What we learnt about golf club management in October30th October, 2013 by Alistair Dunsmuir
What we learnt about golf club management this month:
5. There’s going to be a lot of phone calls made to China in the next few years
The government’s announcement that it will launch a scheme that will massively simplify how wealthy Chinese people can apply for visas to visit the UK should have a huge impact on golf. Currently wealthy Chinese people rate golf and traveling as their two favourite things, and there is strong demand to play at the UK’s top courses. Chinese tourists are also the world’s biggest spenders, on average.
And the timing couldn’t be more perfect for the people behind St Andrews International Golf Club, the UK’s most exclusive golf club, which should open in 2016, with joining fees of £200,000. The club will be marketed to wealthy people internationally, in particular in Asia.
4. More ‘people with disabilities’ should become ‘golfers with disabilities’
The UK’s first golf course aimed specifically at people with disabilities has opened in Middlesbrough.
And over the next two years Wales is set to have 20 golf clubs where staff will know basic sign language and the professionals will have been taught to teach golf to people with hearing problems.
The Golf Development Wales initiative should make the country the most accessible in the world for deaf people who want to play golf.
3. Committees don’t read the date of birth section on CVs
A 24-year-old greenkeeper with a string of suitable qualifications to manage golf clubs is unhappy that he’s not getting any offers, and believes it’s because the golf club committees have a mindset that only people at least in their 40s or 50s can manage a golf club.
If that is the case, it’s not true – there have been plenty of successful managers in their 20s and 30s, but it also begs the question: Why are committees inviting people in their 20s to interviews for managers if they only want to give the job to people twice their age?
2. Bernard Gallacher is indestructible
He was, and still is, a formidable golfer, and then a successful Ryder Cup captain, but Bernard Gallacher’s greatest victory came a few weeks ago when he survived a major heart attack at a golf club in Scotland.
Incredibly, just the following month after he came round “all I remember is waking up in hospital five days later with a priest beside my bed”, he was back making a speech at his home club, Wentworth, announcing that he’s going to lead a campaign to get more defibrillators in golf clubs!
1. Golf can save life on earth
Albert Einstein is said to have said: ‘If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.’
Over the last few years bees have been disappearing, especially in the UK, but an entomologist has catalogued the diversity of insect species present on a number of British golf courses, and identified that many older golf clubs have areas that reflect the sort of countryside that was present before modern agricultural production became established, in which bees flourished.
If those clubs restored flower-rich grasslands they could attract bees in large numbers. One club, Rutland County Golf Club, did this and later on the bombus ruderatus bee was found at the course, the first time that bee had been spotted in the area in a generation.