GCMA chief executive Tom Brooke says golf clubs need to trust their managers to lead them out of the Covid era

Committees need to trust managers to get on with the business of running the golf club, the leader of an influential association has declared.

Tom Brooke, chief executive of the Golf Club Managers’ Association, says the future success of the sport as it emerges from the coronavirus pandemic is reliant on his members.

He urged home unions and governing bodies to engage with managers and asked committees and golf club boards to “give them the credit and the support they deserve”.

Speaking at the virtual GolfBIC conference, Brooke – in a presentation titled ‘The Growing Value of the Golf Club Manager’ – said: “Allow them to lead your business – that’s what they’re there for. That’s how you will achieve success”.

He spoke of the “true leadership credentials” golf club managers had shown through the last year of lockdowns and restrictions.

“That should really be recognised,” Brooke said. “We think about all of the added pressures of staff welfare, of customer welfare – because of the ongoing coronavirus risks – at the same time as that huge increase in demand and footfall we were seeing coming through the doors every day for days and days on end, for the entire summer, and early autumn last year.

“That took courage. It took determination. It took an incredible amount of commitment and hard work.

“And now I think we can really grow from that. I think we really can support and utilise those individuals, and their skills, for the betterment of the game. We really need to turn what we achieved last year into long-term vision and sustainable success.

“So much of what we achieved, and what we need to achieve, will be reliant on delivery of golf clubs and leadership from golf club general managers. We’ve really got to focus on supporting and developing the workforce at a club level.”

Brooke said golf clubs needed to focus on the kind of facility they wanted to be – whether that was traditional private members, modern family club, or pay and play, and then trust the golf club manager to plot the way forward.

“I’ve urged committees and golf club boards in the private membership sector to really think about that, and to give your golf club general manager the credit and the support they deserve,” he said.

“Equally, give them the leadership role and trust them to lead your club, and take that responsibility on.”

Does your golf club manager get the credit they deserve? Tell me their stories in the comments, or tweet me.

NOW READ: ‘It’s important to manage expectations’: Governing bodies warn golfers as clubs prepare to reopen

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Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. Steve is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Hybrids: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Irons: TaylorMade Stealth 5-A Wedge Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe 54 and 58 Putter: Sik Sho Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Handicap: 11.3

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