Governance and sustainability take centre stage as association’s first national education gathering proves a big success…
They are two of the most important topics in golf club management today – and attendees of the GCMA’s first National Education Day were able to get the inside line from experts.
An engaged audience at The Kendleshire, in Bristol, on Friday, May 27, gained invaluable insight on governance, and sustainability, as the first in a series of four gatherings was staged.
Eddie Bullock and Jerry Kilby were joined by the R&A’s director of sustainability, Arlette Anderson, and Dr Marie Athorn, as association members and club board and committee volunteers took the opportunity to discuss and network on two topics central to the success of our golf clubs.
The National Education Days are designed to supplement the content on offer at regional meetings and aim to bring a higher level of knowledge both for GCMA members and non-members – particularly those on club boards and committees who interact with the golf club manager on a day-to-day basis.
Speaking about effective golf club governance, Eddie and Jerry considered what good governance looked like, gave advice on skill-based selection for boards, and the differences between board and management responsibilities.
They also talked about codes of practice, along with equality, diversity, and inclusion – asking attendees whether their club board or committee was representative of the membership.
Eddie and Jerry then looked at a number of cases studies of governance at clubs and gave the audience some key takeaways on strategies, policies, and oversight.
As well as hearing presentations, there was the opportunity for attendees to take part in smaller group discussions.
In the afternoon, Arlette discussed The R&A’s strategic plan on sustainability and also laid out some of the major considerations for her role and the way forward for the industry in this area.
Dr Athorn, Business Conservation Advisor at the RSPB, then showed some practical examples of what could be done to help golf courses become more sustainable and also focused on offsetting and the opportunities that could arise from that.
Looking back at the first National Education Day, GCMA professional development manager, said it was a “brilliant” start to the quartet of meetings. He added the association was “really happy to have been able to bring that to our members and their board members”.
“The whole day was hugely positive,” he said. “We hit the mark with regards to the level of education and engagement from both our members and from board and committee members in attendance.
“The content was exactly what we were hoping for and there were a lot of takeaways and innovative thinking from within the room.
“The discussion was good, everyone got involved, and I think they went away very happy with what they had received.
“It’s very positive moving forward. We’ve got three more National Education Days planned for the third and fourth quarters of the year and we’d really encourage anyone to come and attend those.
“There’s nobody better to receive that information from than Jerry Kilby and Eddie Bullock on governance, and Arlette Anderson and Dr Marie Athorn on sustainability.
“We’re really happy to be able to bring this both to our members and the wider golf club community.”
There will be three further National Education Days, spread across the UK, in the second half of the year and dates, along with venues, will be announced shortly.
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