Richard Pennell CCM


​The pathway through to the qualification, and the experience of the exam itself, have created a whole new chapter of education for me and opened all sorts of new opportunities. I have so many new habits as a result of the varied and thorough subject matter in MDP, and the confidence gained from getting through the gruelling exam intact has stood me in good stead. It would not be an exaggeration to suggest that it has transformed my career path and aspirations!

After finishing university in 1997, I spent 5 years working in book retailing, honing my customer service skills at the front line in central London bookshops! I then spent a further 5 years as a greenkeeper at Mitcham Golf Club, learning turf management in a beautiful setting. Then in 2007, I started a new role as Assistant Secretary at the prestigious New Zealand Golf Club in Surrey. With a varied workload in a small staff team, it was a steep learning curve but I enjoyed the challenge and the Club was kind enough to invest in my development through various courses. I was then asked to join the CMAE London & Homes Counties Region Board in January 2013, and as part of that role set up half a dozen MDP courses for the region, which were the first UK MDP courses outside Scotland. I took the opportunity to attend MDP 1 & 2 in Stirling myself, and after several years of gathering credits sat the CCM exam in November 2014 – a seven hour exam! I was delighted to pass and honoured to join the existing Certified Club Managers, but was determined to put into practice all the theory I have learned, and so when an opportunity arose to join Royal Wimbledon Golf Club in their 150th year, I jumped at the chance. I know the CCM was a major factor in the Club selecting me for the role, and the educational insights that the CCM pathway has given me were vital in making my time there a success!

After 18 months at Royal Wimbledon I then was given the opportunity to become the Secretary of Woking Golf Club, ranked number 17 in England by Golf World, and have continued to put CMAE learning and networking experiences into practice in a very exciting period for myself and this wonderful Club, which has a unique place in the history of golf. Again the CCM was a key factor in convincing the appointment panel that I had the skills in place to transform the Club, and I am thrilled to be here, putting the theory into practice on a daily basis. One of the key tenets of the pathway is to continue to learn, though – as Einstein said “once you stop learning, you start dying”! I continue to attend and support CMAE events and hope to be able to attend another World Conference in early 2020, and through the “tribe” have forged many business partnerships, friendships and other beneficial connections, all of which help me to do a more professional job for my employers. I am delighted to have recently renewed by CCM accreditation for a further 5 years, as a result of continued engagement with the Association’s educational & networking content. The CCM opens doors to networking and employment opportunities all over the world, which is very exciting for those in this industry with a thirst for learning and experience on a wider scale. The 5 years since I qualified seem to have passed as quickly as the 7 hour exam did…