The Most Important Characters at Your Golf Club
IT TAKES all sorts of people to make a golf club tick. If you get the right people doing their jobs to the very best of their abilities the chances are that you will have a club that is popular with its members.
So just who is the most important person at your golf club? Quite clearly, there is no definitive answer but with so many clubs reporting full memberships it is vital that the people who hold key positions are forward-thinking individuals whose priority is to retain existing members and do everything they can to attract new golfers.
Here are some contenders. You won’t agree with all of the choices below and we stress that, in the best Strictly Come Dancing Results Show format, they come in no particular order:
The Website Moderator
Gone are the days when clubs could get away with paying lip service to their websites. For most members and visitors it is the first port of call. If it is dull and outdated it will turn people off. It should be all-singing and all-dancing, featuring drone flyovers of each and every hole. It should be used to sell your golf club and your course. It should also have full details and images of the food on offer. Let visitors and members know that you have embraced 21st-century technology.
The Club Secretary
Thankfully, the age profile of golf club secretaries is finally beginning to fall. Once upon a time they were unapproachable old farts who saw club members as an inconvenience. Now they are increasingly individuals who know the names and backgrounds of each and every club member. They no longer spend every waking hour either locked in their office or out on the golf course. A good secretary will mingle with members in the clubhouse and go out of his or her way to approach visitors. And embrace golf societies and the income they provide. Long may it continue.
The Club Professional
This is the first person visitors and members will see when they arrive at your course for a round of golf. Sadly, they come in all shapes and sizes - there is the wizened old boy who can’t wait to retire; there is the pro who isn’t a people person - and demonstrates as much every time he opens his mouth; there is the enthusiastic young pro whose first job this is and lives and breathes the club and its members. He knows everybody by their first name. With a little bit of luck he is also a gifted teacher and puts improving your game before his own.
The Handicap Secretary
With many golfers still struggling to come to terms with the World Golf Handicap System, the handicap secretary has become a more important cog than ever before. This is an individual who should be able to explain the full vagaries of the WHS to each and every member of the club.
The Club Captain
Sadly, many clubs struggle to get the right people to put themselves forward for this crucial position. What would we give to see proactive young golfers putting their hat in the ring? A young, forward-thinking club captain can inject new ideas. A stuffed shirt will simply ensure that the status quo remains in place.
The Women's Captain
It is a reality that women tend to enjoy their golf far more than their male counterparts. By and large, women naturally socialise together better than men so lady captains tend to be outgoing individuals with lots of good ideas.
The Junior Secretary
Youngsters represent the future of any golf club. Find a club with a thriving junior membership and it will have a junior secretary who is forward-thinking, who encourages young boys and girls and ensures that they have proper access to the course and lessons with the pro.
The Social Secretary
If your golf club doesn’t have a social secretary here’s a tip - find one. As we move forward, it becomes increasingly important that clubs engage with their local communities. It is no longer enough to simply consider the needs of your membership. A decent social secretary will be somebody who organises events that involve members and local residents alike.
The Bar Steward
This man or woman is the face of your club, the individual that all visitors will judge your club upon - perhaps even more so than your course. If he or she greets visitors with a warm smile and genuinely welcomes them, you should be looking to give him or her a pay rise. Sooner rather than later.
A good head greenkeeper is worth his weight in gold. Your course is his canvas and if you are very lucky he will create a masterpiece for you. And it’s not just about having greens that are smooth as silk and run true. It’s the tees, the fairways, the rough and the bunkers. There are few better sights in golf than standing on an immaculate tee and looking out at a striped fairway, knowing that if you find the middle you are going to be rewarded with a perfect lie. Every single time.
First of all, let’s hope that your golf club has a chef because if it doesn’t then you are probably going to be eating food that is heated up in a microwave or eating sandwiches served on stale bread. In this day and age, there is no reason why the food served should not be of restaurant quality.
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