Giving his chief executive’s address at the GCMA annual general meeting, Tom Brooke said the association was taking positive steps forward... The GCMA is growing in “stature, profile, and value” within the golf industry, said chief executive Tom Brooke as he addressed the association's Annual General Meeting. At the gathering at Moor Park Golf Club, in Hertfordshire, Tom said there had been positive steps forward and the GCMA were “modernising and evolving”. Tom was speaking as two new directors were appointed to the GCMA board – Redditch general manager Kerry Alligan-Smith and Clevedon general manager Reece Miller, while JR Jones agreed to continue as association president. “We’re starting to make a difference and by working together we’re going to see some genuine success in the coming years,” Tom said as he delivered his CEO report. Looking back over the last 12 months, he hailed the launch of SkillGate and the GCMA’s webinar series. He said the association was delighted to have gone ahead with the 2021 National Conference – welcoming more than 300 members, guests, and industry partners to Wyboston Lakes Resort in Bedfordshire. “The social, networking, and community side of the association really shone through,” added Tom as he said the real highlight for him was the chance for everyone to get back together in person following the traumas of the coronavirus pandemic. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Tom said the key focus points for the association included the GCMA Mentor scheme, the National Education Days, and the launch of CPD Accreditation. On the first of those, Tom said the association will “continue to develop and grow this initiative in future years” in what is the first programme of its kind within the industry. Considering the National Education Days, he urged people to attend the first event at The Kendleshire, in Bristol on May 27, where experts Eddie Bullock and Jerry Kilby will talk about governance, while The R&A’s Arlette Anderson will discuss sustainability. Further events will be held in September, October, and November. And he revealed some more details about the launch of the GCMA’s CPD Accreditation which will give members the opportunity to become accredited in a programme “designed to recognise the quality, value, and skills required to be a great golf club manager”. It will be flexible and accessible, Tom explained, and not simply relying on GCMA education and professional development. Existing qualifications, experience, and achievements will all be taken into account and hold value. While the programme, framework, and details are in development, Tom said the scheme will launch in July. Considering the wider industry, Tom said there was plenty to be confident and encouraged about on participation and, with clubs investing, developing facilities, and planning for the future, it was an “exciting time to be involved”. But he repeated his fears on workforce development and the shortage of staffing within golf clubs – with recruitment at second tier management becoming a “real challenge”. “We have a role to play here and...
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