Global Edition

A Business of Golf Discussion: Year-end Roundup and Topics for 2020

2.41pm 23rd December 2019 - Opinion

Festive Good Wishes and a recap of the discussions during 2019 from Series Host John Cockayne

John Cockayne

My most grateful thanks again, to all those who have contributed to this year’s discussions, by taking very valuable time from their hectic schedules to contribute their experiences and thoughts to the Discussion Series.

We opened with Eddie Bullock from Eddie Bullock Golf on the important issues around governance, which was followed by Chris Bentley, the CEO from Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC (in South Africa), on some of the operational challenges of working at the grass face.

In the next section the Discussion Series then involved inputs from three continents: Ian Randell, CEO of the Confederation of Professional Golf (CPG – formerly the PGAE) in the UK; Mike Braidwood the GM at Education City GC in Qatar; and finally Grant Hepburn the CEO of Golf RSA in South Africa. This discussion was on the key role that golf development must play to spread the game and in helping to ensure golf’s future.

A change in focus in ‘Innovation or Stagnation’ involved inputs from Stuart Gillett, then the Golf GM at Goodwood and now CEO of European Tour Destinations – we all wish him every success in his new role.

Stuart’s discussion partner was Francois Schoeman the COO of GEM’s Property Management in South Africa. The key issues explored by Francois and Stuart were the need for golf clubs to become more proactive in their management processes, both through sweating the venue’s assets effectively and in looking for new revenue streams.

In November, we finished off the year with a discussion called ‘New Horizons’ on the global value and importance of golf tourism.

The protagonists in this case were Dermot Synnott, the CEO and co-founder of Destination Golf Media in Ireland. In this exchange Dermot partnered with tour operator, GolfAsian’s CEO and founder Mark Siegel, who is based in Thailand.

What does 2020 promise, other perhaps than better vision?!

I hope that better vision will help our UK friends and colleagues (and those in Europe) see decisions made (at last!) to move them all out from under the uncertainties posed by the ‘Damoclean sword’ of BREXIT. For its part, the Discussion Series will spread its reach to encompass contributions from experts in both Europe and the USA.

Topics to be covered will be education, with the key question, are we upskilling existing management and or management graduates with the ‘right’ skill sets?

In addition to education, effective PR activities, golf and the environment, the role of consultants, and the importance of marketing and communications will be amongst some of the areas to be covered.

We look forward to you joining us in the New Year for the continuation of the Business of Golf Discussion Series, and until then we would like to wish everyone a peaceful and happy holiday season!

John Cockayne, CEO: The Business of Golf


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