Course Open
Welcome Back

Well it’s been a long hot summer and I trust you all got out to enjoy it. Some of you jumped on and then off the “Manager Merry-go-round” and it hasn’t stopped yet! Kyle Cannon has joined Woodbrook GC, coming from Lahinch, and replacing Jim Melody who moved to Wicklow. John Kelly is leaving Malahide to take up the GM Role at the Island, which leaves a vacancy at Malahide. Milltown GC have yet to find a successor to James Burns CCM and are back in the market again. Killiney GC are close to finalising a replacement for Niall Keyes CMDip. New vacancies are occurring in Muskerry GC and Ceann Sibeal in Dingle.

Best wishes 
Michael F Walsh CCM
Executive Officer


Zoom Meeting Returns

Meetings through ZOOM were very popular over the past 12 months and we will be resuming them again beginning October 6th at 11.00am. Everyone welcome to log in.

Meeting ID: 853 1120 3085

Should any member have an discussion points ahead of next Thursday please email them to

Club Managers on the Move & Roles Available

New Roles

Big shout out to Kyle Cannon CMDip, who has been appointed General Manager of Woodbrook Golf Club. Kyle takes up his new position on September 19th.

CMAE proudly announce that Michael McCormack, CMDip will take over the role as Director of Education after almost two years as International Project Manager. Michael will begin his new role from October 1st 2022.


The new General Manager of Wicklow Golf Club is Jim Melody. Jim moved from the position of General Manager of Woodbrook Golf Club. Jim has also worked in a similar role for Greystones Golf Club. 

"Jim has over 20 years’ experience working in the Golf Industry and will bring a wealth of experience that will be of benefit to Wicklow Golf Club." Wicklow Golf Club

John Kelly moves across the shore from Malahide to The Island Golf Club. We wish John the very best in his new role at a fantasic venue.


General Manager - Dingle Golf Links, Ceann Sibéal
Galf Chumann Ceann Sibéal is a private members' golf club, located west of Dingle, Co Kerry in an area of outstanding scenic beauty. The most westerly course in Europe, Ceann Sibéal is one of course architect Eddie Hackett's most bewitching creations. Several years of course improvements under the guidance of course architect Ken Kearney, have seen us recognised as one of Ireland’s most improved Top 100 Golf courses. Combined with our award winning clubhouse restaurant, we provide a top class, warm and welcoming golf experience to over 500 members and a growing number of visiting golfers. Due to a planned retirement, we are hiring a General Manager to lead our team on the next stage of the Club’s development.

Full Job Description Here

On behalf of us all in the IGCMA, we wish everyone every success in their new role.

Energy - How Clubs Can Tackle Growing Costs

Audit what you have - Mark Ruddy, Kilkenny Golf Club

What an energy audit involves

An energy audit is an important way for managers to access ways to save money, save energy, and to have a solid document to present to your board/committees. This SEAI funded Audit is carried out by an Energy Audior who will review the building to find out;

  • how much energy your business uses
  • the equipment and processes that use the most energy
  • what actions you should take to save energy, and their estimated cost and impact

How to sign up

  1. Register via
  2. Fill in your clubs details
  3. Select a Energy Audit We connect the one we wished to discuss the process and price
  4. The Grant was approved by SEAI within 24 hours, with the grant of €2000 matching the price of the Auditor becoming a cost neutral exercise.
  5. The hope is to use the Audit in our Capex Planning to tackle the ever growing energy costs and to move to a "greener" club when using energy.


Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS)

The Temporary Business Energy Support Scheme (TBESS) will assist businesses with their energy costs over the winter months.
The scheme will be open to businesses that:
• are tax compliant
• carry on a Case I trade and
• have experienced a significant increase in their natural gas and electricity average unit price between the relevant bill period in 2022 and the corresponding reference period in 2021.

The scheme will be administered by Revenue. Businesses will be required to register for the scheme and make claims within the required time limits.

Further details will be available shortly on

Coming Soon

Benchmark Survey

Through the good offices of Ray Cronin and Club Benchmarking, with James Burns CCM putting it all together, we will be issuing a comprehensive survey for  all of you to  use as a benchmark going forward. The more who reply the better the result we will get for all. We will be calling you to ensure you fill it out. This is the first time we have done this in 16 years.

Education Partners

Each of our education partners have something to offer you as a manager, which will assist you in motivating and helping your staff, helping your committee in their decision making and generally keeping you on top of things. Over the course of the next few months, we will be asking them to present to you on a variety of topics. These will include Trends in Beverages, with Estrella Galicia Planning a Course project with DAR Construction, Mortgage and pension advice with Darren Nolan & PAX Financial Services,  Running a Golf Tournament with Golf Genius, who have come on board lately, Health & Safety with Obbi Golf and Technology in Clubs with Jonas Club Software.












