Manager of the Year finalist: Terry Crump
Terry had been such a happy member at Harpenden Common Golf Club for so many years that he asked to receive no salary when he was appointed manager.
It’s hard enough planning a new clubhouse project on its own, but how do you do it if the proposed site is on common greenbelt land and the club cannot afford it anyway?
This was the question Terry Crump had to answer, due to his club’s small and tired existing clubhouse, when he was appointed honorary manager in 2011, and then manager in 2012, of Harpenden Common, following early retirement after a career in car production.
Terry analysed every aspect of the club’s expenditure, including the renegotiation of several contracts, which helped reduce the club’s debt to its bank by £100,000 and was instrumental in convincing the lender to fund part of the project. The original costs were also reduced by half a million pounds through savings made because members with expertise carried out key work for no profit – including Terry who was project manager – and the remaining money came via member donations and the sale of lifetime memberships.
As the club shares the common with the public, Terry ran scores of clinics with members and the public providing information on the project, which helped it secure planning permission. Last year the new two-storey clubhouse opened, and it’s already seen significant improvements in the use of the facilities through club functions and members’ private usage, which is helping the club pay for its build.
The building has also been attributed with reversing a drop in membership numbers, as has recently-introduced winter and summer membership deals, which are bringing in about 15 new members per year.
The club, which is also replacing all of its greens with a more disease resistant bent grass that requires less water, revamping its car park and importing landfill to generate a large investment, has been promoted as a ‘living landscape’ by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, for its work on the course ranging from reduced chemical usage to the restoration of heather.
“I am recommending Terry Crump for this award in recognition of the unstinting work he has carried out over the past few years, which has culminated in Harpenden Common Golf Club having a magnificent new clubhouse, a secure financial position and one of the lowest subscriptions in the area,” said club member Stan Simpson, one of four to send in a nomination. “Also, during these austere times, club membership has slightly increased!”