Spanish Golf Course Managers Association Conference

Travelling from golf courses throughout Spain, and some from Portugal, 127 managers joined forces for three days in September at Royal La Herrería, where they attended the seventh working conference of the Spanish Golf Course Managers Association (AEGG), which has become a key annual discussion forum enabling members to share information and experiences.

The seminars began with a presentation of the “Madrid Golf Study”, prepared by Sports Marketing Surveys for the Madrid Federation. Following this, a round-table asked the question, “Do we really want to popularise golf”, prompting spirited discussion: “Have we made a mistake with our golf model?” “Have we actually followed a model in developing this sport?” “What are the needs of today’s golfer?”.

The questions posed in the debate, and the answers those taking part enunciated, were drawn from a concern among golf course managers, and the world of golf in general, about whether or not the industry is following the appropriate development model required within the current golf market dynamic; what amount of time people have to play golf; if it is necessary to improve pricing options (green fees for six or nine holes, at considerably reduced prices); proposals to offer parallel activities… It was left clear that young people will not become interested in the sport if the sector is unable to adapt itself to current demands in respect of the rules, time available and prices, and make playing golf more attractive.

Among other valuable initiatives, the conference introduced such extremely useful tools as “TeePanel”: a new business intelligence system, created by Antonio Conde (CEO of GolfenRed), that incorporates all information related to a golf course’s operations, and provides the opportunity of cross-checking data with a simple click.

Salvador Álvarez Escobar, president of the AEGG, reported on the association’s current situation. “In 2016, we have reached some significant milestones: we have more than 200 members, several Portuguese colleagues have joined, and we are now part of the European Managers Association, which means we are on the right path, a cohesive group that is gaining in strength and speaking with one voice.

“I greatly appreciate the efforts of our manager, Manuel Lozano, for his inestimable work at the helm of the association… the courses are full, the employment exchange is working very well, and we continue to sign agreements with many companies. And also to all the members for their unceasing collaboration with colleagues, as you are dealing with and replying quickly to the hundreds of enquiries we receive, providing solutions in general, and especially for the younger managers.”

The Spanish Golf Course Managers Association was founded with the aim of developing and defending the professional and business interests of its members (218 at the moment), its founding objectives being to organise, encourage, develop and represent the profession of director and/or manager of a golf club and course, and safeguard the professional and ethical interests of members.