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On the cover...

As official supplier to the 2018 Ryder Cup, Jacobsen is ready to eclipse the competition on a global scale at Le Golf National


ÂŁ7.50 golfmanagement.eu.com Issue 121 | September 2018

The essential business magazine for every golf course owner, director of golf, CEO and general manager operating a golf facility

General manager at Le Golf National in Paris, Paul Armitage prepares to host Europe and the United States as battle commences in the 42nd Ryder Cup


On the agenda september 2018 20


Licence to Thrill at Terre Blanche

Ideally located just 45 minutes from Cannes, and an hour from Monaco, Terre Blanche is one of the most prestigious golf resorts in the world.


The new Lord M at Brocket

The scene of many a scandal over the years, Brocket Hall is now under the stewardship of Michael Longshaw and leaving the past struggles behind.


Armitage on the world stage

General manager at Le Golf National, Paul Armitage, is set to welcome the world’s media and best golfers to Paris as the 42nd Ryder Cup heads into town.


Top Marks for Bad Griesbach

As CEO of the Quellness Golf Resort in the Bavarian region of Bad Griesbach in Germany, Andreas Gerligner is the man charged with raising awareness outside the fatherland.



Alcanada invests for the future

With many clubs across Europe investing less these days when it comes to their course, Alcanada in Mallorca are about to embark on a €600,000 renovation programme.

GMé a shortened form of Golf Management Europe is published and distributed six times per year by Portman Publishing and Communications Limited Deben House, Main Road, Martlesham, Woodbridge IP12 4SE Telephone (44) 01394 380800 | www.portman.uk.com


Publisher Executive editor Advertising Contributors

Michael Lenihan David Bowers Ken Anderson Paul Armitage, Samuel Frederick, Nick Ive, Matt Mears, Aidan Patrick, Jake Wickham


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ISSN 1368-7727. Printed by The Manson Group. © 2018 Portman Publishing and Communications Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher. Whilst due care is taken to ensure content in GMé is accurate, the publisher cannot accept liability for errors and omissions.


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from the publisher

“sport needs as much exposure as possible – and this doesn’t always equate to more money”

Live sport needs actual fans to inspire future generations In something that came as a jolt, yet, if I’m honest with myself not too much of a surprise, I read a recent report which stated that English Premier League football clubs no longer need actual fans watching actual football in their actual stadia. Apparently income generated at what used to be called turnstiles, now accounts for merely five per cent of overall revenue. Only a few years ago there was a campaign in the UK based around the statement ‘Parents! Don’t let your children grow up thinking football is a TV show!’ Nothing has changed and football – and sport in general – is now even more beholden to TV money. While all the suits are patting each other on the back and congratulating themselves on receiving record media revenue year-after-year, do they ever give a thought to the fact that the next generation might not be willing to splash out on a TV sport subscription because, owing to limited access, they’ve never actually fallen in love with the game? The report was still on my desk when I was considering the implications of the US PGA Championship’s absence from mainstream TV outside of the US. OK, so it was streamed by Eleven Sports for free (if you took out a seven-day trial), but there were issues with it. I ended up listening on BBC radio before downloading the PGA Championship app on my smartphone and was able to watch – for free and in miniature – Tiger Woods’ group.

4 | GMé September 2018

COMPULSIVE VIEWING Sunday sorted... golf and popcorn

But, surely, with all the competition from social media and other forms of distraction, sport needs as much exposure as possible – and this doesn’t always equate to more money. Are we losing sight of the fact that short-term financial gain is going to cause long-term financial pain for our sport in general? What’s more, does it make commercial sense for the companies sponsoring the event? Brands sponsor sports events – and golf is no exception – because they want exposure, so, it could be argued, they are actually being short changed by decisions such as that taken for the PGA Championship.

I know that if were the brand manager at one of the blue-chip companies that sponsors golf, I’d be more than a little concerned by the apparent lack of exposure on mainstream TV – after all, you can’t see any advertising when you’re listening to a live broadcast via a radio or app on your smartphone! GMé

Michael Lenihan lenihan@portman.uk.com

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Hold the front page As Official Supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup, Jacobsen will take centre-stage at Le Golf National later this month, with an estimated two billion people watching the 42nd matches on TV.

“We are excited to use Jacobsen equipment during The Ryder Cup, and I am confident that it will assist us in making the Albatros course absolutely spectacular”

Cover sponsored by Ransomes Jacobsen (44) 01473 270000 sales@tip.textron.com

6 | GMé September 2018

Jacobsen turf equipment is an Official Supplier of The 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National just outside Paris, and is providing tournament support to the greenkeeping team during the bi-annual event which will be played at the end of the month on the Albatros Course. Technical staff from the Ransomes Jacobsen facility in Ipswich, will assist staff based at Ransomes Jacobsen France in Toulouse throughout the competition, with the United States defending the trophy they won two years ago at Hazeltine. In 2016, Le Golf National signed a five-year preferred supplier agreement with Ransomes Jacobsen, and the prestigious golf course – which belongs to the French Federation of Golf (FFG) – has continually demonstrated its confidence in Ransomes Jacobsen France. In addition to the course’s regular fleet of Jacobsen equipment, an additional 31 pieces of equipment have been delivered to support The Ryder Cup including 12 Eclipse 2 greens mowers; three SLF-1880 fairway mowers; three AR-3 rotary mowers; two Jacobsen Trucksters, four Smithco Lite rollers and 11 mower caddies. The Ryder Cup attracts the third biggest global TV audience, so golf courses and estate manager at Le Golf

National, Alejandro Reyes, is understandably keen to showcase the course in the best possible condition. “Le Golf National has been in partnership with Jacobsen since 2011,” he said, “and the quality of machinery, the backup support, and the product innovation are just some of the reasons why we choose Jacobsen. “Together, we have created a worldclass golf course that will host The 2018 Ryder Cup, and the Olympic golf event in 2024. “We are excited to use Jacobsen equipment during The Ryder Cup, and I am confident that it will assist us in making the Albatros course absolutely spectacular for such a huge event.” Alan Prickett, managing director of Ransomes Jacobsen added: “We are very proud of the relationship that we have built with Alejandro and his team at Le Golf National, and we are delighted to be working closely with both Alejandro and the FFG in readiness for such a prestigious event. “It’s been a real team effort here in Ipswich and at our Augusta facility in the US – and across the Channel in Paris – co-ordinating everything, so all we need now is for Team Europe to regain the Ryder Cup when play gets underway on September 28.” GMé

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Le Golf National retains GEO Certified accolade prior to Ryder Cup countdown Le Golf National, the host venue for The 2018 Ryder Cup and 2024 Summer Olympics, has retained GEO certification, once again highlighting its commitment to sustainable business management. Having completed the new and improved OnCourse® programme, the venue was recently visited by independent verifier Pablo Munoz Vega, who confirmed demonstrable results and continual improvement actions over the previous three-year period. Paul Armitage, general manager at Le Golf National, said: “By proudly flying the GEO flag every day we are showing our customers, whether they be local residents, international visitors or corporate groups that we care about the same things that they do. “We also want our staff to feel engaged and proud of the fact that Le Golf National provides great golf and much more for our community. “Thanks to our environmental co-ordinator Artur Lecomte and the staff out on the course and in the clubhouse, the work we have done on waste separation, with increased reuse and recycling is particularly rewarding for all involved. “All the team have found OnCourse® to be very easy to use and helpful in guiding and tracking the work and GEO Certified® is a tremendous reward.” Le Golf National continues to show how an approach to fostering nature,

Alejandro Reyes (left) and Paul Armitage (right) with Jonathan Smith, GEO executive director

conserving resources and supporting the community is part and parcel of running a profitable and highly respected golf facility. The venues efforts are also contributing to The Ryder Cup Green Drive – the event’s sustainability programme – with partners Ryder Cup Europe and The Ryder Cup Organising Committee in France aiming to deliver the cleanest, greenest and most sustainable Ryder Cup yet. Ryder Cup Europe director, Richard Hills, said: “Le Golf National is a worldclass golf course and we commend Paul and his team for their commitment to sustainable business management.

“It is vitally important that along with delivering one of the greatest sporting events in the world, that we also address these important issues and continue to work on maximising the social and environmental contribution of golf in the communities in which we play.” Delighted to regain GEO Certified® status, Alejandro Reyes, golf course superintendent at Le Golf National added: “In the last three years sustainability has really become a facility-wide effort – moving from the golf course and maintenance facility into the clubhouse and now into marketing and communications.”

Delay as Coul Championship tickets sell-out Links ‘called-in’ for 148th Open at Royal Portrush Plans for a new golf course at Coul Links in Scotland have been ‘called-in’ by The Scottish Minister. After the decision was announced last month, developer Todd Warnock said: “Whilst this decision delays bringing significant economic and environmental benefits to the area, we welcome the opportunity to set out again the compelling case to create a world-class golf course in east Sutherland. “Highland Council’s North Planning Applications Committee, as the competent planning authority, took an emphatic decision in June and, apart from a single narrow objection from Scottish Natural Heritage, the statutory bodies involved are not opposed to the plans after a comprehensive assessment. “The project also has overwhelming support from local people. We thank them again for their help and encouragement and are sorry for them that there is a further delay in a process that has already taken more than three years.”

8 | GMé September 2018

Graeme McDowell at Royal Portrush

Unprecedented demand for tickets for The 148th Open at Royal Portrush has led to all four Championship days being completely sold out. The Open was last played in Northern Ireland in 1951 and there has been huge excitement about the return of one of the world’s great sporting events. In anticipation of high levels of demand, Championship organisers The R&A moved to an all-ticket model for 2019 but the surge in ticket sales has

surpassed all expectations, with a waiting list introduced for fans wishing to register their interest in purchasing any cancelled or returned tickets for Championship days which may become available at a later date. Johnnie Cole-Hamilton, executive director – Championships at The R&A, said: “It is clear from the record-breaking ticket sales that golf fans are looking forward to the long-awaited return of The Open to Northern Ireland. “We knew there would be great demand but it has been even higher than we expected and we expect fans will take advantage of the remaining practice day tickets now that we have sold out on Championship days. “The 148th Open is set to be a truly historic and memorable occasion and we are encouraging fans to act quickly to avoid disappointment by securing their place at Royal Portrush through visiting TheOpen.com or one of our official ticket providers.”


