Stoneham’s Golf Services Manager explains why he’s thrilled to be part of the GCMA Mentor scheme... How did you get into golf club management? It was something I wanted to get into from quite a young age. I realised I probably wasn’t going to be good enough to be a playing professional, which is every 16-year-old golfer’s dream job. I went out to the States on a scholarship, was out there for a year, and it didn’t work out for me. I came back in 2016 thinking, ‘what I am going to do now?’ and, within three days of being home, a job opportunity came up at Stoneham. I’d been a member since 2008, so I knew the club well. It was a part-time golf admin role, 25 hours a week - to come in and be the front of house person and close the competitions. It would still give me some time to go out and play golf and I was still at a reasonably high level at that point. But it gave me a foot into it and to see what it was all about. It progressed from there. After about 18 months, the club offered me the role of assistant manager. At that time, I started the GCMA Diploma and here we are today. What does your role now entail? I'm the Golf Services Manager. My role is very member oriented. I look after all the applications, the members, and the member journeys. I really make sure that they are as happy as they can be here at the club. I also look after all the contracts and, along with the treasurer, the financial side of the golf club. It’s quite a broad role, but it’s something I really enjoy. A lot has been going on at Stoneham over the last couple of years… It really began about seven years ago when we started on Project 2020. Ken Brown and Ken Moodie redesigned the golf course with the aim to bring it almost back to the original 1908 Willie Park Jnr design. That started in 2015 with some tree work to improve the flow, variation, and light flow around the golf course. That was year one. Years two to four were bunker renovations. Every bunker on the golf course has been renovated or moved. Last year, we started our range project, which is now a wonderful facility known as the Stoneham Academy. We enlisted the help of James Edwards and it has turned into a much bigger project than we first anticipated. It is absolutely fantastic and it opened in October last year. Presumably the club is thriving at the moment? Absolutely. We've got 180 people on our waiting list. When we went through our last renewals, we only had 20 people move on. We're in a really good position of membership. Now we’re not under any illusions, following the high participation boost from Covid, but we feel that we're in a very good position at the...
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