Never stop asking questions

When people talk about how they have worked their way from the ground up, not many could say that in such a literal sense as Matt Day – Clublinks’ State Manager for WA. From humble career beginnings working for a fertilizing company and later getting qualified in groundskeeping, Matt has held almost every job there is to have in the golfing industry.

Yet funnily enough, having an illustrious career in the sport and rec, and primarily the golf sector, was never in the grand plan – a chance job acceptance post-university and European travels meant that Matt was on a trajectory to inadvertently follow in his Father’s footsteps.

“My Dad worked as a golf course manager for a period of time but I never looked at him and thought I would try and follow him at all. It did mean I spent a lot of time on golf courses and it’s a game that I love so have been very lucky that my career has turned out the way it has.”

Having spent the better of 15 years working for Wembley Golf Course – it was a friendship that was formed with Mark Brayshaw (Clublinks owner) in the mid-2000s that put Clublinks on Matt’s radar. Naturally then when the role of GM of Collier Park Golf became available, it was the reputation Clublinks held in the sport and rec industry (particularly with regards to culture and staff consistency) which was the primary drawcard to take that leap and move to the next stage in his career.

“I have been with Clublinks for just over three years and in that time, have grown as the company has – having started as GM of Collier Park and then as we took over more sites, my role naturally expanded to have more of a strategic overview rather than staying operational based at one venue.”

That (developing a strategic mindset) has been the biggest learning for Matt, and also the most rewarding as no two days are the same.

When asked what he loves about working for Clublinks, Matt cited the it was the broad range of projects he is involved in which means he is consistently challenged and something exciting is always in the pipeline. That and the strong consistent cohort of people.

“It’s a cliché but it really comes down to working with great people. Even before I worked for Clublinks, it was evident that there was a strong foundation within the company which is continually reinforced every day. There is that national support as well where we can all assist each other – we can easily ring one another and ask for input, advice or assistance and its always readily given. Everyone just helps and that’s such a strong part of the company.”

When he isn’t in work mode, family man and proud Dad Matt speaks affectionately about his wife of 30 years Sam (having met as teenagers at school), daughter Ashleigh and son Mitchell.

“My son is nearly 15 and I recently found a picture of myself at a similar age and its spooky how similar we look… even sometimes looking at his mannerisms I can see myself in him.”

“Looking at my family… its important to note also that our dog Aroha has a higher status than me!”

Thinking back to his younger years and what advice he might have given himself, and what he will give his kids, Matt easily acknowledged that it was to ask more questions – especially in early career stages.

“I do a lot of work with Anthony Edgar (Clublinks’ GM of Facilities & Commercial Development) and the biggest thing I have learned from him is how he asks great questions, and how to time those questions in such a way to really get people to think.

A lot of people at a younger age – you are timid and perhaps don’t have the confidence to ask questions or you just assume you know everything. But if I had my time again, I would go back and do better to ask more questions.”

You can check out the sites Matt and his team manage here.