Global Edition

Limited places remain for GCMA Conference at St George’s Park

4.39pm 9th October 2015 - Exhibitions & Conferences

GCMA Conference FBThe Futurist David Wood will open the Conference at St George’s Park 15 – 17 November with a programme headlined by Sir Clive Woodward and designed for delegates to Be Inspired

David Wood, Chair of London Futurists, will open the 2015 GCMA Conference with a discussion of his thoughts on the potential future of golf club management. From music to taxi services, many industries have already been significantly disrupted by new technologies, and David will explore how golf clubs can position themselves to stay ahead of new developments.

David explains: “Electronic gadgets, apps, cloud services such as Google and Amazon, along with other fast-moving technology, have changed many more aspects of our lives in the last ten years than we would have expected in advance. The pace of change isn’t slowing down. My talk will look at the opportunities – and threats – that golf course managers may need to think hard about, over the next 5-10 years, due to the increasing pace of change. Topics covered will include wearable computers, the Internet of Things, smarter robots, virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and next generation neuro-stimulants.

Just as important as the individual changes is the question of mindset: how can we prepare for a world of faster change and greater unpredictability? How can we spot the important new trends ahead of time? And how can we turn these to our advantage, rather than being left behind?”

A keen golfer, and member of Burhill GC, David’s background is 25 years in the mobile computing and smartphone industries. His software was included on 500 million smartphones between 2002 and 2010.

Since 2010, David has been advising organisations, corporations, and governments about forthcoming waves of technological and social change that will make the disruptions caused by smartphones look like small molehills in comparison.

Only a limited number of places remain for the Golf Club Management Association (GCMA) 2015 Conference, which takes place at St George’s Park in Burton-upon-Trent from Sunday 15 to Tuesday 17 November 2015, with a programme headlined by Sir Clive Woodward and designed for delegates to Be Inspired.

This biennial conference, which is also open to GCMA non-members, will bring together golf club managers and industry professionals from across the UK and Europe, offering invaluable networking opportunities alongside a programme of inspiring keynote speakers and industry led educational breakout sessions looking at three key areas of golf club management – Income Generation, Strategic Planning and Personal Development.

A refreshed schedule sees the main conference programme take place over two days, with the option to arrive on Sunday to explore behind the scenes of St George’s Park, and to take part in a special interactive session looking at the future of golf club management, incorporating David Wood’s presentation.

Bob Williams, GCMA Chief Executive, said: “The conference has been put together using much of the feedback we received from delegates who attended the 2013 edition, which is reflected in the new schedule, a flexible pricing structure and a packed programme, so we plan for the 2015 Conference to be the most valuable yet. We are delighted to have one of the world’s leading sporting figures, Sir Clive Woodward, to be delivering the closing keynote speech, which reflects our ambition to deliver an essential programme of education and inspiration for the modern golf club manager.”

The Conference will be hosted by BBC Radio 5 Live’s Peter Allen. A respected and experienced journalist, Peter is also a keen golfer and will bring a unique perspective to the programme.

Sir Clive Woodward, England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup winning head coach, will be the headline keynote speaker. Successful coaches and leaders are those that can effectively capture and share their knowledge.

Sir Clive told us “Teams who assume they have all the knowledge are likely to only come second – whether in sport or business. Winning teams are those that became best at capturing and processing knowledge and then applying it in practice.

A successful coach and leader is one who can effectively capture and share their knowledge. I hope that people come away from my presentation with an understanding of why knowledge is important and a process to highlight the Winning Moves – those practices crucial to success for their organisations.”

Charles Hazlewood is an internationally renowned conductor who led The British Paraorchestra in 2012, and will use music to demonstrate the important of teamwork in the workplace, illustrating one of his key themes, trust.

Chief Executive of the European Golf Course Owners Association (EGCOA), Lodewijk Klootwijk, will present Vision 2020. Looking at how the golf industry can create a sustainable future, Vision 2020 asks what is the new and existing golfer looking for in golf, so that they will stay actively involved in the game?

2015 European Solheim Cup Captain Carin Koch will lead a keynote panel discussion about the importance of developing female participation in golf, alongside Emma Clifford (GCMA 2014 Manager of the Year) and Alison Root (Editor – Women & Golf).

The CEOs of GCMA, PGA and BIGGA – Bob Williams, Sandy Jones and Jim Croxton – will share a stage to discuss the future of golf club management, and the game as a whole, preceded by a presentation of the findings of the GCMA Young Managers’ Group.

Billy Dixon, an expert on personal and corporate branding and a highlight of previous conferences, returns to discuss personal development.

A comprehensive programme of breakout sessions will build on and explore the key themes of Personal Development, Strategic Planning and Revenue Generation that will be discussed in the keynote presentations. Presenters include Carolyne Wahlen, Mike Hyde, KPMG’s Paul Stewart, Steven Brown, Howard and William Swan, Jane Carter and the GCMA Board of Directors.

The 2015 Manager of the Year, Team of the Year, and New Manager of the Year will also be announced at Monday night’s dinner, which also feature an entertaining after dinner speaker from the sporting world.

Prices start from just £390 – to book your place, or for more information, visit the Conference page on the GCMA website, call 01275 391153 or email

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