing capabilities, combined with a focus on working hand in hand with golf clubs, will ensure a better experience for both golf clubs and golfers.

In a move to further enhance the connection between golf clubs and the 11.8 millionplus Qantas Frequent Flyers, Qantas Golf Club has entered into a partnership with U.S.based GolfNow.

Through this multi-year partnership with GolfNow, Qantas Golf Club will have the unique ability to establish itself in the Australian golf community as the platform that connects millions of golfers with thousands of courses, both locally and internationally. Qantas Golf Club has worked closely with the GMA and Golf Australia to ensure that the program is designed to drive increased participation and revenue for golf clubs. Golf courses that already participate in Qantas Golf Club or wish to start participating will be contacted over the coming weeks to discuss how they can become involved.

This partnership will provide greater access for Qantas Frequent Flyers to combine their passion for golf and travel, as GolfNow provides the option to book tee times online at more than 8,000 golf courses globally, including a growing number of Australian courses. Qantas Frequent Flyers will continue to be able to enjoy the other benefits of Qantas Golf Club, including golf events, holidays and membership options, all while earning Qantas Points. 6




About Qantas Golf Club

Qantas Golf Club launched in December 2014 to provide a community for all Qantas Frequent Flyer members with a passion and love for the game of golf. Qantas Golf Club provides a range of benefits to members in including the option to book tee times across Australian courses, compete in events and book a range of holidays at many favourite golf destinations, all while earning Qantas Points. Since launch it has established itself as a significant contributor to the Australian golf industry due to its ongoing commitment to promote the game to golfers as well as its event and travel programs. The partnership with GolfNow will really allow Qantas to take the program to the next level. For more information, visit


WOLLONGONG GC CELEBRATES 120 YEARS AS ONE OF THE WORLD’S OLDEST LINKS COURSES On Friday December 17, 1897 when Sydney Golf Club members Leonard Dobbin, E.D. Hoben and Irving Kent cycled to Wollongong with the materials required to construct holes, flags and teeing grounds next to a beach, they would have been blown away by the scenic beauty of the seaside location. Today, almost 120 years later, a true links style 18 hole course stands alongside the beach. The course layout has been changed a few times over the years to make way for developments such as a sewage treatment plant, a seniors living facility, sports ground and a new larger clubhouse. But today’s course largely sits on the same beachfront site.

Click on the video to watch it

Being such an historic and iconic golf course the Wollongong club has attracted international golfing greats such as Carnegie Clark, Gene Sarazen, Jack Newton, Bobby Locke, Gary Player and Peter Thompson. And Steve Elkington was a member in the early 1980’s. Wollongong Golf Club general manager Leigh Hingston said the club had provided a wonderful nursery for young local talent who have gone on to win state and national honours. So it was fitting a celebratory anniversary dinner in a marquee on the actual golf course included club greats such as Lynne Townsend and rising stars such as Thomas Heaton.




8-12 October 2017 Adelaide Convention Centre // South Australia



bout the GMA - Founded in 1949, Golf Management Australia (GMA) is the professional organisation serving the needs of managers within the Australian golf industry, and with membership open to all golf managers across the nation.

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE The 2017 Golf Management Australia National Conference staged at the Adelaide Convention Centre on 8th - 12th October marked the 38th conference held by the association since its inaugural event in Victoria in 1949.

With the theme this year being “Now is the time to be different”, many aspects of the conference program were altered from previous years in aim to boost professionalism, improving the experience and maximising educational opportunities

The flagship event is a biennial gathering of industry stakeholders including golf club managers, support staff, industry leaders and sponsors. It provides education and personal development opportunities gained through the selection of professional speakers, and facilitates the ability for delegates to network and share information and experiences with fellow managers.

Identified through member surveys, attendees were indulged in a vast array of industry relating topics including what the future may look like, resilience, health and nutrition, building peak personal and club performance, seizing the opportunity and vulnerability. The various areas of focus were addressed by 18 national and international keynote speakers, and with an impressive list of other speakers in the master class sessions – a new feature to this year’s forum.

Growing in participation each occasion, the 2015 GMA conference held on the Gold Coast saw a record number of attendees. More than 200 delegates, partners and guests joined the two-day expo and three day educational program at the Jupiters Hotel & Casino. 8

This year’s conference, roundly viewed as the best yet by way of professional development content and networking opportunities, turned out a resounding success with a new high of more than 300 registered delegates, including 28 sponsorship support partners and exhibitors on site showcasing their latest products and services.



In addition to the field of speakers, the CEO of the PGA of Australia and Golf Australia, Gavin Kirkman and Stephen Pitt respectively, also held key presentations during the week.


Henry Delozier, Principal in Global Golf Advisors, made references in his keynote to the results of the pre-conference survey that was conducted by GGA, with support of GMA. “It was a great honour for Global Golf Advisors to support the GMA and this years conference,” GGA Asia Pacific Director Paul Hinton said. “We were delighted that Henry DeLozier our Principal Partner was afforded the opportunity to address the delegates via his keynote presentation.” The key takeaways from Henry’s presentation were 1) Plan for Success 2) Let Data Drive Your Decisions 3) Master Your Universe. A full copy of Henry’s slides and talking points along with the GMA 2017 Conference Survey Report and a number of resources and materials can be found on GGA’s dedicated conference webpage “GGA would like to thank GMA and the delegates for a wonderful week. We look forward to supporting Managers, Clubs and the GMA in the future,” Hinton added. Another highlight was the Governance Panel, which addressed several typical scenarios with the expertise of panel members Malcolm Speed (Board Member – Golf Australia), Stephen Spargo (Chairman – Golf Victoria), Sarah Chia (Kain Lawyers), Paul Hinton (Global Golf Advisors) & Paul Vardy (Club Support Manager – Golf Australia) providing commentary on the issue of good governance.

Furthermore, the comprehensive three day long seminar program provided attendees with the opportunity to enhance knowledge in a range of areas to assist in understanding the changing landscape of the industry, while also dealing with issues in an extremely competitive environment. High level presentations on strategy, future planning and governance were interspersed throughout the conference with presentations and master class sessions on more operational matters such as business financial intelligence, food and beverage, marketing and technology, and human resource management. Personal development was an important educational component.







he Conference was kicked off on the Sunday with a welcome cocktail party in the historic Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia, allowing delegates to meet with colleagues and friends from around Australia and internationally.

Golf Club in Victoria and Gloucester Country Club in NSW, were, undoubtedly, extremely grateful for the generous grant. Early feedback from delegates and sponsors was enormously positive, with many great comments on the location and accessibility of the Adelaide Convention Centre as a conference venue, along with the adjacent Intercontinental Adelaide hotel, home to most delegates for the week. GMA President, Andrew Gay, summed things up: “This year’s conference in Adelaide was an outstanding success, once again providing an ideal platform for improved professional development of golf management professionals,”

Following the welcome party the official opening dinner was held in the Intercontinental Adelaide ballroom on the Monday night, where former Australian test wicketkeeper, Wayne Phillips, was introduced to delegates as MC for the week. Toro Australia in conjunction with GMA had ahead of the conference offered up the chance for eligible golf clubs to win a preowned Toro Triflex 3400 mower through their Support & Grow Grants program. With a resale value of $18,000 for each machine, Gisborne 10


“The combination of national and international speakers provided exceptionally high quality professional development and this combined with networking opportunities allowed golf club managers to converse about industry issues with their peers and golf’s key stakeholders. “GMA would like to thank all those that supported the conference by attending or through their financial support and we look forward to the 2019 GMA Conference in Melbourne”.




