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SWING REPEAT BYMATT KUCHAR THE MOSTCONSISTENT
FSt USOPE]IPREUIEI|I F .r;r'i
CAN HELP YOUR GAME
What ale your roles and responsibilities as the new Managing Director for Laguna National?
: sessed this very question on both a per, sonal and professional level. First and fore, most, I believe we have a dedicated and
Part of the excitement for me in accepting the role was its broad based nature. Clearly an immediate focus will be on the upgrading and repositioning of Laguna Nationalwith the launch of theWorld Classic Course (pictures next page). Part and parcel with that will be the execution of the owner's goals for additional infrastructure renovations and upgrades, which include the clubhouse, new restaurants, MembersVIP lounge, and the repair and renovation to the Masters Course. We are in averyunique position in that we have beengranted development rights to construct a resort hotel at the site of the club - so this will occupy a significant amount of my time over the next year. Of course introduction of ahighprofile professional event is also very much at the top of our agenda. At averyhigh level, I see it as myrole to provide the guidingprinciples and direction for the ownerships club and lifestyle businesses given my experience in this area.
: passionate ownerwho is sole proprietor. , this means that ifwe wish to move in a
How do you feel Laguna National is positioned in theSingapore
golf market? We have significant hardware, which needs upgrading andwill receive that.
certain direction and implement upgrades, standards and improvements, , we can react swiftly in comparison to ouf : counterparts in the country Certainly , having the XTorld Classic Course will be : a feather in our cap. Like any new course, : which is groundbreaking in some way . it will court discussion and passionate , opinions - all ofwhich is great for Laguna. I I can tellyou this, playing the course is , a much DIFFERENT experience than i seeing it from the ECP. The addition of a i classy and contemporary hotel, managed i by a world-class brand in the near future is a very unique selling point for us as a golf ' club in Singapore aswe are the onlyones 'i approved for such a development. And finatty and perhaps most importantly we 'i hav. a significant and loyal Membership i base of over 3,000 who use and enjoy the i club regularly-we really appreciate that.
i Any hints on what the World i Classic witl be like? : I will first saythis...untilyou have expei rienced it from the heart of each fairway, i you are hard pressed to knowwhat it is i reallylike. Seeing it from the air or by driv; ing by it does not allowyou to properly
Our positioning is not currentlywhere we i assess it. I have played it several times would like it and thatwill take some time to turn around including significant added i now: Each time I am forced to hit different focus on software improvements to match i shots on the same holes, dependingupon I the wind direction or the pin placement the infrastructure and, of course, raising our profile for the right reasons. One thing , on the ve rylarge,undulating greens. The we do have going forus is the brand new i greens are definitely reminiscent of those World Classic Course, which will provide : you would find on links golf courses, with averyunique, challenging and sure to be i many seeming like two or three greens talked-about test ofgolf for the region. i in one. The par-4 holes are great, and What sets Laguna National apaft . several are fantastic risk-reward layouts from other Singapore golf slubs? ; and change with the placement of both I the tees and the pins. This course needs In my decision to move to Laguna I as-
Patrick Bowersn the new Managlng Direct*r at Laguna National Gotf and Country C[ub telts JU K. TAN his plans for turning the club into a world-class establishment.
to be played multiple times to show all its sides...and in that sense it is a great private members course.
What special services would be available at World Classic? \7e do want to differentiate the experience. That having been said, I have asked our GM and our team to only roll out service that we can provide consistently get that right and thenwe move on to bigger and better things. There is nothing like a great idea poorly executed. Members of course have access and they are allowed limited introduction of guests. Our tee
times are 15 minutes apart on weekdays andl} minutes on weekends with limited flights to ensure course conditioning and playrng experience is maintained. Our golfing guides (caddies) are assigned to all members with Guests groups to enhance the experience. S7e have an express checkin procedure for our members to whisk them through the usual paperwork. Either our Golfing Guides orMembership Liaison crew then escorts them from the bag drop to their buggies. \7e will add services as we move towards full opening, which include both infrastructure and soft services.
What other developments are in store?
: the high-end golf industry, the guests were : from all over the world and the expectaforperfection.\Thilewith IMG ' tionwas enough to be involved fortunate I was I , with the design, development, opening
i ^d operations at more than 60 new clubs , across 30 countries and 5 continents. This ' allowed me to gain an appreciation for i bothwhat is critical in the development , and sustainability of ahigh end recre, ational development inAsia Pacific as well : as the integration of more than just the i golf component. During my time with The , TigerWoods Dubai and getting to work : directlywithTiger$7oods and his team, , I was able to learn about leveraging that : brand strength to be exposed to the "best : in class" with regards to products, services : and even in the development of new and , cutting edge ideas for the golf club busi-
' ': i Wnat
MembersVIP lounge (akin to howyou typically check in at Singapore Airlines First or Business Class lounges) and then repair and renovations to the Masters Course. S7e are in the conceptual stages for redesign and upgrades ofthe entry experience, main lobby and function rooms. All in all the entire clubhousewillundergo a renovation, in stages, over the coming months andyears alongside the addition of the hotel. So it is allvery exciting and will significantly improve the members' experience.
need to move from providing a somewhat random experience to a highly predictable one. This is achieved through the development of a star-studded team. One person cannot do this alone. Nfe know that
1 teams win world championships great ownership, funding, team principal, aerodynamics group, engineering team, pit crew, testing etc. All the pieces must be in place. So we have to do the same with the recruitment and retention
i i ,
': of top talent. Additionally I would like us i to move towards being one of the best,
regarded clubs in the country for course conditioning. At the end of the day you can provide all the great service you like, but the hallmark of a truly great golf ex-
i perience is primarily , ,
How do you feel yout past experienc' : es will help you at Laguna National? i : During my time at the clubs inI7histler, BC, Canada, I gained an understanding of
are some of Your main goals
: at Laguna National? , 'We need to focus on core principles.
In a few short weeks we will open our two , ne\Mest Japanese restaurants. EMARU will : be our lzakaya style Japanese roadhouse and TEN will be our Yakiniku barbecue outlet. XTorkwill then begin on both our
I now see it as my role to provide botft guidance and expertise to our ownership in this regard and also a transfer of knowledge to my GM and his team. ness.
the condition of the
playrng corridors (tees, fairways, greens). S7e have not currently achieved this. Finally, anyupgrades in the software need to be equally matched with the hardware - but I feel confident that our ownership is willing to do this and has shown the will-
. ingness to do so in the past. e
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Published on Sep 3, 2011