Maureen Brooker, Regional Manager for GCMA London & Home Counties, talks about how she supports GCMA members in her region.
What is your role?
I co-ordinate the region – a full fixture list, six matches, the AGM, Spring and Autumn meeting, guest day for the captain and the Christmas lunch, which is the highlight of the year. There are also a substantial number of fixtures that you have to arrange throughout the year.
How many clubs are in the region?
We’ve got 150 members plus. We’ve got the full range of
clubs from top to bottom. From Sunningdale and Walton Heath through to Woodcote Park, in Croydon and Shirley Park. They are all individual clubs.
How did you become involved in the GCMA?
I was invited to join back in the 1980s. We were the AGCS then. I worked as a secretary at a public golf course, Farnham Park in Buckinghamshire, and the regional secretary at the time, BillShort from East Berks, invited me to join. I joined and that was it. I was in Southern region and that’s where I started for years.
What have you made of the last three decades?
The GCMA has grown. It’s more professional. Southern and London have always been professional, though. They are a different type of manager because I think they have always been salaried. There are very few honorary secretaries in our two regions.
Have you seen much change at golf clubs in that time? Are your Sunningdales and Walton Heaths the same as they’ve always been?
They don’t change.They have a standard and that is maintained. What it does is that all the other golf clubs go to that standard. They aspire to that standard. I don’t treat any golf club differently to the next one. They are all the same in my book. Whether I am at Walton Heath or East Berks, where I was for the AGM this year. As far as I am concerned, they are both the same. They are both equal and they deserve to be.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
It’s the inter-personal relationships you have. We communicate weekly. There isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t either send something out from a member asking for help and I’ll always send something out so we are always communicating.
What opportunities lie ahead for the GCMA?
I would like to see the GCMA in every golf club. We need to educate the boards to recognise that the GCMA member is a qualified member. That’s what I’d dearly like to do – to go and educate the boards of golf clubs to recognise that what we actually do is a profession.
Can you see a time when every golf club manager is GCMA member?
It should be, absolutely, and you have to go through the education path to do it. Too many board members think that Joe Bloggs can step in and do that job. They can’t and then they suffer. It’s educating golf clubs. We don’t advertise ourselves enough within the golf club.