THE BICYCLE CHAUTAUQUA New to this year’s event was the very unique experience of a bicycle Chautauqua on 6th – 8th October, lead by the always effervescent Gregg Patterson. The ride saw eight eager cyclists spend three days cycling through the renowned McLaren Vale wine region, creating a reflective opportunity to bond and connect with ideas and people in a totally different setting. The ride offered up some great coastline through the beachside suburbs until reaching Bellevue Estate, McLaren Vale winery for a well-deserved pit stop.

GOLF DAY The Jack Merrick Memorial Trophy (GMA State Team Championship) was played out at the iconic Royal Adelaide Golf Club with Queensland taking the title for the second consecutive time, with a team score of 153 points. The day ended in a tight contest from WA and SA with results requiring a double count and the need to go to the 7th best stableford score to determine a winner.

With the remainder of the golf field split between Royal Adelaide and the equally impressive Glenelg Golf Club, the Leon Thompson Memorial Trophy went to Massey Park’s Anthony Rosillo with 38 points around Glenelg’s challenging layout. The Ted Coker Championship Cup was won by Bunbury Golf Club’s Des Shearer with a scratch stableford score of 34 points, also at Glenelg. In the Billie Friedlander Trophy at Royal Adelaide, WA Golf Club’s Melissa Castaldi took out top prize with 34 points. WWW.GMA.ORG.AU




PRESENTATIONS: DAY 1 EMBRACING THE FUTURE – HOW IS THE WORLD CHANGING AND WHAT ARE THE POSSIBILITIES? First cab off the rank to present on the Tuesday morning was Tim Longhurst, a futurist at strategic consultancy, Key Message. Tim offered insight into what is happening in the increasing socialising world around us. During the session, three topics were explored in depth: the empowerment of people, our changing world, and finding better ways. The session explained how the human cyborg was born. With mobile phones attached to everyone’s hand nowadays technology plays an increasing role in our everyday lives. Three cyborg megatrends where life is transforming were identified: search, social, and mobile. The immediacy, information and learning from strangers and getting support on the go all provides a “physiological hit” which is creating emotional connections. Or as Tim put it - “amazing experiences with your pocket”. In closing, Tim encouraged self-care, designed to ensure inner balance is retained following these five ideas: 1. Journaling – get your thoughts on paper 2. Meditation – inner balance is healthy 3. Practice gratitude – consider 3 things a day you are grateful for 12



4. Exercise – physical health feeds mental health 5. Perform random acts of kindness

BRIDGING THE STARTER GAP – HOW TO CONNECT WITH THE STARTER GOLFER AND INCREASE YOUR REVENUE Nienke Bloem, independent entrepreneur in Customer Experience, followed Tim’s presentation with sharing her starter golf experience with the delegates, proposing a fun, easy way to present the game to beginners, making it about the golfer – the person, not about golf – the game. Nienke went on to map out five key phases of how to successfully direct the new golfer’s journey: 1. Awareness – be aware that they see everything differently 2. Become familiar – ask what do they want from this? 3. Consideration – what is the physical process, are you making it hard or easy? Effective, Easy, 
Enjoyable = Loyalty 4. Decision – How do you execute? Consider the timing of start, appropriate benefits, and the form of 
communication. Invoice shouldn’t be first! 5. Engagement – How do you engage? Would you call and ask when are we playing?



PRESENTATIONS: DAY 2 The program’s second day brought attention to our mental and physical health and how to overcome adversity in life.

days you can rewire your brain to start scanning the world for the positive with the long-term benefit of this approach being lower levels of depression and anxiety.

DISCOVERING RESILIENCE - TEACHING AUSTRALIANS TO BE MENTALLY HEALTHY With a bright and early start of 8am on the Wednesday morning, Hugh van Cuylenburg, Founding Director of The Resilience Project, introduced the delegates to the GEM concept: • Gratitude - ability to focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. • Empathy – acts of kindness – release of exotoxin
 • Mindfulness – ability to be in the present moment and the way we prevent anxiety In short, the GEM concept is designed to help you to get up in life after inevitably falling down from time to time. When practicing GEM, you will bounce back quicker after falling down the spectrum, and in being more resilient you are less likely to suffer anxiety. Furthermore, van Cuylenburg explained how positive risk taking and learning how to deal with adversity would increase resilience. He presented an easy guide of how to practise gratitude: • What was the best thing that happened to me today? • Who and I most grateful for today and why? • What am I looking forward to most about tomorrow? He also explained in closing how after 21

BOOST PERFORMANCE & PRODUCTIVITY - LEARN HOW TO BOOST YOUR PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY THROUGH HEALTH & NUTRITION Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan emphasized the link between mental and physical health in the next presentation, explaining how joy is a vital part of any lifestyle change, including dieting. McMillan offered some healthy tips to a better diet, including avoiding too many quick carbs, eating more plant based food and switching up your diet in order to promote a healthy gut balance. Educating the audience in nutritious food and the importance in physical activity, she explained how there’s no magic pill – you have to the do the hard work yourself. WWW.GMA.ORG.AU




Baldwin also highlighted the importance of Performance Review / Recovery in order to grow as a person as well as an athlete – what did we do well? What can we do better? According to Baldwin, success is a few simple disciplines practiced every day.

Memory expert Tansel Ali handed out some helpful tips on how to improve you own memory. In short: • Look for patterns presented • Create stories – have fun, associate words, exaggerate, doesn’t need to make sense or be 
possible, don’t be logical • Use the following skills - visualisation, association, imagination

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PERFORMANCE - DEALING WITH STRESS AND HOW TO FOCUS The Director of Equalize Training Company Nam Baldwin is highly qualified emotional and stress control / management specialist and has trained World Champions, including Mick Fanning. Using Mick Fanning as an example, Baldwin gave insight to how a high performance athlete thinks, demonstrating NEAT: N – see it as normal
 E – expect it

Leanne Faulkner of Fortitude at Work’s presentation was in the form of a story of Leanne herself recounting the highs and lows of small business, and her own experience with mental illness. Concluding her story, Leanne offered the following signs that success in business is increasingly hard to achieve if presented:

A – accept it

• Feeling physically unfit

T – tidy it up
before pressure situations

• Unable to sleep

Furthermore, Baldwin suggests that we continuously challenge ourselves, exercise regularly and set routines in order to cope better with pressure.





• Obsessive thinking • Unable to make decisions • Unable to follow directions • Poor response times


GMA CONFERENCE WRAP • Disconnection from others
If you see these flags? Be brave, talk to someone and take action!


CUSTOMERS, CULTURE & MARKETING - ROAD TO VINO – HOW VINOMOFO SURVIVED AND CONQUERED Last but not least, the CEO of Vinomofo, Andre Eikmeier, gave insight to his success story of starting up his own company.

He recited the financial ups and downs and how, if you want to be a part of something great, you need to stand for something, and acknowledge what you’ve already got.





