25 Years On… what have we learned?

Golf continues to expand in Asia at a rate faster than almost any other region in the world from golf course design, construction and the maintenance perspective.

Learning from those here who have gained from both successes and failures and learning from what has been done in developed golf nations would surely benefit the greater good of our industry in Asia.

From my years of experience I have seen set backs which resulted from the lack of educational infrastructure for the local people to succeed in keeping up with the rapid golf growth. There are not enough universities in the region offering landscape architecture, turf grass programs, general manager training programs to qualify a person in all aspects of the clubs they are managing. Hence, there are not enough trained professional managers running the golf operations at golf clubs. Most importantly not many owners recognize the need for training to develop the professional skill sets of the local staff within our industry. These are all necessary actions to protect the substantial investments made in golf long into the future. The Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) and PGA cannot understand or manage how to expand in Asia. Fortunately, we do have the AGIF (Asian Golf Industry Federation) moving forward with programs designed to fill this educational gap for the first time with great success.

What are the answers and more importantly what is the solution to create more successful golf projects?

To answer this question in a few words – ‘professional skill sets’ are desperately needed. Experience tells us that in each area of a golf course operation it must start with hiring the right professionals to do each and every job needed. These people are highly skilled in their profession from many projects and past experiences in the Asia region, which they can refer to when working on your golf course. These are called “Best Practices”. Meaning those that are tried and have shown great success.

The following skill sets associated with the golf business do take many years of education, examinations, on the job training and mentorship from other experts to be proficient in any single skill. The key skills start with: financial feasibility, master planning, golf course architecture, clubhouse design, landscape design, civil engineering, irrigation design, construction management, golf course superintendent, golf professional, general management, human resources, real estate, hotel and resort operations, food and beverage, sales and marketing, and customer service expertise to list a few. Look carefully successful projects within the SE Asia region and you will find they have hired such professionals to work with the team to do the job that shows positive financial results to the owner.  As we all know, owners what to see a positive ROI for their money invested. If you look at any failed projects we can identify exactly which one or more of the professional skill sets were left out!

All of this is leading up to Exceptional Golf Course Conditions.

Feedback and comments are valued.

Also look for me at www.qualitygolfasia.com