You cannot manage a golf club from behind your desk

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 21, 2018 08:35 Updated

The director of golf at Langland Bay GC, and both the youngest ever PGA director of golf and the youngest GCMA ‘Manager of the Year’, Andrew Minty, explains why you cannot manage a successful golf club from behind your desk.

It is very easy for a golf club manager to come into work and to be stuck to their desk for hours on end. I know, because I’ve been guilty of it myself on numerous occasions.

The sea of endless emails, accounts, studying spread sheets, planning and analysing reports may be necessary, but nothing can substitute for the knowledge manager’s gain when they spend time with the people who work for them and the customers.

Not to mention the essential need to ‘walk the journey’ that your guest or member will walk on a DAILY basis! To get into the habit of doing this takes planning and time management. In my opinion, every manager must do it.

Managers need to get out of their offices to find out what is really happening within their business. When meeting with employees and observing them perform their assigned work, managers will see first-hand both obstacles and opportunities that exist.

To meet and greet members and guests will give that element of personal attention that will make your golf club stand out from the rest and therefore will give a memorable experience. Not to mention the enhanced profile you have to that golfer by being the face of your club and giving that great customer experience that every golfer deserves.

That early facility walk around will enable you to look at the cleanliness of the building, add things to the handyman’s daily worksheet, check that the marketing materials are positioned correctly, notice boards are up to date and that staff are in on time. This needs to be the first job performed and that will enable you to go back to your office happy in the knowledge that your business is up to the high standards you demand and you are ready to go for another day. It’s only then do you turn on your computer and start chipping away at your admin work.

I also highly recommend as many course walk arounds as you can possibly do in a week. These don’t need to be on foot, but on a buggy or with your greenkeepers and just go to key indicator areas if needs be. The members see you on the course, they see you managing your staff and therefore will have confidence in your decisions and management of their golf club.

This is very easy for me to say and write, you need to try it for a period to see the results. I know you will be happy with them and will adapt your day accordingly. Getting out of the office and being more hands-on will give your day variety, allow you to control all aspects of the business and will make you more visible to those members who are quick to judge your performance.

In my opinion, the most effective managers get to know their customers. You can’t if you are barricaded behind piles of reports, non-stop meetings and a heavy workload. Manage your time effectively.

‘Either run your day or your day will run you.’

PGA Fellow Professional Andrew Minty achieved the director of golf qualification in 2008 aged just 28. He joined Langland Bay Golf Club in Wales in 2010. In 2013 the club was named Wales Golf’s ‘Golf Club of the Year’ and in 2015 he was named the GCMA’s ‘Manager of the Year’.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir August 21, 2018 08:35 Updated
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  1. Christopher August 22, 05:29

    Absolutely correct!

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  2. Geoff August 21, 14:34

    Extremely correct, good staff will make the business grow

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  3. Samantha August 21, 11:06

    Surely this is just common sense within this position?

    Reply to this comment
  4. Richard August 21, 09:26

    Well put Andrew. It is easy to forget that you need to get out & talk to the golfers & staff when you are buried in paperwork

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