Right in time before the holiday, CMAE are proud to announce a new CCM – in this case Mark Whycherley from Waterlooville Golf Club.
Torbjörn “Toby” Johansson, CEO at CMAE comments “I am very happy to see Mark making it to CCM. I have been fortunate to follow his journey through the MDP pathway and see his great commitment to the Club industry and also his willingness to help and support his peers. Well done Mark!”
Here is a short interview with Mark:
Who is Mark Wycherley, CCM?
The professional me is the Secretary/Manager at Waterlooville Golf Club in Hampshire, UK. I am a career driven individual that is always looking to improve and grow through personal development opportunities. I enjoy every aspect of managing clubs, but in particular I enjoy the strategic aspects, helping clubs to develop and deliver strategy, whether that be long-term of change initiatives, as well as encouraging more data-driven discussions and decisions. I am also always looking to improve the way I manage and lead because I can always get better at that.
Outside of work, the personal me is a husband, and father of one, living in Portsmouth on the South Coast of England. Having formerly been both a keen cricketer and golfer, my life has been taken over by my daughter’s tennis “forcing” me to take up playing myself, which I now try to enjoy once or twice a week. Between family commitments and work, I enjoy cooking, and reading a good personal development book. In recent years, my time between work and family, has been taken up by university assignments, having recently completed a MBA at the University of Portsmouth. I almost feel lost with the additional time I now have back! Although that is quickly getting taken up with other things.
What is your background in the industry?
I started in the industry in 2001 with American Golf (UK), later being taken over by Crown Golf, working in the professional shops at Pyrford Golf Club and then Milford Golf Club. Originally aspiring to become a PGA professional, I had the opportunity to move within Crown Golf to Sherfield Oaks for my first sales role in 2006 and the rest was history. I really enjoyed the administrative side of the business, seeing how my role impacted the financial performance of the club. After a year, I moved to Merrist Wood GC in a similar role in 2007. Then in 2008 I took a short break from the industry to work in recruitment. Realising the grass was not greener, I returned to Crown Golf at Oak Park GC in 2009, managing the sales and marketing of the Club. At that point in my career, I was fortunate to become more involved in many other aspects of the Club, which helped my understanding of club operations and the commercial management of clubs. In 2013, I was then fortunate to move to Golf at Goodwood which further opened my eyes to the wider leisure and hospitality industry. Then in late 2015, I realised my career ambition of becoming a club manager when I took the role of Secretary/Manager at Waterlooville Golf Club. In the 8 years I have been at the Club, I have been lucky to work with a great team and get my teeth into many projects to drive the club forwards. The Club’s committee has been a great support to me in my personal development journey to help me get to where I am today.
Why did you want to become a CCM?
For me, becoming a CCM was a no-brainer for two main reasons. The first reason is that it has long been the standard to achieve, especially in the USA, but now globally. The industry in the UK has evolved with many people seeing club management as a proper career path with organisations like the CMAE and CMAA enabling professional development. The CCM designation, adds credibility to an individual, by signalling the strength of an individual’s knowledge and, whilst much is general business theory, the various learning opportunities with the CMAE show how to apply that knowledge in the club industry. Which leads me onto the second reason. The second and main reason for becoming CCM was more the culmination and recognition undertaking the CMAE’s Management Development Programme. For me, being new to the role of club management in 2015, I quickly learned that it is easy to be influenced by other people as to how they would possibly do things, especially when my own knowledge was not as strong as it is now and I was less confident in my ability. It was important to me, after getting my feet under the desk and coming to that realisation, that I embarked on an education programme that developed my knowledge, increased my own confidence in my ability and earned me a degree of credibility with committees and members. After much research, the CMAE’s Management Development Programme was the clear and obvious choice, teaching best practice and creating invaluable networks. After experiencing MDP 1 in Coventry, back in 2018, I was hooked and knew that I had to do more and become CCM.
As a CCM – What do you hope to be able to contribute to the Club Industry?
Great question. I think in the immediate term, it will be to further help Waterlooville grow beyond what we have achieved to date, with the knowledge I have gained throughout the Management Development Programme, conferences, summits and other great learning opportunities provided by Toby and the team, as well as the knowledge I have gained on the MBA. Beyond the immediate term, becoming a CCM and completing university has made me reflect on what I want to get out of my career. I would love to be able to help others grow but at present it is hard to say what the future looks like. For years I was set on becoming the best Club Manager I could be, but by completing the CCM journey it has made me realise there are other opportunities and ways to have a positive impact on the club industry. Over the last few years, I have learned that I have a great enthusiasm for strategy, change, financial planning, and data-driven decision-making. This is something I feel many clubs could better and I certainly will be taking with me to any clubs I work at or support in some capacity in the future.
What are your feelings about achieving the CCM recognition?
Quite simply, I am over the moon! I recall sitting down on MDP 1 in 2018 and Darshan asking us to write down our career goals for the coming years. My top two were to get a MBA and become CCM. I am so proud and ecstatic to have achieved both of those goals in 2023. But achieving CCM is the pinnacle because it is an industry specific designation that adds great credibility and reinforces my knowledge and ability, giving me the self-belief to keep progressing my career. And being internationally recognised, it could also open doors globally should I ever wish to try somewhere new. Finally, it gives me the drive to keep progressing. The hard work has paid off, but personal growth must not stop. I still have two other MDP’s I would like to do, World Conferences to look forward to and networks to build. Roll on 2024!