Profile: GCMA Manager of the Year finalist, Dave Carlisle

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 11, 2013 12:07

Dave Carlisle is the golf club manager of Garforth Golf Club in Yorkshire

Golf clubs across the UK might be struggling at the moment, but you wouldn’t know it at Garforth Golf Club in Yorkshire, which celebrates its centenary this year and posted its two best years of financial returns ever – in 2011 and 2012.

At the heart of this growth is David Carlisle, a former police officer and hostage negotiator (and former captain of Elsham Golf Club), who took over the club in 2010 following a post as manager of Sleaford GC.

David took over a club that had made a £2,900 loss in 2009, and immediately sought to rectify the financial situation via two methods: reducing expenditure and increasing members. On the former, all contracts were renegotiated and new cost-cutting systems were introduced. This meant that, for example, the club’s energy bill was almost halved from 2009 to 2013, while insurance costs have also dropped by nearly a quarter over that time.

In addition, David, assisted by the club’s handyman Stan Kirk, who runs a successful Twitter feed, has revamped the club’s marketing operation. A new website attracts 8,000 visitors a month. David also convinced the committee to introduce the BRS online booking system which has led to a large increase in visitors and entrants for club competitions, and has furnished the club with data regarding unused tee times, which are then marketed.

As a result, the club’s main seven-day membership category is now full, which has meant Garforth’s last two years have seen record profits of of £77,000 and £68,500 posted, which have been used to make necessary refurbishments to the clubhouse.

Furthermore, the club, which was awarded GolfMark last August, has targeted younger members by creating additional intermediate categories of membership as well as taster sessions, while a new initiative attracting lady members commences next month.

David, an active GCMA member and national representative of the Yorkshire region, said one of his proudest achievements was with Kevin Fretwell, a former director of the club who undertook the GCMA’s training course last year and became David’s assistant – after only 10 months of this, he secured his own managerial role at Scarcroft Golf Club.

“Dave’s success has not gone unnoticed,” said Ken Findlater, the club’s pro for more than 30 years. “At one golf meeting, the captain of another club told the audience that everyone wants to know the secret of Garforth’s success. I didn’t tell him about Dave’s contribution as I don’t want him headhunted!”

The Manager of the Year competition is sponsored by HowDidiDo and Tonic Golf.

The winner is announced on March 27, 2013 at Walton Heath Golf Club. He or she will receive a trip for two to Rioja in Spain as part of the prize


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir March 11, 2013 12:07
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  1. Garforth Golf Club (@GarforthGC) March 12, 09:26

    Profile of David Carlisle, Golf Club Manager of the Year Finalist. From Garforth Golf Club, Leeds, Yorkshire.

    Reply to this comment
  2. William Carlisle March 11, 23:40

    You forgot to mention that he’s a brilliant father as well =D Go, Dad!

    Reply to this comment
  3. 19th Hole Social (@19th_holesocial) March 11, 12:33

    #Golf #Panthersocial Profile: GCMA Manager of the Year finalist, Dave Carlisle

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