Clublinks, Australia’s premier sports, leisure and residential management company, is proud to announce the recent appointments of two key team members, Thomas Zappula and Matt Day.

Thomas (Tom) has joined the team as General Manager for Deakin Active, Deakin University’s Sport & Recreation facilities. Tom brings with him over 14 years experience across leisure and facility management, and includes overseeing the design, establishment and opening of WaterMarc Banyule, one of Australia’s premier regional leisure facilities.

“I’m really proud to join a growing company in Clublinks, and the chance to play a key role in that growth is something new and exciting in my career.” Tom stated.

Matt Day, a highly respected figure within Australian golf, takes on the role of General Manager at Collier Park Golf, and brings with him a wealth of management experience from within some of Perth’s busiest and well-known golf facilities. Matt’s experience includes overseeing and driving the rejuvenation at Wembley Golf Course, and joins the Clublinks team from his most recent role as General Manager at The Western Australian Golf Club.

“This is a fantastic opportunity to join the Clublinks team and partner with the City of South Perth at Collier Park. Clublinks innovative approach will bring new and exciting ideas and customer experiences to this great golfing facility.” Matt excitedly stated.

Clublinks’ Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Lawrence, is delighted that two highly respected figures are joining the Clublinks team to continue and support the company’s recent growth. “We’re thrilled that Matt and Tom have been able to join us, and will be a great asset to our team of professionals.”

“Both appointments represent an important step in the growth plans we have at Clublinks, as we take our knowledge and innovation across Australia. We believe we have unique strengths and experience to assist local councils and private owners as they manage and grow their sports and leisure facilities.” Mr. Lawrence added.

Clublinks Management Pty Ltd is delighted to announce that the City of South Perth has engaged Clublinks to manage and market the facility which comprises a 27-hole golf course, pro shop and hospitality area.

Clublinks’ Owner, Director and Perth native, Mark Brayshaw, was excited and proud to be awarded the contract of such an iconic facility. “Our team is thrilled to have been successful in a very competitive tender to manage the Collier Park facility.”

“Collier Park has been one of Perth’s premier public golf facilities for a number of years and we have exciting plans ahead.”  Those plans include the addition of one of Perth’s premier catering companies, Spices Catering, to deliver a new hospitality offering.

“We are looking to bring Collier Park to life as a destination for all golfers and those looking for a quality food and beverage offer in a beautiful setting.”  Brayshaw added

Clublinks will commence its management of the facilities in March 2018.

Collier Park Golf Course joins Clublinks’ growing list of sport and leisure partners, including Bingara Gorge, Centennial Parklands Sports Centre and Moore Park Golf (NSW), Deakin University and Diamond Valley Sports & Fitness Centre (VIC) and Wembley Golf Complex (WA).

Moore Park Golf introduced a new pace of play initiative towards the end of 2015 called ‘Share the Course’.  Designed to encourage players to work together to ensure a high quality golfing experience for all users, it provides simple techniques which all players can adopt to modify the way they interpret and play the game.

It was launched with a customer charter and on course signage that sets out clear expectations for course users in a humorous, tasteful and honest way.

After the first few months, the initial results are very encouraging.  Not only are customers providing great feedback, they are also providing great suggestions on how pace of play can be further improved.  Some of the key findings to date are:

  • 69% of surveyed MPG golfers say the average round of golf (18 holes) should take 4 hours.
  • 92% of these golfers advised their last 18 hole round took 4.5 hours or less.
  • 83% further indicated that players should help speed play up by taking no more than 2 practice swings.
  • One great tip for improving the on course experience for all was a simple rule for divot repairs; repair yours plus one.

Visit the Moore Park Golf website for more information.

A recent article published by Golf Vacation Insider has posed this question as the author observes that the golf industry continues to discuss how utilisation growth can be encouraged.

The article reflects on the vital role municipal golf courses play in growing the game, acknowledging that is is likely most golfers — even pros from Rickie Fowler and Billy Horschel to Phil Mickelson and Nancy Lopez — got their start at humble municipal layouts.

