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.

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.

Board Nominations

In accordance with the GMA  constitution the 5 state associations were invited to nominate a member to be a director of GMA. Directors are appointed for a term of one year and are eligible for re-appointment.

The following nominations were received: 

NSW – Cathy Neagle

Queensland – Aaron Muirhead

South Australia – Andrew Gay

Victoria – Peter Busch

Western Australia – Brad Dawson

Up to 2 independent directors will be appointed by the board. 


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.