2023 GCMA Member Awards: Meet the winners

With winners in six categories, it was a bumper awards evening at the GCMA 2023 Conference

The 2023 GCMA Member Awards saw winners crowned in six categories in recognition of their excellent work.

The ceremony took place at a packed gala dinner on Monday 13 November during this year’s GCMA Conference at the Leonardo Hotel and Conference Venue in Hinckley.

Recipients had the honour of picking up their awards on stage in front of a room full of their peers.

This article is part of GCMA Insights – topical content for golf industry professionals, discussing the things that matter to those who work in golf clubs.

Meet the winners

Manager of the Year: Warren Ryan, General Manager, Newport GC

“It doesn’t feel quite real to be honest. I’m absolutely honoured to be in the same talent pool as we have on display across the UK. It’s a massive privilege. I’m thrilled. I don’t think it’s sunk in yet but I’m absolutely over the moon. You have the top-end clubs here and fantastic managers. We’re all here to better the industry so you have people doing fantastic things. To be considered by the judges and my peers that I’m in that same bracket is quite humbling.” 

Newcomer of the Year: Luke Bearcroft, General Manager, Llanwern GC

“It’s been an honour to even be nominated for this award, but to have won is a fantastic feeling. It’s been a memorable experience and I’ve really enjoyed looking back on my journey over the last 12 months. I find myself in such a fortunate position to be surrounded by an incredible network of individuals, especially my fellow Welsh managers who’ve been a great support to me. And finally, the GCMA, who offer an unwavering amount of support whenever we need it.” 

Support Manager of the Year: Karri Chambers, Formerly of Minchinhampton GC 

“The year has been crazy, it feels like about two months because time has just flown by. I’m not at the golf club anymore, but we had an amazing team and I met some amazing people. I’ve got a lot of friends that have followed me in my new career path and it’s been a really good experience where I learned a lot.” 

Team of the Year: Walton Heath GC, Alex Woodward, Chief Executive 

“It feels fantastic. To stand with this team, today and every day, it’s just terrific – they deserve every accolade that comes their way. We’ve been judged by our peers in a Conference year where the focus was team culture, which makes it even more special. The GCMA are the ever-supporting association who are there whenever we need help – the use of the library, the professional development, and the peer-to-peer learning is just first class.” 

Outstanding Contribution: JR Jones, GCMA President 

“I’m absolutely amazed. I really didn’t think I’d won this award. I’m so pleased and privileged to have served with the Golf Club Managers’ Association, and I’ve got a lot of pleasure out of it too – I’ve had a great time. I started to serve with the GCMA some 15 years ago and I’ve seen a lot of changes, and through that I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the people who have helped me on my way and educated me in the golfing industry.” 

Lifetime Achievement: John Dinsdale 

“Quite amazing, not expected. I left my main work in 1996 and the same day, the secretary of my club at Newport decided to leave, and my wife said, ‘Why don’t you try for that? It’s going to be a busman’s holiday; you love your golf so much’. Anyway, I did and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly. I’ve met so many people, as you can imagine – it must be thousands of members we’ve had over the years. I’ve met a lot of people I respect greatly. It’s been a delight. I just have to ask, ‘Why me for this award?’. It’s amazing, I can’t believe it.”  

This article is part of GCMA Insights – topical content for golf industry professionals, discussing the things that matter to those who work in golf clubs.

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