Message from the GMA Chair

Andrew Gay, Chair, Golf Management Australia Ltd.At the outset you may have noted the use of the word “Chair” rather than the former term of President. This change came about after a decision of the GMA Board to modernise the constitution to more appropriately recognise the role. In amending the constitution, the board having been conscious of the need to provide for an element of succession planning, also adopted to create the position of Deputy Chair.

I am pleased then to state the board of GMA for the year 2017/2018 is as follows:

Chair: Andrew Gay
Deputy Chair: Paul Patterson
Directors: Peter Busch, Brad Dawson, Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters and Aaron Muirhead.

By now, those of who attended the National Conference, will have reflected on the benefits of our attendance. The post conference survey is an important tool to enable the board to evaluate the conference format and content and it is not surprising that overall a very high level of  satisfaction for the conference has been reported. Planning for the 2019 conference is already underway with our conference management, All Occasions Group, having been contracted to manage the Melbourne conference.

Recognising that good governance requires us to reflect on the pros and cons of the conference, one of the lessons taken out of the 2017 event is that the board must be less operational through the planning process and trust our conference managers to do what they do best. Does this concept sound familiar to club managers?

Whilst we will continue to review the conference survey feedback it is evident that it is impossible to meet the expectations of all the delegates. We come from a diverse background, our skillsets differ as do our priorities. That being understood we do appreciate the varying dynamics.

In recent months, we have been researching the provision of a member support program. Appreciating the demands of being club managers we should also acknowledge the need to ensure we have a clear focus on work/life balance. Sadly today, the challenges we face in life can often result in unacceptable levels of stress and we are conscious that professional support can be a tipping point to getting back on the right track. GMA members will be aware that the AGCSA and PGA adopted to roll out a national member support program and I am delighted to say that the board has similarly resolved to provide an alike service to GMA members. The program which provides initial consultation for our members provides for the cost to be borne by GMA.

Previously reported was our decision to also provide our members with the opportunity to gain the internationally recognised CCM designation. Our recent survey returns indicate a strong level of interest in participating in the training and I thank our Cathy Neagle, Anthony Masters and John Stamp, together with Cameron Wade and Paul Vardy from Golf Australia, for their commitment in developing and introducing BMI to our members. With the first program to be rolled out during Spring 2018 our education group have a huge task ahead of them to implement this professional development which I urge all members to support. Undoubtable is the need for our industry to develop a stream of qualified managers. Many of us and our assistants have formal qualifications, however, gaining specific industry accreditation will enhance the industry. I urge members to resolve to undertake the training themselves and/or facilitate for their staff to do so.

By now, many of you will have noted the media release announcing the engagement of our new EO, Jim Cail. The appointment committee comprising of Paul Patterson, Peter Busch and I were all very impressed by Jim’s resume and enthusiasm for the role. Jim appreciates his  appointment is initially for twelve months during which time he will focus on developing a business case to determine if GMA should recommend to the states that a unitary model should be implemented. There is much to be done to determine the way forward and members will be kept appraised of the progress.

Finally, I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank John Stamp for his excellent work as EO in the role for the last 18 months. As many of you would know, John’s approach to the role, and his ability to build strong and trusting relationships with all stakeholders within the game, has greatly assisted GMA’s ability to support Golf Club Managers across Australia. GMA wishes John all the best in his future endeavours with Golf Victoria.

In closing, I wish you all a very happy and relaxed festive season.

GMA Member Assistance Program

Golf Management Australia has engaged a National independent provider for GMA Members to help deal with personal or work related issues in a positive way.

This service will be available to members in early 2018.

Short term counselling is now offered to you, free of charge, by GMA as an add on to your membership benefits..

Acacia Connection is a 24 hour counselling service of highly qualified, registered psychologists and counsellors across Australia and internationally. The service is highly confidential and Acacia do not disclose any information to GMA relating to your sessions.

Acacia provide assistance for a range of issues including:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Mental illness
  • Relationship and marriage difficulties
  • Grief and loss
  • Addiction and substance abuse
  • Work related stress
  • Domestic violence
  • Any other issues you may be facing within your personal or work life

When the program is launched, you will be able to make an appointment –

Phone anytime day or night: 1300 364 273
Text or Live Chat: 0401 33 77 11 (within Australia)
Online appointment request:

More information on this service will be provided when the program commences.

