‘Our members need to know they have the right person at the helm during these unprecedented times’

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick August 30, 2020 12:19

It’s been an extraordinary few months for everyone in the industry. Andrew Minty, manager of the club Wales Golf named as ‘Welsh Golf Club of the Decade’ during the lockdown, reviews what has happened and what he has learnt about managing a golf club during a pandemic.

It has certainly been an immensely difficult year for everyone. Uncertainty, pressure from our directors and members, the fear of cutting costs / staff and what the future will hold for the golf industry.

Not sure about you, but there have been times over the last few months when I have stopped and thought ‘it must be a dream’. The plans for 2020, the budgets, the capital projects, the recruitment drives – all put on stop with no end in sight.

If I were to write this a few months ago, there is no way I could be so positive, but coming out of lockdown, reevaluating my business, planning for the future and galvanising my staff to have a positive outlook on things, there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. There is no doubt that the golf industry has changed and will continue to change over the next few years. However, it is not all negative. Yes, there will be stringent rules, policies, risk assessments and another mountain of paperwork and emails. The trends have changed completely but the demand for golf is greater throughout the UK and I believe we will all see our clubs prosper as long as we manage and control our businesses effectively.

Our staff are looking for leaders now more so than ever. Our directors need to know that they cannot do without us. Our members need to know that they have the right person at the helm to carry the business through these unprecedented times.

I have learned that staying positive, even when setbacks arise, is key to moving forward and pushing through. A positive outlook can help you turn a bad situation into a good one in a much shorter period of time, and with better end results. It is the process of making something good out of something bad.

Do not limit your thinking. Just as important as limitless thinking is being deliberate about your habits and actions. The same thing can be said about any goals you set for your golf club.

Avoid ‘What Ifs’

‘What ifs’ are absolute killers when it comes to cultivating a positive attitude at your golf club.

Yes, you have to plan for different scenarios at times, but you can’t become obsessed with asking ‘what if?’

If all you do is think about all the things that can go wrong, it’s going to lead you down a bad road.

You have to be optimistic that your hard work is going to pay off instead of anticipating doomsday scenarios, that kind of negativity is only going to lead to bad things for you, your staff and your golf club.

Have big goals

You can’t survive in the golf industry at the moment in my opinion without having big goals, and you will never achieve those big goals without a positive mindset and the belief that you can actually achieve them.

Even if your targets are a little too high, having them will help your motivation and your staff’s, and it will force you to give yourself daily affirmations that you are on the way towards reaching those goals.

Plan for the best

Stay positive by having faith that things are going to work out for the best.

If you don’t have the confidence in yourself to think that you’re going to succeed, you shouldn’t be running that golf club. Instead of thinking about how you will react if things head south for you, make a plan for what you want to do when your club starts to grow and expand.

If you stay positive and plan for success instead of failure, you will be amazed at how much more likely you are to experience success. Above everything else, you must remain confident that you will succeed no matter what challenges arise or setbacks you face.

I still have negative thoughts that creep into my head every now and then, but in the end positive thoughts always win. Take a step back, regroup and focus. After all – almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes … including you!

You MUST also look at your support network of other managers and organisations that will help you. I have a number of managers at clubs that I can call close friends. Their help and dialogue over these times has been invaluable. Both to air our frustrations about legislation, or various scenarios that have come up throughout that week. We have made light of it, supported each other and helped out when we can. The PGA, CMAE and GCMA have been great for this also, as well as my governing body Wales Golf who have been our lifeline.

Do not be afraid to ask for help, contact other managers for their guidance and knowledge. We are all in this together, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Be confident that you are strong enough to handle your challenges, wise enough to find a solution to any club problems and capable enough to do whatever needs to be done.

Andrew Minty CMDip is a PGA Advanced Fellow and director of golf at Langland Bay Golf Club.

Email him at info@langlandbaygolfclub.com

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick August 30, 2020 12:19
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1 Comment

  1. Peter August 30, 20:41

    In good times, organizations have a difficult time, defining and recruiting real true leadership !! Most attract, people who lack the character and courage to succeed !! In times of crisis, they have an even more difficult task at hand !! Implementing Bold and brutally honest Leadership !! The type of leadership that is often uncompromising and hard-headed ! The type of leadership that understands how to balance elevated levels of empathy and compassion with those pro-active actions !! In Andrew, it would seem they have the right guy !! Unprecedented times, require Bold leadership ! Many fear that, holding on instead to ineffective and outdated styles of leadership !!

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