PRESENTATIONS: DAY 3 The final day of the conference focused on the future with emphasis on strategic planning, disruptive technology, financial performance, and being prepared to take action, among other things. The day closed with a great presentation by Peter Sharp, a man who is literally on a mission to change the world.

DRAW YOUR FUTURE STRATEGIC PLANNING IN ACTION USING THE BUSINESS LEADERSHIP TOOL OF THE FUTURE Visual goal setter Patti Dobrowolski assists businesses to draw their future, literally. In her presentation she talked about the importance to put down your emotions and plans onto paper. Creativity starts with your imagination. You firstly create a picture in your head, and then you expand on it with your emotions.

DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES - A MINDSPINNING JOURNEY DETAILING OUR CHANGING WORLD AS WE ENTER THE TECHNOLOGICAL AGE Steve Sammartino is a futurist and Business Technologist who presented delegates with a mindspinning journey, detailing our changing world as we continue to see more and more technological change. Sammartino shared his view that we are 16



experiencing a connection revolution underpined by technology and where technology is forcing change.

BUSINESS FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE - BUILDING AN INTRAPRENEURIAL SPIRIT WITHIN YOUR BUSINESS Paul Butler of Newleaf Training & Development managed to turn what might sound like a dull topic into an interesting demonstration of how valuable an intrapreneurial spirit is in for today’s business owners and managers. The top ten tips to achieve this: 1. Start at the top, your staff will follow your word. Great leaders go first 2. Share financials – players are more engaged when they know whether they are winning or loosing 3. Celebrate success – what you celebrate tends to get repeated 4. Create visual scoreboards – can someone glancing at it know if winning or loosing within 10
seconds? 5. Make the goal digestible – can they understand it? 6. Emphasis behaviours – what will the impact be? what went right 7. Educate people on the value of a dollar – creates a better focus – treat money as their own. for 
every dollar wasted, at 5% profit, you need to drive another $21 in revenue to replace it. 8. Speak their language


GMA CONFERENCE WRAP 9. Organise that get superior financial results educate staff at all levels 10. Stick with it – once they care there is no stopping them

HOW TO TAKE ACTION GETTING STARTED AND TAKING RISKS TO INSPIRE INNOVATION Emilio De Stefano is Director & Principal of De Stefano & Co and an experienced executive and Chartered Professional Engineer. He connected his relative success to the concept of getting comfortable with the uncomfortable and explained that “with risk comes reward”.

LET’S GET MOVING… - STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE & DARE TO BE VULNERABLE Written notes simply cannot do the last presentation justice. Provided are links to watch the TedX session, which Peter Sharp gave in February this year which mirrors the presentation.

He shared with the delegates his Must do’s for success: 1. Find your passion 2. Set your goals, measure against them regularly

“...To get trust you need to give trust...”

3. Ensure your goals are aligned with your desires

Throughout the talk he references a number of other events which are now on youtube.

4. Mix with people from all sorts of backgrounds, with all sorts of skills 5. Being willing to take risks and take action, 5 steps to personal achievement 6. Take small steps and build over time 7. Surround yourself with supportive people 8. Stop focusing on worst case scenarios 9. Accept that with risk comes failure 10. Learn by doing -
”For he who is creative enough to take risks, anything is possible”.

Here is the link to the public hugging experiment -
 Here is the link for the song on the train
 Here is the link for the eye contact experiment - Photo credits: David Brand Video Credit: Golf Industry Central Source: Jeff Blunden,Golf Business Advisory Services (GBAS) WWW.GMA.ORG.AU



33 36


TO THE SPONSORS A BIG thanks goes to all sponsors who made this year’s event possible, and bigger and better than ever.

Thanks to GMA Major Sponsors; Toro, Qantas Golf Club, Hostplus, Club Car, PGA of Australia, MSL Solutions and Golf Australia. Thank you to our sponsors; The Golf Travel Agency, Debitsuccess, Inside Golf and Lion Australia.

Final day dancing video

To all the exhibitors; Golfinsight, Programmed Property Services, Mini Golf Creations, Greg Norman Golf Course Design, Wageloch, epar, JLT, Australian Golf Digest, CGE Golf, Nexus Golf Insurance, A2Z Golf and Global Golf Advisors. And thank you to GMA technology partner MiClub and Media Partner Golf Industry Central.

Conference Partners, Thank you&toExhibitors GMA partner Schweppes for Sponsors once again sponsoring the event.

THANK YOU On behalf of the Board and members of Golf Management Australia, we extend our thanks and gratitude to the following partners, sponsors and exhibitors for their significant contribution towards the upcoming 2017 GMA National Conference.

Schweppes Australia Official Partner of the 2017 GMA National Conference


And last but not least, great big thanks to GMA’s Gift and Rewards Sponsors Star Workplace Program and Golf Rewards. Thank you!

For more information on any of our partners, sponsors and exhibitors, please click on their logos.





Technology Partner

Media Partner


re), male orial



ub e lities the

Other Supporters Conference Gift Sponsor

Delegate Rewards Sponsor

Golf Rewards Major Prize winner Deborah Hupje with Jack Naden Golf Rewards Managing Director

that w n nt.






LIFE MEMBERS From left: David Burton, Ted Coker, Alex Monteath, Max Mason

TESTIMONIALS “Our first sponsorship at the 2017 GMA Conference in Adelaide was a complete success. We were able to display our exciting Miniature Golf products to a myriad of golf managers and other trade consultants, and I must say the interest level and enthusiasm towards our golf courses was overwhelming.” Richard Chamberlain - Golf Design “We really enjoyed the GMA Conference, it was well organised, well run and included plenty of time to meet up with new and current epar members.” Nathan Tovey, Area Manager – Epar “Qantas Golf Club was again delighted to be a Major sponsor of the GMA Conference in Adelaide. It was a unique opportunity for us to meet and network with General Managers from around the country as well as the broader Golf Industry.The level of education and discussion that was delivered at the conference was world class and a great tool to ensure that the Australian Golf industry is at the forefront of the changing face of golf, and in fact sport in general.” James Cooper, Director – Qantas Golf Club “Great few days. Looking forward to finishing on a high today. Well done to GMA National Board and organizing committee.” Craig Ridge “Thanks to GMA and all the sponsors for such an inspiring and innovative conference!” Deborah Hupje “Great conference. Congratulations to the GMA and all involved. See you all again in Melbourne 2019.” Richard Berry





The Future for GMA:

While for many of you the year is hopefully coming to a successful conclusion, my last couple of weeks as the newly appointed Executive Officer of Golf Management Australia have been a whirlwind of meeting new people, understanding what seems to be a thousand acronyms, and getting my head around the structure of golf in Australia. However, I wouldn’t have had it any other way….

My starting point in the role of EO of GMA is clearly to ensure the organisation works for the benefits of all its members. My role exists to support Golf Club Managers across the country, which includes providing outstanding professional development opportunities.

I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed to the role, which I officially started on the 5th December.

