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

GMV 2017 Subsidy Program

Members are reminded that the CMAA 91st International Conference will be staged in March 2018 in San Francisco.

That given, it is timely to remind any members looking to attend the conference that early bird registration will close 30 November. Details of the conference can be read here:

Those interested in attending the conference may like to consider applying for the GMV subsidy grant details of which can be found by Revised criteria 2017 – Final

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Mark Tan wins back-to-back SA Golf Industry Awards

Mark Tan has, for the second consecutive year, been awarded the Excellence in Golf Club Management award presented at the SA Golf Industry Awards night gala dinner at the Playford Hotel on Saturday night.

The Award criteria takes into account many factors of activities and responsibilities of a Golf Club Manager. These include the knowledge and understanding of the needs of the Club and their general involvement within the Golf industry.  Candidates for the Excellence in Golf Club Management award are nominated by their Captain and /or President and then interviewed by our selection panel, this year being Jeff Zadow from Innovision Consulting.

In presenting this year’s award, GMASA President, Andrew Gay, stated “this year’s winner has been the General Manager at his club for the past 7 years and has been instrumental in ensuring the sustainability and success of the Club during this time. In the face of challenging financial times, this year, under his guidance, the staff have worked together to improve member service levels through an innovative Food and Beverage offering; updated the Locker Rooms; established a Turf Nursery; rebuilt the first three holes of the course; and achieved member retention greater than 92% for the third successive year.”

He went on to say that “The winner has established a warm and customer focused culture amongst his team and along the way has managed to complete his studies in an MBA. A very deserving winner of the 2017 Excellence in Golf Management Award.”

The Grange Golf Club was presented with the Workplace Health and Safety award, with General Manager Barry Linke collecting the award on the Club’s behalf.

Among other things, Gay said “The Award winning Club has recently undertaken a full review of its WHS policies and practices and put in place a plan to further improve staff awareness and focus on workplace health and safety. The Club has an excellent workplace safety record and uses regular WHS meetings and updates of staff to ensure safety in the workplace. The Club is compliant in all areas and is in the process of updating to an on-line WHS program to further improve efficiency and ensure best-practice. The winning club is to be congratulated on its efforts to ensure the safety of its staff and patrons and is a worthy recipient of the WHS Award for 2017.”

For all the results from the SA Golf Industry Awards night, visit the Golf SA website.

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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.

2017 GMA Conference hailed a great success

The 2017 Golf Management Australia (GMA) National Conference closed at the Adelaide Convention Centre on Thursday, 12th October with a gala closing dinner in the Panorama Ballroom attended by 250 golf industry delegates and sponsors.

The conference, roundly viewed as the best yet by way of professional development content and networking opportunities, is a biennial gathering of golf club managers, support staff, industry leaders and sponsors and it proved to be a huge success with more than 300 registered delegates including 28 sponsorship support partners and exhibitors on site, showcasing their products and services within the expansive Adelaide Convention Centre exhibition space.

The Conference commenced on Sunday with a welcoming party in the historic Mortlock Wing of the State Library of South Australia. The venue showcased the rich heritage and culture of South Australia but more importantly, allowed attendees to meet in a relaxed atmosphere with colleagues and friends from all parts of Australia and also several international guests.

Celebrating its 125th birthday, the iconic Royal Adelaide Golf Club played host to the Jack Merrick Memorial Trophy (GMA State Team Championship) on Monday, with Queensland taking the title, with a team score of 153 points, in a tight contest from WA and SA.  The result required a double countback and the need to go to the 7th best stableford score to determine a winner.

With the remainder of the golf field split between Royal Adelaide and the equally impressive Glenelg Golf Club, the Leon Thompson Memorial Trophy went to Massey Park’s Anthony Rosillo with 38 points around Glenelg’s challenging layout.  The Ted Coker Championship Cup was won by Bunbury Golf Club’s Des Shearer with a scratch stableford score of 34 points, also at Glenelg.  In the Billie Friedlander Trophy at Royal Adelaide, WA Golf Club’s Melissa Castaldi took out top prize with 34 points.

