You have been in the Management and Hospitality industry for a long time, what made you choose this career?
I have been in the hospitality industry for just over 20 years now. I originally thought about becoming a chef but transitioned to management whilst studying.
I enjoy creating a space where people can relax, unwind and build relationships. Through this journey I ended up in the golf industry and just fell in love with it.
Who has been your Biggest Mentor?
There are just so many to mention, I try and make a point to learn something from everyone. Where I need help, I generally migrate to people that are specialists in the subject who demonstrate an unwavering passion and knowledge.
“A special word of thanks must go to Keith Jacobs”
These last few years have been a tremendous learning curve and the support and guidance of the members of the General & Finance Committee has played a major part in my current successes achieved.
A special word of thanks must go to Keith Jacobs, Chairman of the Finance Committee who constantly challenges me to be better at everything I set out to do.
Describe a typical workday for you at Randpark?
Each day of the week has its own set of actions required. First thing in the morning, I confirm what my day looks like and what I must achieve by the end of the day. I generally arrive at work just after 7am after dropping my daughter at school.
I go for a walk around the clubhouse, driving range and golf ops area where I get to engage with members and my team and highlight any areas of concern that require urgent action. I like to have a coffee with the greenkeeper during this time and catch up on news and feedback from the golf courses. From there, it is administration work, meetings and dealing with correspondence.
Midday, I take a breather, assess the morning achievements, and prioritize what requires urgent attention and what else remains for the balance of the day. If time permits, I start preparations for the following day.
“Keeping the facilities in pristine condition, whilst working within the budget we have set, is probably the biggest challenge we as a team face on a day-to-day basis”
From 16h30 to 17h30 / 18h00 you will find me walking through the Terrace bar and Baobab bar engaging with our club members and enquiring about their day, getting feedback from them on their golf experience at the club – course and clubhouse.
What are your biggest challenges with Randpark having two 18-hole championship golf courses and such a large membership base?
At Randpark Club we have 118 hectares of ground and a 4-story clubhouse. Keeping the facilities in pristine condition, whilst working within the budget we have set, is probably the biggest challenge we as a team face on a day-today basis.
With consumers already being careful on how they spend their money these days, what is your plan to attract people to Randpark?
We have recently partnered with Virgin Active Padel Club where they will be installing 4 double courts. Padel is one of the fastest growing sports and there is a massive demand from our community and members.
I believe the addition of this new sport will give additional value to being a member of Randpark Club and further attract people to our club. Randpark Club is known for being social and Padel will form a key attraction for families and young professionals.
In your opinion, what factors contribute to excellent customer service and keeping your standards at such high levels?
Consistency is probably one of the biggest drivers for spend now, and ensuring you deliver and exceed your members’ and visitor’s expectations. Having the right people in the right positions and surrounding yourself with a team that can take service to the next level is vitally important.
“Your team needs to feel part of the process and celebrate small wins as much as possible”
This year we are really focusing on training and improving our team culture. Your team needs to feel part of the process and celebrate small wins as much as possible.
Engaging with members and listening to their feedback is also a great way to understand the mood of your membership and what areas need a little bit more attention.
Do you still have short & long term goals?
Absolutely, personally I am busy with my CCM through CMASA, which I aim to complete in the next 2 years. After this I am toying with agronomy or accounting, I suppose I have a bit of time to decide what’s next.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Spending time with my family outdoors, hiking and camping.
Do you still get time to play a round of golf?
I try and make a point to play once a month in our Mixed Open at the club, the rest of the time it’s my job to ensure everything runs as it should and our members and visitors get to experience two great golf courses in Johannesburg.
Credit: SA Golf Trader