Chesterfield Golf Club was the venue for the GCMA’s Annual General Meeting on April 24. Around 70 members, from regions around the United Kingdom, attended to hear the annual reports from chief executive Bob Williams and finance director Gary Steele regarding the performance of the GCMA in 2016. Communications manager Mike Hyde and education coordinator Niki Hunter later joined the chief executive to provide an insight into the direction and future strategy of the organisation. After the formal reports, there was the annual election of directors and officers. Mike Hoare stood unopposed and was elected for a further four-year term on the board and JR Jones was unanimously elected as national president for his 11th term. Howard Williams, from the North West region, was elected national captain, while Cameron Dawson, of the Yorkshire region, was confirmed as national captain elect. The past captains Frank Clapp, John Dinsdale, John Edgington and John Smith were all elected as life members of the association. Following the meeting, 44 members contested the Captain’s Cup on the challenging Chesterfield course. Geoff Butterfield and Alan Green claimed victory with 41 points. Chief executive’s report Bob Williams referred to the recently launched Diploma in Golf Club Management, which was going from strength to strength – the culmination of a project that took nearly three years to come to fruition. With 41 students enrolled and studying, as well as a continual stream of interest, the future of members’ professional development is extremely healthy. Attendees were told of the board’s work to review the strategy of the association. Nick Watkins - a business consultant who has recently carried out a similar task with the Motor Sport Association (MSA) - has been employed to work with the board and staff to provide an overview of the association’s future strategy and direction. Bob also reported meetings with the Swedish and Danish golf club managers associations to see what they could learn from each other and the possibilities of creating an annual sharing of knowledge summit. He made reference to recent meetings with the UKGCOA (UK Golf Course Owners’ Association), who primarily look after the interests of UK proprietary clubs. Finally, Bob spoke of the continued attendance at The R&A forum, as well as various meetings with Sport England and the Sport and Recreation Alliance over the last year. He praised the invaluable partnership with the PGA and BIGGA that has produced the Diploma and the more recent association with the CMAE to access funding from The R&A for education awareness projects. Captain's report David O’Sullivan stressed that members’ education and professional development remained important and it was pleasing to hear, via regional managers, that more and more regions were investing time in offering informative business meetings, seminars and workshops. He conceded the issue could sometimes be how to attract members to the events, with time out of the office seeming harder and harder to achieve. He added that the new Diploma course continued to make excellent progress, with a steady stream of entrants, and that he was convinced – in time – this would...
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