Our blog consists of articles of opinion, discussion topics and best practice from our members and other club industry professionals.

Have an article to contribute? Send it to debbie.goddard@cmaeurope.eu

Raise your Club's profile and presence using Facebook! 

One of my main roles at Grange Park as Secretary/Manager is to market the Club and increase our overall profile. For those of you that know Grange Park, you'll know we have one of the best golf courses in the North West. We have a quality product on offer and it's my job to let as many people as possible know!

When it comes to marketing, I like to use a number of different methods. However, the most effective and cost effective way to promote the Club I've found is through the use of social media, especially Facebook. Each day I make sure to post something engaging and different that people will find interesting and want to see. Read More

Managing Millenials 

There have been books written, studies commissioned, countless hours of podcasts produced and keynote speeches, including that by Jason Dorsey at the CMAA World Conference in 2016 (which I was fortunate enough to attend) all on one topic – how to work with, manage and essentially, control Millennials, the new workforce generation. Read More 

By Nicki Davis

The Value of Sharing Information 

Andy Brown of The Toro Company explores how teamwork and communication within your core management team can improve the player experience and course operations. This article is the first in a series provided by The Toro Company on “What Matters Most” for golf courses and the success of their day-to-day operations.

It’s sometimes easy to forget, but a golf course is a business — and like any business, its success depends on customers who keep coming back. Proactive communication with members on what’s happening on the course is key in keeping them happy. To achieve such a level of proactive communication requires effective teamwork, and as a management team, that’s exactly what the course greenkeeper, general manager and director of golf/PGA professional must do. Together, you form a “triangle” of communication with each member, playing a critical role in the overall success of the operation. Read More

By Andy Brown

Words of wisdom I’ve learnt from the management development programmes 

Words of wisdom I’ve learnt from the management development programmes. One liners that have resonated for years.

I have been very fortunate, I attended two MDPs as a delegate, MDP1 and MDP2, in 2011 / 12 but when I was Director of Education for CMAE I facilitated over 30 MDPs so got to listen to the great presenters for free! In fact, I was paid to do it… double bonus!

The tools I have learnt have held me in good stead now as I manage Education City Golf Club in Qatar. Read More

The Benefits of Attending a Conference 

Every year you are invited to attend dozens of different industry conferences, with many offering high impact keynote speakers and a great depth of potential insights into our industry. However, how do you go about evaluating the true worth to your employer in terms of a return on investment? Read More

By Debbie Goddard

Leadership Going back to common sense 

Dale Carnegie defined 30 principles which would help to win friends and influence people, win people to your way of thinking and become a successful leader. These principles have all been developed into more modern leadership/management theories, but the principles still apply today. These principles are based on common sense and are hardly revolutionary, but Carnegie claimed that his methods work and transform the lives of many people. Read More

By Alastair Curbbun CCM

Successfully attract more lady members to your Club! 

When I started as Club Manager at Sale Golf Club back in April 2017, it came apparent that we needed to attract more new members.

We had suffered greatly from the poor weather of the previous winter and as a result had lost over 50 members.

In June 2017 I put together a detailed marketing plan for the Club which had a main focus on attracting new members, especially ladies! Read More

By John Jackson

An American intern in Cambridge 

n May 2018, members of all CMAE regions were contacted by the Conrad Winter (London & the Home Counties) to assist a keen young American student at Florida State University (FSU) with an internship in the U.K. I jumped at the chance to help a young aspiring manager ‘learn the ropes’.

Anderson landed on my door step on 26th June and has spent the last two months, learning, working, forming new relationships and seeking knowledge about the industry. The following is Anderson’s blog about his time with us at the Gogs. Read More

By James Fuller



Tailored Solutions for Success, Considering Leasing for Golf Financing 

While you work hard behind the scenes to keep your club at its best, we know that budgeting for Equipment purchases can animate a committee or management group as much as any topic and that keeping up with the latest technology can, at first glance seem expensive.

Considering “Leasing”, as a comprehensive solution to help you access the latest equipment is an often-unexplored means of updating your fleet and usually is at a cost that can improve your finance statement and help you run to budget. Read More

By Carlos Aragones



Is your Club turning over rocks for new members? 

Walking into the Golf Club I locate the management office where I am pleasantly welcomed by the office assistant who asks me how she can help.

  1. Is there any opportunities to become a member at the club?
  2. If so, can you tell me why should I become a member here rather than the other Golf Clubs in the area?
  3. What benefits do your members receive compared to pay and play visitors.
  4. Can you give me some details on the Clubs strategic plan for the next 3-5 years and how my substantial joining fee will be used?

Read more

By Chris Duffy CMDip



Selecting the right people is crucial. Hire for passion train for skills 

How many times do you go through the recruitment process, select who you think is the right candidate and within a week realise that perhaps you’ve made the wrong choice.

