A willingness to embrace digital has helped Lincoln’s General Manager Louis Booth turn around his club and saw him honoured at GCMA 2021 Conference... Twelve hours on from the glittering awards dinner and Louis Booth was still in shock. Lincoln’s General Manager had been thrilled to be nominated as one of a trio of finalists for GCMA Newcomer of the Year Award but, speaking honestly, hadn’t really expected to win. The directors who nominated him, though, knew what they had in their club office – describing him as “highly popular and respected” and adding they were “incredibly fortunate to have Louis as a member of the team”. The judging panel agreed, noting his involvement in developing women’s and junior golf at the Lincolnshire club, along with his skilful work in helping the club through those difficult early days of the Covid pandemic. With the applause still fresh in the mind, we caught up with Louis to gauge his reaction to a wonderful honour… Louis, congratulations on winning Newcomer of the Year. How does it feel? Obviously, I’m delighted to win the award. I was shocked, more than anything, being alongside such great candidates. Gary [Beves, at Goodwood] and Sam [Foster, at Whitby] have both done phenomenal jobs. Goodwood is a massive venue with so much history and Sam came from a volunteer to becoming a club manager. I didn’t really expect to be up there, to be honest, and it’s really nice to win it. I’ve just been very lucky to have such a great team at Lincoln Golf Club. We’ve got great members. I’ve got a great board to work with and great colleagues. More than anything, I was delighted for everybody that I can share it with as well. Here’s the $64,000 question. Why do you think you won? I really don't know. We’re trying to do all we can to push Lincoln Golf Club forward and to get the club back to where we feel it should be. We’ve had a heck of a year and we’ve completed a lot of projects. We have all, as a team, worked really hard to try and change the club around and it has transformed during the last 12 months. Can you give me a few specific examples? It’s a fresh outlook. I’ve got a new office team – who are all brilliant – and a new front of house team who complement the existing team within the Professional Shop and Greens Team. Catering changed from inhouse to a franchise operation. We realised that, as a club, we had stagnated for a long time, been in decline, and with no real investment. But we’ve got a fresh board that hasn’t a ‘this is how it’s always been done attitude’ and there are no cobwebs around the golf club. They are very much of the view, ‘let’s invest and let’s put back into the membership. We’ve had a horrible year but let’s really push on’. We constructed a TrackMan Swing Studio and it’s been great to see the feedback from that. Our partially covered driving range...
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