Sjőman shoots La Manga Club in a ‘hole’ new light

In brief... David Leadbetter opened his new European academy headquarters at the Stoke Park Country Club & Spa recently, describing the venue as “one of the world’s premier golf facilities.” Leadbetter, who has more than 30 academies across the globe – with Stoke Park the 13th to open in Europe – added: “We’re really excited to open our new academy at Stoke Park, which is one of the world’s premier golf facilities, with an amazing hotel, a 27-hole golf course and a great practice facility. Golfers in the south east of England will soon get two spectacular new 18-hole courses to play on, plus improvements to one of London’s most prominent existing golf courses, in a partnership between USA golf architects the Dye family and UK golf course developers the Menai-Davis family of north London. A leadership summit, aimed at helping women work together to achieve their ambitions, was held for a second year on the eve of the Ricoh Women’s British Open. The R&A Women’s Leadership Summit – staged in the clubhouse at Royal Lytham & St Annes – built on 2017’s inaugural event when a group of 21 women came together in the clubhouse of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. Aspiring young golfers have the opportunity to develop their talent at the same time as achieving an academic degree with the launch of a new performance golf programme at the University of Derby. Dr Andy Hooton, head of sport, outdoor and exercise science at the University of Derby, said: “This collaborative programme is designed for talented golfers who are wanting to boost their skills as well as gain academic qualifications, ultimately, enhancing their career opportunities down the line.”


The golf facilities at the five-star La Manga Club have been put in a refreshing new light by a new set of images commissioned by the Spanish sports and leisure resort. Acclaimed Swedish photographer Jacob Sjöman spent three days at the famous Murcia resort shooting its three world-renowned 18-hole courses – the South, North and West – and capturing the magic that has made the venue so popular with golfers across the globe. Sjöman has photographed many of the world’s leading courses including Cape Kidnappers in New Zealand, Thracian Cliffs in Bulgaria, Trump International Golf Links and Castle Stuart in Scotland and Le Golf National – venue for this month’s Ryder Cup in France – and he was delighted to be given the chance to add La Manga Club to his expanding portfolio. “It was a great privilege to visit and photograph La Manga Club for the first time and I was amazed by the whole venue,” said Sjöman, who is based in Stockholm. “It’s tough to choose a favourite hole as there’s so much competition but I would pick the 15th on the West Course, a beautiful hole playing down between the trees and with the mountains providing the background.”

A five-time host of the Spanish Open, La Manga Club has been a firm favourite with golfers for more than four decades, with its comprehensive facilities including three 18-hole courses, a nine-hole academy course and outstanding practice area. Eduardo Ruiz, La Manga Club’s sports general manager, said: “It’s been another fantastic year for La Manga Club and we wanted a new collection of golf images to reflect the continued investment and development in our golf facilities. “We’ve been aware of Jacob for a while now and he has a growing reputation in the golf industry. We’re delighted with the pictures that he has produced, and are looking forward to sharing them through our networks and media partners all over Europe and beyond.”

The West Course at La Manga Club

The PGAs of Europe pair-up with love.golf

Alastair Spink (centre)

A new partnership between the PGAs of Europe and love.golf – the pioneering group coaching programme for women supported by Syngenta – is set to develop coach education and make a positive impact to female golf participation. Now recognised as a PGAs of Europe Golf Development Partner, love.golf will be one of the Association’s preferred female coaching initiatives to promote to its network of PGAs and PGA professionals in Europe and around the world.

With the unprecedented retention rates of love.golf the move aims to make a long-term impact to the growth of female participation. Ian Randell, chief executive of the PGAs of Europe, said: “This year has seen a drive to put female golf into the spotlight, which we wholeheartedly support. “Through our new development partnership with love.golf, we now have a vehicle for PGA professionals throughout Europe to access shared learning, research and grow female participation in a meaningful and sustainable way.” Alastair Spink, founder and head coach of love.golf, commented: “We have made significant progress in our mission to increase female participation across the UK, where we continue to work with new and existing coaches. “As love.golf has continued to grow, it has generated significant international interest. Becoming a PGAs of Europe Golf Development Partner means we can embrace that opportunity and extend the impact of the love.golf initiative through collaborative projects across Europe.”

golfmanagement.eu.com | 9




New short-game facility at Foxhills starting to take shape and on-course for 2019 opening Foxhills’ ambitions to create the best practice facilities in Surrey have taken a giant leap forward as work has started on a state-of-the-art new short game area. The historic Surrey resort already places huge emphasis on its coaching with a covered, floodlit driving range and putting greens. But the new facility is no minor undertaking at 3,500m2 with two practice bunkers, synthetic hitting areas and a 650m2 green at a cost stretching well into six figures. The new short-game practice facility is expected to be open for use in early 2019 and will also be floodlit to allow for evening practice and tuition. It should allow for some major improvements among the membership and visitors with chipping, pitching and bunker play now given an opportunity to flourish. With the plans developed alongside architects Edwards Design International – with construction work undertaken by MJ Abbott – work has now begun on clearing the site adjacent to the driving range as the plans become a reality. And director of golf, Chris Fitt, believes the new facility will be the envy of clubs around the county.

Plans for the new short-game practice area at Foxhills

Fitt said: “We wanted to elevate our practice facilities to another level and this is a vital component of that. We firmly believe this will make Foxhills the best practice facility in the county and will be really special when it’s completed. “It’s been a long process to get to this point but should now take around seven

months from start to finish and will be a stand-out feature when it’s done.” It’s the latest addition to Foxhills’ impressive golf offering with two 18-hole Championship courses and the par-three nine-hole Manor Course to choose from, as well as specific coaching programmes available to beginners and experts.

R&A engage in 1066 adventure golf helps distance survey Golf World Stansted re-brand In an effort to thoroughly inform the Distance Insights project through the lens of the global golf community, The R&A and the USGA will engage with golfers and a wide range of golf’s stakeholders to gather perspectives on the potential causes and impacts of increased distance, beginning this month. The Distance Insights project began in May as part of The R&A’s and the USGA’s overall efforts to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sport. Primary and third-party research is currently being conducted to review historic data and ascertain the past, present and future implications of increased distance on how the game is played. In this latest phase of the Distance Insights project, research will be conducted with a series of golfers and stakeholder groups worldwide, banded into 12 general categories. Each group will be asked a series of universal questions to elicit broad perceptions of distance on golf, as well as groupspecific questions relating to their area of expertise. The findings of the global perspectives research are expected to be a vital component of the full Distance Insights report, scheduled to be released in 2019.

10 | GMé September 2018

Elsenham Golf & Leisure has rebranded and is now called Golf World Stansted as well as opening a brand new 1066 themed adventure golf course. The grand opening occurred on July 14 when the ribbon was cut by Saffron Walden Mayor, Councillor Paul Fairhurst and his colleague Councillor Barbara Light. Also present were the owners, Colin & Tracy Pharaoh, their daughters Leanne and Emma and several hundred people ready to play the new course. The new 1066 Adventure Golf is based on the motte-and-bailey Norman castles of 1066, such as Stansted Mountfitchet Castle. It has many similar features such as a castle keep, a turret house, a water wheel and also a full sized Norman long ship. Designed and installed by European Golf, the whole course is built in a more traditional style taking cues from local history and most importantly being built largely from sustainable materials. Apart from the artificial grass, everything is as natural as possible, including life size wooden sculptures and lots of real plants and trees. Golf World Stansted has also launched Toptracer on their driving range that aims to give customers a similar experience to

that at Topgolf in Watford and Chigwell, with the system tracking all shots, giving the player full ball flight details and the ability to play games in groups of up to four people. The experience is similar to the concept of 10 pin bowling, where you play with a group of friends, eat, drink and have fun. The re-branding was undertaken in order to demonstrate the full range of activities available at the venue and also make it easier to find for people who don’t know the area. “No one knows where Elsenham is unless you live there, but everyone knows where Stansted Airport is,” said Colin Pharaoh.

The opening of 1066 at Stansted

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golfmanagement.eu.com | 11



Robert Trent Jones II returns to Italy to revitalise Antognolla Golf Robert Trent Jones, Jr. has returned to the lush Italian countryside of Umbria to refresh and update one of his original designs, Antognolla Golf. The four-month project includes a complete redesign and modernisation of the bunkering, along with 13.5 acres of irrigated turfgrass reduction, the resurfacing of all 18 tee grounds, newly designed practice facilities and an expanded drainage system that will create year-round playability. The highly regarded existing bentgrass greens that Antognolla is known for will remain intact as originally designed by Jones. Work is underway with nine holes remaining open, with the renovated golf course projected to be fully open again in late autumn. “The end result is that Antognolla will become a must-visit golf destination at any time of the year,” said Jones, chairman and master architect of Robert Trent Jones Golf Course Architects II (RTJ II). “The new bunkering will be visually stunning, naturally fitting within the landscape while enhancing the challenges and rewards throughout the golf course.” All the bunkers at Antognolla will be redesigned or removed, with new bunkers strategically placed to come into play.

Established in 1997, Antognolla features long, cliff-lined fairways, beautiful water hazards and large, undulating greens, and the golf course renovation project is part of the wider development of Antognolla Luxury Resort and Residences. This project will see the stunning 12th-century castle sensitively integrated as part of a luxury brand hotel, with a new spa and country pursuits, as well as a limited number of magnificent residences that overlook the golf course and estate grounds.

Going short at Prince’s

EcoBunker team starts work on new Dumbarnie Links

Prince’s Golf Club has opened its completely revamped short-game area to further enhance the world-class facilities on offer at the club. The Sandwich club’s latest investment of £50,000 into elevating its facilities sees the creation of a larger putting green, and two further greens with surrounding pot bunkers for pitching and chipping. The work to the enhanced practice area began in August 2017 and has opened this summer for full use. The new short-game facilities were first put to the test by the Open Championship hopefuls who contested Final Qualifying at Prince’s in July. Rob McGuirk, general manager of Prince’s Golf Club, commented: “This is a very exciting development which adds to our existing excellent practice facilities and will improve the experience for our members and visitors.” “We used half of the old chipping green for the new par-3 5th hole on the Himalayas 9, which opened up space for us to create two new practice pot bunkers and additional run-off areas.”

The new Dumbarnie Links course at Lower Largo on the south coast of Fife in Scotland – just a little more than ten miles from St Andrews – is now under construction, and EcoBunkerʼs project team has moved onto site to begin the installation of its synthetic edging product in all of the courseʼs formal bunkers. The course has been designed by Clive Clark, and is being built by American contractor Landscapes Unlimited. Fife Council granted planning consent for the project in April 2018, and the construction team moved onto the site in May. Shaping of the golf holes and bunkers is already underway, and the EcoBunker team is gearing-up to finish constructing the bunkers. Where bunkers are hard against greens, or surrounded by short grass, they will be fully revetted using EcoBunkerʼs synthetic solution. However, where bunkers are positioned to be a transition between maintained grass and native rough, they will be constructed in a hybrid fashion, with elements of chunked, rough edge and also of revetment.