Recruiting the right team around you is the key to your success – think about that! You are only as good as the people you hire. Read More


By Debbie Pern CCM



Task or Team orientated ? Try asking HYF….. 

Our Tribe often tell me that one of the great benefits of attending CMAE courses is the safe environment provided, in which to better understand the type of person and the type of manager that you are today. We build this self awareness culminating in the Lumina Spark and Lumina Leader sessions.

These “personality” portraits should be viewed not as a box in which you are being locked forever, but simply a helpful indication of the traits you display in certain circumstances, and at this stage of your career. Many tribe members ask me what Lumina has done for me and I am happy to share my biggest break through for which I have Lumina to thank. Read More

By Kevin Fish CCM

Creating Tribe! 

In presenting this article I have shared how we as a team challenged ourselves as to how much we really included players in those early months of playing golf. What can be done by your team to create such unforgettable gatherings which develop into really positive steps forward for your academy or golf club? Read More

By Phil Jones CMDip

Recruitment – the devil is in the detail 

During the pre opening of any business one of the key outputs of the General Manager is assembling the right team. With our large 33 hole complex due to open in 6 months time I and my senior team colleagues have been spending a large amount of time going through the recruitment process.

I enjoy this process, but it also makes me nervous as you never quite know how the candidate will fit into the team once selected, there are many variables of course being will they actually like working in a country like Qatar with the summer heat, different cultures and very transient society. Read More

By Michael Braidwood CCM

The Pros and Cons of Buffets 

Deciding on the type of catering that will suit your event is really important, so let’s look at the pros and cons of buffet style catering and other options. Whilst buffets are a popular choice for organisers as they appear a better value and more flexible option, it’s important to understand the different types of buffets and their purpose, to decide if they work for a particular event. Read More

By Nicki Davis

The Problem with Budgets 

The problem with budgeting is that we rely on historic data to create our forecasts and the past is increasingly unreliable as a measuring stick for the future. We do our best when we work up a budget for approval by the Finance Committee and Board but what can we do to match up reality with our predictions?

For a start, there are many aspects of expenditure that can be insulated against change, such as signing up for a four year energy contract, or a long term agreement with your cleaning supply company, or insurer. The hard work required to pin down expenditure on regular contracts certainly pays off and it is certainly worthwhile testing your contract costs with your CMAE network.  Read More

By David Roy CCM

Membership Turnaround – A Case Study 

Most of us have read the books and listened to the presentations outlining the theory of membership marketing techniques, and of course we learn a great deal from our own experiences, but the truth of membership marketing is that you never know what will work at your club until you try it.In this article, I am pleased to be able to share with you my most recent experience, as in May 2016, I started working with Bramley Golf Club, a semi-private member-owned golf club located near Guildford in Surrey, south-west of London as its new Club Manager. Read More

By Jerry Kilby CCM

Take charge of the Junior section for serious growth… 

I took over the Junior coaching at Ladybank in 2011 and whilst there were decent numbers attending coaching, numbers taking part in competitions were dwindling. Feedback suggested that the section was lacking new ideas, partially due to being run on a solo basis by one Junior Convenor. In 2015, Ladybank Golf Club in conjunction with Sandy Smith (Head Professional) took the decision to review and re-launch the junior section, asking me to take up the post of Junior Golf Co-ordinator, alongside my role as the Assistant Head Golf Professional. Read More

By Gregor Wright

Regular Auditing of your Club, is it a good thing? 

Why Audit your Leisure Operation? Having worked with and for big corporate companies, there is one thing, which is very similar in every organisation and that is they all want to see their respective brand achieve continuity and consistent standards across their clubs. This is a very important factor as the standards and service provided at each club can then be recognised and this endorses the brand and alternately the name of the company. This can give repeat customers; retain members and attractive new members/clientele. Read More

By Tory Brettell

Creating and delivering a successful social events programme 

One of the key elements of a private members’ club is its social events programme. A successful programme can create a real sense of belonging and contribute greatly to the life and soul of the Club. As a result one of the most important processes I go through as Events Manager at Roehampton Club, is to generate and develop different ideas and then implement them into producing a vibrant programme of events for both the Adult and Junior membership to enjoy. Read More. 

By Nicki Davis

From Theory to Practice 

Let me preach to the choir for a second. MDP Courses are such fantastic things! A whole week of networking, meeting peers and making friends, learning a lot and returning to your place of work with half a rainforest in a binder and so many ideas. Suddenly, you find yourself back at your desk, wondering if bringing about change is even possible in your club. Read More

By Carlos Ladios Boluda CMDip

Corporate Golf Days: Outside the Box? 

