MAN­AGER OF YEAR

Steen­berg’s Peet de Wet wins top CMASA award.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents -

The last few years have been dif­fi­cult and try­ing for mem­bers at Steen­berg Golf Es­tate in Cape Town, as their course has suf­fered on­go­ing con­di­tion­ing is­sues due to the city’s wa­ter cri­sis. But that hasn’t stopped Steen­berg CEO Peet deWet ris­ing above the prob­lems to be named Club Man­ager of theYear for 2018.

It is the most pres­ti­gious an­nual award given by the Club Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion (CMASA), and recog­nises those who lead with dis­tinc­tion at a va­ri­ety of South Africa’s sport and re­cre­ation clubs, not just those in the golf in­dus­try.

DeWet ar­rived at Steen­berg as the new CEO in June 2015, and was im­me­di­ately plunged in at the deep end.The up­mar­ket es­tate, renowned as hav­ing one of the coun­try’s best con­di­tioned cour­ses since its launch in 1996, was in the midst of re­cov­er­ing from mys­te­ri­ous turf dis­eases which were trou­bling the course from tee to green.All 18 greens had to be re­planted with new bent grass, but with the wa­ter cri­sis the prob­lems have per­sisted.

De Wet, in re­ceiv­ing the award for the first time, was praised for his proac­tive man­age­ment of tough wa­ter re­stric­tions which en­sured Steen­berg’s en­vi­ron­men­tal sus­tain­abil­ity dur­ing the low­est rain­fall sea­son in theWestern Cape since 1933. De Wet ac­knowl­edged that the busi­ness frame­work in which he op­er­ates at Steen­berg, plus work ethics, pro­vided the ideal en­vi­ron­ment in which to ex­cel.

De Wet had been head­hunted from Ebotse Golf & Coun­try Es­tate in Gaut­eng, where he had made a name for him­self, first as gen­eral man­ager of the golf club when the es­tate was launched in 2007, and then as CEO of the es­tate and home own­ers as­so­ci­a­tion. He started his ca­reer in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, work­ing his way up from front of­fice man­ager to restau­rant owner and ho­tel man­ager.

“The award and recog­ni­tion by my peers in the in­dus­try is a cel­e­bra­tion for me and my team at Steen­berg,” said De Wet, who re­ceived an all-ex­penses paid trip to at­tend the Club Man­age­ment As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica’s World Con­fer­ence in Fe­bru­ary 2019.“Awards do not only ac­knowl­edge in­di­vid­ual suc­cess but also recog­nise oth­ers who par­tic­i­pated in the ef­fort.All our em­ploy­ees con­tribute to­wards the suc­cess of our club.

CMASA Gen­eral Man­ager Janyne Marais said she was thrilled with the level of com­mit­ment and pas­sion shown by this year’s win­ners.“Peet has proved that pro­fes­sional man­age­ment, strate­gic lead­er­ship, de­ter­mi­na­tion and team­work can un­lock the po­ten­tial to solve prob­lems that may seem in­sur­mount­able,” she said.

Western Cape and KwaZulu-Na­tal clubs dom­i­nated the five most cov­eted CMASA awards. Each of the 28 nom­i­nees un­der­went an in­ter­view with a re­gional judg­ing panel af­ter which a short­list of can­di­dates at­tended fi­nal in­ter­views with a judg­ing panel in Jo­han­nes­burg in­clud­ing in­dus­try lead­ers and stake­hold­ers.

Umh­lali Coun­try Club in Bal­lito on the KZN North Coast, headed by gen­eral man­ager John Boyce, scooped the Green Award due to their en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­icy im­ple­mented in 2016 which has sig­nif­i­cantly im­pacted the lo­cal com­mu­nity through projects aimed at up­lift­ing club staff. Course su­per­in­ten­dent Robin Naicker has played a ma­jor role in that pol­icy.

The Con­tin­u­ous Pro­fes­sional Devel­op­ment award went to Kloof CC in Dur­ban for their ded­i­ca­tion and com­mit­ment to staff train­ing, im­prov­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, ser­vice de­liv­ery and op­er­a­tional ef­fec­tive­ness. Kloof, un­der a fe­male gen­eral man­ager in Pam May­bery, up-skilled 21 staff mem­bers with in­dus­try spe­cific train­ing dur­ing 2018.

TheYoung Man­ager of theYear was Kelvin Grove’s Lau­ren Olivier, who at 32 is manag­ing the fi­nan­cial op­er­a­tions of Cape Town’s fore­most club. She im­ple­mented new pro­cesses that have re­sulted in im­proved stan­dards of good prac­tice and gov­er­nance at Kelvin Grove.

Paarl Golf Club’s Heidi Stry­dom was named Em­ployee of theYear due to her fi­nan­cial man­age­ment skills. Her knowl­edge of tax­a­tion per­tain­ing to recre­ational clubs and non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tions has re­sulted in large sav­ings for her club which will serve as a guide­line for clubs coun­try­wide.

Rand­park pres­i­dent Garth El­liott and Bryanston chair­man Ian Mur­doch, who serve as vol­un­teers at their clubs, were hon­oured by Board­Room Magazine for their roles in the pro­fes­sional op­er­a­tions of their clubs as well as their lead­er­ship skills.

From left: Lau­ren Olivier, Fi­nan­cial Man­ager Kelvin Grove (Young Man­ager of Year); Heidi Stry­dom, Fi­nan­cial Man­ager Paarl GC (Em­ployee of Year); Pam May­bery, GM Kloof CC (CPD Award); Gary Ged­des, Chair­man CMASA and GM of Dur­ban CC; Peet de Wet, CEO of Steen­berg (Club Man­ager of Year); John Boyce, GM Umh­lali CC and Robin Naicker, Course Su­per­in­ten­dent (Green Award); Ian Mur­doch, Chair­man Bryanston CC (Board­room Magazine Award).

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