November 2016: Diploma D-Day

It seems a terribly long time that I have been either writing about the forthcoming golf management qualification, or sitting around the table discussing the fine details that are required to get the Diploma over the finishing line. However, what a proud day for all those involved to eventually deliver the first induction day at The Belfry on Wednesday, 19 October.

We have now had well over 200 expressions of interest, which is extremely positive and great news to those who have been working on the project over the last two years. It has also provided us with an insight of where the potential students or learners will come from: whilst nearly 50 per cent are from the GCMA membership, there are a number of PGA professionals and BIGGA members, as well as a number from overseas. The second induction day is planned for 29 November – again this will provide further evidence that the Diploma has arrived.

Since my last article I have visited four regions: Norfolk at Thetford GC, North West at Hillside GC, London and Home Counties at Hindhead GC and finally Northern Ireland at Lisburn GC. Throughout the regional meetings I have endeavoured to inform the membership of the Diploma and how it will be delivered. Albeit we totally understand that there will be a great deal of members who believe this is not the time to start taking educational qualifications – I for one can appreciate those views. As with all ventures such as this, we are only at the beginning of the journey and as the qualification progresses we will learn – and adapt as we need to.

As previously mentioned I was invited to four regional meetings over the last month, which I thoroughly enjoyed – and certainly felt there was an air of buoyancy at the meetings. It is extremely interesting to listen to the array of presentations, which varied from Mark Smith of Smith Leisure who specialize in rating valuations and advising on rental leases to the gentleman from the Federation of Northern Ireland clubs who have been in long discussion with Sky TV over delivering discounts to clubs in that part of the world.

Squeezed in between the regional meetings I was invited to play with the GIGS (Golf Industry Golf Society), which was an extremely interesting couple of days, played at Southport & Ainsdale GC on the first day and Formby GC on the second. It is days like these which suddenly take you out of your comfort zone and realise the wide diversity of people who work within the golf industry.


Having previously indicated that I would be able to reveal the venue and dates for the 2017 conference, unfortunately we are not yet able to announce the venue but can advise you that the date for next year’s conference will be Sunday 12 to Tuesday, 14 November.

Looking ahead, my next task will be to attend the R&A forum at St Andrews where, in conjunction with the main golfing organisations, we will openly discuss the way forward for the industry. This will then be followed at attendance at the SFEDI awards and then to work with Club Mirror to assist with their awards evening in Manchester.

Bob Williams
[email protected]

By Bob Williams

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