The importance of aiming for best practice and not just minimum legal requirements for your Compliance, Safety and Training.

The Golf Health & Safety Survey 2022 recently revealed that over 70% of Golf Club Managers felt they weren’t meeting min legal requirements for Safety and Compliance in their Club. However, only 13% of Clubs use a specialised software system for their Compliance, Safety or Training. Despite these statistics, the overwhelming feedback from Clubs and several key leading organisations like Howden Insurance Brokers felt that using Health & Safety software would increase safety and save them time and money in the long run.

Most Clubs are reactive rather than proactive with their Health and Safety Compliance, no major action is taken until an accident happens. Clubs who focus on best practice as well as the minimum legal requirements understand that effective Health and Safety Compliance requires both reliable policies and procedures as well as effective communication. Promoting Health & Safety Compliance throughout your Club will ensure that employees are aware of their respective responsibilities and the importance of Safety.

Read more click here.............

Education 2022

Bursary for Irish Club Managers

IGCMA Bursary.
We have awarded a €500 bursary to the following who wrote in seeking support, to attend the CMAE European Conference in Tenerife Nov 5th to Nov 8th .
Patrick Dean CCM, Pat Barrett CMDip, Jim Quinn CMDip and Mark Carwood. Well done lads. Our thanks to our Education Partners for their assistance

The benefits of attending a conference

Every year you are invited to attend dozens of different industry conferences, with many offering high impact keynote speakers and a great depth of potential insights into our industry. However, how do you go about evaluating the true worth to your employer in terms of a return on investment?

Learn something new

The most obvious benefit to attending a conference comes from being introduced to new concepts and business practices to help you be more efficient and effective in your job. Management is constantly evolving and the demands of technology, customer needs and demographics requires even the most experienced of club managers to sharpen up on their knowledge and keep on top of their game. 

Conferences give you the chance to listen to industry leaders and professionals and provides the opportunity to ask them questions in a face-to face environment, which you can’t get from reading an article or listening to a podcast from inside your office. 


The club world revolves around the value of a network and the chance to meet fellow managers from various different backgrounds, from different parts of the world and with unique specialist skills who offer the chance for you to grow on a personal and professional level. 

No problem exists at your club that other managers have not been through and your network allows you the chance to learn from their experience (or mistakes!). Such common interests could perhaps lead to a club visit, or even a reciprocal arrangement producing a direct benefit to your club members. 

Your peers provide a valuable resource of ideas, best practices, insights and contacts that are essential in order to grow your business and your career. As your network grows, conferences are most commonly the only chance to catch up with friends and mentors that we would otherwise only connect with through social media.

Develop your career 
Attending a conference demonstrates a conscious effort to educate yourself and a commitment to improving your performance, which not only enhances your CV, but crucially provides vital education credits for the CCM pathway. Not only that, but you might even meet someone that could become your next employer!
There is a significant challenge in setting time aside in a working day to meet with industry suppliers and conferences often provide an invaluable opportunity to meet with sales directors and CEOs who can often be some of the best connections you can make. 
With technology changing at an ever faster pace, it is vital to spend time with industry suppliers who understand the club environment and offer bespoke solutions to everyday problems. Conferences offer an unrivalled chance to meet with the top club management suppliers in all sectors of the industry.
Club management can be an isolated profession and it is easy to get stuck in the habit of the daily grind. A conference should always be fun, providing an upbeat and energised atmosphere provided by people with a love for the profession. This can renew the excitement for the job that you chose and in the long run it will make you happier, healthier and more productive. Also, attendance by a fellow member of staff can be a great team building exercise.

In summary, these are some of the benefits of attending a conference.

  • Sharpen your knowledge 
  • Gain and share new ideas and best practices 
  • Learn about the latest innovations and insights 
  • Meet influencers and industry experts face to face 
  • Make new contacts and stay connected with friends and colleagues 
  • Team building
  • Break out of your comfort zone
  • Re-energise!

So, why not put all of the above into practice and join us at the 2022 European Conference on Club Management on the 5-8 November in Tenerife!

Find out more here

Hot Topics

Softening the intimidation
Ron Furlong shares practical tricks that are working for him as he prepares his 21st budget at the same course. Don’t procrastinate and start reading!

I’m pretty sure we’d all agree the days of an easy or less-than-intimidating budgeting process are long gone.

I’m not admitting I now dread putting together the annual budget in the fall, but I certainly don’t look forward to it. I often practice honing my procrastination skills with the endeavor. 

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, budgeting has gone from a late-season annoyance to a “How the heck am I going to do this?” part of the job in the fall.

Of course, all 2020 budgets were submitted and implemented by the time the pandemic hit early in 2020. I imagine many golf courses, like mine (Avalon Golf Links in Burlington, Washington), changed gears on the fly that year with the ups, downs and utter uncertainty of golf and everything else in life. 

