Have you registered for GCMA 2021 Conference?

A rundown of the highlights of the three-day event at Wyboston Lakes Resort and how you can book your spot…

The countdown to the GCMA 2021 Conference is well and truly on. Registration is now open and an exciting programme has been lined up for the three-day event in November.

Held at Wyboston Lakes Resort, in Bedfordshire, from November 21 to 23, the key themes – under the GCMA Inspire, GCMA Hot Topics, and GCMA Know How banners – are Leadership and Wellbeing, Sustainability, and Technology.

As well as a host of great speakers, learning and network opportunities, the Conference will also play host to a gala dinner where awards will be presented for Manager of the Year, Club of the Year, and Newcomer of the Year.

The GCMA is dedicated to delivering progressive, industry specific education programmes and networking opportunities whilst offering high quality personal services and support for the development of its members. This year’s Conference will aim to deliver all.

Tom Brooke, GCMA chief executive, said: “I am absolutely delighted to be opening registration for the GCMA 2021 Conference and it’s fantastic to be back up and running with live events after such a long time.

“We’ve carefully selected the headline themes that we believe are going to be the key topics in the golf industry for the years ahead: Leadership and Wellbeing, Sustainability and Technology.

“The 2021 Conference is going to provide the perfect opportunity for our members, industry professionals and our business partners to reconnect after the pandemic and spend a few highly valuable days investing in personal development, networking, socialising, and celebrating success!

“Wyboston Lakes is a superb venue and we can’t wait to welcome you there.”
You can book your spot at Conference by visiting our decided website here.

Here are some of the high-profile presenters who will be giving you the benefit of their wisdom in a packed programme…


John Paramor

One of best-known figures in golf, John Paramor is the former chief referee for the PGA European Tour. In a career spanning more than four decades, Paramor joined the Tour a few days after his 21st birthday and never looked back.

The man on the spot solving rules quandaries, the sight of him racing to the scene on his buggy, alongside the increase in television coverage, made him as recognisable as some of the players themselves.

Some of his rulings have gone down in the game’s legend – most notably refusing Seve Ballesteros relief from the base of a tree at Valderrama in 1994.


Chris Cook

After competing for Great Britain for nearly 10 years, Chris Cook hung up the trunks and retired from international swimming. He began working with businesses/ organisations far and wide to help inspire, mentor and coach people to embrace ‘challenge and change’ for their optimal performance.

Chris has built a reputation as a motivational speaker throughout the last seven years working from referral to referral, sharing his story and the lessons learnt from the journey with over 400,000 people.

Throughout this time, Chris designed and delivered an Olympic Inspiration Programme for children to schools across Kent (UK) which reached over 300 schools spanning six years.

In 2011 Chris was a lead mentor on a the ‘Sky Sports Living for Sport’ – inspiration programme across the UK & Ireland. The programme was designed to assist disengaged people from society to get back on track.

This role involved training up former Olympians and World Class Athletes to deliver inspirational talks and mentoring/coaching programmes. The role involved working with the most challenging of young people whilst coaching athletes to transition from sport to mentoring.

During the 2012 Olympic Games in London & 2021 Tokyo, Chris was selected to mentor and coach the next generation of Olympians on the ‘Ambition Programme’.

This programme involved taking potential Olympians to experience an Olympic games. Chris’s role was to mentor athletes to maximise the whole experience and to expand their personal development.

Currently, Chris and his wife Erica run their own Learn to swim business – ‘Swim Buddies’ – which has seen the business (located in Darlington, UK) grow from seven swimmers in their first week in September 2014 through to over 900 children swimming with Swim Buddies every week.

Chris’ coaching, speaking and mentoring is centred around personal development. Whether it’s in the water helping swimmers or on dry land in business and life, Chris believes that success is something you attract from the person you become.

His presentation – The power of keeping things simple – takes the audience through his story and climb to the top of the sport of swimming, starting as an ‘also ran’ and ending as a double Commonwealth Champion and a two-time Olympian.


Paralympian Danielle Brown and golf industry expert Kevin Fish will show you how to triumph in adversity and how to inspire and empower people to unlock their potential and achieve more.

Danielle Brown

Danielle’s story is all about breaking barriers. After becoming disabled as a teenager, Danielle realised that even in adversity we have a choice. Choose to let the things outside your control defeat you, or choose to control your response to it.

Taking up archery on her 15th birthday, Danielle made the Great Britain team three years later, jumping straight in as World No. 1. She hung onto that position for her entire career. Danielle is a five-time World Champion and two-time Paralympic gold medallist, winning gold in Beijing 2008 and retaining her title on home soil in London 2012.

She also became the first disabled person to represent England as an able-bodied competitor at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, where she won gold. She was in the top ten ranked able-bodied archers in the World and number 1 in the UK.

Danielle has a lot of experience talking to both large and small audiences, challenging the way you think and demonstrating how to harness the powers of vision and self-belief to achieve excellence. Weaving relevant examples from her sporting career brings this toolkit to life – it’s not just a theory learned from a book, but has been lived and delivered big impact results.

Kevin Fish

Kevin Fish has more than 20 years’ experience in the golf industry, including nine years as general manager of The Glen, in North Berwick, and a further seven as the Development Manager for Scottish Golf.

He was GCMA Club Manager of the Year in 2004 and became a Certified Club Manager four years later.

