JOE Stanley (pictured), a top player at Knutsford Golf Club who works with the professional staff at Didsbury Golf Club, is also a keen and successful cricketer at Toft CC, and is looking to forge a relatively new career in golf management.
Joe outlines his sporting career to date and his future ambitions in golf: “My cricket stems back to being a Toft junior from the age of seven, ,I’ve been there ever since and wouldn’t dream of playing anywhere else.
“I was lucky enough to go to The Kings School Macclesfield which was a great sporting school and with them went on tour to Sri Lanka as well as festivals up and down the country.
”The England cricket team were also touring whilst we were in Sri Lanka and we got to go behind the scenes to meet the players! I’ve also played a season in Melbourne, Australia for Mentone CC who were fantastic and a great environment to learn the game in different conditions.
“As a junior I played representative cricket for Cheshire and now play 1st XI cricket for Toft and the MCC when my golf doesn’t get in the way!
“Golfing wise I only took the game up properly as a 15 year old and soon became Captain of the school team.
“I was a member of a few clubs before joining Knutsford Golf Club in 2013 allowing me to play both cricket and golf on a Saturday. A bit tiring, but two great clubs with great people so it’s more than worth it!
“A memorable golfing highlight was getting to play with the infamous John Daly in Australia during a Pro Am. ,We had a great game with a decent crowd watching and he also invited me to an after-party in the heart of Melbourne afterwards. I don’t remember much of this apart from getting home at 6am with my hands full of John Daly apparel, having meant to be at work for 5am !
“I also had a good year last year winning a few trophies at Knutsford.
“I’d like to thank Steve Moores at Kings and all the coaches that taught me cricket as a junior at Toft (there are too many to list).
“They have one of the best junior set ups around and I felt lucky that my parents took me there to start with. I should also thank my parents for the sacrifices they had to make giving up their days off at the weekend taking me all over the North West. I’m lucky enough to have learned golf from two very highly respected professionals.
“Tim Maxwell got me started with golf as I used to tag along side my dad’s lessons with him when Tim was at Mottram Hall. Peter Barber gave me the opportunity to start my PGA at Didsbury GC and I still visit him now for lessons. Both are outstanding coaches and I can’t thank them enough.
“The Diploma in Golf Club Management I am undertaking over the next three years represents a joint approach by the PGA, GCMA and BIGGA that will give me the core skills required to manage a golf club.
“Units varying from marketing, finances and legislation to managing innovation and growth of a golf club will stand me in good stead for taking that leap into management.
I will also be attending workshops for each of the nine units at The Belfry starting from next year. ”These give me a chance to meet with my peers, run through coursework and discuss aspects that other golf clubs are finding successful. The long term plan would be to take this abroad to somewhere like Melbourne or Dubai, which are two places I’m very fond of and would relish the opportunity to manage at a golf club resort.
“There are more opportunities within golf than just being a professional and I think the relevant bodies are doing more to show that and give greater opportunities. Golf has done well since lockdown has eased with it being one of the first social sports back, membership has become valuable again and hopefully it can continue to thrive moving forward.
“ Knutsford Golf Club and John Horsley in particular helped in recommending this qualification to me. With the golf club supporting me with the information I will need for case studies etc. I can only thank them for that.
“I would just say to golfers make sure you support your local golf club and professionals with business. Most professionals will offer better service, more in your interest than the big chains, and at similar prices.
“If you’re thinking of getting your clubs out again I urge you to do so! Now is a great time to be a member of a golf club and Knutsford and Tim Maxwell will give you a warm welcome!”