Meet the Team: Natalie McColl

In the latest entry in a regular series, we introduce you to a member of the GCMA team and find out a little more about them — this week it’s the turn of Membership Services Manager Natalie McColl

Describe your current role

As the Membership Services Manager at the GCMA, I oversee the recruitment and onboarding of new members and contribute to developing new benefits and initiatives for our members. My team serves as the first point of contact for our members, providing support by connecting them with educational and professional development opportunities, answering golf club management helpdesk queries, and directing them to our business partners and GCMA events.

Over the past few years, my role has expanded to include a more hands-on approach to marketing and communications, which I coordinate to ensure members receive all the information they need to support them in their current roles and inspire their future career plans.

The aspect of my job I’m most proud of is actively participating in wellbeing initiatives that support our members. While golf club management can be a highly rewarding career path, we occasionally hear of negative experiences from our members. I’m deeply passionate about providing our members with various tools and benefits to support them in challenging circumstances — everything from regional Mental Health First Aiders to Wellbeing Awareness workshops to legal expenses insurance!

Tell us about your career to date

Before I entered the golfing world, my background was in health club sales and car sales. I acquired many transferable skills in these roles that have helped me along the way. Ultimately, a good salesperson is a great communicator who knows how to connect with people from all walks of life. This foundation has provided me with strong customer service and relationship-building skills, which are key aspects of my current role.

Before my current position, I worked for England Golf for three years. This experience gave me a fantastic insight into the industry and the challenges and opportunities it faces. I had the opportunity to work with amazing people and connect with Golf Club Managers, PGA professionals, and golf club volunteers throughout the South West. I’m really proud of what I achieved at England Golf; the Safe Golf Accreditation was something I was incredibly passionate about and supported from its early conception.

Being involved in this critically important initiative and making genuine positive changes in our industry to protect young and vulnerable people is hugely rewarding. My time with England Golf taught me invaluable lessons, forged amazing connections and friendships, and truly allowed me to become immersed in this wonderfully frustrating sport!

What are your key priorities for 2024 in your job?

At the start of the year, the team set out seven key priorities for the association. I’m really pleased that we have already ticked off the first priority by relaunching the information library. For the remainder of the year, my top three priorities are reviewing the association’s Marketing and Communications Strategy, upgrading our internal membership and customer management systems, and delivering our bi-annual members survey.

What does the GCMA mean to you?

When I think of the GCMA, I think of community and support. The association has a huge amount of heart, and I love that everyone involved cares passionately about supporting those within the profession.

What is your message to GCMA members?

Get involved! We have worked hard to develop our association to deliver the fantastic value that our members deserve. As with everything in life, you get out of your membership what you put into it! Whether it’s attending business meetings, engaging with professional development opportunities, or utilising the personal benefits membership brings, we hope there is something for everyone. But more than that, the GCMA is a community and thrives when our members take an active role.

I would love to see more managers contributing to our written communications or presenting at GCMA meetings and events. Our association is at its best when peers learn from other peers — I’d urge everyone to put themselves forward more. It’s great for you and it’s great for our association!

Tell us one thing your colleagues don’t know about you

Some colleagues do already know, but when I was younger, I competed internationally for England in Taekwondo. I competed at two ITF World Championships and was Junior World Champion in 2007.

Your favourite sports team and why

Growing up, I was not from a football-loving family, but my eight-year-old son has become a massive football fan — and now so am I! We are season ticket holders for Bristol City, and at home this makes up about 80% of our conversations. Who’d have thought it!

Your favourite thing to do at the weekend

All things football when my son is with me, or getting out on the golf course when he’s not! It’s taken many years to be confident enough to try and play golf properly, but in 2024, I’m hoping to finally have an official handicap. Eighteen more holes to play!

By GCMA Content Team

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