We all accounted for the pandemic when producing our 2021 and our 2022 budgets. For most, that meant budgeting for more rounds, but also for increased prices for nearly every single item in the budget. And we were budgeting with a high – and stressful – level of uncertainty hanging above our heads not knowing if the rounds played spike would continue. None of these factors made for an easy or smooth budget process.

Avalon, like many golf courses worldwide, is about to complete its third straight successful year. This fact somewhat eases the pressure for the upcoming budget. But many future unknowns, including a possible looming recession, counterbalance the rounds-played positive most of us have experienced the last few years. 

As I prepare to sit down and draft the 2023 budget, my 21st here at Avalon Golf Links and third during the COVID-19 era, there are a few tricks that may help me get through the process as pain free as possible. I’ll pass a few of them along in hopes they might help you get through your 2023 budget a little more smoothly, too.

  • Don’t procrastinate. I read once procrastination is something brilliant people do, basically because they can. Even if you feel you fall into this category, it’s prudent to be on top of budgeting these days. Before sitting down in front of the computer, you should be preparing. Follow fuel prices, unemployment rates and rounds-played trends. Budgeting has become as important to the job as keeping green speeds up. Don’t push it to the background anymore.
  • Utilize Early Order Programs. Although they have always been important for participants over the years, EOP have never been more valuable. Not only are skyrocketing prices affecting everything from fertilizers to seed to wetting agents, but product availability issues are arising. This is another major reason planning your year through EOP is positively vital.
  • Reward worker loyalty and long-term employees. It’s no secret that hiring and keeping employees is more challenging. I’m sure we all experienced hiring people for the crew the last couple of years and then having them last a few days or a week before they decided to try the next job down the road. Once you find the people you want to keep, do what it takes to keep them. I don’t know that any other money allocated in your budget is more vital than keeping these folks. This also includes rewarding the long-term workers that have been with you for years. You must factor in the rising costs of simply living life for your employees, and make sure you do all you can to help them make ends meet.
  • Expect the unexpected. Leave some wiggle room for uncertainty. I’m not sure this can be an actual line item in your budget, but part of me thinks that might not be such a bad idea. We all know it’s been a tumultuous, rollercoaster ride managing golf courses the last three years. There’s no reason to expect this to change soon. Do what you can inside your budget to try and plan for something that you may have no idea what it will be.

Now get to work. 2023 is coming fast.

Ron Furlong is the superintendent at Avalon Golf Links in Burlington, Washington, and frequent Golf Course Industry contributor.  

White Papers That May Be Useful

Golf Ireland have a Club Management tab on thier website with the below sample Documents available, to name a few. These may come in handy over the coming months as new committee's are form and looking for our "------- Policy".

Also reaching out to other managers or bringing up in our monthly Zoom meeting can get you some great insight and learnings from a Manager that may have already carried out the task.

  • Club Planning Support
  • Club Surveys
  • Golf Club Fundraising Guide
  • GDPR / Data Protection


Golf Management Podcast




This is a brand new podcast looking at the management of clubs, e.g. golf, leisure, tennis, country clubs, through interviewing industry leading figures to find the secrets to being at the top of the field and succeeding in this amazing arena. Those who have taking part in CMAE MDP may have come across Ed before and is a great guy. 

We are sharing one of his pods today with Greg Pattersn, who may might know.Gregg Patterson - generating the BIG Happy

Gregg is the President and founder of Tribal Magic; where he is an in-demand speaker around the globe. Prior to this, he was the General Manager for an incredible 34 years at The Beach Club in Santa Monica, California. He survived all that time and with a median staff tenure of an equally impressive 17 years! Which makes it safe to say that when it comes to the world of club, he knows a thing or two! His wide ranging career has taken him from a gravedigger (yes, really) to Assistant GM of Bel-Air Country Club to GM of The Beach Club and now into one of the most sought after speakers in the world.

In this episode we dive into Gregg's career; his love of stories and people; the power of curiosity and reflecting; and the main topic of the conversation...generating the BIG Happy for your staff.

Listen on Apple
Listen on Youtube

Golf Events

Match V The SGCMA at Portmarnock GC

This took place on the weekend of September 11/12/13, despite appalling weather which resulted in the Sunday match being cancelled. It all came down to 5 matches on the Monday, as the Scots could only raise 10 players. However their 10 were better than our 10 on the day and they won 3 matches to 2, thereby retaining the Trophy for the 3rd year in a row. We can’t complain too much as we’ve had a run of 15 in a row. Our thanks to Ryan Donaghar, Temporary General Manger at Portmarnock for looking after us so well and for the superb dinner the club put on for us. Ryan also presented a copy of Portmarnock’s History to both Captains.


Best wishes