Brookhouse: New era for golf in Victoria
Golf Victoria moves into a new era this month with Simon Brookhouse taking over as its newly appointed CEO.
Brookhouse, 40, steps into the position with extensive experience as a sports administrator and executive.
From July 2008, Brookhouse has been the CEO at Australia’s biggest basketball association, Knox Basketball.
He’s also been the chairman at the South East Australian Basketball League since 2007.
Brookhouse says the Knox role has not just been an administrative position.
“One of the great things about the Knox role is been we’ve developed a $32 million state basketball facility at Knox where we partnered with the local, state and federal governments. It’s been a lot of corporate negotiation and government negotiations as well, which holds us in good stead if we look to look for a new home for Golf Victoria as well.”
After graduating from Monash University with a Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness), Brookhouse completed a Masters of Business Administration at Deakin University.
Brookhouse has also held various positions in corporate and commercial banking, which he said would pay dividends at Golf Victoria.
“It’s a real customer relationship focus. I think sometimes we forget that the bulk of our role is to work for our members and our stakeholders and I think to really get to know them and work for them, you have to have good relationship management skills,” he said.
“Just the corporate finance knowledge and those things can really help in running any business.”
Brookhouse’s interest in golf began as a mid-teenager when he joined the Peninsula Country Golf Club in Frankston.
“I went to uni straight out of school and kept playing there but once I hit the workforce, I sort of put the clubs away other than for social or corporate days,” he said.
But Brookhouse said he has been able to play on a near weekly basis for the last seven years.
“I’m still actively playing cricket, having said that this may well be my last year. Golf will take a much more front seat with regards to my time commitments.”
Brookhouse’s appointment caps a significant year of change for Golf Victoria, which has become an amalgamation of the former Victorian Golf Association and Women’s Golf Victoria.
He said his first order of business would be to figure what stakeholders and members of Golf Victoria expect from it as a governing body of the game.
“That may well be as simple as assisting in generating more memberships or getting more people playing golf. Just trying to make sport in Victoria as inviting and enticing as we possibly can,” said Brookhouse.
Engaging juniors in the game from a young and also more women will also be given close attention from Brookhouse.
“You talk women, you talk children but at the end of the day maybe the reality is we’re talking families and how we can really get families involved in the sport in a bigger way,” he said.
One initiative for Brookhouse will be to drive the Victorian Open at Spring Valley, which will be help concurrently with the Women’s Victorian Open for the first time.
“If everything comes together like we hope, it should be a showcase for golf for both men and women in the state,” he said.
“I haven’t looked into the whole history of it but it may be the first time that a professional tournament anywhere in the world has been done like that.”