Whilst 2020 presented many challenges to the golf industry and wider society, the recent release of the Confederation of Professional Golf’s [CPG] new strategic plan promises not only a thriving future for the organisation but perhaps more vitally, a stronger and more prosperous future for the sport itself.
The new 5-Year strategic plan – CPG Thrive – fundamentally shifts the organisation’s philosophy, strategy, and activities in a way that enables positive change, development, and modernisation of its Member Countries, in turn benefiting their some 12,500+ Members and enables the sport more broadly to succeed.
Golf Business Monitor spoke to Chief Executive of the CPG, Ian Randell, about the plan, what it means for the CPG and its Membership, and how it will play its part in helping to shape the future of golf for everybody at all levels of the sport.
IR: The ethos behind this plan started back in the middle of 2018 when we embarked on a project entitled ‘Collaboration & Digitalisation.’
The Project explores how we can increase the strength and influence of our Members by working much more closely with us and each other whilst retaining their autonomy, how we can utilise technology to facilitate this, and how we can help to strengthen the engagement between PGA Members, National PGAs and ourselves with the end consumer – the golfer.
The launch of our new name and visual identity in September 2019, from the PGAs of Europe to the CPG, represented much more than a name change but a statement of intent to increase the organisation’s standing as a key stakeholder in the sport, thinking globally and acting locally, as a strong collective of Member Countries, and ensuring we are self-sustainable, proactive, commercially-minded, and in control of our own destiny.
We recognise that the strength of our organisation is the collective influence and expertise of our National PGAs and their memberships who provide a skilled and educated workforce for the game.
This would be enhanced through a greater sense of belonging to a strong and professional international organisation.
Three words became very important – Togetherness, Collaboration, and Development – and the meaning behind these have provided the clear focus to our thinking and our purpose.
CPG Thrive builds upon 30 successful years of development and progress and details an exciting and ambitious plan for the future of the organisation to build a thriving CPG, a thriving membership, and a thriving game.
It affirms our unique role in the sport, ensures complete clarity on our purpose, and maps a vision that will have a positive impact on our organisation, our Member Countries, PGA Members, partners and golfers, and consumers.
Ultimately the game will benefit from a strong, influential, proactive, international organisation that collaborates to make National PGAs more efficient and effective, benefitting from international knowledge sharing and opportunities through collaboration, ensuring a skilled and impactful workforce of professionals and volunteers who will drive golf forward.
The foundations of this have three focal points and will underpin our activity moving forwards.
At an organisational level is creating A Thriving CPG where we will ensure strong and sustainable financial foundations, generated through valuable services that improve and increase our levels of influence and enable investment back in to our Members and the game.
The next level – A Thriving Membership – focuses on the Member Countries, guiding the development of their organisations through sharing good practice, agreeing standards and structures for membership and education, and offering central services that assist business efficiency through economies of scale and new and increased revenue sources.
This will strengthen our Member Countries as organisations, enabling them to provide new and improved services to their Members, whilst remaining sustainable and relevant for a modern and technologically-driven world.
Then finally, and perhaps most importantly for everybody involved in golf, is the level concerned with developing and ensuring a skilled workforce internationally.
This level – A Thriving Sport – is where we will provide leadership in the provision of international golf development expertise and best practice through People, Programmes, Promotion, and Products for the benefit of the game.
These three focal points will be fundamental to our work moving forwards.
What is important to reiterate is that although they represent either distinct people or organisations, they remain directly connected to one another in so many ways, and by positively impacting one, we create a knock-on effect that drives, develops, and changes the others.
The starting point is recognising the need to invest time and money into the things that will make it happen – Members, People and Innovation.
Thrive commits us to invest in these ‘enablers’ and effectively this has required a leap of faith from our Board and Membership to recognise the need for change in our collective mindset.
Progressing from a relatively small, low cost, low resource administrative body to a much more ambitious and commercially-minded organisation in order to ensure that we, and our members, remain relevant, financially sustainable, and influential.
