CCM Q&A: Michael Newland CCM

Michael Newland CCM is the current Club Secretary at the Berkshire Golf Club and former Secretary at Royal Porthcawl Golf Club. Michael passed his CCM exam in March 2017 and also sits on the Board of the CMAE overseeing the corporate partnership programme.

In this Q&A Michael explains how a background in Marketing helps with his job and how health and fitness it important in the role of club manager.

You have a background in marketing. In what way does this help with your job?
Marketing within the Club business is very similar to marketing in many other business. It is about painting a picture to get people to buy your product. If the product is strong there is a great opportunity to promote. For example – On the back of the drought the fairways at The Berkshire were hit very hard. The Club decided on a change of strategy to improve the condition of the fairways and to ensure they were less reliant on water. This involved significant disruption to the courses and ultimately asking the members to play from mats instead of grass. This was unanimously accepted by the members of the Club but only after the marketing exercise of presenting “where we are now, where do we want to be (what it will look like) and how are we going to get there”. Fingers crossed as the season approaches we will see the fruits of all the hard work!

You were the Deputy Secretary at Sunningdale prior to becoming the Secretary at Royal Porthcawl. Were there any surprises when you moved into a managers role from deputy?
The buck stops with you! As the leader of the team you are always “on parade”. The manager is under the spotlight at all times even when you are not interacting with staff, members and guests – your appearance, how you speak to others and your attitude is observed by all at all times. One significant difference from deputy to manager is the management of committees. This is a crucial aspect of the job to ensure expectations are met and to ensure progress is made. I learnt the “nudge” in the very early part of my Club Management career – ensuring Committee members were aware of what I was trying to achieve and ensure their buy-in to reach the successful goal. The “nudge” can be found on many MDP courses!

In what way did the CCM Accreditation help when you applied for your current role at the Berkshire?
The CCM accreditation is recognised more and more throughout the world of Club Management and the awareness in Europe has increased significantly over the last five years. The advert for the job at The Berkshire stated the CCM qualification was desirable. The interview panel were also aware that I was about to take the exam although they did not make it a condition that I must pass to get the job. Going through the accreditation process showed that I am prepared to challenge myself, learn more and ultimately become a better manager which in-turn should have a positive impact on the Club.

You live on site at the Berkshire. Do the benefits outweight the negatives of tied accommodation?
Yes the benefits far outweigh the negatives. The Courses Manager and House Manager also live on-site so between the three of us we have most eventualities covered. The Berkshire Golf Club is a big operation and living on-site gives me the opportunity to see the club breathing at different times and days on a regular basis. I have a thirty second commute to work, no traffic jams and get to see more of the family and also manage to have dinner with them most evenings. If there is work to be completed in the evening I can just pop back.

You have signed up for the Chautauqua ride at the CMAA World Conference. Is health and wellness important to you and do you think the industry takes it seriously?
Health and wellness is very important. It can be quite a tough job and really looking forward to having the opportunity to participate in the Chautauqua ride, having the benefits of exercise and the ability to talk with fellow managers is something I am very much looking forward to. There is a need for the industry to do more for health and wellness for all involved in Club life. Perhaps an opportunity to incorporate some of this requirement into education workshops?