Running a Members Club

Governance in golf clubs is difficult to define. A Member’s Club is governed by any combination of constitution, Articles of Association, traditions, practices and ambitions. There are not many industries where the strategic and certain operational decisions are made by the customers – and yet that is the situation we have at Vicars Cross Golf Club.

Strategic decisions are taken by a Board, made up of volunteers elected by fellow members to lead the Club. Sub-committees may focus on specific areas of the club and make recommendations to the Board for approval. A hired management team of staff implement policies and procedures in their professional areas of expertise. The success of a club will largely depend on these groups working well – both independently and together.

Having good governance in place (processes, systems and practices) should ensure accountability of the Board and transparency of its actions to the membership. The appointment of a General Manager at the very least should cause us to consider ‘the way we do things around here’, but it is also good practice to periodically review what we do and how we do it.

The purpose of the Governance Review is to determine how we are performing at a strategic and operational level and determine if any changes are required to make us more effective -be it in coordinated decision making, better recruitment and stronger utilisation of people’s skills, building a financially and administratively secure business, being accessible and inclusive and creating a better informed membership with clear lines of communication.

The Plan is to conduct the Review in two phases.

Phase 1 comprises three parts
1. To review what documentation and systems we have in place to ensure compliance with Legal and Industry-specific Policy requirements; and that a risk management plan exists.
2. Review the Board/Sub-Committee/Management structures we have in place as well as reviewing our financial and people processes.
3. A Members Survey

Phase 2 is planned to review our Strategic Vision and test Business Sustainability.

We are being helped in this process by England Golf.

There will be periodic updates on the progress being made with this Project.

The Member’s Survey is critical input to understand how members feel about the Club, what and how it does things and what they feel are the priority areas to address. This will be conducted over a two week period end October/early November with feedback planned in December, before the 2024/25 Budgeting Process begins. Please ensure your voice is heard.

Peter Roberts – Director of Governance