When the 2015 GCMA national captain, Clive Hadley, called to offer me the position of captain elect for 2016, with a view to becoming captain in 2017, it was both a shock to the system and a great delight at the same time! That was confirmed at the national AGM, at Chesterfield GC, on April 24. I would like to thank the GCMA past captains for the opportunity to represent the association at such an exciting time. There are many positive improvements being actioned, including our new magazine, the establishment of the Diploma in Golf Club Management with our partners at BIGGA and the PGA, plus the many contributions of our sponsors and supporters in this eagerly anticipated conference year. During my 14-year membership of the association, firstly as manager at my own club, Ashton-in-Makerfield in Lancashire, and then for the past eight years as regional secretary and subsequently regional manager of the North West region, I have taken a very active role in the promotion of all our activities. I have supported the development of the region through regular business meetings, educational seminars and the use of keynote speakers. This has also provided an opportunity for sponsors, both national and regional, to present their products and services to a responsive audience. As I embark on a tour of the GCMA regions, I am looking forward to meeting members all over the UK and, in addition, being a representative in the international matches against Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and Wales. There is the added bonus of being invited to join the South East regional team to visit our friends in France at Le Touquet in September, just 12 months ahead of the 2018 Ryder Cup! As captain-elect, the board of directors invited me to attend their meetings from December 2016, giving me a greater insight into the leadership and direction of the association. I am happy to pass on your suggestions, comments or concerns, to the board as we work together for continuous improvement within the GCMA. In closing my first ‘Captain’s corner’, I would like to thank David O’Sullivan, our immediate past captain, for his tireless work over the past year. He will be a very hard act to follow, particularly in relation to his hard-hitting articles! I am indebted to him for his help and guidance to me in preparation for the responsibility I have accepted and I will endeavour to fulfil all aspects of the role to the best of my ability. Howard Williams National Captain [email protected]
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