November: Planning and Preparing

By the time this is published in the magazine, we will be about to deliver the 2015 Conference at St George’s Park or we have just completed the final keynote speaker Sir Clive Woodward. The Club Management Awards will have been made to the worthy winners and we will all be packing up and heading off to our respective clubs. For those of you reading online, we are still in the nervous stages of final preparation!

In this world of Golf Club Management, we spend so much time planning and preparing for major events and yet they come and go at the blink of an eye. I recently spent some time with a most distinguished gentleman who chaired no less than 13 meetings each month for his own sporting association. While this is some feat in its own right, I was more than impressed that he also had a full rehearsal for each one – as I said, it is all about the planning and preparation.

While talking about preparation, we are continuing the development of the educational qualification in conjunction with the PGA and BIGGA. Having been involved with building a qualification from the ground up, the invaluable involvement of all parties has provided the main platform from which we aim to deliver in the New Year. More of this development will be announced shortly.

In the same vein, we recently took the residential training course to the home of BIGGA: Aldwark Manor in York. As we constantly review this course to ensure we remain abreast of latest trends, management developments and legislative changes, I am pleased to advise that the feedback from the 17 delegates on this course was extremely positive. With 12 of them already in post, the course continues to offer an insight to those wishing to move into management as well as an educational vehicle for new people in post.

Over the last month the National Captain and I have had the pleasure of attending a number of regional meetings. However, without Clive Hadley I returned to the Wessex region for their meeting at Chippenham GC, which has undergone a massive restructure – the result of selling a parcel of land which in exchange allowed them to build a state of the art clubhouse, as well redeveloping some land and building three new holes. For any members looking at similar situations in their own club, the present manager at Chippenham GC Leighton Walker will be more than welcome to advise on the intricacies of this situation.

With a few more miles under the belt I visited the Norfolk region at Royal Cromer GC, where they took the opportunity to invite a guest with the member to the meeting. In most cases this appeared to be the Chairman, Captain or someone in a similar capacity. Overall this seemed to work well and I am sure the guests thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to play Royal Cromer GC. Unfortunately I didn’t – back on the road!

The other meetings this autumn included a trip to Brocton Hall GC in the Midland region with a final meeting at Frilford Heath GC for the London & Home Counties meeting. The one meeting that I was unable to attend this year was my annual trip to Northern Ireland, where the meeting at Massereene GC unfor tunately clashed with existing arrangements – the National Captain proved more than an able deputy. My sincere thanks to all regions for the invitations, and to the Regional Managers who continually pull out all the stops to deliver an array of networking events throughout the year.

Looking ahead to the New Year I will be announcing a series of new Membership Benefits and services that you will not have enjoyed previously. We are presently finalising the details but hope to make an announcement fairly shortly.

I look forward to either meeting up with you or having met you at the National Conference.

By Bob Williams

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