Who am I: Prior to my appointment, I had the pleasure of working for over 11 years with the AFL, having held several different roles, including at AFL head office, AFL Queensland and AFL Victoria. My last role within the industry was as ‘Strategy and Planning Manager’ for AFL Victoria, which involved multiple governance and administration reform projects, facility development and planning, and managing how our business was delivering on its strategic plan. Outside of work I reside in Geelong with my wife and two young children, and while I’ve been consumed within a football environment for many years, I have a strong passion for golf, not only as an ‘average player’ with putting issues but also since I began my working life at the Sands Torquay pro-shop, which was my first job straight out of university. Moving forward I am really excited to get to know all the membership of GMA, and all our important stakeholders, including our state based GMA associations, other golfing entities, and all the corporate partners that support our organisation so wonderfully well. 20



However, I would like to think we can push this support further given the full-time resource, and GMA will be committed to exploring further strategies designed to not only support you in your roles, but more importantly support you as people. Supporting the health and wellbeing of GMA members is no doubt an area I am keen to pursue and develop further. As many of you would be aware, a key component of my role will be to continue to explore the ‘one GMA’ model that has been discussed previously. I sincerely look forward to working closely with all state GMA bodies to ensure any proposed model is developed in the best interest of all GMA members. Providing existing members with even more benefits is critical. This piece of work is capable of providing the opportunity for the GMA to become a national leader in the professional development and support of its members. As a starting point, I’m looking forward to further understanding all the existing opportunities (what’s working well) and all the challenges (what could be improved), currently in place. Finally, I once again look forward to meeting you and supporting you wherever possible, and I wish you and your families all the best over the Christmas and festive period. Your sincerely Jim Cail, Executive Officer Golf Management Australia



GMA MEMBER ASSISTANCE PROGRAM Golf Management Australia has engaged a National independent provider for GMA Members to help deal with personal or work related issues in a positive way. This service will be available to members in early 2018.

Acacia provide assistance for a range of issues including: • Depression • Anxiety

Short term counselling is now offered to you, free of charge, by GMA as an add on to your membership benefits..

• Mental illness

Acacia Connection is a 24 hour counselling service of highly qualified, registered psychologists and counsellors across Australia and internationally. The service is highly confidential and Acacia do not disclose any information to GMA relating to your sessions.

• Addiction and substance abuse

• Relationship and marriage difficulties • Grief and loss • Work related stress • Domestic violence • Any other issues you may be facing within your personal or work life. When the program is launched, you will be able to make an appointment. Phone anytime day or night: 1300 364 273 Text or Live Chat: 0401 33 77 11 (within Australia) Online appointment request:

More information on this service will be provided when the program commences. WWW.GMA.ORG.AU




INSIDE GOLF BUCKING THE TREND NOT LONG TO DEPARTURE! It’s no secret that the print magazine industry has gone through a rough patch of late. More and more newsstand and subscription titles have ceased publication in recent years, a result of the meteoric rise of online behemoths like Google and Facebook. But one magazine is bucking this trend, and kicking goals (or in this case, making birdies) across the country. Inside Golf Magazine, published by independent publisher Outdoor Sports Publishing, has seen significant growth in its print title, due to a unique distribution model combined with a healthy online presence. The magazine, which is distributed free to golfers via clubs, practice facilities and retailers, has maintained a steady print run of over 40,000 copies per month over the last year (the highest-circulating, CAB-Audited golf publication in Australia). In addition, their online presence has skyrocketed over the last 12 months, with (at present count) a massive 14,400 organically-grown Facebook followers 22



(and rising), and a healthy 26,000-strong community of email subscribers. According to Sam Arthur, Publisher of Inside Golf, the secret to the magazine’s success is simple. “The team at Inside Golf are extremely passionate about golf; we live, breathe and play the game, so we know what appeals to our readership,” says Arthur. “We strive to provide a high-quality, entertaining magazine that features something for all golfers to enjoy—from beginners all the way through to club professionals and industry leaders , while also keeping it as Aussie-centric as possible. Sure, the punters love that it’s free, but more importantly, we make sure it’s packed with solid, award-winning content that is worth reading every month.” Behind the scenes, Arthur and the team are equally passionate about affordability and efficiency.


ABOUT INSIDE GOLF As Australia’s Most-Read Golf Publication (named by Australian golfers) and Australia’s highest-circulating audited golf publication (CAB Audited every year), Inside Golf is the recognised “golf magazine of choice” by golfers, industry leaders and general managers across Australia. Inside Golf is an innovative, independent and trusted voice in Australian Golf. Inside Golf features in-depth coverage of Australian golf news, golf events, golf travel and holiday destinations, Australian and international golf course reviews, the hottest new golf gear, tips and great giveaways. Written by award-winning journalists, it also features interviews with Australia’s top professional golfers, the game’s rising stars, industry leaders and golf equipment manufacturers. The publication is also known for breaking new ground in the online/digital space, being the first golf publication in Australia to launch a full page-turning online/digital edition (2006); the first to launch a Facebook page (2009); the first to launch a fully-integrated online/offline advertising media platform (2009); and the first to make the foray into iPads and tablets (2011).

“We aim for efficiency in our processes, and to keep our costs as low as possible, without sacrificing quality,” he says. “This extends to our content acquisition--we rarely purchase overseas content, but instead choose to go with home-grown, Australian stories. Our production process utilises the latest online technologies, while our delivery, administration and all other parts of the business are carefully monitored to reduce inefficiency and waste. We also strive for clear and transparent communication within the team and with our clients. And we also make sure to mix a bit of fun in there as well.” While the magazine’s readership numbers are certainly strong, importantly, these readers and online followers are also proving to be extremely active, with one of the most energetic Facebook response rates of any page in the industry. As a result, campaigns and giveaways on the page are enjoying hundreds of thousands of shares and likes, while content/ stories on the Inside Golf website are also highly in demand, with over 1.2 million pageviews logged in the preceding 12-month period.

The magazine’s email community is also extremely active: Recent Inside Golf email campaigns have enjoyed a whopping 40% open rate, and a 18% click-through rate, around double the industry average of 22% and 4.7% respectively. Identifying gaps in the market (and capitalising on them) is also key for the team. Inside Golf has branched out into a highly-successful travel magazine (Inside Golf Travel), and expanded the Club News section of its monthly publication. It has also recently made a strong push into the golf industry/business segment, with an expanded IG Business section, as well as a Facebook page dedicated solely to the business of golf. A variety of print and online packages are available for all clubs around Australia starting from $220 plus GST per month over 12 months. Contact Sam Arthur on or 0410575303 More:






From left: Robert Rein - Toro and Anthony Ross - Gloucester Golf Club

Global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, Toro Australia, has teamed up with Golf Management Australia to bring a pre-owned Toro Triflex 3400 mower to two lucky notfor-profit golf clubs through the Toro Support & Grow Grants program. With an estimated value of $18,000 each, the mowers will give a much-needed boost to maintaining courses and grounds as well as ensuring that staff and volunteers have the right equipment for the job.

Victoria, has recently introduced a volunteer brigade to help cope with the need to reduce staffing levels. These volunteers need to be trained and educated without interfering with the continuing maintenance of the greens, tees and fairways. For General Manager Bill Papadimitriou, new machinery was vital to help achieve this.

One of the program’s recipients, Gisborne Golf Club based in

“The introduction of a volunteer brigade has revitalised the focus to deliver a great course for members, guests and visitors on limited funding and resources,” Bill said.





“This focus can only be successful if we can maintain our greens, tees and fairways at the level required and have the equipment on hand to match.

