Why the GCMA is looking forward with confidence

It’s been a year of change at the association and chairman Brad McLean has been there for all of it. He considers the progress made over the last 12 months and looks ahead to the future A lot has happened in difficult conditions because of the pandemic. As GCMA chairman are you encouraged by what you’ve seen? Absolutely. The association wasn’t floundering but it was just treading water and we knew we needed to make changes. It’s a crowded marketplace. As a club manager, you can look at many different directions, as far as your allegiance to associations, and we brought Tom Brooke in with a clear mandate. We wanted someone who knew how to run a business and could make sure the GCMA was sustainable into the future, but also somebody who could inspire and have some vision.  Tom has demonstrated that over the last eight or nine months.  We’ve got a very strong board of directors who are running some fantastic golf clubs, have great experience and are forward thinking managers in their own right.  The vision and values work that Tom did very early on when he came here, and his three streams of Inspire, Educate and Represent, sees everything fall under that. Everything we talk about always comes back to those three pillars and I think they’ve done a fantastic job. Craig [Cotterill, Business Partnerships Manager] and Gavin [Robinson, Professional Development Manager] have done a brilliant job of getting the education and the personal development streams up and running. We saw some great seminars over the lockdown period – some really fantastic, engaging, different seminars – and, in terms of representation, the links that have been formed with the APPGG and the home unions have really come on. Tom’s accomplished more in nine months than we thought we’d be able to do in two years. When you arrived in post as Chairman last year, one of your objectives was that when people thought about golf club management, they thought about the GCMA first and foremost. Do you think that’s starting to happen? Yes, I do. It always frustrated me beforehand, when we looked at that big high level industry piece, that all the other associations were spoken to first before it came to the GCMA. Then, when I looked at what happened on the ground, a lot of the time GCMA members were the decision makers or the influencers at the club – as far as the committees and boards go. And yet we were almost second fiddle in those industry pieces and it wasn’t where it needed to be. Now, Tom holds a monthly call with the CEO of Wales Golf and all the Welsh region members.  There is that link directly into the home unions. We’ve made good inroads, and have good links with England Golf and are able to support and push back on initiatives and raise any concerns that our members are bringing. We’ve made inroads into the R&A and Tom’s had a couple of...
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