From the new Executive Officer

Jim Cail, Executive Officer, Golf Management Australia Ltd.While for many of you the year is hopefully coming to a successful conclusion, my last couple of weeks as the newly appointed Executive Officer of Golf Management Australia have been a whirlwind of meeting new people, understanding what seems to be a thousand acronyms, and getting my head around the structure of golf in Australia.  However, I wouldn’t have had it any other way….

I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed to the role, which I officially started on the 5th December 2017. 

Who am I:

Prior to my appointment, I had the pleasure of working for over 11 years with the AFL, having held several different roles, including at AFL head office, AFL Queensland and AFL Victoria.  My last role within the industry was as ‘Strategy and Planning Manager’ for AFL Victoria, which involved multiple governance and administration reform projects, facility development and planning, and managing how our business was delivering on its strategic plan.

Outside of work I reside in Geelong with my wife and two young children, and while I’ve been consumed within a football environment for many years, I have a strong passion for golf, not only as an ‘average player’ with putting issues but also since I began my working life at the Sands Torquay pro-shop, which was my first job straight out of university.

Moving forward I am really excited to get to know all the membership of GMA, and all our important stakeholders, including our state based GMA associations, other golfing entities, and all the corporate partners that support our organisation so wonderfully well.

The Future for GMA:    

My starting point in the role of EO of GMA is clearly to ensure the organisation works for the benefits of all its members.  My role exists to support Golf Club Managers across the country, which includes providing outstanding professional development opportunities.

However, I would like to think we can push this support further given the full-time resource, and GMA will be committed to exploring further strategies designed to not only support you in your roles, but more importantly support you as people. 

Supporting the health and wellbeing of GMA members is no doubt an area I am keen to pursue and develop further. 

As many of you would be aware, a key component of my role will be to continue to explore the ‘one GMA’ model that has been discussed previously.  I sincerely look forward to working closely with all state GMA bodies to ensure any proposed model is developed in the best interest of all GMA members.  Providing existing members with even more benefits is critical.  This piece of work is capable of providing the opportunity for the GMA to become a national leader in the professional development and support of its members.  As a starting point, I’m looking forward to further understanding all the existing opportunities (what’s working well) and all the challenges (what could be improved), currently in place.       

Finally, I once again look forward to meeting you and supporting you wherever possible, and I wish you and your families all the best over the Christmas and festive period.


Jim Cail
Executive Officer
Golf Management Australia Ltd.

Golf Australia seeking National Female Participation Manager

Golf Australia is seeking a dynamic leader for a newly created role to drive the growth of female participation in golf at all levels throughout Australia and lead the implementation of “The future of women and girls in golf: 2025” strategic blueprint.

Are you someone who can change the state of play and promote greater participation in women’s sport – someone who has the nous to cause some deliberate disruption and influence with sensitivity?

For more information, visit the Sportspeople Job Market position information page for the role.

The role, which has been partly funded through the support of the R&A, will require a dynamic leader with a track record of leading and influencing sport participation growth and development or a similar role with exceptional outcomes.

To be considered for this role it would be advantageous to have experience in developing and implementing National programs; be an innovative and strategic thinker with strong project management and business acumen; exhibit outstanding communication and organisational skills; in depth knowledge of strategy development and female engagement and participation; demonstrate excellent negotiation and stakeholder management skills; competently lead and work in project teams; understand brand and consumer needs; the ability to write and deliver strategic documents; build stakeholder buy-in with ease and have an understanding of trends in golf and/or broader sport in Australia.

The role would suit a highly motivated and growth mind-set individual who has a passion for growing opportunities for female participation in sport at all levels and for all ages. Given the popularity and profile of the sport of golf, this role is clearly one of the prized sport-participation roles in Australia.

The role is hands-on with plenty of opportunity to be out and about, including at tournaments, speaking publicly, getting recognition, setting up club awareness training, creating greater pathways / opportunities / resources etc.

There is also opportunity for professional development / career advancement in this role.

GMA announces appointment of full time Executive Officer

The Board of Golf Management Australia is pleased to announce that Jim Cail (pictured) has been appointed as our first full time Executive Officer.

Jim, who will start his new role on Tuesday, 5th December, comes with an extensive background in sports management predominately as an administrator having held various positions within the AFL. Most recently at the AFL (Vic), Jim held the position of Strategy & Planning Manager.  

