Golf Club Governance

Understanding the dynamics of boards and committees at any golf facility is crucial to ensuring an effective operation. Board structures in a private course setting will be discussed in detail. The decision-making process at golf clubs and board and committee dynamics will also be covered. Club strategy and policy matters will be explored as well as the role of golf associations and their involvement in the golf industry. Throughout the course, students will acquire a working knowledge of the concepts associated with effective club management through insightful discussion groups, involved assignments and readings.

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On March 31st, 2001 the membership of the Ontario Golf Association (est. 1923) and the Ontario Ladies' Golf Association (est. 1926) voted overwhelmingly to amalgamate the two organizations and form a single golf association to be known as the Golf Association of Ontario. The GAO gained official status in November 2001.

The OGA and the OLGA represented Ontario golfers for over 75 years. As such, the GAO inherits a long and rich history. With over 420 member clubs and over 115,000 individual members, the GAO is one of the largest golf associations in the world.

As the governing body of amateur golf in Ontario, the GAO has an affiliation with the Royal Canadian Golf Association. The RCGA serve a national mandate.

The GAO plays an important role in supporting and promoting many aspects of the game, including a provision of services to member clubs and to individual members as well as contributing to the 'Good of the Game.'

The GAO is a non-profit organiztion governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and supported by Volunteer Commitees and Club Representatives throughout the province. Each member club has the opportunity to designate representatives to work with the GAO and to represent the club's interests within the association. The strength of the GAO lies in its broad range of membership support throughout Ontario.

 

Course Professors

Joseph F. Murphy is the CEO and GM of St. George's Golf and Country Club in Toronto, Ontario. Prior to returning to St. George's, Mr. Murphy served as the General Manger and Chief Operating Officer at Scarboro Golf & Country Club for seven years. Mr. Murphy has been involved in the golf industry for over 20 years, commencing his career at the Hamilton Golf and Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario. Before joining St. George's in 1994, Mr. Murphy was the General Manager of the Islington Golf & Country Club. Mr. Murphy is a member of the Canadian Society of Club Managers and was the President of the Ontario Branch of the Canadian Society of Club Managers in 1996. In 2004, Mr. Murphy was named “Club Manager of the Year” by the Canadian Society of Club Managers and Score Magazine.
George Pinches

George Pinches is the COO at Hamilton Golf & Country Club and has been a private club General Manager for over 30 years. He has managed 5 clubs in 3 provinces. He has also been involved with both the Canadian Society of Club Managers (CSCM) and the Club Managers Association of America (CMAA). Mr. Pinches has served as President of two branches, been National President and a session leader and guest speaker at industry events. He received the Score Golf Manager of the Year Award in 2007. Currently, Mr. Pinches participates in the CMAA International Relations and Membership Task Force.

Mr. Pinches has been involved in a number of tournaments and events including Canadian Tour, LPGA, PGA tournaments and World Championships. He is now involved with preparations for a 3rd PGA event (Canadian Open) to be held at his current club in 2012.

Mr. Pinches has been studying governance in private clubs for the past 10 years and considers the ability to work with boards and committees a key success factor in club management. He sees governance in private clubs as a collaborative process that can be productive for all concerned. Previously he taught in the Golf Management Program at Grant McEwen College in Edmonton.

Terry Ruffel, B.A., C.A. is a Chartered Accountant who has spent over 30 years in the not-for-profit sector. He has worked both “sides of the table” in not-for-profit governance as an executive employed by the Canadian Professional Sales Association and as a volunteer at community colleges in Ontario.  Mr. Ruffell served as a director and president of St. George’s Golf and Country Club and most recently he was executive director of the Canadian Professional Sales Association Foundation. Mr. Ruffell is a graduate of York University.
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