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MDP (Management Development Program)


The Management Development Programme is a series of 5 week long education programmes delivered by CMAE throughout Europe designed for club general managers, club secretaries and in other senior positions at sports, city and business clubs today and also for those who aspire to these roles in the future.

These courses are:

1.       MDP Part 1 - Club Operations

2.       MDP Part 2 - Building and Managing the Club Team

3.       MDP Golf Operations

4.       MDP Food and Beverage Management

5.       MDP Strategy and Leadership

The MDP pathway provides a structured and comprehensive education programme for club managers to gain a broad knowledge of the 10 core competencies of successfully running a club, as well as providing the opportunity to build a strong network with other club managers

CGI hosted the Management Development Program (MDP) – Part One in February and again in November 2015, in partnership with the Irish Golf and Club Managers Association (IGCMA) and the Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE). The first residential educational programme was run from at the superb Clontarf Castle Hotel and covered the ten core competencies of modern club management. 

The IGCMA hosted Part Two in March 2016 and was another huge success with 15 Delegates attending from all over Europe. The next programme had a change of venue to the wonderful and world famous 5 Star Resort - K Club. Many thanks to our MDP Delegate Sharon Smurfit for all the support to moving to the new venue. The programme was a great success with 16 delegates taking part.

                                                                                   Some MDP 1 Participants at The K-Club

The MDP has already been delivered successfully over the past four years in partnership with the Golfing Unions in Scotland and England, with France, Spain and Italy following their lead over the last 24 months.

To date over 900 Club Managers, Club Honorary Officers, Club Pros and Course Managers have participated in the Part One programme in Europe, with a large percentage continuing on to take part in Level Two and Level Three.

Previous participants have found the programme extremely beneficial, with delegates stating:

‘I got a brilliant response back at my club to what I have learned. It was intense, hard work at times but a lot of fun and very entertaining. I learned so much, gained new friends and contacts that I know will help me for years to come. Thank you.’

‘I learned more about what my job should be in 5 days than I learned in the previous 5 years.’

 ‘A one-stop-shop that covers all areas of golf club management.’

‘Exceeded expectations in terms of content and exceptional presenters. I will definitely be back for Level 2’


MDP Overview

A structured education programme for European Club Managers

The CMAE’s Management Development Programme (MDP) described in the brochure below, is the result of over 10 years of work by a dedicated group of club managers, educationalist and leading industry figures worldwide, to whom the CMAE and the club industry owe a debt of gratitude.

They are listed in the acknowledgements section at the back of the brochure. The CMAE MDP is a series of courses and learning opportunities designed not only for those working as club general managers, club secretaries and in other senior positions at sports, city and business clubs today, but also for those who aspire to these roles in the future. Whether you are a student leaving university seeking a career in club management, or an established business manager seeking a new challenge in the club industry, the CMAE Management Development Programme is for you.

MDP Brochure 2020 - click here



MDP Program Content
Club Operations – MDP Part One

This first training course on the Management Development Programme will help managers to explore the basic elements of their profession in a comprehensive manner. There is a pragmatic, hands on approach, ideal for managers who are new to post, recently appointed or simply wish to enhance their knowledge of all ten core competencies, so that they may better serve their clubs and committees in every area of the club business. 

Part 1 is a week long course targeted in particular towards those managers who are either new to a post, recently appointed or simply want to enhance their knowledge so that they may better serve their club committee, owners and members. At the end of the week, those taking the course will have an excellent grasp of the basics in every area of club business, and will have established a valuable network of support for their career in this industry.

Building & Managing the Club Team – MDP Part Two

The Part 2 course is also a week long and builds on the foundations of Part 1 to focus on strategic and business planning, performance and service standards, and the professional and communicative skills to develop every aspect of both the individual’s performance and that of their club. At the end of Part 2 there is an optional examination to attain the CMAE Diploma in Club Management.

Strategy & Leadership - MDP Part Three

This course is aimed at those managers who wish to learn how to enhance their management style and tap in to their leadership potential in order to operate the club as a business. You will understand the responsibilities and characteristics required to exert the appropriate level of power and influence so that your club can show the creativity to focus its strategic aims in line with its established culture and traditions. Particular focus will be paid to establishing and enhancing an effective working relationship with your committee, whilst monitoring, developing and leading your staff team. Delegates will also be invited to review their knowledge in all competency areas required to achieve success at your club and in your career.

Golf Management

This course is aimed at Managers with particular responsibility for successful golf operations. By attending this course, delegates will learn to maximize their working relationship with the key personnel employed in this area of the business, including the Course Manager, Professional and Club Manager. The course will cover in detail areas such as agronomy, golf shop operations, merchandising, fleet management, tournament operations and business planning to fit with the club’s overall aims and traditions. Delegates will have a thorough understanding of the history, evolution and future trends of the golf industry, to better serve their clubs and committees. 

Food & Beverage Management

This course is aimed at Managers with particular responsibility for successful clubhouse operations. It will take an in depth look at food and beverage operations from a management and control perspective. Delegates will study trends in menu and service delivery, as well as evolving legal requirements. Particular attention will be paid to the creation of successful special or themed events and how best to marketing these events. The course will also enable managers to create and deliver appropriate training sessions for clubhouse staff to ensure that service excellence is the norm at your club.