Award winners - CMASA Awards 2018,
Pearl Valley Estate

BACK (Left to Right)
Gary Geddes, General Manager of Durban Country Club and Chairman of CMASA
John Boyce, General Manager of Umhlali Country Club (Winner of Green Award)

FRONT (Left to Right)
Lauren Olivier, Financial Manager at Kelvin Grove (Winner of Young Manager of the Year)
Heidi Strydom, Financial Manager at Paarl Golf Club (Winner of Employee of the Year)
Pam Maybery, GM of Kloof Country Club (Winner of CPD Award)
Peet de Wet, CEO of Steenberg Golf Estate (Winner of Club Manager of the Year)
Robin Naicker, Course Superintendent at Umhlali Country Club (Winner of Green Award)
Ian Murdoch, Chairman of Bryanston Country Club (Winner of the Boardroom Magazine Award)


Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng golf and recreation clubs dominated the annual Club Management Association of South Africa (CMASA) awards evening this week, with the three provinces winning all seven of the industry’s most coveted awards.

CMASA recognises top managers and employees who lead with distinction at a variety of South Africa’s sport and recreation clubs, and awards are presented in association with Jonas, Go Sport Travel, Toro, Club Car and Syngenta.

This year’s top three individual awards were scooped up by managers at Western Cape facilities, with two club-specific awards going to KwaZulu-Natal golf clubs.

A further two CMASA members – both from Gauteng – were honoured internationally with the Top 20 Private Club President’s Awards by BoardRoom magazine which serves as the official publication of the Association of Private Club Directors.

CMASA’s General Manager, Janyne Marais, said the association was ecstatic with the standard and quality of nominees received.

“Every year our members just raise the bar. This year’s winners all had to work under tough economic and environmental conditions and still managed to take their respective clubs to new heights. It is imperative that we continue to recognise and acknowledge the hard work and commitment that the staff deliver daily in their clubs and for their members. If we continue to learn from each other and invest in our staff and communities, we can ensure that our industry keeps on growing and excelling, and our clubs keep providing memorable experiences to be proud of.”

The prestigious Club Manager of the Year was awarded to Peet de Wet, CEO of Steenberg Golf Estate in Cape Town, who was recognised for his pro-active approach to ensure his club and community’s environmental sustainability during the drought and extreme water restrictions. He also provides mentoring to six Diploma students currently enrolled in the Club Management Association of America’s (CMAA) Manager in Development Programme.

“The award and recognition by my peers in the industry is a celebration for me and my team at Steenberg Golf Estate. Awards do not only acknowledge individual success but also recognise others who participated in the effort. All our employees contribute towards the success of our club,” said De Wet.

De Wet receives an all-expenses paid trip courtesy of Jonas and to the value of R50 000 to attend the CMAA’s World Conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in February 2019 as part of his award.

The Young Manager of the Year award went to Kelvin Grove’s Lauren Olivier who at 32 years old is managing the financial operations of one of the country’s largest city clubs. Olivier implemented new processes at Kelvin Grove that have resulted in improved standards of good practice and governance at the club. Olivier won a sponsorship to the value of R8 500 from CMASA towards further education and training.

Paarl Golf Club’s Heidi Strydom was named as Employee of the Year. Strydom’s financial management skills and in particular her knowledge of taxation pertaining to recreational clubs and non-profit organisations has resulted in massive savings for her club and will serve as a guideline for clubs countrywide and the industry as a whole. Strydom’s award includes a travel voucher worth
R20 000 from Go Sports Travel and TravelIT.

KwaZulu-Natal’s Umhlali Golf Club was awarded the prestigious Green Award thanks to their environmental policy implemented in 2016, which has made a significant impact on the local community through projects aimed at uplifting club staff. Special initiatives implemented by Umhlali Golf Club include a bird ringing project aimed at identifying local birdlife; supporting local schools through the supply of uniforms, food hampers and medical assistance as well as providing free workshops to community members on planting and caring for fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The club received a R30 000 voucher courtesy of Toro, Club Car and Syngenta.

The Continuous Professional Development award was claimed by Kloof Country Club for their dedication and commitment to staff training, improving customer service, service delivery and operational effectiveness. The club upskilled 21 staff members with industry specific training during 2018 and received a further R10 000 from CMASA towards training and education initiatives.

Randpark Golf Club’s Garth Elliot together with Ian Murdoch, Chairman of Bryanston Country Club - who both serve as volunteers at their respective clubs - were honoured by BoardRoom Magazine for their roles in the professional operations of their clubs as well as their leadership skills.

The CMASA awards are the pinnacle of achievement within the industry and aim to recognise those who constantly work at improving service level standards through individual initiatives and teamwork.

Each of this year’s 28 nominees underwent an interview with a regional judging panel after which a shortlist of candidates attended final interviews with a judging panel based in Johannesburg including industry leaders and stakeholders. The judging process was completed over a two-month period.

CMASA’s annual conference coincided with their awards evening, and this was held at Pearl Valley Golf Estate. The conference featured various industry leaders including Michael Leemhuis, President of Ocean Reef Club in Florida, who shared crises management lessons learned during Hurricane Irma, and many other powerful insights.

Jeff Blunden from Golf Business Advisory Services (GBAS) Australia, shared information from operational surveys conducted with CMASA members, highlighting ways that clubs can make more informed decisions regarding the overall management and performance of their clubs by implementing smaller changes in various areas that can be measured and serve as a benchmark for clubs in future.

Many more industry experts shared their knowledge with the 94 delegates over the two days.