EDITORIAL “Winning this mower is an absolute blessing for a club like us. It’s an amazing gesture from Toro who support Course Superintendents everywhere; their support is really 24/7. Our club is just beside itself and really excited to have this opportunity.” For the historic Gloucester Country Club, which has been in operation since the 1920s, the mower was a very timely addition. Course Superintendent Anthony Ross says the club’s goal is to promote golf in the regional area, however the current equipment was in need of replacement and they had no means of funding it. “Our old mower had well over 4,500 hours on it, it was ready to breakdown any day,” Anthony said. “We’re a club run by volunteers, I’m the only full time employee, and we were in no position to buy new equipment. Winning this mower means we can present a great golf course for our members and the golfing community. “It’s great to come in and know that the mower we now have is going to do an A1 job. Compared to our old mower where you didn’t know whether it was going to make its way around the course,” Anthony said. Club President Bill Mansfield says the program is so important, especially to the regional golfing community. “Gestures such as this enable our club to offer a first class golf course in a small country town,” Bill said.

“The efforts of Toro and Golf Management Australia in bringing this program to fruition should not be looked upon lightly. The impact of this program will bring closer commercial relationships as well as enhancing people’s enjoyment of the game.” Toro’s Senior Marketing Manager - Equipment, Elise Willemsen, said the golf course industry is Toro’s oldest market and the company is proud to continue to support the golfing community through the initiative. “Toro entered the golf equipment business in 1919 and we know the challenges many face in being able to afford new equipment to maintain their prized courses,” Elise said. “Whilst Toro Australia offers a large range of used equipment and finance packages to the industry, we are proud to assist through this program and have no doubt this grant will benefit

these two well deserving clubs for many years to come. “We strongly believe in building long-term relationships with our customers and investing back into an industry that has been such a great supporter of us.” Elise says Toro was overwhelmed with the positive response the Support & Grow Grants Program received and would like to thank every club that applied. “The sheer number of applications received show just how important programs like this are to clubs all over Australia. We look forward to doing it all again next year!” Toro is pleased to announce that the Toro Support & Grow Grants Program will be an annual offering. For further information on how Toro supports local communities, such as the Toro Giving Program, please visit




BMI PROGRAM IN 2018 The Club Manager’s Association of America’s BMI program is coming to Australia in 2018. This was announced by GMA President Andrew Gay, at the 2017 GMA National Conference in Adelaide in October. The news comes on the back of the GMA survey earlier in the year showing strong support for the program from members.

Planning is underway to secure high quality tutors with expertise in the topics delivered.

Bringing the program to Australia has been a joint arrangement between GMA, GA and CMAA. A Heads of Agreement was signed off at the conference and work is now well underway in planning for the first of the BMI’s to be delivered in October 2018.


ABOUT THE BMI’S. BMI stands for Business Management Institute. It is a series of five-day face to face classroom learning courses covering ten management competency areas. The BMI’s form part of a pathway to CCM – Certified Club Manager, a qualification that is recognised throughout the club world. The BMI program will be adapted to provide participants with material that is contemporary and relevant to the Australian industry, particularly with regards to legislation and research. 26


GMA-NZ, in its third year of the BMI program, has been extremely helpful in providing advice in setting up the course. We expect it will be useful for all to share scheduling with NZ in the future.

In 2018, in the expectation of healthy numbers, plans are underway to deliver BMI Club Management in both Sydney and Melbourne. The ideal venues will be at golf courses. Exact dates will be advised shortly and will fit in with GMA state schedules, availability of course tutors, CMAA attendance and host venues.

WHO IS THE COURSE FOR? All GMA members are encouraged to register for the BMI’s. As well, clubs are encouraged to send senior staff. Paul Vardy, GA’s Clubs & Facilities Support Manager and Jim Cail, GMA’s Executive Officer work on plans for the BMI delivery in 2018.

A BMI working group has been operating since October and also includes; Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters, Cameron Wade with ongoing support from John Stamp.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST? Approximately $2000 for each BMI. Early bird rates and member rates will apply. Registrants will need to allow for travel and accommodation costs separately. I


Registrations for the BMI courses will open in April. Stay tuned for updates in the new year.

Golf Tourism & Management Conference



NEW ZEALAND The Club Managers Association of America (CMAA) and the Golf Managers Association of New Zealand (GMANZ) are proud to bring the conjoint BMI International Conference and 8th Biennial 2018 GMANZ Conference to beautiful Queenstown, New Zealand on October 4-11, 2018. This is the first time CMAA has run its BMI International programme in the Southern Hemisphere and it will be followed by the GMANZ Conference. The spacious Millennium Hotel located very close to downtown Queenstown will be hosts for the duration.

Join 50 of the top managers from the top clubs in the USA, Canada, Asia, New Zealand and Europe for this outstanding networking and educational experience. BMI INTERNATIONAL WILL FEATURE; • the very best speakers from Australia and New Zealand including sportsmen, politicians and business personalities and famous locals. • the very best that Queenstown has to offer including golf at Jacks Point, social activities including The Spirit of Queenstown Cruise, a visit to the home of bungy at Kawarau Bungy, education and tours of both championship golf clubs, Millbrook Golf Club and The Hills. • a day focused on Food and Wine at Amisfield Restaurant partaking in some of New Zealand’s best Pinor Noir, New Zealand honey, local lamb and beef, local cheese and a special long lunch specially designed by Amisfield’s very own chef.

Education will last all day and all local (Australia and New Zealand) participating managers will receive a complimentary education-only badge to be used at future CMAA World Conferences. A special closing dinner will take place at the famed Skyline restaurant featuring a special keynote speaker and a magic night at Queenstown’s most scenic spot. Spouses will have their own customized tours and schedule of events full of adventure, leisure and recreation. This promises to be an adventure like no other full of learning, recreation and excitement. We hope to see you there! To discover just how stunning Queenstown is as the backdrop to our conference event, please visit Come join CMAA, GMANZ experience Queenstown – adventure Capital of the World. Further details will be at

SAVE THE DATE! 04/10/18 Please register your initial interest in attending by emailing GMANZ Executive Officer, Des Topp at:

and the

SWING FIT IN GREAT SHAPE IN SYDNEY’S EASTERN SUBURBS When I started at Golf Australia 18 months ago, I could sense a degree of cynicism about Swing Fit, Golf Australia’s new national introductory golf program for women. This cynicism existed despite the fact the research upon which Swing Fit was developed was clear. Golf needed a fun, social program with a clear health and fitness component to attract new women to the game and make their first experiences of the sport as engaging as possible. I thought it was important to see Swing Fit in action as soon as possible. I wanted to see the experiences and the reactions. I attended sessions with a variety of groups across three states over the summer of 2016-17.

that have reinforced this point of view.

and last Friday at Botany Golf Club shows why.

In sports participation in Australia, there’s a lot of emphasis on (and support for) product development, but often precious little to spend on marketing and rollout, whilst delivery can be hindered by governance challenges.

52 Swing Fit graduates came together for an on-course experience and end-of-year celebration. This was just over half of the 100+ women that Andrea McGann, a community golf instructor based in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, has welcomed to the game over the last 12 months.

The tendency is to dismiss products that don’t deliver an instant impact. The easy thing to do is to stand on the outside, throw stones and pick products apart. To me, Swing Fit shows that we need to be more careful,

With the course booked for the group, everyone could relax. The Ambrose format further emphasised the importance of having fun, and it wasn’t long before the sounds of laughter and cheers rang around the golf course.

