GAP: What’s the most rewarding part of being involved with the
Golf Association of Philadelphia as a volunteer and now the organization’s President?
FR: The best part has been being involved in the growth of this sport in our
area. We should all remember that first and foremost that golf is a game.
However, it is a game that can be played by a wide cross-section of people
and we want to continue to expand access to this wonderful sport.
GAP: Touch on the importance of volunteers.
FR: It would be difficult to imagine our organization being as successful
without the time given to us by our volunteers. The fact that we have the large
number of folks dedicated to serving is further indication of how this sport is
unique among others.
GAP: The Golf Association of Philadelphia has expanded its
reach within the public golfing sector. Will that continue?
FR: Absolutely. Our mission is to support everyone who wishes to play this
game regardless of the venue they choose to play at.
GAP: Social media has changed the way individuals and businesses communicate. Touch on how the Association reaches out
to its Clubs and Members.
FR: We are deservedly proud of the efforts we have made to communicate
to our members. Our Web site, www.gapgolf.org, is recognized to be one of
the most comprehensive sites in amateur golf. I also know that we need to be
aware of how Facebook and Twitter are changing the way people communicate. We are already actively using these two mediums but need to continue
improving our effort.
GAP: What advice might you have for Member Clubs dealing
with the trend of declining memberships?
FR: There is no simple answer for this trend since it is being largely driven
by the general weakness of the economy here and abroad. I believe that clubs
have already made many adjustments to both keep their members and attract
new ones. I have been impressed with the efforts made by many clubs as they
re-focused on delivering a great experience to their members as well as being
creative in how to attract new members. My only piece of advice is to stay
focused on those two efforts.
GAP: How do clubs and individuals benefit from being Members
of the Golf Association of Philadelphia?
FR: There are a couple of distinct benefits. The first one is the event that
draws the most participation among our Members annually – the GAP Team
Matches. On three Sundays in the spring, approximately 12,000 golfers play
matches against each other at almost all of our Member Clubs. It is a wonderful time to meet other players and compete at other clubs. It is unique in its size
and scope in this country.
For our Member Clubs we serve as a central point for information and education regarding the game of golf. For many of our Member Clubs this sport
is the reason they exist and the primary economic force at their facility. On a
continuing basis we seek to provide each club with information that may be
critical in how they operate.
GAP: What are your Presidential goals?
FR: My goals are quite simple; be focused on continual improvement of
all aspects of the Association and promote the game to a broader audience.
The second point is critical as we all need to introduce the game of golf to
a new generation.