Whilst we still have the very best of speakers from across the globe, the majority of the conference will be given across to workshops, allowing you to pick the brains of those at the top of the industry.

Jay Karen – CEO of the U.S. National Golf Course Owners Association

Jay Karen leads the golf industry’s trade association and initiatives to support the success of the golf course business. In his role at NGCOA, he serves on the boards of the industry-wide advocacy coalition, We Are Golf, the golf industry’s player developement initiative, Golf 20/20, the Golf USA Tee Time Coalition, a joint initiative with the PGA of America, and the advisory board of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The Wall Street Journal, Bloombeg, CBS Radio, the Golf Channel, Golf Digest and may others call upon Jay for his insights on the golf industry. Jay has also served as CEO of two associations in the lodging and hospitality industry, and he is a certified association executive by the American Society of Association Executives.

Gustav Putter

Gustav was born in the Karoo in South Africa where the wide-open spaces fuelled his passionate fire and interest in nature. As honorary game ranger with the South African National Parks he spent a lot of time in the bush where he observed and learned from the animals.

Gustav’s talk uses analogies from the bush to promote teamwork between staff members in order for every individual to take ownership in the organization that he/she works in. His powerful and riveting presentation uses spectacular video inserts and slides of animal interaction to explain teamwork, communication, problem solving within teams, how to achieve objectives and how to create a better working environment.

Gregg Patterson – former General Manager The Beach Club Santa Monica

Gregg Patterson became the General Manager of The Beach Club in 1982. Since that time, he has worked with his members, Boards, and committees to enhance the value and reputation of The Beach Club in the Los Angeles community. Prior to becoming the General Manager of the Beach Club, he was the Assistant Manager of the Bel-Air Country Club in Los Angeles and also worked as a Systems Analyst for the U.S. Army Club System.

In addition to his ongoing responsibilities at The Beach Club, Gregg is a Senior Associate with Kapoor and Kapoor Hospitality Consultants, where he teaches certification courses in leadership and marketing for the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), an organization consisting of owners/franchisees of limited service hotels in the U.S. under such brands as Clarion, Comfort Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western and others.

Jonathan Smith – Golf Environement Organisation

For nearly twenty years Jonathan has been involved with sustainability in golf, from field support to planning, working for golf and for government. Come to Jonathan’s workshop to learn about the broad sustainable approach of running a golf course: see what good you already do, where you can get better and how you can benefit from it.

Jacob Buksted – co-owner of Players 1st

Jacob is co-owner of Players 1st: the world’s leading player experience platform designed to help golf clubs grow their business. At this workshop you will get the real insight into the needs of our customers: masterclass on the customer. Where are the big opportunities in giving our customer what he/she wants and needs from us? New insights based on the views of more than 200.000 golfers.

Andrew Davies – CEO of Golf Business Group

Andrew is a pioneer in dynamic pricing of tee-times in Australia, adopting leading USA software technology. Stretegic insights and considered action has been a key focus of Andrew’s operations and he brings a high level corporate focus and marketing to the business of golf.

Arnaud Zunz

Dynamic pricing specialist Arnaud Zunz from New York will share his insights and will discuss with you for the best strategy forward.

John King – Co-founder Golf Marketing University

“John King is the Co-Founder of Golf Marketing University, a dedicated marketing training platform for commercial golf clubs.

After spending nearly a decade marketing facilities and venues within the golf and hospitality industry, John has harnessed how to effectively guide his clients to increased sales in todays competitive and ever-changing market.

John doesn’t just preach and teach marketing to golf clubs, he actually does the business every day as founder and director of Digital Distilla, a golf only marketing agency that brings in hundreds of thousands in sales every year for some of the UK’s most commercial and well respected golf clubs.

Not afraid to tell it like he sees it, John is an entertaining, thought provoking golf marketing speaker. His practical approach incorporates the fundamentals of consumer behaviour and embeds this ethos throughout his marketing, centered on the customer first – not the product. Prepare yourself to leave motivated and armed with new ideas and a fresh perspective.”

Alastair Spink – Head Coach and researcher – initiator of

Alastair Spink is a Fellow Professional of the PGA and has 30+ years of experience within the golf industry fulfilling a variety of roles including General Manager, Director of Golf, Head Professional and currently as Head Coach and researcher. He is also a member of the 2018 PGA’s of Europe Development Team.

In 2011, Alastair designed a female participation and coaching programme that with the support of leading global agricultural company, Syngenta, has now grown into an internationally acclaimed project called As’s head coach Alastair supports a team of like-minded and forward-thinking coaches, helping to create opportunities and share best practice for building and growing a community of new and existing female golfers.

Lodewijk Klootwijk – CEO at GCAE

Lodewijk will share his thoughts on customer retention. Once you get your customers inside you want to keep them there, especially the new ones. A workshop that shows how to build a customer journey for newcomers of all types, keeping them interested and keeping them at your club.


In the coming weeks we will be added more speakers to the already action packed agenda. Make sure you don’t miss out on any of the exciting announcements by entering your in the form on the right hand side:

2018 Conference Sponsors