Managers have a lot to learn
IT was a routine phone call to a golf club manager that should have been dealt with quickly, but instead it turned into an unnecessary marathon.
The rigmarole left me bewildered and convinced some golf club managers still fail the “communicating with the media” test.
The number of phone calls to general managers that remain unanswered is staggering. It’s the bane of all golf writers. The frustration started after I had come across some information about an innovative idea a club had introduced to attract people to its club.
I wanted to report about it because I thought it would be beneficial.
To cut a long story short, it took five days and five phone calls to get the manager on the telephone.
“Ah, you have been leaving messages for me to call you,” he said when answering my fifth call. “What can I do for you?”
His question made me think of John F. Kennedy’s famous quote made at his inaugural address immediately before taking the presidential oath of office.
“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”
Substitute the words “country” with “club” and you’ll get my drift.
By his own admission, the club was struggling and needed new members and he asks “what can I do for you”?
“I had a group of 100 influential people who were interested in holding a corporate day at the club, but because I hadn’t heard from you they have taken their business elsewhere,” I said tongue in cheek. I remember top sports administrator John Ribot warned golf clubs about staffing in 2004.
“Get the front office right and everything else will fall into place,” he told delegates at a golf industry conference. “If you don’t change or challenge yourself you won’t get there.”
In 2011, it’s clear there are still golf club managers that have a lot to learn – not only about communication, but other issues. The good news is help is just a phone call away. Later this year, Golf Management Australia is holding a national conference for its members.
Learn, Lead and Inspire is the theme of the conference, which is shaping up as a not-to-bemissed educational experience.
Oftentimes it is less-skilled managers who believe they already possess all the expertise needed to be a good GM and will give the conference a wide berth.
Meanwhile, the professional club managers will jump at the chance to improve their knowledge.
Of course, savvy golf club board members will insist their managers attend the conference.
Attendance should be compulsory for all golf club general managers as a better-informed manager can ultimately help the club’s bottom line through the introduction of innovative ideas picked up at these conferences.
Who knows, the conference could help rescue some of the golf industry’s under-strength GMs. FOOTNOTE: GMA has secured a number of top guest speakers for its conference to be held at Melbourne’s Crown Promenade Conference Centre from October 3-7. To find out more, log on to www.gma.org.au