12 | GMé September 2018

Antognolla Golf

“Our aim is to create one of Europe’s top luxury resorts and the golf course is a key part of Antognolla’s vision,” commented Victoria Sobolevskaya, head of hospitality asset management for VIY Management, the owners of Antognolla. “We are delighted Mr. Jones and his team are leading the renovation to ensure the golf course once again delivers the quality this stunning setting deserves.” Golf course work is being conducted by Acquafert in collaboration with Atlantic Golf Construction from Ireland.

On-site at Dumbarnie Links

Some of these natural bunkers will be quite large and are sure to be a dominant feature of this very special golf course. Richard Allen, EcoBunker inventor and CEO, said: “New links courses are extremely rare, and we are very proud and happy to be playing a major role in the construction of Dumbarnie, which promises to be an outstanding golf course.”

people news

Movers & Shakers A brief pictorial round-up of some of the individuals shaping the golf business, including news that Sandy Reid will take over from Gordon Moir at The Home of Golf.







In brief... Quinta do Lago is set to position itself as one of the world’s leading sports and leisure destinations with the up-coming completion of The Campus, a state-of-the-art sports base that will provide athletes and sports enthusiasts with everything they need to succeed at the highest level. The multi-million investment in The Campus will ensure Quinta do Lago will become one of the elite global performance centres, with phase one of the project boasting a high-tech Desso Hybrid Grassmaster football pitch. Ryder Cup Europe has announced the official launch of the European Ryder Cup Past Captains’ Programme. Not including this year’s European Captain Thomas Bjørn, some 25 men have assumed the honour of Captaincy since the contest began in 1927 – initially overseeing a Great Britain and Ireland team and, since 1979, Team Europe – and of that number, 12 are still alive. The R&A and the USGA are proposing regulations regarding the use of green-reading materials, reaffirming the need for a player to read greens based on their own judgement, skill and ability. Following a six-week period of feedback and consultation with interested parties, the regulations will be finalised in a published “interpretation” of Rule 4.3 (Use of Equipment) and adopted in January. PGA National Turkey Antalya Golf Club has taken steps to further enhance the golf experience it offers players after redesigning one of the holes on its award-winning PGA Sultan championship course. The acclaimed layout’s par-four, fifth hole has undergone a substantial redesign over the summer, with a large bunker on the left-hand side of the fairway replaced by an 80m-long water hazard.



St Andrews Links have appointed Sandy Reid as director of greenkeeping at the Home of Golf, succeeding Gordon Moir who retires at the end of the year. Reid moves from Carnoustie where he has been superintendent since 2012.


Paul Williams has been appointed as general manager of Toptracer Europe. Commenting on his new role, Williams said: “I’ve enjoyed a fantastic 13 years working within Topgolf and I’m excited about taking on this new challenge.”


Bernhard Langer has been honoured by the European Institute of Golf Course Architects with its Harry Colt Award for his outstanding contribution to European golf, which was presented by EIGCA president, Ross McMurray.


Foxhills Club & Resort has appointed a new general manager to drive its ambitious £25m development project. Tej Walia is a member of the Institute of Hospitality and has more than seven years of experience as a general manager.


Fairmont St Andrews has appointed Dan Naudo as the new director of golf. Joining from the London Golf Club, Naudo will be responsible for strengthening the international presence of the golf offering at the five-star resort.


Five Star Sports Agency, a Paul Lawrie Company, will represent Sam Locke as he enters into the world of professional golf. “I am pleased that I have the opportunity to involve Paul’s expertise,” said Locke.

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merchandising news

Pro Shop & Retail A brief pictorial round-up of events from the retail side of the industry, including news that Foresight Sports has become an official TGI Golf partner supplier.







In brief... Sunderland of Scotland has revealed its collection for Autumn/Winter 2018. Combining quality, playability and reliability the collection captures the essence of Sunderland of Scotland’s ‘Never Weather Beaten’ mission. In the spirit of the brand the collection is built around the weather conditions they resist providing high performance garments for rainwear, windwear and coldwear. PGA Catalunya Resort has been re-certified by the Golf Environmental Organization (GEO) in recognition of its continued commitment to nature, resources and community. The first European Tour Destination to achieve GEO Certified status back in 2013, PGA Catalunya Resort has made sustainability a core objective since its inception, with a focus on minimising consumption as well as exploring opportunities for renewable alternatives and diversified energy sources. Galvin Green aims to attract more fashion-conscious young golfers with its exclusive EDGE line, featuring 3D patterned bomber jackets, camo polo shirts, sweatshirts and even bandanas. The Swedish brand famed for introducing standout colours to conventional golf outerwear in the 90s, gave a specialist designer license to create a fresh golfing wardrobe composed of 16 contemporary garments and accessories branded with its own distinctive tone-on-tone logo. Optical Express, one of the UK’s leading complete eye care specialist, has its sights set on inspiring the next generation of golfers after becoming an official PGA Partner. As part of a new three-year partnership, Optical Express will work alongside PGA Members to encourage people to play golf and choose it as their sport of choice, all as part of a rollout grassroots programme.



Foresight Sports Europe, the golf industry’s fastest-growing technology company, has become an official TGI Golf partner supplier. Director Edward Doling said: “Becoming a partner supplier to TGI Golf is hugely exciting.”


In a 2017 survey, more than four in five senior UK golfers benefited from taking the natural food supplement Benecta, and now club professionals throughout the UK can also benefit by making referrals from the pro shop.


Cobra Puma Golf has joined Foremost Golf’s Elite Marketing Programme as a new Premium member, in order to deliver the most extensive digital and integrated retail support available in the industry.


SkyCaddie claims that its new range-topping SX500 GPS handheld is the most powerful, most accurate, most feature-packed and most visually stunning hand-held distance measuring device that golf has ever seen.


PowaKaddy has reported a strong first half of 2018. Sales across the brand’s portfolio of products increased by 27 per cent compared to 2017 with PowaKaddy now boasting 64 per cent of the UK electric trolley market.


Glenmuir, the renowned Scottish golf clothing brand, reveals its Autumn/ Winter collection for 2018 with a focus on delivering classic styles using high quality performance fabrics and outstanding craftsmanship.

golfmanagement.eu.com | 15


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For further details or a demonstration, please contact your local ISEKI dealer or ISEKI UK on 01473 599266 16 | GMé September 2018

A powerful 65hp compact tractor capable of lifting 1500kg at 24”, whilst being gentle on your course


greenkeeping news

Machinery & Turf A brief pictorial round-up of course management related events including news that Italian agronomist, Stefano Boni, has joined Golf Business International.







In brief... BIGGA has revealed changes to BTME next year, including expanding the size of the exhibition by up to 25 per cent. The new layout contains more opportunities than ever for visitors to interact with exhibitors, with BIGGA CEO Jim Croxton saying: “The support we have received from our partners and exhibitors has vindicated the decision we made to restructure the BTME experience.” Zala Springs Golf Resort in Hungary, recently took delivery of a package of Toro equipment, which continues a long-term relationship between the course and Toro distributor Agrolánc Ltd. “We are honored that Zala Springs Golf Resort continues to choose Toro equipment to maintain their world-class course and grounds,” said Teodor Denchev, area manager, commercial equipment for Northern and Eastern Europe at The Toro Company. The Bukit course at Singapore Island Country Club, originally designed by Scottish legend James Braid in 1924 is the venue for a new partnership between two of the worldʼs leading bunker technology firms. At SICC, Capillary Concrete and EcoBunker have come together to produce bunkers that are fully sealed; lined with Capillary Concreteʼs industry leading product, and with a low edge produced using EcoBunkerʼs patented synthetic solution. Real Club de Golf Las Brisas in Marbella, Spain, is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018, as well as its first full golf course maintenance equipment fleet deal with John Deere and local dealer Agronimer. Arranged through David Fernandez, the head of Agronimer’s golf division, the new fleet has been acquired in a five-year John Deere Financial agreement worth €1m, and is supported by full PowerGard maintenance cover.



The Italian Golf Federation’s consulting agronomist and ecology officer, Stefano Boni, is the latest experienced industry figure to join Golf Business International. Boni, 43, is the principal of Stefano Boni Golf Services Company.


Courses can now sign up to join the Syngenta Operation Pollinator initiative quickly and easily, with over 100 golf courses across the UK already signedup helping to demonstrate the positive actions of the greenkeeping community.


The Club Company, which owns and operates 13 Country Clubs across the UK, has taken delivery of two Ventrac 4500 compact tractors with Contour mowing deck and blowers attachments for use at Nizels and Meyrick Park Golf Clubs.


BIGGA has welcomed British Sugar Topsoil as the association’s latest Education Supporter. A division of British Sugar PLC, the company is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of topsoil to the landscape and amenity industries.


Woodhall Spa has signed its fourth five-year exclusivity agreement with Reesink Turfcare and Toro. The deal coincides with the club’s three-year restoration project to return the course back to its original heathland appearance.


Ryder Cup Europe and The Ryder Cup Organising Committee in France have jointly launched The Ryder Cup Green Drive – the event’s sustainability programme – ahead of the biennial event at Le Golf National, Paris.

golfmanagement.eu.com | 17




“We believe this product has the ability to change the way golfers practice and introduce the wonderful game of golf to a whole new audience”

Toptracer tracking a path to a new era President of Toptracer Range, Ben Sharpe, and the general manager of Toptracer Europe, Paul Williams, discuss their ambitious plans for expansion. Words by Jake Wickham.

