June Update

Why is it these summer months always seem to be the time that putting pen to paper seems to cause me the most deliberation? Over the last few months the rather cold spring has certainly had a detrimental effect on the golf course growth patterns, not to mention the effect on people playing golf – however on the other hand The Open at St Andrews is only weeks away. As I write this, The Irish Open has just finished at Royal County Down GC where our own Mike Hyde was one of the spectators, and as you can see from a selection of his photos in ‘fotobook’ this was a most impressive venue – and with the winners scoring just two under it obviously provided a real test of golf.

You may recall in my column last month that there was an image of the personal invitation that was being sent to golf clubs where we do not presently have a GCMA member. This invitation has now been sent to over 1,500 clubs throughout the UK and at present we are dealing with a most healthy number of membership enquiries. This is not only encouraging but certainly shows that people will respond to a membership offer if it put in front of them. I will keep you informed of the full extent of new members that take up this opportunity.

Membership Satisfaction Survey: In a similar vein, I would like to thank all those members who took part in the membership satisfaction survey that was sent out recently. With a return of 586 responses we believe this provides us with some fairly robust data from which we can now respond and hopefully deliver in the identified areas where either change or improvement is required. The survey has been broken down into a number of categories; in the first instance we are able to identify between full members and those that are either retired or unattached, then secondly we will be regionalising the results. This will give us the opportunity to identify areas where there is a lack of continuity across the country. It is planned that over the next two months we will share some of the data with you.

Regional Managers: Following on from the AGM in April and the adoption of the rule change regarding the appointment of the Regional Managers, the first National Committee for this group of managers met at The Belfry in May. It is planned that these meetings will take place twice a year with a third ‘conference’ session at the end of the year, which will be used to determine the framework and delivery of regional meetings for the following year. One of the overall objectives is to create a team of Regional Managers who can network between themselves and gain a wealth of knowledge that they can take back to their own region.

Whilst the generic terms of reference were agreed, there was also an acceptance that the activities in each region will have a variation of detail. Each Regional Manager or Committee will be able to create their own by-laws to adapt to these variations.

GCMA Reference Library: Since the update and refresh of our own website, we have been able to keep track of which documents are being viewed on a regular basis – as well as those that are either never opened or receive very little airtime. One of the tasks that we will now undertake is to review each and every document that is stored and then, in turn, they will be either updated, removed or retained. With approximately 800 documents available at the start, this is proving to be a quite momentous task. However, as we progress, our aim is to have this project completed by the end of August.

But this is only the start – our aim is then to build a far more informative and wider ranging collection of reference documents that provides a far greater wealth of knowledge to assist you when doing your job. Some of the proposals to assist with this development are to include:

  • Regionalised documents that assist with issues in your part of the country
  • Providing a library request section
  • Providing an audio/video section
  • In time, providing links to the magazine articles
  • Creation of a ‘Who’s Who’ section for the relevant authors and their backgrounds
  • Creation of a ‘Golf Around the World’ section
  • Introduce outside agencies to submit material – ‘Become a supplier to the GCMA Library’

It is aimed to launch the revised Reference Library at some stage early in 2016.

England Golf: I am sure many of you will have attended the recent England Golf workshops regarding governance and redesigning their affiliation model. At the beginning of June the golfing associations and partners were invited to sit with them and provide feedback both to England Golf, Sport England and Portas Consulting. While there are some always ready to criticise the golfing unions, I for one applaud the initiatives that they are showing in attempting to move these boundaries forward.

Following on from this workshop, the GCMA amongst others were invited to the table as part of the ‘EGP Leadership Group’ – and again I believe there are a lot of positives coming from these meetings. On this occasion the major discussion revolved around how the group of organisations could work together to deliver an agreed strategy for the development of the game, which in turn was aimed at increasing participation.

By the time you read this article the ‘Open’ will be upon us and once again the delights of the game will be discussed up and down the country – a British winner wouldn’t do the industry any harm!

By Mike Hyde

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