‘There is huge value in attending GCMA Regional Meetings’

GCMA members and business partners alike found great value in attending the Regional Meetings, encouraging others to come along next time.

The GCMA Regional Meetings once again proved a big hit with those who attended up and down the country.

Each of the 13 regions hosts its own meetings, bringing together members and GCMA partners for networking, education and the sharing of ideas.

The meetings provide a platform for learning and discussion, and a place where Golf Club Managers can build their skills and knowledge in pursuit of personal and professional development.

Peter Smith, General Manager at Hexham Golf Club, found “huge value” in the meeting for the Northern region at Brampton GC and would encourage others to attend in future.

“I’m sure many other managers are in the same position as me, where they’re getting more and more busy and it’s hard to find the time, but I always try to make it to the meetings,” he said.

“There’s huge value just in getting the head space away from the job and being able to talk to other managers is very cathartic.

“I use them as a bit of a sounding board to keep abreast of what’s going on in the industry and they’re good for networking and education as well.”

Peter particularly enjoyed a talk given by The R&A on the topic of sustainability and the challenges posed by climate change when it comes to running a golf club and maintaining agronomic standards.

Gareth Anthony, Club Manager at South Staffs GC, regularly attends GCMA Regional Meetings as he finds them highly beneficial.

“The meetings are great,” he said. “I learn loads and I get to talk to other managers, which is always helpful.

“I really like the way way the meetings are presented — it’s all about the sharing of information, not a sales pitch. You come away from the meetings with useful information and contacts to help your golf club.”

When Gareth has been unable to attend, he has made sure someone from his staff has been able to go as he does not want the club to miss out on the opportunity.

“There was a meeting at Enville which I couldn’t make so I sent my Head Greenkeeper and his Assistant instead,” he explained. “They got the value of going to the meeting and networking, which was great.

“I joined them for golf afterwards and we had another gentleman join us and it was brilliant because we were on a great course at a really superb golf club and my guys were inspired by seeing that. They could see the differences but also perhaps realise maybe we aren’t so far away from where we want to be.”

Tony Moon, who in his role as Midlands Regional Manager organises the meetings in his region, outlined a number of reasons why they bring value to those who attend.

“It’s social contact with like-minded people who are running similar businesses,” he said. “There’s also an education element. We invite three or four speakers to attend and they have a 10-minute slot to speak about a previously agreed topic that will be useful for our members.

“Then we break into smaller groups and those speakers go round and sit and answer questions about the topic or product, or whatever they presented on. That makes it much more interactive and we’ve found people like that way of doing things.”

Jake Rhodes, UK Head of Sales at Golf Genius, attended the Midlands and North West Regional Meetings and was impressed by what he saw.

“It was very noticeable how engaged the GCMA members in attendance were with the event and the topics being discussed,” he said.

“The Regional Managers are doing a fantastic job in supporting GCMA members at a regional level, and this is one great example of that.

“As a GCMA business partner, we look forward to supporting future events of this kind with topics that are meaningful, up to date and of interest to members.”

By GCMA Content Team

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