Golf Clubs, Country Clubs, or Tennis Clubs are continually seeking alternative ways to attract external revenues streams beyond membership fees. More and more businesses are seeking Corporate Partnerships or Strategic Alliances, where companies and clubs come together to work hand-in-hand in developing each others products and services. However, for many Golf Clubs these partnerships can begin by hosting a Corporate Golf Day. Car Dealerships, Regional Banking Corporations, Airlines and even the Local Business Council are usually interested in hosting these annual activities. Often these days are used to thank their strategic partners or gain new one’s, but here's the question? What’s the cost? Read More

By Chris Duffy CMDip

Pay attention when you go out for

dinner! it could make you some extra cash! 

When I go out for lunch, dinner or visit a café or golf club I always wonder if any strategy or thought has gone into the menu design? And by menu design I do not mean the fancy cover or page design, I am more interested in whether or not there is a strategy in how the menu content has actually been laid out.In most cases I come to the quick conclusion that there has not been! and the menus have either been designed by a design agency or laid out in house in a traditional style. Read More

By Michael Braidwood CCM

Evaluate to increase your membership numbers 

Every year I am looking to increase my membership numbers and I use the following tried and tested process. From this analysis I know what we need to focus on to stay ahead of the competition. It is vitally important that we continue to innovate and communicate our innovations to our existing and future customers via all communication channels especially social media. Read More

By Gabriel Sota CMDip

CRM – What does it mean for clubs? 

So, as many of you will know, CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, but what does this really mean? For some this means marketing, for others it means a sales database and for others a communications register. So what is the right answer? The real answer is a combination, but it depends on your business, your goals and your customers. CRM is typically a technology solution that helps you deliver strategies to manage sales for new business and prospecting as well as manage existing business relationships and customers. In the club world, whether golf or city, public or private, CRM is vital in the battle for retention and growing your new business opportunities. Read More

By Steve Salter

Is there such a thing as an Ideal

committee person?

Working in golf it was my pleasure to organise events and training dedicated to club boards and committees. At those workshops we asked attendees to identify the traits of great committee people and what makes them so suited to the positions they have. As a passionate volunteer myself I frequently see the good and the bad of committees so the opportunity to reflect on how suited we are to voluntary positions is a welcome one when it comes to recruiting and supporting future committees. Read More

By John Kemp CMDip

Original events to attract new golfers and new business 

Italy has a population of about 60.6 million inhabitants but those who enjoy playing the wonderful game of golf are about 90,000, 0.15% of the Italian population. The reasons why there are so few players in proportion to the population, are different and complicated. I have my personal opinions but this is not the subject of this article. Read More

By Dario Colloi CMDip

Golf Course Photography 

During my time as a greenkeeper, I took many photos of golf courses and was often amazed at how a particularly lovely view of an inviting, challenging and picturesque golf hole looked more like a football field when I developed the film.The introduction of digital cameras came with the promise that if you take enough photos, eventually one will turn out well. I have yet to experience this good fortune. Read More

By David Roy CCM

How to increase female participation

at your club

Recent market research indicates golf participation in the UK is stabilising (Sport England Active People Survey, March 2016).However, female golfers remain significantly under-represented. In fact, women account for just 24% of golfers worldwide, yet the number of prospective female players could add $35 billion to the global golf economy. Read More

By Caroline Carroll

The Importance of an Irrigation System Audit 

It has been my intention for some time to write an article about my experience on the importance of hiring a specialized, professional irrigation audit firm before deciding to make any type of investment related to irrigation of our golf course.  In reality, this conclusion can be applied to any area of the golf club when it comes to making an infrastructure of a certain magnitude and in facing our members and clients. Read More

By Carlos De Linares Saez CMDip

Improving the committee experience for volunteers and club staff 

Leaving MDP 1 my head was buzzing and I was just not sure what I could bring back to the Club that would give an immediate impact.  I had so many ideas for improvement but as a successful club why would we need to change anything, and how could I persuade others that we needed change? Read More

By Mary Lou Watkins CMDip

The death of the Club Steward?

The archetypal Club Steward was the king of his domain; commanding respect through sheer force of will and brusque demeanour, rather than any pretence of competence. Any member that broke the clubhouse rules trembled when confronted and committees were left in no doubt as to who held the keys to power. Read More

By David Roy CCM

The problem with Ladies golf is lady


The game of golf would hugely benefit from an increase in participation amongst the female population and there is plenty of good research that details the simple steps that require this to happen. So what’s stopping this from happening? Read More

By David Roy CCM

Having the right medium of communication to your membership 

Communication to a membership is considered very important in our industry. We need to ensure that people who know very little about what we do, at least know why we are doing so and to appreciate what the realistic expectations can be. Read More

By Craig Haldane