Pandemic promotions: how Tom stepped up in the midst of a crisis

Meltham's Tom Williams was an assistant manager before taking on a new operations role in the summer. He talks about gaining new responsibilities in the era of Covid Starting a new job is nerve-racking. However confident you might be, there’s a little tingle that runs through the body when you walk through unfamiliar doors for the first time. Starting that new job in the middle of a pandemic, where circumstances have dictated whether the club is closed or not, or what restrictions are in place, can just add another layer of anxiety. Now imagine that’s a step up – that your new position in this time of uncertainty has been a rise from assisting to being the one making decisions. That’s what Tom Williams faced when he left Fulford, in York, after five years to take on the role of operations manager, at Meltham, in August. So it’s a major endorsement of the young man’s temperament, and the mentoring he’s received from some high-profile GCMA managers, that he has taken to the task at the West Yorkshire club like the proverbial duck to water. Of course, it has been a steep learning curve as Meltham – like all clubs in England – have endured lockdowns in November and through this winter. But Williams believes what he is experiencing now will only assist him as he seeks, one day, to be a fully-fledged general manager. “I’ve drawn upon my five years at Fulford,” he explained of his early career path. “I kind of started out at the bottom, doing some of the basic jobs and helping out the secretaries and doing the admin. “After a few years, it was time for me to look into different aspects of the golf business and, basically, where did I want to go in my career and how was I going to get there? “As you’ll find in every business, finance is a massive part. I sat down with the secretary at the time and said I wanted to learn more about it. We planned a way through – starting off with budgets, working on to invoices and journals – just so that, when I was in a position in the future, it wouldn’t all be new to me. “Moving up to assistant manager at Fulford, I was managing visitor green fee income, Open days and the marketing side, so I was working in my own little section and could get the experience in progressing my career into being an operations manager. “I was very fortunate to learn from some of the best managers in the country. You’ll be aware that Gary Pearce is at Ganton, Richard Kilshaw is at Southport & Ainsdale and Jon Dry came to Fulford from Bearwood Lakes – some fantastic managers to work with and learn how they go about it and what works well for both the business side and interacting with members.” “It been eye-opening to look at the workload and manage that. As an assistant, you might...
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