Moves at Golf House — RCGA Communications director out, few job cuts

Scott Simmons told me at the Royal Canadian Golf Association’s [photopress:logo_rcga_staff.jpg,full,alignright]annual meeting last month that the governors had approved a new strategy for the organization, but that it would take some time for moves to occur. He added that it was his desire to reposition staff as much as was possible before making job cuts.

Apparently some of those decisions have been made, and the victims of the cuts are small — only three staffers including director of communications Anthony Alfred. Alfred had joined the organization in 2005 and had formerly run Tennis Canada’s communications department. Longtime RCGA staffer Dan Pino takes over.

Too bad Pino’s first act was an odd one — to issue a press release naming himself as the new communications director, but without referencing Alfred or his departure at all. Typically in these instances there is some reference made to the departure of a senior staff member like Alfred, especially when he dealt with the media. I know of a couple of key golf writers who were left shaking their heads all with asking the same question — does the release mean Alfred had been let go?

Most people won’t notice Alfred’s departure and Pino is an accomplished communications specialist who knows the key players in the golf business. On a personal note, Alfred was always a pro, even when articles I wrote put him in between conflicts involving senior RCGA execs and myself. I wish him well.

I wonder what this means for Golf Canada — the organization’s decidedly unfocused golf publication that Alfred was running while another communications staffer was on leave. I also wonder how different the RCGA will be if this is the extent of the turnover — though Pino recently pointed out that the uncertainty in the organization led to the departure of several employees, many of whom have not been replaced.

What I think I was looking for — and I know I’m not alone — was more broad-based organizational change, change that would impact those at the organization’s top levels. We haven’t seen that yet — Alfred’s departure isn’t part of that — but that doesn’t mean it isn’t coming.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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