RANGEMASTER Paul Williams, newly appointed general manager of Topracer Europe

18 | GMé September 2018

Owned by Topgolf Entertainment Group, Toptracer tracks the shots of the best players in the world week-in, weekout on the PGA Tour and European Tour and now the same technology is available in driving ranges. The experience is simple and easy to use; two cameras mounted above the bays capture data on every shot and relay it – via the image analysis software – onto a display unit that shows guests feedback and stats in whatever game mode is selected. With such groundbreaking software now available to golfers of all abilities, Toptracer Range president Ben Sharpe is excited about the impact that it is set to make: “I see a genuine opportunity to grow the game and introduce golf to a new audience with a product that lives up to its reputation and delivers an extraordinary entertainment experience.” Toptracer Range enables driving ranges to offer the ball flight tracking seen on TV, with a variety of ball data and interactive game modes. It appeals to the most devoted golfer and the beginner at the same time, giving families and friends the chance to get together in a fun and interactive environment. “One of the best things about the technology is its universal appeal,” says

Paul Williams, newly appointed general manager of Toptracer Europe. “Avid golfers are increasingly reliant on knowing their stats these days which they can find out and hone using the Launch Monitor and What’s In My Bag games.” Guests can use the Toptracer Range Community app to link their personal profiles to their visit and return to stored information over time. “On the other hand, there are games-based modes like Closest To Pin and Longest Drive which can be very sociable,” Williams adds. Toptracer Range allows users to experience some of the world’s most famous golf courses right from the comfort of their own bay, with Pebble Beach recently added to the portfolio of courses. Players can enjoy their virtual experience singularly, or as a group with a bit of friendly competition thanks to the continual progression of the software. As Sharpe points out: “Our technical innovation team is always looking at improvements, the functionality that we are moving towards will allow players to compete against anyone on our global leaderboards.” Adding Toptracer Range to a facility has proved to be successful in driving increased footfall which, in turn, increases commercial opportunities in


IN THE KNOW Friends enjoying a relaxed atmosphere at at Topgolf facility utilising Toptracer technology

other areas such as retail and food and beverage sales. “From speaking to retailers such as American Golf we know that they like to see our systems installed in the ranges that they are present in as they see a marked increase in sales,” says Williams. Toptracer Range brings people into the game and, for retailers, beginners are a highly lucrative market. This software can uplift the coaching a range will be able to offer, at the same time as encouraging more golfers to keep coming back and taking lessons. Toptracer Range is a great tool to use before, during or after a lesson, to demonstrate a teaching point, check back on progress or maintain the new skills a golfer has learnt. From a fitting standpoint it can be hugely beneficial as the system captures data on every ball as well as comparative data between clubs. “I was a coaching PGA professional for 13 years and if this technology had been in place when I was coaching I would have loved it,” explains Williams. “Especially the ability to encourage random practice and being able to visually demonstrate a student’s ball flight characteristics and tendencies.”


Toptracer Range is available for an affordable monthly fee, with no upfront payment. Facilities lease the Toptracer Range equipment which includes camera sensors, hardware and displays. Along with the equipment comes the software, free installation, unlimited maintenance and marketing support, and an account manager – all within the same price. This isn’t a one size fits all kind of product, says Sharpe: “Every package differs depending on the requirements of each range, for example in a two-tier driving range only one set of cameras is required to cover both floors so this factors into the monthly price.” The investment into infrastructure required prior to installation will depend entirely on what is already in place. To run the system, all that is needed are power outlets and a data connection installed between the servers, camera and screens. Toptracer Range appeals to any golf range, it’s not just for the biggest and best. For example, Wellsgreen Golf Range in Fife converted seven of its bays to Toptracer Range while The Golf Club in Guernsey has 14 bays, all of which now have Toptracer Range.

These might be smaller operations, but it goes right up to World of Golf in New Malden, London, which has all 51 of its bays covered with Toptracer Range technology. As Williams explains, this is very much down to the preference of the specific range: “We’ve seen success with ranges that go straight to full coverage, as well as those which have dipped their toe in to start and have expanded to additional systems.” Ball tracking has become an essential part of the television experience for 21st Century viewers and incorporating this technology into a driving range helps transform it into an enticing entertainment experience. Since the beginning of this year, Toptracer Range has tripled its global presence and Sharpe has no doubt that this is just the start of a huge and exciting journey: “We’re continuing to see more and more ranges around Europe adopt Toptracer Range and successfully integrate it in their business model,” he says. “We believe this product has the ability to change the way golfers practice and introduce the wonderful game of golf to a whole new audience.” GMé

golfmanagement.eu.com | 19



terre blanche

Terre Blanche has A Licence to Thrill Located just 45 minutes from Cannes, and an hour from Monaco, Terre Blanche is one of the most prestigious golf resorts in the world, and according to director of golf, Jean-Marie Casella, plans are in place to add to the resorts appeal. Article by Michael Lenihan.

20 | GMĂŠ September 2018

terre-blanche.com INSPIRED BY NATURE The Château course (right) at Terre Blanche with a tricky approach to a well guarded green

James Bond, the fictional spy character created by Ian Fleming has made more of an impact on the European golf industry than most people probably appreciate. And one resort in the south of France has good reason to thank Fleming for casting Sean Connery in the role of 007. Despite being born just down the road from Bruntsfield Links in Scotland, Connery had little interest in golf until he was taught to play the game in preparation for his role as James Bond in the 1964 hit Goldfinger, with the now synonymous scene filmed at Stoke Park where an epic duel between James Bond and Goldfinger is still considered to be one of the most famous games of golf in cinematic history. “Gert Frobe, who played Goldfinger was an accomplished golfer,” recalls Connery, “so I began to take lessons on a course near Pinewood film studios and was immediately hooked on the game. Soon it would nearly take over my life.” After marrying his second wife, Moroccan-French painter Micheline Roquebrune in 1975, Connery used his wealth to acquire land close to Tourettes in the Côte d’Azur Provence of France from the town Mayor, with the intention of creating his dream golf course. Sadly, for Connery, his dream failed to turn into reality, and after owning the

land for over 20 years, sold the château and its surrounding 266 hectares to Dietmar Hopp in 1999. Hopp, a keen golfer and German billionaire who was one of the founders of software giant SAP, set about developing the resort, and five years later, in 2004, Terre Blanche opened. Hopp spared no expense when it came to realising the value of the land he had acquired, and today, Terre Blanche features a five-star hotel, spa, and four restaurants, of which, Le Faventia boasts one Michelin star. Golf however, has always been at the very core of Terre Blanche, and the two courses – Le Riou and Le Château – were shaped using the natural contours of the landscape, with architect Dave Thomas creating some of his best work on a canvas many can only dream of. Of his two creations, Le Riou is reserved exclusively for members and hotel residents and is described as more of a ‘technical’ test, requiring a highdegree of course strategy. The course is host venue to the Terre Blanche Ladies Open, a LET Access series event staged every April. Le Château is the longer and more demanding of the two courses playing 7,235 yards off the back tees with water featuring prominently throughout.

“we’re only 45 minutes from Cannes, an hour from Monaco so in this region it will be a unique resort, that’s for sure” @gme

golfmanagement.eu.com | 21



terre blanche WHITE EARTH Left, an aerial view of the golf clubhouse; belowleft, director of golf Jean-Marie Casella; right the Albatros Golf Performance Center and below-right the swimming pool at the resort

“When everything is finished, Terre Blanche will be a really unique place”

For a five-year period after opening, the hotel and golf operations at Terre Blanche were managed by Four Seasons, and after Hopp decided to part-company with the brand, turned to Jean-Marie Casella to head-up the golf division. Casella, 55, who had been recruited from Pont Royal near Marseille, joined Terre Blanche in 2009 recalling: “I came when the management with Four Seasons had just finished, which was nine years ago now. “At the beginning it was fantastic to have Four Seasons for the hotel, but for the golf it’s not the same, because golf is different. When I joined, they were just starting the construction of the training centre.” Now seven years old, the Albatros Golf Performance Center is one of the finest training facilities in Europe, with 64 bays on two levels, half of which are undercover and floodlit. A grass driving range is open from May to October, and there are two outdoor and one indoor putting greens, a short-game area and customfitting centres too, all in association with TaylorMade. The golf academy is suited to players of all standards and can even claim

22 | GMé September 2018

to have David Leadbetter as an honorary member. The Biomecaswing Centre – which is operated by osteopath and athlete Jean-Jacques Rivet – is the only centre of its kind in Europe and combines biomechanics with modern technology. “The concept was to become the first European Tour Performance Institute,” said Casella. “We’ve hosted a few European Tour players here, and some American players including Matt Kuchar and Mike Weir.” For a resort including these worldclass practice facilities, visitors would expect to pay a premium, but as Casella explains, he is keen to keep the fees on par with his peers elsewhere in the Mediterranean. “Our green fee is €180, and that includes the golf carts, the driving range, the GPS, the bottles of water and the valet too, which welcomes you when you arrive at the hotel. We park your car and then bring you to the clubhouse so there’s a big service component included. “When we look at the price in Portugal, for example, and compare the service and the quality of the courses maybe we

should be higher in price, but in France, green fee prices are not very expensive. “We’re in competition for a few international groups,” he confirms, “so for us at Terre Blanche we are in competition not really with other golf clubs in France in our category, but other international resorts.” And with the Ryder Cup set to be staged later this month in Paris, Casella is hoping for an increase in visitor numbers. “There’s an excitement for the Ryder Cup,” says Casella who will attend the bi-annual event as part of an exhibition showcasing the best resorts in France. “It will be a focus on France, not a focus on this region, as unlike Spain, we don’t have a region dedicated to golf. We have 700 courses in France, but nothing dedicated for golf. “France is already a very famous destination for tourism, and in some regions of Spain or now in Turkey, Morocco and Portugal, the government completely focused the promotion and a lot of money on the development of golf tourism. In France this wasn’t the case. “Just before and after the Ryder Cup we have a few groups coming here to


Terre Blanche in harmony with nature

play golf and stay at the hotel, but what is important to us is that there will be a real focus on France, and we hope plenty of people coming to France will visit the different regions to play golf.” Part of the appeal of Terre Blanche is the exclusivity that the resort offers, and with a select number of properties scattered around the destination, escaping to the solitude of the French countryside is a mere two-hour flight from London. Yet despite the tranquillity, Terre Blanche still has plans to grow as Casella explains: “We have plenty of projects that we wish to develop, and there’s plenty to do including the Château which will be the last renovation. “There’s also the real estate and have around 50 building plots left for sale. We’re not promoting a lot of the real estate, and we’re not selling through other people – we’re selling directly. Also, we are not working with any big real estate company, and plan to do it by ourselves, little-by-little.” The real estate Casella refers to are, as one would imagine, high-end with a price tag to match, yet the lifestyle living at Terre Blanche affords interested purchasers would be a price worth


paying for many golfers, especially as all properties include membership to the golf club, which currently numbers 350. “We’ll maybe try to reach 650 members by the end of the real estate but no more,” states Casella. “Mostly they are international members, so the courses are not crowded, although we do have resident members who are villa owners. “We also have members that are living outside of the area with plenty from Monaco.” Everything about Terre Blanche exudes excellence and could become the mustvisit destination in France. “When everything is finished, Terre Blanche will be a really unique place,” said Castella. “We’re only 45 minutes from Cannes, an hour from Monaco so in this region it will be a unique resort, that’s for sure.” And a unique golf estate in the playground of the Côte d’Azur is something Casella, Hopp and even 007 himself, Sean Connery can be proud of. For if Connery didn’t have the foresight and vision to imagine what could be achieved, Hopp may never have been given the opportunity to realise the land’s true potential. GMé

