Whilst it seems quite a while ago that I was managing a golf club, the month of August was always one of those months when you could never predicate what was around the corner. Over the years I have been involved with preparations for a musical festival on the practice range, generally know as the ‘Rave on the Range’ which attracted over a thousand people to dance in the rain, while other Augusts have included invasions of visiting golfers to the market town of Chipping Sodbury and even the MCC playing cricket at the adjoining cricket club. On the other hand, the month of August was also one of the quietest months of the year!
Today, just before I prepare to go on annual leave, here at HQ we are continuing with the preparations for the 2015 Conference in November, plus agreeing the finalists for the Golf Management Awards. Bookings for the Conference are continuing to arrive at an extremely encouraging rate, which at present are well in advance of previous years – if you are intending to come to the Conference this year I would suggest that you make your application sooner rather than later.
Golf Club Management Awards
Having received over 150 nominations for the Golf Management Awards, this year has probably presented the most testing task of selecting the finalists for the three categories. The task of elimination is completed over a number of weeks, culminating with the sponsors and judges getting around a table to agree who will go through to the final round. Once again I have been amazed by the quality of the nominations – and the support that they have received from directors, owners, committee members and the members. With one club appointing their first paid secretary in over a hundred years (and the problems that caused) to a number of managers dragging their respective clubs into the modern world, the nominations have provided an excellent array of the skills needed to manage a golf club in today’s world.
Included in this year’s awards for the first time are the Team of the Year and Newcomer Manager, which is open for recently appointed managers who have made a telling contribution within the last 12 months but not been in post for more than three years. Again these two categories brought forward some very exciting contributions. Each finalist will receive a visit from the judges and sponsors before they all are invited to Fulford GC in York for the ‘Dragons’ Den’ interviews. The winners will then be announced at the Conference Dinner in November.
The finalists are:
Manager of the Year
Andrew Minty – Langland Bay GC
Allison Malham – Seaton Carew GC
Phil Bonsall – Piltdown GC
Tracy Rawlinson – Warrington GC
Newcomer Manager of the Year
Stuart Leech – Formby GC
Alex Woodward – Boyce Hill GC
Team of the Year
High Post GC
Royal Cromer GC
Having returned from the extremely wet and cold ‘Open’ at St Andrews in July, it made an intresting contrast to attend Kings Norton GC in Birmingham for the launch of the new England Golf Trust. This charitable trust has been established to provide financial support to both boys and young men, as well as girls and young women, and make a difference to young people in golf who, without its support would not be able to play golf. The funds are not just for elite players but very much for ‘ordinary’ golfers – those who in the future will make up the heart and soul of a golf club.
By Bob Williams