Full details of the article can be found here.

Within the Australian market, we certainly recognise the outstanding quality of the golfing experiences offered at many public and council owned courses and that some facility owners are investing further to improve these assets.  Our own Moore Park Golf has been the recipient of over $5m in capital improvements over the past 5 years.  Ringwood Golf Course are currently renovating their course layout to a master plan that will improve and increase the bunkering on the course.

It is evident that facilities that invest in their assets are generating high utilisation which is leading to superior commercial returns.

Sydney has just recorded its highest January rainfall in 28 years, but that hasn’t stopped Moore Park Golf from continuing its impressive trajectory towards another record breaking performance for the third year in a row.

January is on target to deliver yet another remarkable financial and utilisation result despite the angry and unpredictable weather lashing Sydney-siders.  Moore Park Golf’s performance was protected by a well planned and executed summer marketing program.

Targeting family and entertainment markets, and boasting new services such as family tees, big hole golf and a family range pass, the campaign has generated solid results.  Forward planned, it was implemented prior to the change in weather, and has been supported through the unpredictable weather with social posts highlighting when great playing conditions are available.

Bringing these new family features on board has enabled Moore Park Golf to improve its already impressive utilisation of products and services….most importantly it’s ensured that the weather has not got in the way of a good family day out with the kids.

Photo credit: @dallaskilponen

A group of Golf Managers walked into a bar, and the barman asked “why the long faces?”  It is a twist on an old joke to highlight the issue that the golf industry has been talking itself down for far too long.  It does not need to be that way.

We frequently read stories of golf clubs losing money, the decline in memberships and Clubs that are being forced to close, relocate or merge.  Local governments are being told to close their courses in favour of parkland.

It is well known that people’s habits have changed.  We have increased technology at our fingertips and seemingly less time to do anything.  Golf appears to have fallen victim to this change.

The problem is that people are not prioritising golf ahead of other options.  And when we, as an industry, are talking ourselves down, why should they?

Let’s change our narrative and focus on the strong points of the game in everything we say.  Coca Cola does not talk about the sugar in their drinks, their message is centred on the happiness that their product delivers.

We should steer away from the perceived negatives of the time taken to play, the difficulty and the cost.  Let’s talk about the positive aspects of the game that grips so many people.  And there are so many that are unique to our sport:

  • Golfers live five years longer
  • It inspires us to travel
  • It keeps us active – 18 holes of golf walking burns 1,500 calories
  • Golf gets us outdoors
  • Golfers spend quality time with each other – not on opposing sides of a court
  • It provides stress relief (subject to minimal 3-putts) – 99% of illness is caused by stress, so why are we not doing everything we can to combat that?
  • It is a true escape from the day to day
  • Anyone can play – TOGETHER!
  • There is perfection in every round – some just achieve it more than others

If we believe it ourselves, then others will too.

Identification and understanding key drivers within your business is the key to making timely and more informed business decisions.  Below is a short description of five key drivers within golf course reporting:

  1. Yield. In golf there are many different price points across many different areas of the business. Understanding what each of these points is worth to you on a per unit basis gives you a greater understanding of the value you are offering your customers.  What is the per unit value of each commodity you offer worth to your business?
  2. Utilisation.  Utilisation is generally thought of in usage of tee times. However, it can be used across many other areas such as your cart usage, driving range, or pro shop sales. Knowing where utilisation is lacking provides opportunities to engage in more ways with your customers.  When and how is your facility being used?
  3. Secondary spend.  Your primary business is selling tee times, everything else is secondary spend. Knowing where your secondary spend is coming from and where it can be improved is vital in adding value to the bottom line of the business.  How much are your customers spending within other areas of your business?
  4. Wages.  Labour is generally the largest expense a business can incur. Understanding where your labour is deployed and the value provided to the revenue coming through the till lets you achieve that balance between too much and not enough.  Do you have a system in place that allows you to track your labour movement and make timely adjustments?
  5. Customer experience.  Non-financial indicators such as customer satisfaction allow you to get a feel for how customers interact with your business. Understanding the customer experience can be an early indicator of opportunities or threats that may exist within your business.  Are you providing the ultimate experience through all customer touchpoints within your business?

