The Modern Day Triumvirate
Serious golfers should understand the need for maintenance of a club's biggest single asset, according to the "modern day triumvirate" at Temple Golf Club.
Former Chairman of Green Malcolm Peake, Secretary Keith Adderley and Course Manager Martin Gunn say it makes sound business sense for management to allocate the highest proportion of its resources to the golf course - but not all golfers understand the need for maintenance, be it routine or non routine, disruptive or non disruptive.
"We have all been faced with the perennial question, 'why have the greens been tined just when they have reached their peak'," said Malcolm. "Of course trying to explain that one of the major reasons the putting surfaces are so good is because they have been regularly aerated, is one of those areas that the triumvirate of Chairmen of Green, Course Managers and Secretaries is frequently faced with.
"And this is where presenting a united front, singing from the same hymn sheet, backed up by an understanding and supportive board or general committee is vitally important," said Malcolm.
This united front is becoming even more important by the day as the impact of restrictive legislation, health and safety, increasingly likely water shortages and other factors beyond management's control will have serious and ongoing ramifications to courses and clubs.
This modern day triumvirate - as important to the future of golf as the great triumvirate of James Braid, JH Taylor and Harry Vardon was to its development - must work in close harmony and be able to communicate constantly changing and evolving course management policies to members.
"Hopefully all clubs have the hugely important course management policy document, with the underlying theme that the golf course in question is managed and maintained in keeping with its location and natural environment aiming to present it in as good condition and for as long as possible subject to local climate and weather conditions," Malcolm said.
Communication is the key. "And with the ability to reach most members quickly by e-mail, this objective should be easier to achieve," he added. At Temple, members are kept informed in various ways including informal liaison meetings, a monthly course bulletin and weekly competition results e-mails.
"Modern day life is such that we all have increasingly limited time and demanding expectations," said Malcolm. "This is no difference at golf clubs where the average golfer expects millionaires' golf at rock bottom process.
"With the supply of golf clubs and courses now outstripping demand and financial resources at golf clubs under huge pressure, the role of the modern day triumvirate and the requirement for good communication of policy is critical if this great game, and the camaraderie and friendships associated with it, is to survive."