‘The fact that golf can provide so much enjoyment or frustration in a matter of seconds is what makes it so compelling and why so many people play. I don’t feel many, if any, ever achieve perfection, but we can all strive for that one round that brings us closer to the target.’
Meet the Team with Shaun Clarke, Golf Operations Manager
- What first attracted you to work at Cowdray?
I had only been to Cowdray once before an opportune phone call from the Director of Golf Tim Allen brought me here six years ago. Scary where time goes! In preparation for my interview with Tim, I spent a lot of time learning about the Estate and its rich history and knew this would be a fantastic opportunity. To be blessed with the views and countryside we have surrounding us is always something to enjoy.
2. And how would you describe your role?
In one word, ‘evolving’. From my first year to now, my role has drastically changed and operates on a grander scale. With retail still playing a large part I also now look after societies and functions which has further developed my understanding of how the business runs. I’m sure my role will continue to evolve.
3. Do you enjoy interacting with customers, and are many of them long standing members of the golf club?
Of course! If I didn’t, I’d be in the wrong job. Members do come and go naturally but to get to know so many on a personal level is a very rewarding part of the job.
4. What is your favourite item in the Pro Shop, and how do you envisage the shop developing?
I wouldn’t say I have favourite item(s) but when pieces come through that have the Cowdray logo on and become popular is a little nod of recognition as all designs etc are chosen by myself. We are looking to take the Pro Shop online with certain logo items available; we hope to have this up and ready in the Autumn.
5. Have you always loved playing golf?
I only got into golf in my late teens, I was a football fanatic growing up. After years of teasing my friends for playing golf I was dragged onto a course and was immediately hooked. I haven’t looked back. My only wish would be to have started the game at an earlier age.
6. What is your favourite tee, and what do you think makes Cowdray stand out as a golf club?
Favourite tee must be 5th with the panoramic views of the South Downs; it is a wonderful spot on a bright cloudless day. What makes it stand out is that the club is always looking to develop and is striving to reach a top 100 status. Everything is done with a measured approach and each year we’re able to bring something new to the membership like a feature or upgrade that’ll enhance their own experience.
7. Do you have a particularly memorable round of golf when everything went particularly well? And, when it all went wrong!
I’ll always remember my lowest round a –7, 63! But even during that round there were blatant mistakes. The fact that golf can provide so much enjoyment or frustration in a matter of seconds is what makes it so compelling and why so many people play. I don’t feel many, if any, ever achieve perfection, but we can all strive for that one round that brings us closer to the target.
8. Aside from Cowdray, what is your favourite course?
It is between two: Sunningdale Old or Les Bordes Golf Club.
9. In your view, why is golf the best sport? Do you play other sports?
Golf can take you all over the world, meeting people in every walk of life and brings everyone together. It teaches you etiquette, honesty and demands practice and patience. It’s a game for life and something you should never take for granted.
I like to stay active so I’m quite into fitness.
10. What do you pride yourself most on during your time at Cowdray?
How far the Golf Club has come in the time I’ve been there. We are a small team and all a vital part of its development. With more coming up soon, we look forward to a new era of the club and the foundations it’ll lay for the next 30 years.
11. Outside work, what means the most to you?
Family and friends.
12. How do you like to relax when not at work?
I like to travel, I’m also into fitness and enjoy a good series on television to relax.
Written by Matilda Reid.Back to News