The appointment of Jim culminated after an extensive recruitment process which resulted in many very qualified applicants being assessed from which four were shortlisted as the final candidates. In resolving the appointment, the Board determined that Jim’s skillset met the significant criteria that had been deemed necessary to meet the expectations of the KPI’s associated with the role.

Announcing the selection of Jim to what was advertised as an interim role, Andrew Gay, Chairman of Golf Management Australia, stated that Jim displayed the personality and skills necessary to enable him to liaise and collaborate with our sponsors and allied associations to further the interests of all within the golf industry and in turn the game of golf.

Jim has significant experience in corporate governance with one of his key undertakings being to develop a business case for the GMA Board to determine if a recommendation to form a unitary body should be put to the member states.

Recognising the achievements and output of the previous part-time executive officers, the GMA Board is confident that the time is right for the association to engage a full time EO to realise its strategic plans including the implementation of the certification recognising professional development as a core undertaking towards a career in club management which is the benchmark internationally. Jim greatly impressed the Board with his passion to implement the strategies necessary to achieve all its established goals including becoming a unitary body and in doing so to consequently lead the association into the next phase in its service to its members and the golf industry.

Further Information

Golf Management Australia was initially founded after the second world war operating as a federal body largely focusing on conducting a national conference held every two-years with the focus being to provide networking and professional development opportunities.

For further information contact:

Andrew Gay
Golf Management Australia
08 8200 2303

Toro Support and Grow Grant Winners

Global leader in turf and landscape maintenance, Toro Australia, has teamed up with Golf Management Australia to bring a pre-owned Toro Triflex 3400 mower to two lucky not-for-profit golf clubs through the Toro Support & Grow Grants program.

With an estimated value of $18,000 each, the mowers will give a much-needed boost to maintaining courses and grounds as well as ensuring that staff and volunteers have the right equipment for the job.

One of the program’s recipients, Gisborne Golf Club based in Victoria, has recently introduced a volunteer brigade to help cope with the need to reduce staffing levels. These volunteers need to be trained and educated without interfering with the continuing maintenance of the greens, tees and fairways.

For General Manager Bill Papadimitriou, new machinery was vital to help achieve this.

“The introduction of a volunteer brigade has revitalised the focus to deliver a great course for members, guests and visitors on limited funding and resources,” Bill said.

“This focus can only be successful if we can maintain our greens, tees and fairways at the level required and have the equipment on hand to match.

“Winning this mower is an absolute blessing for a club like us. It’s an amazing gesture from Toro who support Course Superintendents everywhere; their support is really 24/7. Our club is just beside itself and really excited to have this opportunity.”

For the historic Gloucester Country Club, which has been in operation since the 1920s, the mower was a very timely addition.

Course Superintendent Anthony Ross says the club’s goal is to promote golf in the regional area, however the current equipment was in need of replacement and they had no means of funding it.

“Our old mower had well over 4,500 hours on it, it was ready to breakdown any day,” Anthony said.

“We’re a club run by volunteers, I’m the only full time employee, and we were in no position to buy new equipment. Winning this mower means we can present a great golf course for our members and the golfing community.

“It’s great to come in and know that the mower we now have is going to do an A1 job. Compared to our old mower where you didn’t know whether it was going to make its way around the course,” Anthony said.

Club President Bill Mansfield says the program is so important, especially to the regional golfing community.

“Gestures such as this enable our club to offer a first class golf course in a small country town,” Bill said.

“The efforts of Toro and Golf Management Australia in bringing this program to fruition should not be looked upon lightly. The impact of this program will bring closer commercial relationships as well as enhancing people’s enjoyment of the game.”

Toro’s Senior Marketing Manager – Equipment, Elise Willemsen, said the golf course industry is Toro’s oldest market and the company is proud to continue to support the golfing community through the initiative.

“Toro entered the golf equipment business in 1919 and we know the challenges many face in being able to afford new equipment to maintain their prized courses,” Elise said.

“Whilst Toro Australia offers a large range of used equipment and finance packages to the industry, we are proud to assist through this program and have no doubt this grant will benefit these two well deserving clubs for many years to come.

“We strongly believe in building long-term relationships with our customers and investing back into an industry that has been such a great supporter of us.”

Elise says Toro was overwhelmed with the positive response the Support & Grow Grants Program received and would like to thank every club that applied.

