By David Newbery
It wasn’t supposed to end this way.
Max Mason’s premature resignation as general
manager at Nudgee Golf Club caught club
members and some golf industry figures by
Unfortunately, Mason had little choice following ongoing health issues.
“The timing of my retirement has been
brought forward from the originally anticipated date as the direct result of a number of
ongoing pulmonary and cardio health issues –
more recently diagnosis of a ‘Meningioma’,”
Mason wrote in his resignation letter to the
A popular manager and a well-respected figure
in the golfing industry, Mason said he was
looking forward to spending time with his family and two grandsons.
While this is good news for his family, December 31 will be a sad day for Mason, who has
dedicated the past 17-and-a-half years to his
beloved golf club.
“Basically, I have been a workaholic and I have
spent most of my time at the club,” he said.
“I very rarely play golf but health permitting I
would like to think I will get a game of golf in
after I retire.”
Mason arrived at Nudgee Golf Club on July
3, 1995 following a four-year stint at general
manager at Toowoomba Golf Club (Middle
Ridge). Prior to that, he worked in the racing
industry in NSW, Tasmania and Queensland.
In Queensland, Mason was general manager of
the Greyhound Control Board for 11 years.
During his reign at Nudgee, Mason played a
leading role in setting up the Golf Management Australia (GMA) – a professional organisation servicing the needs of managers.
“Previously, GMA was run by the state associations and we’d run conferences on a rotational
basis,” said Mason, who was the inaugural
president. “In 2005, Gary Thomas (Lake Karrinyup), Don Will (Royal Adelaide) and I were
charged with taking it through to a registered
body as a national organisation.
“We got it done and it came to fruition at our
conference at Palm Meadows in 2007. It’s
been a resounding success. “Our first conference run by a national board was in Perth
has left the building
in 2009 and we had our next conference in
Melbourne in 2011. The last three conferences
were the best three we ever had.”
NSW Golf Club general manager David Burton
succeeded Mason as president when he stood
down at the 2009 conference.
Mason agreed to an interview with Golf
Industry Central and talked about a number of
subjects concerning the golf industry.
What are your views of golf industry at
I think the industry is quite strong, but it’s
probably singing out for another champion
(ala Greg Norman). In the last decade, there
has been an impact on work/life balance
between family, work and social activities. It’s
had an impact on most clubs.
When there is less disposable income, the
luxuries tend to go by the board. That includes
a company’s capacity to put on corporate golf
days, which 10 years ago attracted fields of
140 and now it’s around 100. It’s the same
with people playing social golf. The clubs have
to keep themselves relevant to the needs of
society at any given time.
How do you compare the golf industry now
compared to when you started in the early
When I first started, Greg Norman was the
beacon, which attracted people to golf. There
have been plenty of great players since, but I
don’t think they had the image and the charisma of Greg Norman.
What is the greatest challenge running a golf
club, particularly one with 36 holes?
It’s keeping the balance between providing
the correct facility that members pay for at a
traditional golf club and balancing that with
revenue generation by way of corporate golf,