A decade of non-stop changes to UK law has led to record levels of membership at the National Golf Clubs‘ Advisory Association. The NGCAA takes around sixty calls each day from clubs needing legal advice.
“There have been unprecedented levels of change to UK law over the past ten years,” says Michael Shaw from the NGCAA. “Laws governing virtually every aspect of life have been amended in some way and golf clubs have been dramatically affected. Change has been so rapid that many club managers, secretaries and committees no longer know where they stand about many of the day to day aspects of running a club. Many worry that their club will face financial penalties from over-zealous law enforcement officers, while others worry about facing compensation claims from disgruntled staff, club members or members of the public.”
The NGCAA was formed over eighty years ago and boasted 200 member clubs at the end of its first year. Membership now stands at over 1200, an all time high. Over 60 per cent of member clubs have been given legal advice and 99 per cent of enquiries handled by the NGCAA are concluded without the need to go to court or litigation.
Although the vast majority of our time is still spent answering questions about the law, we are much more proactive these days,” continues Shaw. “For instance, we now try to identify potential issues in advance and advise clubs about how to protect themselves from problems occurring. This approach seems to be paying dividends.”
Shaw is not complacent and is keen to grow membership still further. He is encouraging non-member clubs – both private members and proprietary owned – to contact him to discuss the benefits of membership.
“Most clubs in England and Wales are already members, so we are particularly keen to attract more member clubs from Scotland and Northern Ireland. We are able to give legal advice across different jurisdictions and are perfectly capable of advising clubs in the most remote areas, too.”
Michael Shaw can be contacted on 01684 311353.