Meet the manager: Rothley Park’s Rob Hennessy

When he was made redundant after 15 years at the European Tour because of the coronavirus pandemic, Rob Hennessy found a new career in golf club management How did you get into golf club management? I’d given it some thought over previous years but had never pursued it. I’d worked for the European Tour since 2005 and enjoyed it and made my way up to being one of the scoring managers. I probably attended 20 events a year – 14 on the main tour, three or four on the Seniors’ Tour and then the balance on the Challenge Tour. I travelled all over the place, from Shanghai to the HSBC, Dubai World Cup, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup and I really enjoyed my time with the Tour. Then, like a lot of people, we got to that point 12 months ago when everybody became furloughed. Obviously, the tour had quite a large restructuring and quite a decent number of us, unfortunately, were made redundant.  I really wanted to stay in golf so I made some initial enquiries. I’m not 25, I was 53 at the time and GCMA was incredibly helpful. I enrolled onto the Principles course, really enjoyed that and built up a bit of knowledge and some more contacts.  Then I proceeded to approach clubs I knew and Rothley Park was one of them. I approached them with my CV, explained that my plan was to go on to the ASQ Level 5 Diploma in Golf Club Management, which I started recently, and the club contacted me quite quickly. We kept in touch, I had three interviews in all, and the club kindly offered me the assistant manager’s role. I was absolutely delighted to get it and it’s perfect for me to study and gain experience.  Danny Spillane is the club manager and pro and, since I started in January, he has been fantastic to me and offered unbelievable guidance day in and day out.  Going forward, the club’s reopened now. We’re going to launch a completely different food and beverage offering so I’ve been quite busy with that and getting to know the membership. Everyone’s been really lovely to me. It’s a really nice club, a really nice place to work, and following the disappointment of redundancy I’ve moved into something I believe I’m really going to enjoy, as well as hopefully producing a fruitful career going forward.  How did the Principles course help you in getting that role? My main thought was I could approach clubs and show them I’d got the ball rolling forward to go into the career. I wanted to be proactive, rather than reactive. Going through the week, it covers various things from food and beverage and green fees, course maintenance, to the financial side, and it allowed me to dip my toe into the world of the various components within golf club management, and gave me the encouragement that ‘yes, this is what I really want to do’. I realise it’s a...
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