What should a golf club manager be like in 2017?

By: June 6, 2017

In 2013 I wrote about the importance of specific educational background in connection to golf club management.  In that post, I quoted the study of Colt Mackenzie McNair and Club Managers Association of Europe from 2010. This study found that a degree-level education or professional qualification was not a prerequisite for a senior role and only 50% had either of these. Jerry Kilby a former part-time CEO of CMAE told me that “no such qualifications existed prior to the CMAE launching the European CCM (Certified Club Manager) programme in 2008.”

I think the European golf industry gained a lot from the Certified Club Manager program. This success is partially due to the great work of the outgoing Michael Braidwood CCM. Michael Braidwood’s primary role was responsibility for the promotion and delivery of the Association’s Management Development Programmes.

These were the main milestones of his tenure:

  1. celebrating the 50th Management Development Programme (MDP) since 2011, signing up the 1,000th delegate, launching MDP in Dubai,
  2. the reintroduction of the European Conference this November in Spain.
  3. Working with Global Golf Advisors he was instrumental in developing a new 5 year Strategic Plan and stabilized the finances of the Association through strong corporate partner support programs.

Michael Braidwood

While we are delighted to have such an educational program for future golf club managers, I would recommend golf clubs paying attention to the following HR challenges:

  1. Decades ago learned skills are continuing to fall. Rethink how you can provide to your employees always-on learning and development (L&D) opportunities. Glassdoor found that among Millennials “ability to learn and progress” is now the principal driver of a company’s employment brand. It would be great if high-quality, free or low-cost content offers would be available for golf club managers and other workers of the golf club (e.g. GCSAA‘s My Learning Hub). I would test one of these learning tools: Degreed, Pathgather, EdCast, Grovo (used by InterContinental Hotels Group, The Ritz-Carlton), and Axonify.
  2. Developing agile and digital-ready leaders. We have to find solutions to be able to redesign our golf clubs to be more dynamic, team-centric, and connected. The new golf club manager has to know how to keep people connected and engaged; and drive a culture of innovation, learning, and continuous improvement.
  3. How to create positive, meaningful employee experience.
  4. Utilizing HR analytics. These digital solutions enable HR managers to conduct real-time analytics at the point of need in the business process.