Stanedge Golf Club’s Owner shortlisted for national award
Fame Tate, Owner and Director of Stanedge Golf Club in Chesterfield, has been shortlisted into the final two for the “Newcomer Manager of the Year” title at the 2019 GCMA Golf Club Management Awards.
The 2019 Awards will recognise the outstanding work going on at golf clubs, and acknowledge all key personnel who are working together to ensure the successful operation of the club.
Fame has lived in Chesterfield all of her life, despite travelling whilst she was playing golf on the Ladies European and Asian Tours. Earlier this year, Fame was was named the PGA Female Assistant of the Year and the Top PGA student for the Midlands 2019, plus being crowned the winner of the “Outstanding Achievement” award for the English Women’s-North Business Awards category (below).
In February this year, she purchased Stanedge Golf Club, which closed in December 2018 and had lost all of it’s members. Fame and her team are now in their eighth month of business and what an incredible eight months it has been, in more ways than one.
How do you feel about being shortlisted for this award?
I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for the award and I feel incredibly proud of what we accomplished in a matter of months at the club and it is fantastic for this to be recognised.
What was your thought process when you had purchased Stanedge Golf Club?
When I purchased the club, I had a strong vision, ambitions and aspirations of what I wanted to achieve in terms of the club as a whole. But in simple terms, I had to ask myself what was our future? What did we need to do to get there? and how did we need to work together? I wanted the club to thrive again in every aspect and I strongly believed that it had fantastic potential and could be achieved. Of course there is a lot more to it than that. I had done an enormous amount of market research and demographic segmentation, plus having a strategic business plan in place.
My passion since retiring from professional golf has always been getting more people into golf by giving them the opportunity to learn and play but not only to recruit them but to retain them. I am guided by what I want to achieve at the club and its future. Its not just a vision, its what the vision does. This is what drives my ambition everyday. I care and it matters and that it is what has made me put all of my energies into the transformation of Stanedge. As a business we have grown and developed massively over the last few months and we have had to move and change with it. All along I have been mindful that where ever possible I have had to re-invest back into the business to make it grow, develop and thrive.
You have been so successful in turning the club around from zero to over a 100 members in a matter of months, what has been to key to that?
The biggest thing for me from the start was for people to see change. The clubhouse was incredibly run down, which is putting it mildly and the golf course wasn’t in great shape. Everything just needed an awful lot of TLC. The previous members had lost faith in the club and visitors were not coming to club due to the poor condition of everything. I wanted everyone to see that we were there for the long haul, that we meant business and wanted to put Stanedge Golf Club back on the map. As a consequence of this, the clubhouse has been completely refurbished and the golf course has undergone an extensive improvement plan, which is obviously an on going process.
We have put so many initiatives in place since February to raise awareness and the profile of the club. We held an Easter fun open day in April which attracted over 100 people and was a huge success. We run various coaching initiatives for existing golfers and those who are new to the game, for ladies, men, juniors and mixed coaching. We have held a 6@6 league for Congu and non-Congu golfers, social nights, various offers to incentivise people to come to the club for golf or food….the list goes on and on.
You can not underestimate the power of word of mouth and over the last eight months we have re-gained people’s faith and trust back in the club. We have created an environment that is accessible, affordable, friendly, social and welcoming for everyone, whether you are a golfer or not. We don’t have a dress code but people are still respectful of that. We are constantly developing what we are doing at the club, to make Stanedge a better place for members and visitors. For me it is more than just golf, we are providing people with an experience and building a new community and culture.
You obviously have to wear many different hats being the owner, the golf club manager and PGA professional at the club…how have you managed to juggle all of these very different roles and your staff?
Time management has been key however, sometimes there haven’t been enough hours in the day, plus hard work and the ability to delegate. As a manager of the club, I won’t ask any member of team to do something that I am not willing to do myself. I accept that I can’t do everything. I have a small but very strong team of staff who I trust with their responsibilities, which enables me to focus my time on other elements of the business. It has been so important for me to surround myself with the right people. Every member of my team brings something different to the table which is crucial as everyone sees things differently. I encourage collaboration, team meetings and brain storming sessions. I want every member of my team to feel empowered and have a sense of ownership, giving them a reason to go the extra mile. The whole team needs to succeed, no matter what their role or responsibility in order for the club to be a continued success. There is no committee structure in place at the club so if a decision is made, we are in a unique position to be able to run with it. After all of the decisions that are made we reflect, re-assess and change accordingly for the better of the golf club.
I believe that this is only the start for Stanedge Golf Club.
The 2019 awards ceremony will be held at the biannual GCMA Conference, held from 10-12 November 2019 at De Vere Cotswold Water Park.