“I have always disliked management speak. We forever hear companies talking about being proactive rather than reactive; in all walks of life there is room for action and reaction but there is never any room for complacency,” says Ian Smith, Director, Circle Affinity.

Circle Golf and our sister companies Ludus, Club and Chapter have always believed in three fundamentals – Honesty, Morality and Professionalism. It’s not always easy to do one, never mind all three! But it is absolutely essential that you can trust the advice being provided by your professional suppliers and it’s actually tremendously difficult to establish if you are in fact receiving good quality assistance - well that is until it becomes terribly apparent that you were on the receiving end of some very bad advice!

Recently Golf Club Management magazine published an article citing a possible EU ruling on the use of Golf Buggies and other small self propelled vehicles. The article spread like wild fire with managers of sporting clubs all over the UK hitting the panic button: “Does this mean I need to register and insure all my Buggies?”

We responded to this with a very simple comment on our twitter feed, which read, “Don’t worry about this possible ruling, we saw this coming years ago and you’re already covered”. Now that was a nice moment for us, especially as we have had to argue long and hard for the need for this cover. The truth is, you don’t wait for the ruling to happen before jumping to action; you anticipate rulings and anticipate cultural changes. That’s why we are now promoting Identity Fraud and Cyber Crime covers for all clients. There’s no point needing insurance after an event. You need assurance that your provider is covering your back before you learn that it was exposed.

Not only do you need to be sure that your professional advisor will supply you with the right advice, you need to be doubly sure that they won’t then apply onerous terms or conditions to the cover. We were surprised to discover that last year, one of the country’s most respected companies had a condition on their golf insurance contract which read “excludes any incident resulting from participation in golf”! Another chose to avoid exposure by stating that cover would be withdrawn if the policyholder was entitled to any form of indemnity under any other contract. These terms will not be obvious to the untrained eye and it is thus utterly essential that you can be sure your provider is actually looking after you, first and foremost. They must act with morality and foresight.

It is this foresight and morality which has always convinced us of the need to support the CMAE. We want future clients of ours to employ managers who know how to do the job before the job needs to be done, not realise the need for professionalism in the club after an amateur approach has failed so spectacularly.

Ian Smith is Director of Circle Affinity. Circle Affinity insures more than 1200 Golf and Sports Clubs in the UK. Ian can be contacted on 0141 242 4863 or 07703786891 ian@circlegolf.co.uk

Article published in Clubhouse Europe issue 6