HOWARD WILLIAMS at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition
I spent three days in Harrogate with members of the GCMA team at the BIGGA Turf Management Exhibition in January – on the back of attending the PGA lunch just before Christmas.
At BTME, you see representatives from all segments of the industry – greenkeepers, course managers, turf and machinery experts and, of course, club managers. I’ve seen over the years – and I’ve lost count of the number of times I have been – that each time the exhibition has grown. It is a great meeting point and it’s amazing how many people I’ve got to know, and bumped into over these years, coming to BTME.
It’s also a tremendous networking event, BIGGA have got bigger and better plans for 2019, and it looks a real positive for the industry. Our presence at BTME only cements the relationship between BIGGA and the GCMA. We’ll have BIGGA’s chief executive Jim Croxton and Sandra Raper, the northern administrator, at our North West meeting at the end of February so they are willing to spread their message right the way down through the club management regional structure.
There’s a real spirit of cooperation between BIGGA, the PGA and GCMA – we can see the fruits of that in the Diploma in Golf Club Management – and each area is bringing its expertise. I absolutely welcome this close arrangement.
When I first got involved in club management 15 years ago, there may have been a couple of PGA professionals who were looking to get into golf club management. Now, with the director of golf role, and because of the coordination between our three organisations, we can provide the education through our courses.
We have our Principles of Golf Club Management course which covers all aspects of golf club management, and the role of club manager is a unique job – just as a PGA pro and course manager are unique jobs. I feel the three organisations working together can only benefit each other.
Fortunately, that has been a natural progression for all – it’s not been a forced marriage or get together. With the way the industry has changed, each of our three bodies have also changed and reacted accordingly. Everybody has endeavoured to ensure their members can be as professional, within their own sphere, as they can be. Certainly to get the Diploma – this industry wide qualification – at such an accredited high level can only benefit both the individuals and the organisations themselves.
The encouraging thing, for me as national captain, is that there are people coming and signing up on a regular basis to take the Diploma. That also can only benefit everyone in the industry.