Terre Blanche is an all-suite and villa resort that prides itself on luxurious space, comfort and privacy through a combination of traditional and contemporary Provençal decor. There are 115 spacious suites and villas ranging in size from 60m2 to 300m2 all with private terraces, and include 90 independent suites and 17 deluxe villas. In each of the suites and villas, guests experience personalised service in luxurious comfort, within stunning natural surroundings overlooking mountains and medieval villages. Terre Blanche prides itself on its gastronomic variety, with four restaurants overseen by executive chef Philippe Jourdin. In addition to the variety of choice, the levels of service are of the highest standard with restaurant guests being looked after by Terre Blanche’s Chief Sommelier and each of the restaurant’s head waiters. Surrounded by beautiful gardens and encompassing two floors is the stand alone Spa which has 12 treatment rooms and two couple suites offering a variety of body and facial treatments by the emblematic swiss brand VALMONT and organic cosmetics brand KOS Paris. Light snacks and drinks are available in the Infusion Tea-room or on the large outdoor terrace, and there is a spacious 20m indoor swimming pool at a comfortable 28°c and an outdoor vitality pool at a warm 35°c with invigorating water jets and air beds.

golfmanagement.eu.com | 23



michael longshaw

FERRY BOAT The finishing hole on the Melbourne Course which requires a short ferry ride across the lake

ENGLISH HERITAGE The Paine Bridge at Brocket Hall which has graced many films including The Queen and Johnny English

The new Lord M at Brocket Hall The scene of many a scandal over the years, Brocket Hall is now under the stewardship of Michael Longshaw and leaving the past struggles behind, as Samuel Frederick reports. “We’re three years into the five-year plan I put in place… in 1997!” Brocket Hall’s chief executive Michael Longshaw may have smiled when he said it, but it also illustrates the issues he’s faced recently at the prestigious Hertfordshire venue, which dates from the 16th century. In recent years, things haven’t quite gone to plan at the Hall. But – and herein lies a quick history lesson – Brocket Hall has a record of controversy dating back quite a few years. Before World War II it was a regular haunt of Nazi sympathisers – indeed the then Lord Brocket flew to Germany specifically to celebrate Hitler’s 50th birthday. Even earlier it was the setting for a national scandal when, in 1812, Lady Caroline Lamb – wife of then owner William Lamb, the second Lord Melbourne, and Queen Victoria’s first Prime Minister – had a public affair with romantic poet Lord Byron. If that wasn’t enough, Lord Palmerston, the second of two Prime Ministers to be

24 | GMé September 2018

associated with Brocket Hall, died on a billiards table there during a dalliance with a chambermaid – a story which must be true, as it was related by former GMé editor, the late John Vinicombe, in this very publication as long ago as February 1999! And, in the 1990s it was in the headlines for the wrong reasons when the current Lord Brocket was jailed for insurance fraud – a punishment which, some might argue, was exacerbated when he was recruited later to appear on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here… Thankfully, things are a lot quieter these days. Brocket Hall is under Chinese ownership, and, although it was in the newspapers again when lifetime members felt they’d been hard done by after the collapse of Brocket Hall Golf Club and a new management company was formed, the proud venue is once again on the up. The task of re-establishing Brocket Hall’s reputation for high quality has befallen Nairobi-born Longshaw, a

PLAYING THE LONG-GAME Michael Longshaw pictured in-front of Brocket Hall


63-year-old with a hugely successful CV in the hotel sector – initially with Trusthouse Forte in the 1980s and 1990s – and then Delta Management, a role which took him to Anguilla. In 1993 he became a director of CCA Europe, and various CCA Group companies worldwide, including Berlin Golf & Country Club, Berlin Capital Club and the London Capital Club. And it was during his time at CCA that he was responsible for the acquisition, redevelopment and re-launch of Brocket Hall in 1996, for one of its previous owners. Since 2007, he has been chief executive of International Golf & Resort Management, during which time he has managed multiple projects from concept to completion in Portugal, Italy, Brazil


and the UK, and, specifically, golf course projects in Vietnam – a Faldo course – and Nigeria. And it is in this role that he is again instilled at Brocket Hall to rid the grand old dame of its baggage and re-establish the historic venue as one of the UK’s premier golf clubs. He explained: “The brief was simple: to restore the credibility, the quality of service standards, and to bring the property back up to the highest level. I have been on site fully since November 2016, but we’ve only really had full control of the property since June 2017. “The fact is the place had about £1,000 invested in it over the period of about ten years. So there’s a lot of serious issues with membership in so far as they had no confidence or trust in the

company, because we started from a zero membership as a new company. “The issue was getting the members to have confidence in what we said we would do, we would do. “We invested a lot of money, but a lot of it is unseen money – back of the house, putting in a new telephone system, replacing computer systems, putting in greenkeeping equipment – none of which is very sexy, but without those investments we wouldn’t be able to lift the property to anywhere near where it needs to be. “And that’s very much in the luxury market because it’s quite an expensive thing to operate.” He continued: “We virtually lost all of the key people, not just once,

golfmanagement.eu.com | 25



michael longshaw

REFLECTIONS The clubhouse at Brocket Hall

HANDS-ON Chief executive Michael Longshaw

but probably twice, in a period of 18 months. We’ve had to do an awful lot of rebuilding: the staff, establishment, training, morale – putting in, say, things like uniforms. I had staff here who were wearing uniforms you could see through, they were so worn out. “You lost all the corporate knowledge, all of the estate knowledge; and then, while we were trying to rebuild, some of the new people moved on again while others have stayed and we got back some people who we previously got rid of – so there’s been a real turnaround. We have now been fairly consistent for about 15 months.” Customer feedback has improved across the board in that time, as Longshaw and his team rebuilt the departments from the ground up. The restaurant is receiving consistently good reviews, as are the clubhouse and the hall. “The whole thing takes time,” added Longshaw, “because people need to be trained and customers need to feel our employees have pride in what they’re doing and are committed to doing a good job.” Initially, membership numbers were slow to rise, but this year has seen a vast improvement with the club signing up at least one new member per day, since July 1 – both former members and new faces.

And it is against this background of growing optimism that the company is launching the Melbourne Club at Brocket Hall, which will be inaugurated on September 1… Brocket Hall Country Club will no longer exist. “I feel a lot more confident about the club aspect now,” said Longshaw. “I think we’re just at a stage now where, if we keep the service standards up, we keep up the progress within the clubhouse and keep on doing things to the place, members will continue to enjoy the service and support us. “It will start charging a joining fee and that joining fee will probably be geared to the investment programme within the golf operation. We’ve really got three operations here: the public restaurant, the golf and the hall. The hall is the real money spinner on the estate. Without the hall the estate is on its knees, as it were, because the golf operation is so expensive. “We will probably increment a joining fee but it will not be a very high one initially. As we invest more, we will increase the joining fee to a level which supports the product offering that we have available. The actual annual subscription that we charge at the moment is the same as it was three or four years ago. “What is different is there are no deals,” states Longshaw.

26 | GMé September 2018

“I think there were about 30 or 40 different rates for the same membership. We’ve stopped all of that; we’ve got four or five very simple categories – there’s no deals, that’s the price. “We’re going to get involved in golf, we’re going to support youth golf; we want to put in place a proper programme for young members so they can get training here using the excellent facilities; and we want to do a scholarship programme. “We will support the lovegolf.com movement because it’s a different way of coming at golf. We’ve supported the longest drive which, again, is something that people may be frowning on if they are serious golfers, but there’s some fun in it, to get different people involved. “We want to increase the interest in golf, and to try to make the place a bit more fun. It has so much untapped potential here, it’s incredible.” Back in 1940, as London endured the Blitz, Brocket Hall became a maternity hospital for the nation’s capital. Over the next few years, more than 8,000 babies – among them film director Mike Leigh – were born there. It is, therefore, no stranger to new life. And, with Longshaw holding its hand at bedside, it’s looking likely that the birth of the Melbourne Club at Brocket Hall may well result in a very healthy specimen. GMé


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‘Specialist in Golf Course Construction’ Repton Short Course at Rudding Park Royal Birkdale, Royal St George’s Carnoustie, Goodwood

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TURF HEALTH SOLUTIONS Bernhard and Company is a specialist in sports turf technology, committed to providing leading turf care solutions to golf course and pitch care specialists worldwide. From blade sharpening systems, sports surface air movement and moisture control to supplementary lighting, we will provide you with the solution to achieve the best turf quality and playability.



28 | GMé September 2018



cmae conference Following the success of the CMAE European Conference last year, Marbella will once again be the host destination as Europe’s club managers gather to learn, share ideas and try their hand at riding a bull. Words by Aidan Patrick.

Marbella to host Club Managers

“success is a journey, not a destination... the doing is more important than the outcome”

THE LANGUAGE OF LEADERSHIP Bill McFarlan discusses leadership at last years conference

The Club Managers Association of Europe (CMAE) will stage their European Conference on club management with the theme – The Journey – this November. Following a successful inaugural conference last year, the CMAE will return to Marbella in Spain between November 18-20, and have ambitious plans to build on what was a wellsupported event last time out. According to business coach Bill Sanderson, who will also be a moderator and presenter at this years conference, “success is a journey, not a destination... the doing is more important than the outcome.”