“The sheer number of applications received show just how important programs like this are to clubs all over Australia. We look forward to doing it all again next year!”

Toro is pleased to announce that the Toro Support & Grow Grants Program will be an annual offering. For further information on how Toro supports local communities, such as the Toro Giving Program, please visit

GMA Benchmarking Tool

At the closing dinner of the national conference in Adelaide, the announcement was made that the GMA Benchmarking license will be terminated effective 31st December 2017. 

This decision was reluctantly determined by the board, who, despite having invested significant funds to provide and service the tool, recognised a diminishing level of support for the facility by GMA members and this obligated the cessation of the agreement.

Members will be pleased to know that GMA is collaborating with Golf Australia on a project to deliver an all of industry Business Intelligence tool in 2018.  The tool will be significantly scaled down from the level of data the current Benchmarking Tool seeks.

Further, Jeff Blunden (GBAS) has stated that he is considering making the current tool available under commercial terms through his company.  It is understood Jeff will communicate his proposal to clubs in the ensuing weeks.

2017 GMA Salary Census Report released

Thanks to the strong participation rate of GMA clubs (67%) that completed the 2017 Salary Survey, GMA is pleased to be able to provide to its members the 2017 report. The board commissioned Jeff Blunden to develop the report with the cost to do so being borne by GMA as a service to our members.

The production of the 2017 report is somewhat different to the previous practice of providing the report at no charge to those members that contributed data.  Feedback on the principles of charging non-contributors a fee to access the report resolved in the board determining it is more appropriate to make it available to all GMA members via the website.

AGIC releases golf impact findings

Released in recent weeks was the Community Impact Study, commissioned by the Australian Golf Industry Council. The formal study demonstrates the specific economic, social and health benefits the game of golf provides to communities in Australia.

The report produced by Sport Business Partners and Street Ryan is comprehensive and should be studied by golf club administrators and committees. AGIC Chairman and Golf Australia chief executive officer Stephen Pitt stated, “The AGIC study is a great step forward in being able to document the incredible value the game represents to not only those involved directly in the sport, but the Australian community at large.”

GMA is a member of the AGIC and we encourage members to make the report available to their local council representatives and elected state and federal politicians.

The report can be accessed here

Report highlights include:

Economic benefit

• In total, golf in Australia contributes $3.614 billion annually to the community, comprising almost $3.483 billion in economic contribution and $132 million in physical and mental health contribution

• Golf tourism generates $477 million per year through day and overnight visitation, food and beverage spending, accommodation, travel, shopping, etc

• Golf’s physical health benefits contribute $126.6 million per year because of the prevention of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and cancer

Social benefits

• Golf teaches valuable life lessons and principles such as respect, honesty, etiquette and self-discipline

• Golf provides a foundation to build a strong and connected community

• Participation in golf provides regular and cross-generational social interaction across the life span

• The game of golf and golf courses provide a strong connection to the outdoors and natural environment

• A lifelong contribution to reducing the healthcare burden on society through the prevention of disease

In addition …

• On average, Australian golfers have a life satisfaction score of 7.4, compared to the Australian population at 7.3 and the average of OECD countries at 6.6.

• On average, Australian golfers’ scores for social capital are eight percentage points higher than Australian sports participants, and 16 higher than non-sport participants

• Australian golfers have a higher self-assessed health status (59%) than both general sport participants (57%) and non-sport participants (40%)

About AGIC

Established in 2006, the AGIC brings together representatives from the major golf industry bodies and works as one to promote golf and industry wide initiatives.

The AGIC includes representatives from the Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, Australian Ladies Professional Golf, Australian Sporting Goods Association, Golf Australia, Golf Management Australia, PGA of Australia, Public Golf Facilities Australia and the Society of Australian Golf Course Architects.

BMI expressions of interest sought

Following strong support from Golf Management Australia (‘GMA’) members in the Educational Survey conducted in February 2017, GMA, in partnership with Golf Australia, is excited to announce that the first BMI course will be held in Australia in the second half of 2018.

The BMI program consists of a series of week-long courses designed for the benefit of all managers, both new and experienced.

The Board of GMA seeks Expressions of Interest from members wishing to receive further information once registration details become available.

Registration information will be confirmed by March 2018.

It is anticipated that the cost of the course excluding transportation and accommodation will be $2000.

For more information on the BMI Program and to indicate your interest, click here.