GCMA Awards 2023: Players 1st sponsors Outstanding Contribution award

Players 1st took to the stage at the 2023 Golf Club Manager Association (GCMA) Awards, sponsoring and presenting the new Outstanding Contribution award to JR Jones, the President of the GCMA.

Lucas Balleby
November 16, 2023

This Monday, the Golf Club Manager Association (GCMA) hosted its annual awards ceremony at the Leonardo Hotel and Conference Venue Hinckley Island. Nearly 300 GCMA members and guests attended the evening celebrations, which included the presentation of three new award categories this year.

Players 1st had the distinct honour of sponsoring and presenting the new Outstanding Contribution award, a prestigious recognition of a GCMA member's remarkable dedication and contributions to the industry, colleagues, or the Association. 

The award went to JR Jones, the longstanding President of the association, in recognition of his dedication and commitment to the role he has held since 2007. 

It's fantastic to receive an award for doing something you actually love, which is a bit odd, really. The honour of serving in itself is a reward, because you mix with people, and you see the results of your work. I do it because I enjoy it and continue to enjoy this industry. I have particularly enjoyed my various roles over the years with the GCMA and been privileged to do so. And it's fun.
JR Jones, President of the Golf Club Manager Association

The strong partnership between Players 1st and the GCMA 

This year marks the first time that Players 1st has been involved with the GCMA Awards in a sponsorship capacity, which builds on the company's partnership as a Business Partner of the GCMA since 2022.  

As part of this collaboration, Amelia Lewis, Players 1st Regional Manager for the UK, presented a breakout session during the conference to an engaged group of about 50 delegates. The session was titled ‘Using data to inform employee and member retention strategies’ and delved into insights from three specific employee and volunteer research pieces, combined with case studies. 

During the three days, the conference provides a brilliant opportunity for the golf industry to come together in person, take part in the educational session, and continue to spark the developments that the workforce can take back to their clubs. Looking to the awards, to be able to shine the light on an individual who has tirelessly given back to golf is extremely humbling. It was the perfect setting to recognise the individual's contribution in front of peers across the industry.
Amelia Lewis, Players 1st Regional Manager for the UK

Growing the game by adding value 

Aligned with the conference theme of 'Team Culture,' Players 1st had the chance to convey their vision for growing the game of golf by helping clubs and federations enhance their guest and member experiences through customer experience management. The winner of the Outstanding Contribution award shared this vision by emphasising the importance of adding value to the sport, particularly highlighting the people within the teams.

Very often, we hear the few words “growing the game”. You know, that can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. It can be more profit, more people, more equipment, more clothing. And I would prefer to think of growing the game as recruiting people into the game that would add value to the game, not what we can take out, but actually adding value to the game and building on where we've got to up to now.
JR Jones, President of the Golf Club Manager Association

Focusing on the people and staff is crucial to grow the game and is highlighted as one of the predictions for golf in 2023. The GCMA Awards and the related conference are perfect examples of how we can recognise people working relentlessly every day to add value to the game, making it enjoyable for both regular golfers and newcomers.

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