It didn’t take long to convince me that, whilst Swing Fit faces many challenges and exists in a competitive market, it is a fantastic product. Since then, I’ve also seen some great research (for example by Vic Health) and numerous quotes from participants 28


For many of them, it was their first on-course experience, but they were made to feel comfortable by Andrea, the environment she had created, and the sense of camaraderie generated by everyone being ‘in the same boat’.

As is the case with the Swing Fit program itself, the ‘drink and debrief’ part of the day was just I


as much fun as the golf. Local clubs and shops had donated golf-related prizes for a lucky draw, so there were winners both on and off the course. After the round, the clubhouse was full of women planning their next golf experiences, with contact details and availability shared so that these rounds could be organised. What Andrea has done with Swing Fit over the last 12 months should highlight to Australian golf’s governing bodies, clubs, facilities, PGA professionals and community golf instructors that we can be

successful with Swing Fit. However, we need to do more and better marketing (that one’s on me) and make sure we create fun, welcoming and social learning environments where women feel comfortable, happy and safe. We also need to connect people and encourage them to share their new passion. That’s what Andrea has done, and last week she got to enjoy the fruits of her labour. Congratulations Andrea, we wish we could clone you! Despite Andrea’s wonderful work, it is irrefutably true that

we have a long way to go to make our sport as inspiring and welcoming for women and girls as it needs to be. However, we have a great strategy in place ready for 2018, and we’re in market recruiting for a National Female Participation Manager, so come and join us if you think you can help: Danny Bowerin, 12 December 2017 For further information on Swing Fit visit You can also check out @swingfitau on Instagram and Facebook.




GOVERNANCE FUNDAMENTALS: WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN JANUARY? Here’s an idea! Make 2018 the year you gain greater control and leadership of your club by taking the “Governance Fundamentals” e-learning course. January is a great time to take the course and refresh your club’s governance system.

YOU WILL LEARN: • The real role of the board • The real role of the board chairman • The importance of policy as the board’s direction to the GM • Understanding the 5 types of club policies • The difference between a board subcommittee and an operational subcommittee and how not to blur the lines • Why policies empower GM’s to make more decisions and control the operations of the club

THE COURSE IS RATED 4 ½ STARS OUT OF 5 STARS BY THOSE COMPLETING IT. Ideal for GM’s, senior staff and current and potential board members. To register go to: and click the long “E-learning modules” bar.


As a recently appointed Vice President of the Headland Golf Club, I found the Governance Fundamentals module to be an important part in understanding my role and responsibilities. The on-line experience was easy to follow, relevant and provided useful tools for further investigation if required. I would strongly recommend that any new Board member complete the training as part of their induction process. The module was so valuable that after consultation with our General Manager, we felt the training would benefit all the Board members, and this proved to be the case, with positive comments being provided. Mandy Oster - Vice President, Headland Golf Club, Qld A Board needs to understand where their responsibilities lie and the importance of being strategic and not operational. Let the Board provide the vision and have management put that vision into action. Governance Fundamentals provides both new and existing Board members with a strong framework for how a Board can function most effectively. Darren Royals - Board member, Glenelg Golf Club, SA

It’s only $49.50 per registrant.





THIS IS WHAT YOUR FELLOW GM’S HAVE SAID ABOUT GOVERNANCE FUNDAMENTALS: “Thank you to Golf Australia for the time and consideration placed into developing the Governance Fundamentals course. One of our strategic objectives at The Lakes is “best practice corporate governance” and there is no doubt this course will help us to achieve our goal. I completed the course in late 2017 and our Board have resolved to undertake the course now too. The logical and practical approach of this online course makes it relevant to golf clubs of any size.” Andrew Kirkman – General Manager, The Lakes Golf Club, NSW “To function effectively, individual board members and boards as a whole, need to have a clear understanding of their governance roles and responsibilities. This module provides some great tools to develop this understanding as well as relevant exercises around how to and correctly apply it, all with a golf flavour” Ben Kavenagh – General Manager, Glenelg Golf Club, SA “This course is excellent, and perfectly set up and very useful education tool. I am planning on using this for my current Board and as part of the new board member induction program.” Rob McLean - General Manager, Windsor Country Golf Club, NSW “As part of our Club’s process for developing a new Strategic Plan which includes a focus on great Governance, we arranged for all of our Board Members to complete Golf Australia’s Governance Fundamentals online course. The course has helped all of our Board to have a better, clearer and more consistent understand of the principles of good governance and the importance of these in running a successful, sustainable Club. Whilst myself and a number of our Board have been involved in business and the Club industry

for some time, we all found many aspects of the course to be of terrific value. The course is also written and structured in a way that is easy to understand for those that may not have had previous experience with Boards and/or Committees. I would encourage all Golf Club committee members to complete the course and suggest it would be great practice for Clubs to have each new committee member complete this course as part of their induction.” Rob Horrigan – General Manager, Patterson River Country Club, Vic “Golf Australia’s ‘Governance Fundamentals’ course is a simple and effective way for Board Members (and key staff) to gain a better understanding of club governance. It is particularly effective for new Board Members, and we will make it compulsory for all new Board Members to undertake the course. Well done Golf Australia!!” Ben Dobson – General Manager, Headland Golf Club, Qld “As Club managers, we work with passionate members who care enough about their Club to participate on its Board of Management. Whilst their intentions are sound, not many Club members have a thorough understanding of governance in a Club environment. This is where the G.A Governance Fundamentals e-learning course has been excellent in providing training and development to Club Board Members and has enabled them to become more constructive in their roles at the Club.” Chris Anderson - General Manager, Mansfield GC, Vic


GLOBAL GOLF ADVISORS Some may remember the classic King Gee Workwear commercial of the 80’s. The Captain trying to impress his guests ignores the advice of his staff member “Don’t backchat me fella, I know boats” and proceeds to jump from the jetty into the tender and goes straight through the floor of the dinghy ending up rather wet, embarrassed and in the water. The golf industry is fortunate to have talented managers, experienced directors and an abundance of information and data. We have been much better at collecting and storing data in ever more efficient and cost effective ways than we have been at analysing it. That’s finally changing now, as tools capable of discovering the underlying patterns and meaning which are lingering in the data migrate from the research lab to the workplace. 32


The potential benefits from these applications are extraordinary. Members may say one thing but put their money down on another. Algorithms can tease out these sorts of truths from data designed to measure something else. The majority of clubs already have most of the raw data they need to undertake such a beneficial analysis of performance. The key is to be found not in sourcing the data – readily accessible from widely-used club management systems – but in its analysis and application. Transforming the data to insights. Transforming knowledge to wisdom. Successful club managers know the right questions to ask of their data to determine if they need different or more information to really impact I


the performance of their club. Knowing the questions to ask is the sure path to finding the answers you need. A dependable data management plan yields five demonstrable benefits;

1 2 3

Faster and better informed leadership decision-making; Improve operating performance; Efficient, cohesive and effective planning;


Deep understanding of your existing membership and/or customers; and


Competitive advantage for your club.

