We scour the GCMA magazine archives to find out what managers were saying in years gone by 50 years ago Gerald Micklem CBE sounded a note of warning when speaking at the National Golf Clubs’ Advisory Association AGM in London. Inflation was hitting hard and many subscriptions had gone up by 25 per cent or more in the previous year. Mr Micklem, the Association’s President, urged committees not to neglect their ‘prime asset’ – the golf course – when looking to make savings. “To economise on the upkeep of the course seems to me to the falsest economy,” he declared. “The course is, after all, the reason for the existence of the golf club and I like to think that the vast majority of us belong to a golf club in order to play golf, and we want to play it on a well-conditioned course.” He mentioned one club which had dispensed with the services of a greenkeeper and noted: “Of course, the wages of greenkeepers have risen enormously but we must all think of the future. “There is in many places a depressing shortage of young greenkeepers. “Without them, where are the head greenkeepers of the future coming from? “We must build and maintain such a good wages structure that the young will realise that greenkeeping is a good career in which to start and in which to stay to the end. “This will be expensive but I am sure that it will not only pay us now with the immediate results but also reap big dividends in the head greenkeepers of the future.” 25 years ago In his Through the Green column, Mike Wood considered the breaking of the BBC’s stranglehold on TV golf in 1995 and the growing rise of Sky and, in particular, their coverage of the recent Ryder Cup. He talked about Sky’s “huge commitment” to televising golf tournaments from around the globe – a contrast to the handful of events staged on the BBC – and noted the sheer breadth of their coverage and the merits of the respective commentary teams. Wood concluded by saying something that some may argue still holds true today as golf has moved almost entirely from terrestrial TV: “The sad fact is, though, as good as Sky’s coverage may be, and as extensive as it may be, it does not bring golf to a wider audience. “While the satellite coverage of the Ryder Cup was breathtakingly exciting, several times more viewers could have seen it had it been available to the BBC.” He added that the British public wasn’t switched on to the idea of paying for TV and “while they are not, golf on Sky hasn’t a hope of emulating the 13 million plus audiences the BBC could pull in for major golf events.”
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