Golf At Goodwood’s General Manager is one of five GCMA Mentors. He talks about the programme and how it has helped him become a better leader... Mentoring is close to Gary Beves’ heart – so much so that when GCMA chief executive Tom Brooke launched the association’s Mentor programme last year, he couldn’t express his interest quickly enough. To those that know Golf At Goodwood’s General Manager, this will come as no surprise. Gary was guided in the formative part of his career by two of the most golf industry’s most learned figures: Stuart Gillett and Eddie Bullock. Already possessing a strong will to help, the duo fostered Gary’s desires and the team at the Sussex estate are the ones now benefiting. But so are a quartet of up-and-coming golf club managers, as he was chosen as one of the first GCMA Mentors to deliver the ground-breaking programme nurturing the next generation of leaders. How did he get into this spot, and how is he finding being a GCMA Mentor? We sat down with Gary to find out… Tell us about your career in golf club management… It hasn’t been as straightforward as people might think. In 2007, when I left college, I started a summer job here at Golf At Goodwood on the basis I would go to university to complete a degree in Sports Management. Goodwood then presented me with the opportunity to go through the PGA route, turn professional, and do the foundation degree at Birmingham University. The goal was to ultimately become a general manager and so I took that option and spent six years at Goodwood, working as part of the golf operations team, through to Golf Operations Supervisor, as well as acting as one of the Assistant Professionals. Once I completed the PGA, I left the golf industry and went to work in sales. I wanted to experience something different. I felt like I’d grown up at Goodwood and within the golf industry and I wanted to experience something outside of that industry. It was important for me to do that. I then decided I’d like to return to the golf industry – having gathered that experience elsewhere – and the opportunity arose to come back to Golf At Goodwood as the Membership Manager in February 2016. From there, I’ve been very fortunate to have some key mentors in my life and to be in the right place at the right time. When an opportunity has presented itself, I’ve thrown myself into it and tried to make sure I was ready for it before it arose. I was Membership Manager for the first year and we sold over 500 memberships, leading to a waiting list. In 2017, the opportunity was there to become Assistant Manager. I took that role on for two-and-a-half years and then the opportunity arose to become the General Manager in September 2019. What did you learn about yourself during that time out of the industry? Did it make a difference...
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