‘It’s a very different first few months to what I expected!’

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 22, 2020 09:43

Matthew Bacon, 27, was appointed as the new general manager of Haverhill Golf Club in Suffolk just one week before the UK went into lockdown and the golf club had to close.

Despite being so young, Matthew is experienced with both golf – he’s a former England Schoolboys player – and with club management, as he ran Costessey Park Golf Club in Norfolk for two years.

Profiled in the Haverhill Echo, he talks about the last few, incredible, weeks.

“It is definitely a very different first few months to what I expected,” he said.

“I couldn’t have ever imagined it but in some ways it is good as you are forced to learn new things and get on with it.”

Despite there being no golf for the majority of his time so far as the new manager, he’s still been incredibly busy.

The club has produced a nine-page ‘Returning to Golf’ document circulated to its 600 members, which details health and safety issues surrounding golf during a pandemic, and, like many managers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, in the last few days, he’s had to deal with unprecedented demand for memberships and for tee times.

Due to that demand, members have been restricted to nine-hole rounds after the course was effectively split into two separate loops, with a maximum of two peak tee times a week.

“We had to make sure we gave everyone a fair chance to get back playing,” he said.

He also talked about what attracted him to the club.

“As well as the course, definitely one of the things that attracted me to the job at Haverhill was how strong the committee was and how focused they had been with the future,” said Bacon, who still competes on the East Region PGA circuit.

Haverhill in April. Image from Facebook

“They have got some great plans in place and I was really keen to develop those and help them implement those in the coming years.

“Unfortunately this has made it financially a bit uncertain but I am sure the plans will take place, it may just take a bit longer.”

Improving the experience for members is what he said his top priority will be.

“I think my previous roles have been really focused on customer service and golf clubs generally have been very traditional and maybe not as dynamic as they’d like to be. So I think that is certainly something I am able to offer,” he added.

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir May 22, 2020 09:43
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4 Comments

  1. Paul M May 23, 12:20

    My young son and I found Haverhill to be a super friendly club when we attended for a BJGT event

    Reply to this comment
  2. christopher S May 23, 08:41

    I can sympathise….new club…straight into a 6 week closure of the clubhouse for rewiring….reopen for 2 weeks and then close due to lockdown! Friday next week will feel like a new first day introducing myself to members!

    Reply to this comment
  3. Peter May 22, 16:37

    Of course it is !! These are very unusual and unique times !!! However, Congratulations are still warranted !! The good news about bad times, they go away ! Stay positive, welcome these times and adversity that goes with them, they’ll make you stronger !! The important thing is…don’t let it stop you !!! I learned on the streets of NYC, the importance of persistence, “giving up is not an option !” I also learned, “winners never quit !” Here’s a tip, If you cannot find another position right now, offer to help another club manager to survive and thrive in these tough times !! You will become memorable !!! Great success to you Matthew !!!

    Reply to this comment
  4. Jack May 22, 14:07

    Great to see Matthew Bacon hope all is well pal

    Reply to this comment
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