2016: A Change of Service, A Change of People – A Change of Opportunity

Over the last year we have been working towards providing you with a greater level of service than before. These recent changes are the start of how the GCMA will aim to deliver greater value for money for both you and your employer – the golf club. Included in your recent membership renewal pack, you will have received an information leaflet regarding the Legal Expenses Insurance policy that we have arranged with Perkins Slade.

Whilst the policy is aimed at providing you with personal cover and legal helplines, it will also provide you with legal advice relating to disputes with employees of the golf club for which you are a manager. However, members should always check that the golf club insurance policy which you currently have in place provides cover in the event of employment disputes which may have certain requirements or pre-requisites for cover to apply. The advice of Perkins Slade is that you check whether such a policy is in place, and whether there are any conditions or pre-requisites that must be followed prior to following any advice given by the helpline.

With this policy now in place, we will gradually be relinquishing the services of our long-standing employment advisor Brian Butler. Brian has been involved with the GCMA for nearly 16 years and has provided an excellent service in that time. Not only have the membership been able to call upon his advice but he has also been part of the Introductory Training Courses – only missing one in that period. He has also been a regular contributor to the Golf Club Management (GCM) magazine with a number of his articles being archived in the online reference library.

Brian will continue with his employment and health & safety presentations on the Introductory Training Courses and be available for regional meetings around the country. He will also be available for independent advice for those who wish to contact him. On behalf of the Board and all at HQ we offer a sincere thanks to Brian and wish him well for the future.

Continuing with the education theme you will note from the advertising feature in this section that we are fast reaching the point where the ‘Diploma in Golf Club Management’ qualification is to be launched. As I am sure you will have read in previous issues of GCM, this qualification is being developed between the education departments of the GCMA, PGA and BIGGA. It will provide the only opportunity for both existing and aspiring managers to obtain a qualification in golf club management. Further announcements regarding course content, availability, costs, registration, etc, are imminent.

The Change of People is very prominent in this edition, with England Golf announcing the appointment of their new CEO Nick Pink and the PGA also advising that Rob Maxfield will work alongside Sandy Jones for a period before taking on the reins. It is extremely important for the good of the game that the major organisations work together on all fronts – I am certainly looking forward to working with both of them in the future.

Again linked with ‘a Change of People’, it is that time of the year when we approach the National AGM. This year it will be held at the extremely impressive Thorndon Park GC in Brentwood, Essex on Thursday, April 21. With David O’Sullivan from China Fleet GC in Cornwall poised to take over as National Captain from Clive Hadley, we will be introducing a new pairs golf competition for the Captains Cup. This impressive trophy has been donated by Clive Hadley and will be competed for in a stableford pairs competition with each pair representing their individual GCMA region. The entry form will be available from the website from the beginning of February.

In preparation for the AGM and in conjunction with Articles, there will be two directors standing down – Barry Hill and Phil Grice, both have indicated that they will be standing for re-election.

I wish you all well for the year ahead and look forward to meeting up with many of you at the forthcoming regional meetings.

By Bob Williams

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