“Are you and your golf club affected by the current national financial situation? If so, you may find crucial information and help at the 2011 National Conference in November.” So says the preamble to this year’s GCMA biennial event to be held this year at Barcelo Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire 14 – 16 November, and the programme so-far announced looks set to deliver on that claim.
International speakers are particularly dominant throughout Monday, the first day, with Greg Patterson, General Manager at The Beach Club, Santa Monica, USA, delivering the Keynote address. He follows this up with the concluding session of the day on ‘Changing the Perception’.
Also Greg will be leading/hosting a new initiative over lunchtime on Sunday 13 November, with Bob Williams, a new member of the organising committee. For those fit and energetic among us the Conference will commence with a friendly bike ride covering about 20 miles of the immediate countryside. Look out for more details in the coming months.
Completing the International feel on the first day will be consultant Daryl Sellar, an Australian, discussing Water management – Managing with less!
Both Tuesday and Wednesday will open with plenary sessions, followed by 20 workshop choices ranging from half day courses linked with vital Child Protection issues to a whole range of topics all relevant in managing change. These include several sessions on customer service and good practice; as well as marketing with both your website and tee booking systems.
We are most fortunate to have three case studies in good practice presented by managers from a variety of clubs and backgrounds. Emphasising the relevance of customer service in these changing times will be Stuart Christie, bringing ample examples from Wentworth and Walton Heath in the South East; Bob Williams from Chipping Sodbury on the edge of the Bristol area in the South West and finally Gary Pearce, winner of the 2010 Manager of the Year from Fulford in the city of York in the North East.
Customer service will also encompass the challenges for both the private members and commercial golf clubs illustrating the range of initiatives used in these times.
The marketing theme will be demonstrated by website experts in their respective fields. One focusing on Search Engine Optimisation and how it can enhance your website’s performance, and the other using tee-time booking to fully utilise the playing potential of the course.
In these days when our weather still dominates with a variety of challenges, managing the environment becomes even more important in maintaining a high quality golf course. Besides two professional speakers on the environment, Tuesday’s concluding plenary session will vividly show how to work with nature. Jim McKenzie from Celtic Manor reports on the Ryder Cup – one year on while John Jermine, Chairman of the Golf Union of Wales, illustrates the effect of golf in the area.
The list of speakers and topics continue…..The impact of all of these issues is seen particularly in the ‘bottom line’ in these changing times and cannot be ignored by today’s managers.
Look out for more details over the coming months and take up the challenge to attend this crucial conference to gain the knowledge from key individuals as well as networking with colleagues and learning from each other. Such an opportunity only comes once every two years.
Golf Club Managers’ Association www.gcma.org.uk