Alex Woodward CCM has been appointed as the new Chief Executive of Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.
We caught up with Alex as he starts his new role on 20th September 2021 and asked him a few questions about himself and the new job.
Congratulations on the new job Alex! Please tell us a bit about Walton Heath Golf Club
Walton Heath is a 36 hole private members’ club steeped in a very rich history. It has been host to a large number of events such as the 1981 Ryder Cup, The European Open, The Senior’s Open and in 2023 will host the AIG Women’s Open. It has also hosted a large number of prestigious amateur events for both men and ladies. The Club has laid claim to some very accomplished and famous members too, along with none other than James Braid being their Club Professional until his passing in 1950.
What will be your key priorities when joining the club as CEO?
The key priorities on joining will immediately be the oversight of a 26 week on-course installation of a completely new irrigation system to both courses. Away from this I look forward to immersing myself in the existing club culture, meeting members and familiarising myself with the 50 strong staff working there already. Walton Heath has already produced a Strategic Plan for the next 5 years and beyond, and it will be the highest quality delivery of this plan that will also take my main focus. The Club is a great venue for golf and membership, which I am relishing the opportunity to make even greater.
You have been in club management for several years now, first at Boyce Hill Golf Club before joining Hankley Common. What was your background before you moved into club world?
Before working in Club Management I spent six years working for IMG and European Tour Productions, before setting up an exhibitions company in South Africa which delivered wine exhibitions all over the country, selling directly to consumers. I am also an avid golfer, having gained a golf scholarship to study my degree in Sports Management & Business Administration in the USA and was Captain of Essex County here in the UK from 2013 - 2016.
You of course became a CCM in 2020, becoming the 57th Club Manager in Europe and Middle East to do so. Did the CCM assist you with getting the role at Walton Heath?
The tribe and CCM qualification have absolutely contributed to my development and ability as a manager and leader. To apply the learnings, speak to the network and having the safe environment to ask questions and ever continue my professional development has been immeasurable in my club career advancement. I am lucky that some of those I have met along the way, I can now describe as friends.
Congratulations once again, we hope it will be a successful match for both you and the Club. Any final comments?
The Chairman of Walton Heath had this to say on my appointment:
“I am delighted to announce that we have appointed Alex Woodward as our new Chief Executive & Secretary and he will be joining us in September 2021. Alex is currently the General Manager at Hankley Common Golf Club, prior to which he was the General Manager at Boyce Hill Golf & Country Club, a James Braid designed Club in Essex.
Alex bring a wealth of experience to the role with us at Walton Heath. In the last few years, under Alex's guidance, Hankley Common GC has hosted the English Men's Amateur Championship and will be the venue for the Men's Home Internationals in September. He has also worked closely with Mackenzie & Ebert to develop a Course Masterplan for the enhancement of the Course and in parallel has overseen the implementation of a new irrigation system.
Alex is also a very accomplished golfer playing off +1, he captained Essex County Golf from 2013 to 2016, and whilst at Hankley has represented their first team. I am sure that all Members will give Alex a warm welcome to Walton Heath and wish him a long and successful career.