The Intercontinental Adelaide ballroom was Monday night’s venue for the official conference opening dinner.  Former Australian test wicketkeeper, Wayne Phillips, was introduced to delegates as MC for the week, and, with a quick wit and wry sense of humour, Wayne kept everyone entertained from the outset through the entire conference to the closing dinner on Thursday.

In the lead up to the conference, Toro Australia, in conjunction, with Golf Management Australia, offered two eligible clubs the chance to make submissions for a grant to win one of two pre-owned Toro Triflex 3400 mowers through their Support & Grow Grants program.  Toro Australia Business Manager, Laurence Bingham, had the pleasure in announcing the two winners –  Gisborne Golf Club in Victoria and Gloucester Country Club in NSW. With a resale value for each machine of $18,000, the philanthropic gesture of Toro was an outstanding contribution and the recipients were, undoubtedly, extremely grateful.

An outstanding educational program was delivered to delegates over three days by 18 keynote speakers with a range of other speakers in masterclass sessions.  Topics included the future, resilience, health and nutrition, building peak personal and club performance, seizing the opportunity and vulnerability.

Opening with a presentation from Futurist, Tim Longhurst, delegates were inspired to embrace the future, which led perfectly into Nienke Bloem’s keynote presentation highlighting the importance of connecting with the newbie golfer, the future customer, to ensure their journey meets their expectations. 

High level presentations on strategy, future planning and governance were interspersed throughout the conference with presentations and masterclass sessions on more operational matters such as business financial intelligence, food and beverage, marketing and technology, and human resource management.  Personal development was an important educational component with renowned speakers such as nutritionist, Dr Joanna McMillan, Hugh Van Cuylenburg from the Resilience Project, and Nam Baldwin, presenting on the psychology of performance.  The importance of a good work-life balance was key to these presentations, with an emphasis on mental health and well-being.

Key presentations were also provided by the PGA and Golf Australia by their respective CEO’s Gavin Kirkman and Stephen Pitt.  A further highlight was the Governance Panel which addressed several typical scenarios with the expertise of panel members Malcolm Speed (Board Member – Golf Australia), Stephen Spargo (Chairman – Golf Victoria), Sarah Chia (Kain Lawyers), Paul Hinton (Global Golf Advisors) & Paul Vardy (Club Support Manager – Golf Australia) all providing sage commentary on the important issue of good governance.

Early feedback from delegates and sponsors was enormously positive, with many great comments on the location and accessibility of the Adelaide Convention Centre as a conference venue, along with the adjacent Intercontinental Adelaide hotel, home to most delegates for the week.

GMA President, Andrew Gay, summed things up, saying “This year’s conference in Adelaide was an outstanding success once again providing an ideal platform for improved professional development of golf management professionals.

“The combination of national and international speakers provided exceptionally high quality professional development and this combined with networking opportunities allowed golf club managers to converse about industry issues with their peers and golf’s key stakeholders.

“GMA would like to thank all those that supported the conference by attending or through their financial support and we look forward to the 2019 GMA Conference in Melbourne”.

With the theme of this year’s conference, “Now is the time to be different”, many aspects of the program were changed slightly from previous years, turning up the professionalism, improving the experience and maximising educational opportunities – something the organising committee for the 2019 conference are sure to improve on once again when the conference returns to Melbourne.

Notably, as an aside, the introduction of the first GMA Chautauqua saw eight eager cyclists spend three days with the always effervescent Gregg Patterson riding through the renowned McLaren Vale wine region creating a reflective opportunity to bond and connect with ideas and people in a totally different setting.

Toro Australia machinery grant

Golf clubs, do you need help maintaining your turf?

The Toro Support & Grow Grants program is now open and offers machinery grants for Australian not-for-profit golf clubs.

Toro Australia, in conjunction, with Golf Management Australia, is giving two eligible clubs the chance to win one of two pre-owned Toro Triflex 3400 mowers (estimated value of $18,000 incl. GST each).

To be eligible to win applicants must be a not-for-profit golf club with an annual turnover of less than $1.5 million and be able to supply a public balance sheet.

Clubs must have a superintendent or employed greens staff.

For more information on, and to apply, visit

Applications must be received by the 29th of September 2017.