To do this there are countless direct and indirect routes that we will be taking, all categorised into seven very simple, yet key strategic pillars of our plan:
GOVERNANCE – A new business and governance structure and the right team to succeed, enabling us to continue to provide the benefits to our Members.
All whilst opening up new avenues for organisational growth through the creation of CPG Services Limited and associated companies, allowing for investment to support new revenue streams, facilitating growth and maximising benefit to Members in the areas of digital, knowledge & development, commercial and administrative services.
MEMBERSHIP – As a membership organisation at its core, we will focus on developing and ensuring a culture of connected Member Country PGAs, that hold a strong sense of belonging to the CPG and who, through valuable and shared services, run efficiently and effectively with engaged and well-equipped Members.
This sense of belonging, connectedness and collaborative practice takes the form of a #oneCPG management model – a culture where our Membership view each other as interconnected and results in the collective being greater than the sum of its parts.
We envisage our Membership, both in terms of the number of countries and their combined membership, increasing very quickly.
DIGITAL SERVICES – Focusing on creating a comprehensive digital management suite for PGAs and PGA Members, innovative and engaging content, and a hub for an international community of professionals in golf who provide engagement, influence, and expert guidance for the benefit of golfers interested in improving their game and experiences.
Digital Services will see the imminent development and rollout of the CPG Digital Platform. This will form a central digital hub capable of hosting localised content, services, and management services for our Member Countries to function moving forwards, accompanied by a revamped communications strategy providing new and engaging content to wider audiences.
KNOWLEDGE & DEVELOPMENT SERVICES – Positions the CPG and its Member Countries as the pre-eminent organisations for education and coaching, with the CPG being widely recognised as a leading provider of tailor-made strategic support to individuals, organisations, and countries in advancing golf development.
One of the key technological developments being rolled out is a new Learning Management System [LMS], that provides a centralised education platform for ourselves and our Member Countries to deliver educational programmes and content to the workforce.
Accompanying this is a central development framework that supports individuals, organisations, and countries in advancing themselves and the development of golf.
RYDER CUP & RYDER CUP EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT TRUST [RCEDT]
As a Partner within Ryder Cup Europe, we will continue to work alongside the Managing and Founding Partners to maximise the success of both the Ryder Cup and the effectiveness of the RCEDT.
We will be able to maximise the investment made by the RCEDT in golf development projects and vital grassroots initiatives, and in turn continue helping develop the sport.
COMMERCIAL PARTNERSHIPS & EVENTS – We have developed a value proposition and partnership model based on the creation of mutually beneficial business initiatives of the highest standard.
- programmes, tournaments,
- education and networking events,
- brand association,
- engagement, and
- valuable data to provide opportunities and revenue streams.
This new model has already begun to bear fruit, with the recent signing of a new partnership with Golf Genius, with who we will work closely on a number of key activations.
We are excited by the new propositions and capabilities we are able to offer potential and future partners, and look forward to working with like-minded, influential and pivotal golfing and non-golfing brands.
RELATIONSHIPS – At the absolute core of our Association is total belief in collaboration being at the heart of a successful golf industry internationally.
We will continue to place great emphasis on building and enhancing mutually beneficial relationships with other leading stakeholders in golf and across our ecosystem.
There is no doubt that greater integration of activities and resources across organisations can only be beneficial and we will certainly play our part – leading where appropriate and just as importantly supporting and activating otherwise.
We are incredibly excited by this strategic plan and the objectives it sets out for the organisation.
By fulfilling each outcome across the seven strategic pillars we believe that the CPG will be in an even stronger position as an organisation and hold greater influence on the world stage as a global golf organisation.
In achieving this I have no doubt that our Membership will see continued and sustained benefit to their organisations, the PGA Members they represent will see increased value, service and benefit, and golf as a whole will be in a much stronger place as a result.