Director of education, TorbjÖrn Johansson added: “The Journey theme will resonate with every delegate because it is totally focussed on their job, their career path, their success and therefore their future. “Plus, they will be engaged in the most interactive, positive and practical sharing of the key steps to success with over 150 of their peers,” continued Johansson. “And it is this additional opportunity to tap in to the extraordinary power of the CMAE ‘tribe’ that makes our conference truly unique. “The 2018 European Conference has been designed to stimulate and challenge managers to share the journey

taken by club managers, and reveal how they managed recent major events to a successful outcome. “A total of five managers from three countries – and four types of club – will share their different journeys, all with the same purpose which is to stimulate, challenge and encourage delegates to share their real-life experiences in the dynamic, highly participative discussion format that won so much praise from delegates last year.” Last year’s conference – which was a complete sell-out – delivered a format which worked for all of the delegates who attended, and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

golfmanagement.eu.com | 29




CLOSING THINGS OUT The three-day conference will be closed by Janne Willems from The Netherlands

“I’m really looking forward to hearing successful club managers sharing their success stories”

30 | GMé September 2018

And this year delegates will get even more of an opportunity to profit from the experience as the entire speaker line-up is club manager focused. “We’ve tried to work with managers who understand you, your world, your challenges and your opportunities, because they have been there, been successful and are still there, at the top of their profession,” added Johansson. “And now they have agreed to share their unique experiences with delegates in order to prepare club managers to take full advantage of the opportunities that will come their way throughout their career.” After each presentation, delegates will join passionate, informed, stimulating and guaranteed thought provoking discussions with fellow managers from a wide range of clubs across Europe and the Middle East. Attending any conference can often be seen as more of a hindrance with time needed away from the office, but as Johansson states, the return-on-investment attending the CMAE European Conference really shouldn’t be brought into question. “Attendees will generate a real life takeaway of advice, ideas and contacts, and this exceptional opportunity will equip you with the attitude and approach that is essential to build an

extraordinary career portfolio,” said Johansson. “We’ll have an extraordinary line-up with relevant topics all told from a real life perspective coupled with a powerful, engaging and entertaining Conference format. “I’m really looking forward to hearing successful club managers sharing their success stories, and facilitating discussion groups with fellow managers after each topic. “And when you add in a fabulous and friendly atmosphere centred around mutual camaraderie and professional respect, this years conference has all of the facets to be even better than 2017.” The three-day conference begins on Sunday November 18 culminating on Tuesday November 20 – the full agenda and timetable can be read online at www.cmaeeurope.org. “Besides all those possibilities of great learning and sharing – there are also networking possibilities on the golf courses, padel courses, Tours of Marbella Old Town and a visit to local Bull Farm and get the chance to ride a small bull,” smiles Johansson. And if that isn’t reason enough to book a flight to Marbella in November, not to mention the chance to enjoy some Spanish winter sun and a glass or two of Rioja, then nothing is. GMé

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golfmanagement.eu.com | 31


paul armitage

“It’s not enough to be a passionate golfer, you must have the customer service skills and the ideas and drive to grow the business”

In conversation with Paul Armitage This month sees the Ryder Cup take place at Le Golf National in Paris, with general manager, Paul Armitage set to welcome the world’s media and best golfers to his facility.

PARTNERSHIP Jacobsen equipment outside the main entrance at Le Golf National

GMé What brought you to Le Golf National and how long have you been here? PA I got the job at Le Golf National in May 2014, and started in September 2014. When I saw this job come up, I couldn’t let the opportunity pass me by, so I decided to apply for it; it’s the kind of job that comes up once in a blue moon. I’ve been working in France for more than 20 years now, mainly in the golf industry. This role seemed like a natural career progression, and the prospect of being involved in hosting the 2018 Ryder Cup, and the Olympic golf competition in 2024 is very exciting. GMé What would you say has been the biggest challenge that you’ve faced during your time at Le Golf National, and how did you overcome it?

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PA The biggest challenge was to change the culture and the mindset of the club. Le Golf National is 25 years old now, and there were a lot of habits and routines to shake up when I arrived. I wanted to focus the staff on the fact that we are a Ryder Cup destination, the fact that our customers expect high standards and the fact that we have one of the best golf courses in the world. I needed them to realise that we had to achieve those high standards every single day. GMé What does it mean to Le Golf National and to France to be hosting the Ryder Cup this year? PA For Le Golf National, it’s an honour and a privilege to be hosting the Ryder Cup. However, without the tenacity of the French Golf Federation throughout the bidding process and all the way now,


FLYING THE FLAG A warm welcome awaits when the Ryder Cup comes to town this month

we couldn’t do it alone, so all credit must go to them. For the country in general, it’s a huge deal. Pascal Grizot, who is the president of the France 2018 Ryder Cup committee did a fantastic job of accomplishing his vision of bringing the Ryder Cup to France and gaining support from the government as well as local support. Pascal made it into a nationwide bid. You can feel the excitement in the media around the event. With the announcement of Tiger Woods as the US team vice-captain – and possibly even making the team now given his resurgence in form – there’s an even bigger buzz, and the enormity of the event really hits home. It’s very exciting, and a huge honour to be involved. GMé What is the best piece of advice you could give to anyone wanting to become a general manager at a golf club?


PA You must love people. It’s not enough to be a passionate golfer, you must have the customer service skills and the ideas and drive to grow the business. It’s important to communicate well with staff, and to motivate them, and it also helps to take time out to speak with customers and ask if they’ve enjoyed their experience.

GMé What do you do to motivate yourself when things aren’t quite going to plan?

GMé Can you describe a typical day for a general manager?

GMé What’s your favourite Ryder Cup moment?

PA No. Every day is different. That’s what makes it so much fun. At Le Golf National, we have three different courses, which offer a diverse offering to our customers. In turn, there is a lot of variety and different aspects to my job. With the Ryder Cup, the 2024 Olympic Games, the French Open, Paris Legends, and other events like that, it adds another dimension, so no two days are the same!

PA It has to be the ‘Miracle at Medinah’ at the 39th Ryder Cup in 2012. I remember getting to the golf course early on Sunday morning, slightly depressed about the scores and the task Europe faced. However, there was something about the golf course that morning – it was chilly, windy, and there was nobody there. There weren’t many Americans there, and everybody was supporting Europe.

PA I think about bananas! When I used to play bad golf, I was introduced to Sophrology, which is the idea that when things aren’t going your way, you should think of something that makes you feel happy… so I think about bananas!

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paul armitage

THE PERFECT HOST Paul Armitage, general manager at host venue Le Golf National

To experience that day at Medinah and see that European team turn things around and win the Ryder Cup was amazing. GMé How does your relationship with Jacobsen benefit the club, and what is your attitude when it comes to turf maintenance equipment? PA We have a very long and happy relationship with Jacobsen; we have used the brand at Le Golf National for a very long time. To be able to keep the agreement in place, and develop it even more, throughout the Ryder Cup is a huge bonus for us. The golf course is the most important thing, and if you look at some of the remarks on social networks, the standard of the greens, tees and fairways comes out on top, and is commended time and time again. Without the correct resources, we can’t do that. The turf maintenance equipment is key, and we are very happy with the Jacobsen kit, and so are the greenkeeping team we have here. GMé Why do you believe that machinery is an important aspect of running a good golf facility? PA When you’re running a golf club, the most important thing is the golf course. That may sound obvious, but it is surprising how other aspects are often prioritised over the course.

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I regularly look at reviews of Le Golf National on TripAdvisor, and the comments always focus on the standard of the greens, tees, fairways and so on. This goes to show that whilst the clubhouse and the food and beverage contribute to the golfing experience, visitors will always come back if the course is well looked after. Budget plays a huge role when it comes to purchasing machinery, and often the decision comes down to price. However, there are many other factors to take into consideration which may even save you money in the long run. Things such as machine performance, productivity, back-up, and ease-of-use should all play a part in making your investment decision. Without the correct resources, it’s an uphill battle to present a course that will attract new customers. GMé How does Le Golf National achieve the best results? PA My advice to all general managers would be to trust your greenkeeping team to feedback their preferences, and provide the correct resources needed for the job. The team will be happy, customers will be happy, and you will soon begin to reap the rewards. GMé If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? PA Le Golf National! Where else would you want to be?! GMé

Le Golf National has been in partnership with Jacobsen since 2011. The quality of machinery, the back-up support, and the shared culture of innovation are the reasons we choose Jacobsen year after year. Together, we have created a world-class golf course that will host the 2018 Ryder Cup. Paul Armitage, General Manager,

Le Golf National


To arrange a demo on your course, please contact your local dealer. www.jacobsen.com Š 2018 Textron Specialized Vehicles Inc.


clubnet FLYING HIGH A 3D model of a drone survey of the finishing hole at Le Golf National in Paris

A road map to better Course Management The greenkeeper module of ClubNet is an invaluable app designed to put control back into the hands of the course manager as Aidan Patrick discovers. Dublin-based Golfgraffix has long be known as a leader in producing top-class graphics and visualisations for tv broadcasts around the world, and the company is now utilising its nine years’ experience of working on some of the world’s top events – such as The Ryder Cup, The Open Championship and a number of European and PGA Tour events – to bring their cutting-edge technology to a course near you. This month sees the full launch of ClubNet, an app which is aimed at helping greenkeepers and club managers gain a better understanding of their golf course, and to help them manage their day-to-day activities in a far more efficient manner “As we work with more and more golf courses, we are seeing that there is often a lack of real detail on file about the actual golf course,” said GolfGraffix, CEO John Aherne. “Often the knowledge is only with one or two longer serving members of staff and not recorded anywhere at the club.” As Aherne explained, the need for ClubNet sadly became apparent when one of the clubs that GolfGraffix works with suffered the sudden bereavement of a key member of staff. “The real catalyst for the idea of ClubNet was based on the tragic circumstances where the head greenkeeper of one our clients passed away suddenly, and with him years of knowledge was lost.

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“With ClubNet we wanted to offer golf clubs a simple way of building up a library of information that could be very easily be viewed, stored and shared.” The ClubNet package will act as both a communication device and a graphic tool, allowing the user to survey and map their golf course from any smartphone or tablet. The app will act as a ‘live map’, with the ability to measure and draw new features; geo tag images; track movements in real-time; plot tree locations via GPS and even the capability to export data to CAD software. The platform is based on the same technology developed by Golfgraffix for producing 3D models for use in tv broadcasts for flybys and ball-tracking. The technology provides an accurate and editable 3D model of the golf course and the allows greenkeepers the flexibility of drafting alterations to the course, such as adding or removing trees and bunkers, which can prove especially useful when proposing design changes. “The real magic is in the app,” adds Aherne, “and I genuinely believe that with the launch of the greenkeeping module, ClubNet provides the first, real all-in-one golf management system that encompasses tee-time bookings, invoicing, marketing, CRM, communications and 3D graphics. “Naturally, over the years a golf course will evolve – bunkers will be added, grassing lines will be changed – so to

“with the launch of the greenkeeping module, ClubNet provides the first, real all-in-one golf management system”


DRONE WARS A drone surveying from the air

GREEN CONTOURING A 3D model of a green

HANDS-ON POWER A survey displayed on a smartphone

keep our course maps up-to-date, we use an established team of trained and licensed drone pilots, which can accurately survey any golf course to within 5cm accuracy. “Our pilots are amazing, and they can handle complex flight planning and permissions,” claimed Aherne. All this technology will be used for this month’s Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, and the model is being used as the base for flybys, tracking and event planning. Closer to home, Fintan Brennan, Links superintendent at Portmarnock Links

uses ClubNet and said: “Our greenkeeper app from Golfgraffix is used every day, from measuring green areas to plotting on course jobs. It has become an integral part of our daily routine.” And the software was also extensively used in the remodelling of The Adare Manor Resort, also in Ireland, with the aerial survey generating 3D high-resolution images to map the course changes and plot sprinkler head locations. Indeed, the mapping was so accurate that even CONGU officially accepted the measurements.