So what do you need to consider? • Don’t mistake the reports from your management system for insights. These systems can record and store a vast pool of information, but the crucial management challenge is filtering for data that really matters. Club leaders need to ask themselves if the data they are capturing and reporting yields genuine insights for the club’s leadership team—or if it simply adds to the workload with undigested information. • Most clubs operate multiple systems. In 2017, a GGA survey of Australian Club Leaders revealed that while existing systems are currently meeting the needs of participating clubs, they appear limited in their strategic impact. The goal must be to extract and collate only the valuable data from each system to develop a 360-degree view of business performance and potential. • Focus future IT investment in acquiring the capability to analyse your existing data, rather than in purchasing new solutions which often offer more than is really needed. • Identify the questions you must answer to drive your business forward. Clarifying the appropriate questions requires creativity, a deep understanding of

the available data and a thorough knowledge of the business. Leaders need to place a premium on recognising opportunities in their data. What might be possible if there were no constraints to getting key questions answered. • Metrics designed to show how well clubs are using their data to meet club goals are an increasingly vital management tool. GGA’s Approach to Mining Insights from Information Since our foundation 1992, GGA has compiled and analysed a treasure house of information about the club industry’s complex and shifting operating environment. As we set about developing analytic tools to make sense of this information, the golf and club industry was undergoing major changes. Fewer people were playing golf, but more courses were being built, posing a host of unexpected challenges for private and commercial club managers. Enhanced competition, both from private clubs and dailyfee courses, would test the skills of even the most gifted and dedicated club managers. Few clubs were immune to the new market threats.

Our comprehensive approach, utilising our proprietary analytic tools, enabled GGA to provide effective longterm strategic guidance to individual clubs. But we wanted to do more to help our clients–not simply to light the path ahead, but provide a sort of virtual GPS system to guide them through any obstacles they might encounter. Just as the healthcare industry uses computing power working on vast databases to identify the treatment protocols producing the best outcomes, GGA has examined the deeper financial truths embedded in the experience of thousands of clubs. We have focused on identifying and measuring the vital signs crucial to the financial health of private clubs. Through gathering and analysing data, creating benchmarks, and observing and recording the best practices of well-managed clubs, GGA has sought to understand and document what works for the most successful clubs. This quest in turn prompted the creation of an entirely new approach to business insights and club governance. GGA has distilled its overall findings into a club leadership tool we call Strategic Intelligence (SI).

In response to this new competitive reality, GGA designed a set of analytical tools designed to help management teams and boards of private clubs respond to golf’s transformed market. WWW.GMA.ORG.AU



clear picture of the challenges to be addressed. It also provides the club’s leadership with a concise, reliable scorecard of its position and progress.

SI collects your club’s existing data in relation to operations, finances, and membership. It then layers in a deeper market analysis of both a club’s internal and external environment. The results, delivered through a secure online portal, are detailed, accurate and actionable insights about your club’s overall performance. SI identifies a club’s strengths and opportunities, providing a

SI delivers its guidance in easily understood graphs and charts on a customised online portal, providing the information, analysis and guidance club leaders need to support planning, guide decision-making and measure success. This tool was designed to support GGA’s clients in getting the most from the data they have, and report it in a way that transforms it into real, actionable business intelligence. There

is extraordinary value in what you already have, it is simply a matter of knowing what questions to ask, and how to interpret the answers when they come. On behalf of the team at GGA I would like to wish our clients, colleagues and industry friends a very Merry Christmas and a happy and successful New Year.

Summary on how to get better insights from your data.

1 2 3 4

Audit your current management systems. Are you capturing and storing the types of information that will help you gain the insights you need? Identify and prioritise the opportunities for improving data utilisation. How well do you use your data? Do you see opportunities for developing better analytics or asking better questions? Will you need more or different data? Benchmark insights and analysis. How do your insights compare with those of competitors and the practices of the top performers? Identify the resources necessary to realise those opportunities. What new tools, people, systems and service providers will you need to address the opportunities?

The club industry faces stern challenges, but it is better equipped to tackle them than at any time in recent history. The tools are there for you to use. For more information on Strategic Intelligence or how Global Golf Advisors can help your Club please contact Paul Hinton on 0415 222 607 or visit our dedicated GMA webpage






We have some exciting news!

We are delighted to inform you that with your support, CGE Golf has been voted Australia’s Best Outbound Golf Tour Operator for 2017 by the World Golf Awards. The spectacular award ceremony was held at the La Manga Golf Resort in Spain, where Directors Steven & Kevin proudly attended to accept this prestigious honour. We could not have done it without your support, our loyal clients and followers. We thank you for trusting us to provide you with unbelievable golf experiences around the world. While we continue to discover other great golf destinations for you to enjoy, we are committed in delivering value for money, 5 star resorts and world class courses at venues such as our very popular Mission Hills, China. Whether you are a social group of friends, a golf pro or manager looking to value-add to the members or a single golfer looking for the golf trip of a lifetime, we are here to make it happen for you. With thanks and warm regards, Visit links below for information regarding: Upcoming Tours 2 Resort Challenge 2018 Ladies Only Golf & Shop Tour

Steven & Kevin Founders, CGE Golf

E N J O Y M E N T. T R AV E L . S I M P L I C I T Y.

S I N C E 2 0 10 Australia's Best Outbound Golf Tour Operator

1300 CGE GOLF (1300 243 465)

Get Social @cgegolf


Nine-hole golf is fast, fun and fits into busy lives – whether it’s early in the morning, after work, at weekends or even on holiday. Nine-hole competition cards also now count for handicap purposes, so playing nine is a great way to keep your skills sharp and your handicap up to date.

That’s why, at the 2017 Emirates Australian Open in November, Golf Australia 36


kicked off a social media marketing campaign to inspire golfers to get out and #Play9. At the championship, 24 lucky players from around the country had the chance to play the back nine of The Australian Golf Club on the evening of the third day – just as Jason Day was holing out. So, this summer, we are encouraging you – Australia’s golf clubs and facilities – to offer nine-hole opportunities to members and social golfers. To help you do this and to promote your initiatives, we’ve made the video content and imagery from the national campaign available to you. Golf Australia can also set up locally targeted social media I


ads to promote your specific #Play9 events and activities. If you’d like to do this, please email




Great Golf Made Easy Book a group trip for your club’s members and enjoy:  Greater member engagement and retention  A new revenue source with no risk  Opportunity to incentivise club staff It’s so easy! Take advantage of:  One point of contact to organise everything  Zero financial outlay & no admin requirements  Our in-depth knowledge of golf destinations

Speak to a member of The Golf Travel Agency and realise the potential of golf travel for your club and members. Call us on (02) 9555 5311 or email us at:

MYGOLFERS OFFICIALLY OPEN #AUSOPENGOLF While the eyes of the world were on Jordan Spieth and Jason Day at the Emirates Australian Open in November, two junior golfers captured the hearts of spectators at The Australian Golf Club.

