FOLLOWING the recent announcement of The Royal Golf Club’s new agreement with Troon Golf, the leader in upscale golf course management and development, the golf course has appointed David J Flanders as the new general manager.
Speaking to TTN Flanders says, “The new partnership with Troon Golf also takes effect from November 1 and will take the Royal Golf Club to the next level in terms of furthering its reputation and increasing its service standards, thus further elevating the club experience for its many members and visitors.”
Golf across the region has seen substantial growth both with number of courses and the quality of golf being offered however Flanders believes that this is a positive step because the greater the choice and variety of courses, the greater the numbers of international visitors to the area.
“Golf continues to grow in popularity in Bahrain. The Royal Golf Club has seen a real influx of new golfers taking up membership this year and we offer a special membership on our Wee Monty par 3 course for precisely this reason,” he adds. “Our members are a good mix of Bahraini and expatriate players - the country’s National Golf Team has had an extremely strong reputation in the region for many years.”
“Looking ahead, as the region’s economy recovers; we expect to see an increase in new arrivals to Bahrain’s expat community. This will drive revenue in the areas of membership and corporate events. The Club is also keen to host another tour event in the near future and will be working towards this goal in 2013,” says Flanders.
The Royal Golf Club also remains extremely proactive in encouraging the younger generation to take up the game. “Our junior membership options are attractively priced and many of Bahrain’s National Youth Team are members. We also have a very strong section of junior non-members who take part in our TPI-inspired Junior Programme and many private schools in Bahrain bring students to after-school tuition clubs at our Royal Golf Academy,” he adds.
Operating costs and climate challenges have constantly been a concern for golf courses operating in the region. The Royal Golf Club employs an annual over-seeding programme on its golf courses during which the grass is transitioned from cool season grass to warm season grass and back again. This ensures that the Club provides quality playing surfaces all year round.
“Water costs are another of the Club’s highest operating costs – it’s not cheap to maintain grass in the middle of a desert! The Club’s fees are comparable to other clubs in the region who offer similar facilities and quality of service,” he further adds.
The Royal Golf Club offers Bahrain’s only grass 18 hole championship course, although there are two other sand courses on the island. The Club’s championship course and 9 hole par 3 course were both designed by golfing legend Colin Montgomerie and offer a challenge to players of all abilities. The greens are large and undulating and require precision playing to achieve the best scores. The championship course is an ideal design for tour events and indeed, the Club hosted the European Tour’s inaugural Volvo Golf Champions tournament in 2011, just two years after opening.
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