With all this technology in the palm of your hand, you could be forgiven for assuming that it would cost the earth, but not so states Aherne. “This year alone we have mapped over 70 courses worldwide, and can now map and produce a fully measured 3D model in two days, and have it in the greenkeepers hand on the third day. “Cost wise, for your average course we can deliver the ClubNet package to a greenkeeper for €600 per year, which is only €50 a month, and in anyone’s language, that’s a real bargain.” GMé


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in person

“for the first two years I spent four hours a day as a caddiemaster cleaning the cars”

Top Marks for Andy at Bad Griesbach As CEO of the Quellness Golf Resort in the Bavarian region of Bad Griesbach in Germany, Andreas Gerleigner is the man charged with raising awareness of the resort outside of the fatherland. Article by Michael Lenihan. SIGNING-OFF Main picture, CEO of The Quellness Golf Resort in Bad Griesbach, Andreas Gerleigner, and above the Beckenbauer Course

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With two golf courses on the same resort – one named after the car manufacturer Porsche, and the other footballer Franz Beckenbauer – it would be safe to assume that most golfers would be able recognise which country these worldfamous names were associated with. No prizes then for guessing Germany as the country in question. But think a little harder, and I’d be willing to bet that hardly any golfer outside of Germany, Switzerland or neighbouring Austria would know the name of the golf resort that has hosted the Porsche European Open twice, or even the region where it’s located. For confusion reigns in Bad Griesbach, a region of Bavaria, south of Munich which shares more in common with Austria than perhaps the rest of Germany. And to appreciate the future plans that new CEO Andreas – or Andy – Gerleigner has, it’s important to understand the past history surrounding what is still Europe’s largest golf resort consisting of ten – yes that’s correct – ten golf courses, five of which are 18-hole courses with varying degrees of difficulty.

Let’s start with the name. Originally called the Hartl Resort – after founder Alois Hartl discovered thermal mineral water in 1970 and opened a health resort in the region – Hartl branched into golf in the mid-90s after the health tourism boom was curtailed by the German government. Up until that time, Hartl was benefitting handsomely from German insurance companies who paid for their clients to take fitness breaks or extended holidays at his resorts. The change of direction from the German government saw Hartl build five 18-hole golf courses in the Bad Griesbach region including the Beckenbauer and Porsche Golf Courses, both of which were designed by Bernhard Langer and opened for play in 2002 and 2003 respectively. To add to the confusion, the Porsche European Open which was staged at the resort in 2015 and 2016 was actually played over the Beckenbauer Course – not the Porsche Course – which incidentally, has also been known as the Jaguar, Mercedes and Audi courses in previous years.



So, perhaps it will not come as a total surprise to read that after Dr Hans-Dieter Cleven purchased a majority stake in the business, the transition from the family brand name of Hartl Resort to Quellness Golf Resort was completed in 2015. But you’d be forgiven for assuming that is the end of the confusion, as the resort is commonly referred to as Golf Resort Bad Griesbach, although Gerleigner is keen to point out the reasons why the name Quellness was selected. “65 per cent of our yearly amount is non-golf, with only 35 per cent golf related,” says Gerleigner. “It’s the reason why we say Quellness, it’s the reason why when you see our logo – the second part is the golfing part and then the first part is the Quellness part. The water Quellness with a nymph on it.” Although spa breaks evidently remain an important revenue driver for the resort – which has three hotels – Gerleigner is keen to stress that his passion is golf. Prior to taking over the role of CEO last year, Gerleigner had been the resort’s director of golf – a role he still combines with his day-to-day


duties – and has seen the resort grow in both size and reputation since starting work at the resort 29 years ago as a caddiemaster. “I was in university in Passau, and during the holidays my parents said that I needed to get a job. A good friend of mine was working locally at the time and said to me that next year he was going to work on a golf course as they paid ten marks compared to the nine he was currently getting,” smiled Gerleigner. “So, he got me a job working on the course and for the first two years I spent four hours a day as a caddiemaster cleaning the cars, and in the afternoon would take care of the rubbish and mow the parking area.” Gerleigner slowly progressed his way up the management hierarchy before one day getting a phone call out-of-theblue from owner, Alois Hartl. “I was assistant director of golf at the time, aged 25, and my boss had a big conflict with Mr Hartl,” recalls Gerleigner. “Mr Hartl phoned me to tell me that he was planning on firing my boss the following day and asked me if I wanted to take over from him.

“I asked if I could think about it, only for Mr Hartl to say, ‘take ten minutes and call me back with a decision!’ So, I quickly phoned my Dad for some advice, who told me to take the job which is when I called Mr Hartl back to accept. “I’m really a lucky guy,” states Gerleigner who is now aged 48, “as Mr Hartl gave me the chance to learn by doing. We started in 1995 with three courses, with Brunnwies Golf Course built in 1995 and opened in 1997.” The first of three courses to be designed by Bernhard Langer, Brunnwies – or to give it its full title Allianz Nickolmann Golf Course Brunnwies – is one of five 18-hole courses at Bad Griesbach and is characterised by its rolling landscape and undulating greens offering beautiful views of the Bavarian woods. St Wolfgang Uttlau and Lederbach Golf Courses quickly followed in 1990, both designed by Kurt Rossknecht, with Lederbach notorious for its 9th hole – commonly referred to as ‘Heartbeat Hill’ – a steep par-four, with a 48m incline to an elevated green, and one of the most strenuous holes in European Golf.

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in person

CLUB-UP ‘Heartbeat Hill’ at Lederbach

“Nobody knows about this park internationally – it’s our biggest problem”

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Unsurprisingly, given the mountainous terrain, the course has more than 120 buggies which the resort claims is the biggest golf car fleet in Germany. The Golfodrom Training Centre, also opened in 1990, features a 300m circular driving range with 210 grassed bays, and a further 109 covered bays of which 21 can be heated. The Golfodrom also boasts three nine-hole courses, one sixhole practice course, two pitching areas, two outdoor putting greens and one indoor putting green. Home to the Bad Griesbach Golf Academy (PGA Premium Golf Academy), and a high-tech analysis centre with SCOPE swing analysis, the Golfodrom also has the largest on-course pro shop in Germany. Clearly, despite the confusing name, the Quellness Golf Resort Bad Griesbach has plenty to occupy golfers from outside the traditional German-speaking areas of Switzerland and Austria. Indeed, this summer aside, temperatures are ordinarily lower in the summer months than the southern European hotspots of Portugal and Spain, and is ideally placed geographically to offer a viable alternative as a summer golfing destination. Throw in the famous Bavarian hospitality, with free-flowing beer and Weisswurst sausages served by lederhosen-wearing barmaids, and one could argue that Bad Griesbach has perhaps more to offer culturally than some traditional golf destinations.

But reaching the non-speaking German market has, so far, been a struggle, yet Gerleigner clearly sees attracting more English-speaking visitors as one of his key objectives in his new role. “I would say the first step would be to try and attract more visitors from the Munich area,” says Gerleigner, highlighting the fact that a new autobahn between Bad Griesbach and Munich is soon to open. “The next step certainly would be to get more international guests from the airport, and we have seen this market increase. “We have brochures in English, and we have lunch cards in English and I think the next step is to get international, not German speaking, marketing. After the first year hosting the Porsche European Open, we had a lot of calls from national tour operators, but none from outside Germany. “Nobody knows about this park internationally – it’s our biggest problem.” But with all that the Quellness Golf Resort Bad Griesbach has to offer, perhaps in time, Gerleigner will be able to sell the resort to English-speaking and northern European golfers who are seeking a golfing experience with a difference. For there can’t be too many resorts in Europe that include five 18-hole golf courses, all with unique and quite different characteristics, and all washed down with locally-brewed beer and a cuisine as diverse as the region itself. GMé


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alcanada renovation

BOTH WAYS Director of golf at Alcanada, Kristoff Both

LIGHTING THE WAY The famous lighthouse at Alcanada

Alcanada invests for the long-term With many clubs across Europe investing less these days when it comes to their course, it’s refreshing to hear that Alcanada in Mallorca are about to embark on a €600,000 renovation programme, as Nick Ive reports. Investing in the future is always a calculated risk. But at Club de Golf Alcanada, a radical plan to renovate all 18 greens is seen as necessary if it wants to continue its progression as one of Europe’s leading courses. The hope is that it could yet culminate with a high-profile event on its fairways and the return of the European Tour elite to the Mallorcan sunshine. That may be several years down the line but it at least underlines that this is a club which is not content to stand still. There is ambition to improve and it has been backed with serious financial investment. The Porsche-owned club, situated in the north of the island, offers breathtaking Mediterranean views of the iconic lighthouse – from which the club takes its name – with the tower visible from many of the holes and the adjacent Bay of Alcúdia. The Robert Trent Jones II-designed layout is a true test of golf but the

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owners decided there is always room for improvement. Naturally, anything that is owned by the luxury German car manufacture is certain to be prestigious and Alcanada – the only course on the island that is next to the sea – has certainly always ticked that box, both on and off the course. However, its standing in the golf world looks set to rocket even further next year thanks to an exciting €600,000 renovation project that will see every single green ripped up and re-laid with the state-of-the-art new bentgrass Tee-1 from December. The superior variety of seed, which originally hails from the United States, but has been grown in special conditions near the Spanish capital Madrid, has also been used at world-renowed clubs such as Finca Cortesin, Valderrama and Le Golf National in Paris, host of this month’s Ryder Cup. It is that commitment and desire to follow in the footsteps of such illustri-

SEA VIEWS An aerial view of Alcanada, which is the only golf course on the island of Mallorca that is situated next to the sea.


ous company that illustrates Alcanada’s goal to continually improve, and one that director of golf, Kristoff Both, hopes will eventually see it chosen to host a European Tour event. “The work we are doing is necessary,” admitted Both, who has held his role since the course’s inception 15 years ago. “Every green will be ripped up as we need to stay ahead of the competition and ensure Alcanada is at the forefront of golf in Europe. “We have had discussions with the European Tour about hosting an event, and that is certainly something we will look at, but it’s important that we get


the course up to the highest standard possible. “It would be great to have a European Tour event here at some point, and when all the work is completed then we will be in an even better standing to host that, but it is a big job we are undertaking. “This is a major investment. We are striving for perfection and this shows we are improving the course and that we are serious about always looking to improve the quality and the enjoyment and experience for every visitor who plays Alcanada.” Under the guidance of Both and director of golf course grounds, Borja

Azpilicueta, Alcanada has claimed a steady stream of media and industry awards. The ambitious project is being undertaken as the existing paspalum grass on the fairways and rough has invaded the greens – a problem that golf courses across the world. “The grass we currently have is great grass because it is very heat resistant and resistant to chemicals and bad water, but in our case, it has one bad characteristic – it’s invasive,” said Both. “And over the last ten years it has crept onto the greens and grown inside them, despite huge efforts to stop it.