Centennial Parklands and Clublinks Management Pty Ltd are pleased to announce that Clublinks will continue its role as the facility manager of Moore Park Golf – Sydney’s leading public golf course.

Trustees of the Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust approved the recommendation at their recent meeting after a competitive tender process was concluded. Clublinks will manage the facilities and marketing of Moore Park Golf for the next five years with provision for a further five year extension.

“We were delighted with the interest in Moore Park Golf this time. The public tender process saw 34 parties register interest – the most ever during such a tender. We believe this interest can be attributed directly to the substantial investment in facilities and services by the Trust, and the outstanding customer service and management of the facilities by Clublinks over the last six years,” said Kim Ellis, Executive Director, Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands.

“Clublinks have delivered exceptional results in facility utilisation whilst setting golf industry benchmarks nationwide for the quality of our golf product and business marketing. We are confident this will continue and look forward to working with the Clublinks team.”

Clublinks’ Chief Executive Officer, Anthony Lawrence, expressed his organisation’s commitment to continuous improvement at Moore Park Golf: “Clublinks is thrilled to have won a very competitive Tender. We understand implicitly the importance of Moore Park Golf to Centennial Parklands and the community, and we are honoured to be entrusted with management for a further five years.”

“The collaborative nature of our relationship is important to us. More utilisation of the course and facilities results in increased revenue to maintain Centennial Parklands. Our business success means the community wins through higher standards of assets and facilities across the Parklands.”

Moore Park Golf is Sydney’s home of public golf. Each year, it has in excess of 15 million balls hit from its three-storey driving range, 56,000 rounds of golf played across its championship quality 18 hole public golf course and delivers 16,000 golf lessons via the Sydney Golf Academy.

Bucking the trends seen in the golf industry of late, Moore Park Golf has seen year on year growth over the past four years. Trends for participation and utilisation have continued to increase, leading to record financial outcomes for the past two years.

Operated by Clublinks, the results are the culmination of the outsourced management model that incorporates a strong vision and strategic plan alongside a complete alignment of interests with the facility owner, Centennial Parklands Trust (CPT).

That plan incorporates a focus on operational efficiencies. “When we took over management of the site in 2009, there were a lot of repairs and maintenance to be undertaken. That set results back in the early days, but we are reaping the benefits now” says Erich Weber, General Manager of Moore Park Golf. “More importantly, the team at CPT share our innovative and progressive approach for the facility, which has provided us the ability to try new things, such as the Big Screen on the driving range.”

Key drivers of the results include better management through quality data which has helped Moore Park Golf drive volume and spends, generate improved yield management and optimise peak utilisation. It’s all part of the Clublinks philosophy of leaving facilities in better shape than when they find them. “Every single day, we look for progression, and how we can improve; it’s a constant focus for us as a business” says Anthony Lawrence, CEO of Clublinks.

Marketing has played a significant part in the Moore Park Golf journey. Three years ago, a strategic marketing plan was developed and the team built a framework of tools with a long term vision of what they wanted to achieve in terms of customer experience. Beginning with a simple, singled minded focus on better data capture to have more people to talk to, the marketing channels now incorporate regular targeted newsletters, personalised customer touch points, digital and social media, partnership programs and cross database promotions.

This framework has allowed the team more responsiveness and the ability to capitalise on opportunities. It has also resulted in improved communications and connection with customers through a strong brand presence, particularly in the digital space.

Gavin Kirkman, Chief Membership Officer at PGA of Australia has recognised this. “The marketing that is done at Moore Park Golf is progressive and market leading. It’s great to see an organisation in our industry setting a new benchmark. I regularly distribute it within our company to educate others as a great example to follow”.

To find out more about the Clublinks and Moore Park Golf success story, contact us today.