Foshan, China: A host of expert speakers shared their knowledge with attendees at this week’s Business Management Institute [BMI] China Golf Management seminar and field demonstration.
Jointly organised by the China Chapter of the Club Managers Association of America [CMAA], the School of Tourism Management of Sun-Yat Sen University and the Asian Golf Industry Federation [AGIF] the event took place at Guangdong Province’s Foshan Golf Club.
The Golf Course Superintendents Association of Guangdong also held their annual conference on the first two days of the event.
The gathering that attracted more than 100 superintendents, 30 club managers and 32 students from Sun-Yat Sen University was the brainchild of Dr Aylwin Tai, Managing Director of Richtone Worldwide Limited and a man who has dedicated more than 30 years to the development of golf in China.
“The quality of speakers was exceptional and contributed to what was an outstanding event,” said Dr Tai, whose recent work has concentrated on the development of education programmes and partnerships with the CMAA, Sun Yat Sen University and the AGIF to provide advanced training to Asian/Chinese club managers working toward Certified Club Manager (CCM) designation.
Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The Federation congratulates Dr Tai on his educational initiatives, which very much tie-in with the aims and objectives of the AGIF.
“It was great to see an event with club managers and superintendents in the same room at the seminar and together at the Field Day, absorbing information and asking questions. We aim to see this situation more frequently at our events throughout Asia.”
AGIF members Jacobsen, Toro and True Surface sponsored the Field Day.
Following the final round of the European Challenge Tour’s Foshan Open, the seminar teed-off with welcome speeches from Dr Tai, the CMAA’s Richard Bruner of Michigan State University and Jonathan Smith, CEO of the Golf Environment Organisation.
AGIF-invited speakers were Bruce Williams of Grigg Brothers, a former President of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, Darry Koster, Course Superintendent at Hong Kong’s Clearwater Bay Golf and Country Club, and Frank Cheng, General Manager of Club Car China.
Joining them throughout the week of BMI Education were John Lyberger, Director of Golf at Congressional Country Club, Rob Hill of the Global Golf Advisory, Professor Jimmy Zhang, South China Agricultural University, Lu Jun, Chinese golf course architect, and Wang Jiming, President of Beijing Bluebay Engineering Design Co.
Also on the agenda were topics related to water management, rules regarding golf etiquette, local and international environmental issues, pro-shop and retail management, golf event operation and turf grass science plus round-table discussions addressing the current challenges of golf course development in China.
Additionally there was a field day at which first-hand demonstrations of the latest golf course maintenance equipment were conducted.
The BMI Programme is designed to provide the opportunity to further managers’ education and enhance their professional performance.
In 1988, a group of forward-thinking club managers felt there needed to be a more advanced, scholarly programme to further professional development in the club management industry. That year, the CMAA held the first BMI at Georgia State University in Atlanta.
Since then, more than 9,000 managers have successfully completed BMI programmes. Today, the CMAA offers 10 different BMI courses. The CMAA is currently working on developing more BMI courses to help meet the ever-changing professional development needs of its members.
The BMI China is an overseas BMI programme, authorised by the CMAA, established in China since 2007 to provide the opportunity to managers in China for enhancing their professional performance, and also one of the few BMI programmes endorsed outside America.
The BMI China programme is designed with similar structure and contents to CMAA-BMI courses in America, and the lecturers are all sent and approved by the CMAA and Dr Tai.
Managers who complete the required credits can obtain the honourable title of Certified Club Manager (CCM) after passing the examination.
Currently, the CMAA China Chapter is working closely with the AGIF to have further co-operation in promoting BMI Education throughout the Asia Pacific region.