Now in his 11th year at Northumberland Golf Club secretary Jamie Forteath has just been appointed as the National Captain of the Golf Club Managers Association.
Now in his 11th year at Northumberland Golf Club secretary Jamie Forteath has just been appointed as the National Captain of the Golf Club Managers Association. The Association currently has about 2,500 members and is the second biggest of its kind in the world following the Club Managers Association of America, who have a membership of around 10,500.
Jamie explained: "The difference with America is that they have clubs in general rather than golf clubs whereas we are specifically just golf clubs."
"This is very much a 'fly the flag' appointment. We have 17 regions across Great Britain and Ireland and first and foremost we have spring and autumn meetings along with national matches involving our home countries as well as France and Sweden.
"On top of that, we have the National Championships where our major sponsors hold a Finals Tournament which I attend, so it is really a 'fly the flag' exercise."
He added: "Obviously I get the opportunity to travel around and encourage our current members to speak to their colleagues who are not in the Association and to instil the virtues of it. This year we are celebrating our 75th anniversary at Cuddington Golf Club in Surrey where the Association was set up and we held our 25th and 50th anniversary celebrations too."
In addition to his duties as National Captain, Jamie is very much at the forefront of developing Northumberland Golf Club - major work has just been completed on the clubhouse.
He added: "The main lounge was generally only used by men and it was referred to as the members lounge, basically men only but over the past five or six years, the ladies have used it more and more.
"About 18 months ago, we decided that the club should open up to everyone that plays here, both men and women. We have now extended the lounge, added ladies, gents and disabled toilets, re-designed the men's locker room using the old lockers and put in new showers and toilets. All the facilities are now open to both members and visitors, who are free to use the whole area."
Another big change at Northumberland is the flourishing junior section with over 50 members.
Jamie said: "Up until two years ago, we never had a junior section although members could bring their children here to play for free - we had no junior team, no junior captain. There were one or two junior competitions but the problem was anyone who showed any competitiveness would leave and go to other clubs so they could play in the junior leagues.
"The committee took the view that first and foremost they would create a junior membership and as a result we are now in our third year. The kids are now competing and enjoying playing in the matches, so it's going very well. Alison Moodie is our Junior Liaison Officer and she is an extremely enthusiastic lady, and it's fair to say so is her committee. She is largely responsible for getting us into the league and although the kids are still learning, they go out and battle and come back with a smile on their faces."
The days when Northumberland Golf Club was considered an elitist establishment have now gone and all the members are looking forward to a positive new era in the club's history.