Eastern Golf Club’s GM, Ben Telley, on “Inside the Ropes” podcast

“Inside The Ropes” is an innovative new podcast arrangement between Golf Australia, Radio RSN and the state golf associations.

Each week, hosts Andy Maher and Mark Hayes bring you news, views and special guests from around the world, across Australia and even your local club with no noteworthy story too big or small. Join your hosts as they delve into what makes golf tick, right around the nation.

We encourage you to promote the podcast to your members.

Episode 7 features an interview with The Eastern Golf Club’s General Manager, Ben Telley, discussing issues currently impacting on golf clubs and golf club management in Australia.

For more information on the “Inside the Ropes” podcasts, visit the Golf Australia website.

ALERT: Golf industry scam

In recent months some concerning reports of brazen con artists attempting to scam various businesses seems to have become more prevalent in the hospitality industry around Australia, and golf clubs are not being spared.

Most recently a major metro club in Sydney was approach via email by a fraudulent person wanting to book a function for his 80th birthday, claiming to be old and hospitalised.

After weeks of organising with dates, menus and seating arrangements, when asked to pay a deposit for room hire, the client then asked the club to pay $3,000 for entertainment on his behalf.

This sent some red flags to management and with further review the club eventually found the scheme dubious and now wants to alert others in the industry of similar encounters.

“Initially you tend to allow a little for a person’s age and unfamiliarity with emails and EFT etc., especially as we had been dealing with this person for a few weeks,” the club GM said.

“I checked on Google and apparently it is a scam where a person pretending to be old and deaf wants you to pay someone on his behalf after he has paid you by credit card,”

“I have never received a warning about this and the scammers have obviously progressed to the hospitality industry as targets. The scam is well thought out and they are happy to take their time preparing you for the hit.”

GMA Benchmarking Report – Golf Operations

The Golf Operations department is the operating heart of most golf clubs. It is also the area of club operations where the most differences can be found in terms of structure, allocations and financial reporting.

This report therefore focuses on the operational outcomes that emanate from this department, providing some headline measures for a number of key elements within golf operations.

The report, provided by Jeff Blunden from GBAS, presents a number of immediate benchmarks for reference within your own operations, including:

  • Totals & mix of rounds played
  • Member rounds and effective cost per member round
  • Public green fee premiums
  • Golf cart revenues and utilization
  • Operations structure
  • Wage cost
  • Golf shop retail spending

It is hoped that the provision of the benchmarks within this report helps to inform you of the current results being achieved across the wider industry and cause you to reflect upon the outcomes that you are achieving at your club.

Analysis within the benchmarking tool is available on more concise member counts, subscription levels and total revenues.

CMAA Post Conference Report – Paul Paterson

Paul Paterson, CEO of Avondale Golf Club in NSW and Strategic Planning Director of Golf Management Australia, recently attended the CMAA 90th World Conference on Club Management and Club Business Expo in Orlando, Florida.

The Conference is an annual event run by the Club Manager’s Association of America (CMAA). The CMAA is the professional Association for managers of membership clubs. CMAA has close to 6,500 members across all classifications. Manager members run more than 2,500 country, golf, city, athletic, faculty, yacht, town and military clubs.  The objectives of the Association are to promote and advance friendly relations among persons connected with the management of clubs and other associations of similar character; to encourage the education and advancement of members; and to assist club officers and members, through their managers, to secure the utmost in efficient and successful operations.

The association is made up primarily by golf club manager’s (approx 85%) and the others are made up of Yacht/Sailing Club and City Club managers. Of the golf clubs, the majority are private member clubs. Attendees are mainly from the US and Canada; however there were representatives from world golf from over 20 countries with approximately 120 international attendees. In recent years the number of attendees from overseas has grown according to the CMAA.

Whilst the conference was very wide reaching in its topics, the following topics came across strongly during the sessions that I attended:

  • Leadership
  • Membership and Marketing
  • Social media
  • Facility Management
  • Board governance/management empowerment
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Human and Professional Resources
  • Accounting and Financial management
  • Staying relevant in the industry and keeping pace with changes in society

The CMAA conference had an extremely high level of professional speakers mixed with highly renowned Club Managers delivering the seminars.


New eMagazine

The publication of this eMagazine marks a milestone for Golf Management Australia as it enhances its engagement with members and the broader golf industry.

GMA President Stewart Fenton is thrilled to see this publication being made available and he acknowledged the wonderful support the association receives from its Corporate Partners.

“It’s great to be able to expand our communication channels. This new publication enables GMA to keep in touch with our members who are spread throughout the country. We intend to publish the eMagazine quarterly and welcome feedback from members including thoughts on what the content they would like to see.”

View eMagazine

GMA Benchmarking Tool – Food & Beverage Report

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“As a Board, comparing ourselves to our peers, is invaluable. Our General Manager provides eleven Dashboard comparisons at budgeting meetings, and it provides comfort to us as Directors, that we are operationally on the right track. More importantly, if we are not, we find out why and make rational business decisions accordingly. Congratulations and thank you GMA for providing such a powerful tool for our industry”.
Barry Breen, President, New South Wales Golf Club