Meet the Manager… Tim Kent

Selby’s General Manager has spread the word about the Yorkshire course through effective social media campaigns How does your club utilise social media? Do you TikToK? Has Instagram largely passed you by? At Selby, General Manager Tim Kent has been using all the channels at his disposal to help revitalise the club’s brand and enhance its reputation within Yorkshire. In tandem with an ambitious course works programme, which was initiated by the Course Manager, Chris Goodall, and a small group of volunteer members and steered by architect Jonathan Gaunt, the results have been extremely positive – visitor numbers are soaring and membership remains high in what is a competitive marketplace for golf with Leeds and York both close by. We sat down with Tim to learn about how he became a golf club manager and how he has used social media so well... How did you get into golf club management? It’s a bit of a chequered past! I worked in retail and commercial distribution for 30 years, before I suffered ill health – I’ve got two new knees – and decided to retire from that world. Having played golf all my life, I always thought it was an industry I would like to move back into. I qualified in Golf Club Management at Bucks New University in 2010, although I stayed in retail for a few years while I waited for an opportunity. In 2017, I was living on site at Bradley Hall and I spoke to the chairman, who knew my background. He asked me to do a governance review, and I fell into golf club management From there I move to South Shields. Selby is now my third club, and I’m loving it! It’s full on and every day is different. You’ve hit the ground running at Selby... I arrived in August last year, and we’ve done an awful lot in that time. It’s a great club with a really forward-thinking board. They’ve invested heavily into the bunkers, in particular, and we’re trying to re-engineer the club and the course. Tell us about the club… Historically it was among the best in Yorkshire – I think it’s ranked 25th in the county – and it used to be a pre-qualifying venue for the Benson and Hedges [held at Fulford in the 1970s and 1980s]. Over the years it perhaps lost its way a bit and has gone down the rankings but it’s still popular locally. It looks like a parkland but, even though it’s probably 50 miles from the seaside in the middle of Yorkshire, plays more like an inland links! We’ve got a sand base so it’s very dry, and the fairways play like a links. Over the years trees have grown up and it’s probably more a heathland course in the true tradition. You arrived in the middle of some major works. How are they progressing and what are the club’s plans? When I arrived, they’d just completed the first phase of the bunker renovation,...
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