PGA professional Emma Clifford has been named the Golf Club Managers’ Association’s manager of the year for 2014. Clifford played on the Ladies’ European Tour for nine years before becoming secretary-manager of West Essex Golf Club, the venue where she started playing aged just seven.
Clifford has won the prestigious award, sponsored by the HowDidiDo golfing community and Tonic Golf, golf insurance provider, because she revamped the club’s marketing operation, which helped bring in 115 new members last year alone. She also negotiated new deals with all major suppliers that cut costs and helped to turn financial losses into profits, and played a major role in the club securing both GolfMark status and becoming a Get Into Golf centre. Her prize includes a trip to Rioja, in Spain, and the opportunity to attend several GCMA network meetings.
The competition attracted 111 nominations, the highest in its history, and Clifford won ahead of five other finalists: Trevor Atkinson from Filton Golf Club; Michael Rutter, from Ryton Golf Club; James Washington, from Bradford Golf Club; Simon Smith, from Aston Wood Golf Club; and Terry Crump from Harpenden Common Golf Club.
Clifford commented, “I would like to thank everyone at West Essex – the members, the captain, the president, they all made me very welcome as manager after I grew up there. I would also like to thank the GCMA and sponsors for this competition.”