Introducing Michael Williams, the General Manager of Mt Maunganui Golf Club who won Club of the Year at the 2018 National Golf Awards.

The Club of the Year award celebrates the golf club that has shown innovation, inclusion, has had community impact, growth, and the use of New Zealand Golf initiatives. Mt Maunganui Golf Club were exemplary in all of these categories:

What did winning the 2018 Club of the Year at the National Golf Awards mean for both yourself and Mt Maunganui?

When it got announced there was a really positive buzz that went around the club. From a management perspective we certainly got a lot of validation of what we’re doing. To be recognised by New Zealand Golf as the Club of the Year tells our members, board, committees, and everyone else involved in the club that we’re on the right track in a number of areas.

Did the club celebrate the achievement?

Sort of! We got given a table for 10 people at the awards night so we took the head of our departments and the board members that could make it. We had a really good night up there and certainly celebrated what the club had achieved.

What were some things the club implemented in 2018 which helped them win the award?

I remember writing the application for the award and thinking we tick quite a few of the boxes with what we’ve been doing at the club. The club’s financial performance in 2018 was great, we’ve grown our membership by 21% over the last few years, our junior program has got off the ground running at a rate of knots, the facility development that we’ve done and are continuing to look at are the main thing that comes to mind. But we also have a good culture here and the members are great. There were a lot of cogs that helped this wheel continue to go around.

I think a lot of golf clubs that you would call “members golf clubs” get judged a lot on their membership, and with Mt Maunganui Golf Club falling into that category, the fact we were able to grow our membership was certainly a big tick in the right box.

What do you want Mt Maunganui to be known for as a club?

I think it all starts with the golf course. We are a member’s club and the course is key. We want to be the premier golf course in the Bay of Plenty, so the course needs to be in top notch. However, we do want to be a facility that caters for everyone from your beginner golfer who is just getting into the game, to your Charles Tour players. Golfers having fun and getting a lot of enjoyment out of the sport is what we strive to be as a golf course, and I think we are pretty much there.

Off the course we want to make sure that we have a warm and friendly environment with good food and drink on offer. A welcoming atmosphere is key and I think that has improved a lot here at Mt Maunganui over the last few years.

Describe the club culture since winning the award?

There was a real sense of pride right after we won it. I think it has given everyone a boost as they know they’re all part of something really special. We’re located in a special part of the country and I think it’s reminded everyone how lucky we all are and how hard we’ve all worked to make this club what it is today.



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