He has toured the UK many times speaking on behalf of each of the Home Unions and has provided keynote Conference Presentations for GCMA, CMAE and BIGGA, as well as addressing the World Conference of Club Management on over a dozen occasions.

This background is the foundation of his training, consultancy and recruitment business, Contemporary Club Leadership.


The R&A’s chief development officer Phil Anderton will be joined by BIGGA chief executive Jim Croxton and Jonathan Smith, of GEO, to emphasise the importance of sustainability in golf

Phil Anderton

Phil Anderton joined The R&A as Chief Development Officer in August 2020 – taking on the responsibilities for the operational and strategic activities of Golf Development and Amateur Championships, with the additional responsibility for Sustainability, the British Golf Museum and for The R&A’s overseas operations in Singapore and Argentina.

Phil has a wealth of knowledge and experience of implementing and delivering on business strategy: he has worked in brand management at Procter and Gamble, Global Strategic Marketing at The Coca-Cola Company, general management roles at Scottish Rugby Union, Hearts Football Club and the ATP Tour, where Phil was Chairman of the ATP Finals and he has latterly run his own business consultancy.

Jim Croxton

Jim has been CEO of BIGGA since 2011 during which time he has been instrumental in raising the profile of the Association substantially within the golf industry, ensuring that BIGGA’s nearly 6,000 members have a strong voice in how the sport is governed and managed.

During his tenure the Association has focused heavily on serving the needs of its members through more than doubling its regional workforce, ensuring that members have support at local level and that their needs are heard.

BIGGA’s annual exhibition and conference, BTME, has undergone strong growth under his leadership and is now firmly established as Europe’s premier turf care event.

Prior to joining BIGGA Jim spent 16 years working for the Professional Golfers’ Association in a variety of roles.

Jim said: “I’m really looking forward to presenting at the GCMA Conference and delighted to be discussing the key topic of sustainability.

“Golf club managers are critical in capitalising on the pandemic-induced boom our sport has experienced and it has never been more essential they have long-term economic and environmental sustainability jointly at the top of their agendas.”

Jonathan Smith

For more than 20 years, Jonathan Smith has dedicated his career to advancing sustainability in golf, and through golf.

A geographer and graduate of the University of St Andrews, he led the environmental team at Scottish Golf before founding GEO in 2006.

He has led GEO to become the only group in sport to meet the ISEAL Alliance membership criteria for sustainability standards, certification and reporting systems, joining others such as Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance, Forest Stewardship Council and Marine Stewardship Council.

He has also directly advised some of golf’s largest tours and tournaments including the European Tour, Ladies European Tour, LPGA, The Ryder Cup, The Open, The Solheim Cup and Olympic Golf.

Jonathan is a full member of the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management, and a Board member of the ISEAL Alliance.


The coronavirus pandemic has pushed the issue of technology in golf to the fore and Peter Kirk and Scott Seaborn are experts and innovators on the subject

Peter Kirk

Peter Kirk is an authority in software technologies across the many operations faced within today’s club industry.

He is the founder of Parconex, a first of its kind within the club industry that provided managers and owners with a full software consultancy service that is both unbiased and oversees the research, negotiation, implementation and project management required to ensure a right solution every time.

With over 34 years’ experience working with clubs around the globe including Education City GC, Qatar, The Machrie, Scotland and Hog’s Head Resort, Ireland, Peter has earned a reputation as an industry expert in the application of technology within the golf club setting. Peter is regularly called upon by various golf industry professional associations to share his knowledge with their members.

Peter previously worked as General Manager for Jonas International for over eight years.

A founder of international golf club marketing company, Open Fairways and instrumental with the success of BRS Golf, Peter understands what it takes to run a successful and sustainable club.

Scott Seaborn

Scott Seaborn is a digital transformation expert, having moved from the early days of mobile advertising and through a range of customer interaction and digital strategy roles.

He has helped a range of businesses tackle change and the digital world with positions at advertising giant Ogilvy, Aimia (the owners of loyalty systems encompassing millions of customers globally, including the Nectar card) and international consultancy firm Wipro.

Starting out in mobile advertising in a time before Android and iOS, Scott has witnessed and led the world of mobile from gimmicky ad platform to the dominant method of interaction, going online and an essential tool to everyday life.

As Head of Mobile Technologies at Ogilvy Group, his work for a huge range of clients won more than 20 advertising and creative awards. At Aimia he helped reinvent the business by creating a platform for all of the company’s brands that married customer data with their mobile data.

As well as the wealth of technological change and opportunity, Scott delves into how businesses can understand those changes, and what to do to respond.

By examining the nature of change throughout history, he entertainingly looks at humanity’s development from cave-dweller to their obsessive use of smartphones. He then looks at the context of whatever change a business has to deal with and follows that with a simple to implement process of how to solve the problem and embed on-going innovation into an organisation.

Steeped in both digital and transformation, Scott looks at how companies, people and technology come together.

As well as considering how businesses can embrace the digital and reinvent themselves for a new era, he also looks at some of the key technological changes that are to come, from what new hardware will do, to the interconnection of our digital profiles, applications of AI to our expectations as consumers.

He examines how innovation works (and doesn’t work) and the challenges businesses face.

For all the latest news from GCMA 2021 Conference, and how to book, visit our dedicated website at https://cvent.me/A3v7Bb

By GCMA Content Team

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