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alcanada renovation

“It is a losing battle and it makes no sense trying to do small repairs, so we needed to take more drastic action. “We discussed having new greens since last year, but the final decision was taken to rip up the existing ones in spring and that work starts in earnest in December.” In addition to the 7,108-yard course benefiting from the new greens, there will also be work to upgrade 3,000 metres of the underground irrigation system, while also revamping and improving the pro shop and car park. This follows on from a host of other improvements over the last year or so, such as a new halfway house called the Lighthouse Bar, the introduction of TagMarshal – a course management system designed to speed up play – and the Lighthouse Golf Academy offering the ideal spot to hone your swing, including a spacious short game area and covered driving range. Those modern touches complement its existing historical and traditional roots like the centuries-old Mallorca clubhouse and first-class dining facilities that allow visitors to relax on a sun baked terrace that boats spectacular sea views. “We have continually done other improvements over the last couple of years – some you see, some you don’t,” added Both, who studied golf management in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. “Other big jobs we are doing includes replacing more than three kilometres

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of irrigation pipes that were first laid 17 years ago, and which have started to cause us a few problems, especially in the summer months. “The same goes with other aspects of the course, such as replacing all the sand in every bunker, while we are also doing work on the car park and renovating the pro shop, with new flooring and lighting. By the end of 2019 we will be in a better position than we ever have been.” With such a huge renovation project, it will mean some disruption to Alcanada’s membership, with the closure of the course due to commence on December 1 for a maximum three-month spell. “We have chosen a period of the year where a lot of other northern European members are not on the island,” explained German-born Both. “This means there will be closure during the three months that least affects them. “Obviously, the members who live permanently will be affected, but we are planning to keep nine holes open to members for the first week and open nine a week earlier for members before the re-opening in March 2019. “We have also agreed with a neighbouring club to take our members with us paying their green fees, while they can play other clubs on the island for reduced fees. “We understand it’s not ideal, but we are doing everything we can to soften the blow and I think everyone understands in the long run Alcanada will

be much-improved and everyone will benefit.” Golf around the globe has faced some testing times over the last decade or so with members and visitor numbers in decline. However, there is now more of a concerted effort in the industry to buck that worrying trend and the state of play for clubs is showing more than a few signs of recovery. And Alcanada is one of those success stories despite some testing times for the idyllic Balearic island, not to mention the financial and tourism sectors. “I have to say 2018 has been a good year,” smiled Both. “Numbers have been good, but the only problem, if you can call it that, is 2017 was just too good! “We also had very positive numbers in 2015 and 2016, but 2017 was outrageously good. So, compared to that golden year there has been a small drop, but there have been several factors that caused that, such as surprisingly good weather in northern Europe and the UK in spring, while here in Mallorca we had average weather. “There was also still a bit of aftermath here from the closure of Monarch, Niki and Air Berlin, which took a couple of months to recover from in terms of the number of flights, while Turkey and Egypt are becoming strong again. “However, it has still been a very good year, and with all the improvements we are making, we look forward to a very successful 2019.” GMé

clearwater water recycling

HIDE-AND-SEEK The ClearWater washpad at Fineturf virtually hidden from view

ClearWater gets Down & Dirty As Matt Mears, sales and development manager for Acumen Waste writes, there’s more to ClearWater than just washing golf machinery, as a recent install at Fineturf proves. Fineturf, founded in 1995 by Simon Hutton, specialise in the construction, installation and maintenance of sports turf surfaces. The company started life providing deep tine aeration and top-dressing services to local golf courses, football and cricket clubs and went on to turf production in 1997. Since then, Fineturf has expanded and the company under Hutton’s stewardship, has become established in the fine turf sector along with a good reputation. Clients include football and rugby clubs, golf courses, bowling clubs, tennis clubs, racecourses and cricket grounds. Services offered include sports pitch and golf course construction, maintenance, drainage and irrigation along with bulk earthworks and contract spraying. Other companies in the group include Tillers Turf – a leading grower of golf,


landscape and wildflower turf throughout the UK and Europe – and Fineturf Machinery, who specialise in the sale of new and used groundcare machinery and is a Toro dealer in Lincolnshire and North Nottinghamshire. Ever aware of current trends and developments in the sector Fineturf operate in, Hutton is keen to stay abreast. One such matter of concern was to ensure that – with the growing volume of plant and machinery requiring cleaning – compliance with legislative requirements relating to washpads was met, and Hutton believed that an efficient and effective recycling system was the answer. Having carried out some research on the subject and seeing a system in operation first-hand locally at Sleaford golf club, Hutton visited the ClearWater stand

at BTME last year and was impressed with the latest washpad water recycling system, its unique benefits and competitive price. Hutton was particularly interested to learn that a ‘self-install’ option was available but explained that the site was not quite as straightforward as he would like. Not seen as an issue, ClearWater offered a free site inspection which was carried out soon after the show, and it was immediately clear that a ClearWater system could be easily installed and in the preferred location adjacent to the maintenance workshop. ClearWater provided a detailed plan and quotation and the order was placed. The system was delivered and with Jim Coleman acting as project manager, Simon Thorpe and the groundwork team carried out the installation following the detailed installation instructions provid-

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UNOBTRUSIVE Fineturf view from washpad

ed by ClearWater. “It really was easy to do,” said Hutton. To make the installation as unobtrusive as possible, the below ground system tank was installed behind the workshop and, with the washpad screened from view by specially designed splash-backs, very little evidence is visible that the system has been installed. The ClearWater system is certainly well utilised by Hutton and his team, and washes not only machines used on their own golf course, but also customers machines being serviced. In addition, Fineturf’s work vehicles together with their own course construction and maintenance machines are regularly washed using the system. Michael Baxter, head mechanic uses and looks after the system which includes dosing the system with microorganisms and said: “It’s certainly made life easy. It is so close to the workshop and there’s more than enough water pressure.” One machine, in for maintenance when ClearWater’s post-installation visit was made, was a GKB Combinator – a multifunctional fraise mowing machine – recently back from a job at a Premiership football club.

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“The machines was caked in two-tothree inches of mud yet the ClearWater system simply blasted it all of. It was far better than a jet wash,” Baxter added. Asked about the maintenance regime, Baxter added: “It’s a doddle. You simply ensure that the grass trap is emptied regularly and the pad kept clear and clean.” Once a week Baxter doses the system with the ClearWater micro-organisms which are specially formulated and supplied by ClearWater, ensuring that any oils, grease and fuel is treated and the water cleaned for recycling. A Water Technology List (WTL) officially approved ClearWater system not only provides effective wash-off but ensures futureproof legal compliance by preventing groundwater pollution. It also saves thousands of gallons of precious – and increasingly expensive – water by recycling. An added bonus is that the cost of the project, which includes the system and installation, can be offset against taxable profits under the ECA scheme, enabling further cost savings. Whatever size of golf operation you manage, ClearWater offers a cost effective and compliant wash-off system for your facility. GMé



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signing off

“Not for these guys the luxury of a firstclass flight back home after missing the cut – it probably means they’ve lost money on the deal”

Forget the Ryder Cup... It’s Provence for me. It takes something a little out of the ordinary to get me excited these days, such as an alien landing or a president being indicted on criminal charges… but I’m actually looking forward to September. What has me so enthusiastic that I could suck a sherbet lemon, I don’t hear you ask? Well, there’s a certain golf event in France in September that I am attending and I’m really looking forward to it. Yes, I know the Ryder Cup’s being played at Le Golf National… but that’s not it. No, I’m going to be at the Hopps Open de Provence, a Challenge Tour event, at Golf International Pont Royal, in Provence, from September 20-23. It’s not often my work has taken me to a tour event of any kind; I’ve worked at a couple of LET tournaments and a Seniors’ event, but this will be my first Challenge Tour event. And I can’t wait. Of course, I’d love to be at the Ryder Cup too. And next year’s Masters and the Open, but it’s unlikely. Even if I was, chances are I wouldn’t be allowed the sort of access to players I will enjoy at Pont Royal – which is, incidentally, the only Severiano Ballesteros-designed course in France. Not for these guys the luxury of a firstclass flight back home after missing the cut – it probably means they’ve lost money on the deal. Many of us may envy the lifestyle of the successful European Tour pro, but to even simply get to that level requires a huge amount of commitment, guts, resilience and not a little money. For the majority of European Tour pros, everything will have started on a similar tour to this, living out of a suitcase and

50 | GMé September 2018

CHALLENGING TIMES Pont Royal in France, will host the Hopps Open de Provence

sometimes wondering from where the next meal was coming. It’s edge-of-the-seat stuff. A missed putt may mean a decision has to be made on a golfing future. For some, it’s not quite as simple as ‘try again next week’. And that’s why I’m so keen to see them in action. There’s no shortage of talent on show; sometimes it’s just one facet of the game that stops these guys teeing it up alongside the likes of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood. Some will be taking their first steps in the pro game, while, for others, it may be the last-chance saloon. It can be emotionally raw: heartbreaking and joyous in equal measure. Yet there’s a chance one or two of the competitors will be making decent progress on the European Tour in a few

years – and for me, that’s why I’m only too happy to go along and watch such an event. To work at one just tops it off. This one’s in Provence too, which means I also have the joy of beautiful scenery, sunshine and wonderful food and drink, both on and off the course. If you’re heading to the Ryder Cup, you’ll have it too… but mine will just be that little bit cheaper. GMé

David Bowers dave@golfmanagement.eu.com


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Profile for Portman Publishing and Communications

GMé | September 2018  

Golf Management Europe issuu 121

GMé | September 2018  

Golf Management Europe issuu 121

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