Course Open
Cascais, Lisbon 

This was my first year attending the European Conference and I was looking forward to getting out of the office for some educational therapy for a few days.

A small contingent from Ireland travelled to Cascais and having never been to this part of the world, we were not disappointed with the location. Joining me was James BurnsMilltown Golf Club, Niall Keyes - Killiney Golf Club and Paddy DeanMalone Golf Club.

Cascais is a small coastal resort best known for its busy marina and gorgeous beaches and is located about 20 minutes from Lisbon. My fellow delegates all agreed this was an ideal venue for the conference. Hotels were close to the village and only a 5 minute walk to the conference which was held in Clube Naval de Cascais which is the sailing club in the town.

For the early arrivals, golf was scheduled at Pestana Beloura Golf Club and over 60 delegates were booked into play. However the much needed rain fell that day and sadly we only played 6 holes before we called it quits. Club Genius were tracking our scores and albeit for a short time, it would have been fun to see how everyone was playing.  Thank you to Vitor Paixao, Golf Manager who hosted a great day regardless.

The first day of the Conference commenced later that afternoon and some interesting sessions on Business Intelligence and The Padel Explosion were held.  If your club has the space to add Padel Courts, they say that it is the biggest growing sport in Europe and clubs should pay attention to this. Jonas one of the Corporate sponsors gave the session on Business Intelligence and spoke about using member surveys, texting systems that allow members to answer back and Club Apps.

That evening, we enjoyed some drinks in the Clubhouse and a few nibbles before we had a night off to enjoy the town.

The 2nd day of the conference started bright and early as there was a full day of education ahead.  Topics included Service, Recruitment and Teamwork. One session hosted by Rob Hill from Global Golf Advisors included our very own James Burns from Milltown GC and incoming President of CMAE.  Along with his fellow panelist, Javier Reviriego from Valderrama, Mark Newey from Roehampton Club they divulged information about why their clubs have become so successful and fielded questions from the delegates also.

At the end of the day, the Annual General Meeting took place and James Burns was brought in as President of the CMAE. Also Niall Carroll took a seat on the Board so now the Irish are well represented in CMAE.

Pre dinner drinks were held in a magnificent room off from the Dinner in the Hotel Cidadela. The Evening gave everyone a great chance to mingle and network amongst each other.  After dinner, awards were handed out to members who had obtained their CmDip or the CCM degrees and a great speech by our new President James took place.

Finally the last day of the conference heard from Cindy Schoenrich from Gstaad Yacht Club and Paddy Keane from Lahinch Golf Club to name a few. These sessions were very informative and interesting to everyone.

Golf was available in the afternoon or just relaxation after a few days of education. It was sad that the conference was over but we all left with new ideas but most of all new friends.

Sharon Smurfit
Director of Golf
The K Club