Isaac Riches (5) and Ruby Kavanagh (9) led out the field this morning as honorary starters from the 1st and 10th tees. The pair earned the privilege thanks to their support for the growth of MyGolf, Australia’s national introductory junior program. A pint sized golfing dynamo, Isaac sent his tee shot long and straight down the first fairway, leaving many in the gallery envious of his picture perfect swing. While many kids his age may have been overawed by the occasion, Isaac seemed perfectly calm as he flushed his shot. “I was a bit nervous, but my coach Andrew kept me calm and it went straight down the middle.” Said a beaming Isaac. 38


Not to be outdone, Ruby smoked her tee shot down the 10th hole to loud applause from the lucky fans gathering to watch Jason Day just 20 minutes later. Teeing off the first hole after Isaac were PGA Tour winner Nathan Green, fourtime European Tour winner Stephen Leaney and former WA Open champion Daniel Fox. Ruby had two Fiji International champions for company – Steven Jeffress and Jason Norris – along with 2014 WA PGA champion Ryan Lynch. The morning topped off a fantastic week at the Emirates Australian Open for Isaac and Ruby. They’ve been enjoying the time of their lives, having already taken on MyGolf ambassador and World Number 12 Jason Day in a nearest-the-pin challenge on Tuesday, which Isaac won! Seeing MyGolf ambassador Jason Day back in Australia for the Emirates Australian Open has been another boost for the MyGolf program, which is growing in stature every day thanks to the contributions of PGA Professionals and community instructors around the country.



During his Tuesday clinic with 40 MyGolfers aged between 5-12, Jason was keen to emphasise the importance of having fun and making friends – two principles of the MyGolf program – talking effusively about the lifelong friendships he’s made through golf, such as the one with caddie Luke Reardon. “Programs like MyGolf have definitely helped to bring new kids that probably had never even thought about playing golf, just to pick up a club and see how it goes,” said Day. “Doing the clinic yesterday was great. They were asking all sorts of questions. One kid asked me if my ball ever landed in duck poo and I said yes, most likely.” “It’s just great to see the kids so enthusiastic about being out there on the golf course, being outside and playing, because we need a lot of junior golfers, we need that next generation.” 14,000 participants are expected to come through Australia’s MyGolf centres in 2017-18 and a further 25,000 kids are expected to get a taste of golf through the MyGolf Schools program.

THE SHOT OF A LIFETIME When MyGolf ambassador Jason Day arrived back in Australia, he can’t have expected to be upstaged by a 5-year old – but that’s exactly what happened at The Australian Golf Club. At the end of a MyGolf clinic, during which Jason captivated 40 young golfers with stories of life on tour and winning tournaments around the world, Jason was challenged to a nearest the pin competition by Isaac Riches (5) and Ruby Kavanagh (9) from inside 50 metres. Isaac and Ruby, who help Minjee Lee and Jason to promote the MyGolf program, hit beautiful

shots into the 18th green and Isaac’s effort finished just inside Jason’s ball – much to the delight of the assembled crowd of parents and golf fans. The clinic was an incredible opportunity for MyGolfers to get up close and personal with Jason, who they met on the 17th green towards the end of his morning practice. Jason deftly fielded questions as he walked down the 18th fairway looking like the Pied Piper of Hamlin, surrounded by kids who will undoubtedly remember today for the rest of their lives.

It was just another example of the wonderful opportunities on offer through MyGolf, Australia’s national introductory junior program, which is growing in stature every week thanks to the contributions of PGA professionals and community instructors around the country. Jason was delighted to hear that we expect 14,000 participants to come through Australia’s MyGolf centres in 2017-18 and that a further 25,000 kids are expected to get a taste of golf through the MyGolf Schools program. To celebrate this growth, Isaac and Ruby will be back at The Australian Golf Club on Thursday to hit ceremonial tee shots to start the Emirates Australian Open. To find your nearest centre and register online, visit






I wanted to take the opportunity with this article to write about the recent GMA Conference hosted in Adelaide. As both a speaker and a keen listener to some great keynote speakers and workshops, I’ll share my reflections below and maybe even more importantly talk about the importance the golf industry faces in setting itself up to win over the next decade.

As a first-time attendee of the GMA Conference with the slogan “Now is the time to be different” I was interested to see what the program of events was going to offer up. I knew there was promise when I heard a friend of mine Steve Sammartino was going to deliver a keynote.

First and foremost, a conference can often come with connotations of a ‘junket’ from generally envious colleagues but let’s not get confused here, conferences can provide business development opportunities on steroids and deliver the perfect networking platform for someone to be able to build a relationship that lasts way in to the future.

When I first started working in the golf industry in 2012, I got the sense working for a state association at Golf Victoria that there was a little bit of an “us versus them [clubs]” mentality. Whether I perceived that or whether it was a reality is somewhat irrelevant now. The change hasn’t occurred overnight but whatever gap did or didn’t exist in managers and governing bodies minds has been bridged. The mindset is now “we’re all in this together”.





Having presented at the GMV Conference at The Eastern Golf Club last year, I was mindful that my presentation couldn’t be the same old rolled out once again, particularly for any Victorian managers in attendance at my workshop. Fortunately (and sometimes unfortunately) in the area I work in, things change on a daily basis so having a new ‘shtick’ within 12 months is easy work. My focus at my workshop “Digital Marketing: The game has changed” was to focus less on specific tactics but more so on unearthing some “ah-HA!” moments. You know, the ones you end up talking

about over a drink that night and the ones you take back to your team when the dust settles on the conference. The history of the internet slide I showed during my workshop sparked a lot of discussion, smiles and nostalgia. It was designed to show just how quickly things have progressed in three decades. I think as a whole we underestimate how much change has occurred because we’re suddenly living a certain way and we forgot how things were previously.

Some of the common questions/statements I received were: • What if someone says something bad on our social media channels? • Should my club be on every social media platform? • I did Facebook advertising once and it didn’t work. These questions are all valid but also common, they take more of a defensive approach

and as managers of clubs, I completely understand that – but I hope I emphasised in my session that for every tiny bit of bad, there’s huge upside of good or the ‘offensive’ approach. It’s time to start trying things, to not be afraid if something didn’t work. It’s the era to test and learn, “now is the time to be different” right? The theme of the conference from my perspective was nothing new but yet so important to reiterate, “times are not about to change, they’ve already changed”. From Tim Longhurst to Nienke Bloem to Steve Sammartino on Thursday morning, there’s little doubt anyone in attendance could debate the fact we’re currently living through the biggest shift in communications and marketing since the printing press was invented. We’re now living during the evolution of the internet… and it’s only just beginning. You heard it from Tim when he called us all cyborgs (we’re half human, half phone), you heard it from Steve who finished his talk with a

reverting insight into what a ‘smart toilet’ could tell its owner in a few years time that will have enourmous health implications. The interesting part for me is we know as intelligent people that what was being discussed and put in front of our faces is no fade and the actual reality we’re living. Yet many will head back to their office the following weeks and months and make the content a distant memory. I have empathy for this because it’s easy to get swept up in the day to day and keep your fingers crossed the status quo remains. Whether I remain in the golf industry for years to come or leave tomorrow, I’ll be fascinated to see whether clubs as a collective in our country start to buy into the fact more resource needs to be poured into the marketing and communications space. The fabric of how we communicate has drastically shifted and the excuse of “our membership is quite old” won’t cut it in the near future. To be brutally honest, it doesn’t cut it now.




Golf Management Australia E-Mag - Summer 2017/18  

Welcome to the sixth edition of the GMA National e-Magazine. This publication is designed to inform the membership of what is happening in...

Golf Management Australia E-Mag - Summer 2017/18  

Welcome to the sixth edition of the GMA National e-Magazine. This publication is designed to inform the membership of what is happening in...