Barry Barnard Appointed Golf Operations Manager at Al Zorah Golf Club

Market leading golf and golf-related hospitality management company continues to strengthen its global expertise thanks to a series of savvy new appointments

Dubai, UAE; 13th September 2022: Troon®, the  leader in club management, development, and marketing, is pleased to announce over ten new strategic appointments at their portfolio of international properties this summer. All internal promotions have been hired into operational roles across three different continents globally: North America, Europe and Asia.

One appointment of note is Harris Abdullah who is based at The Els Club Desaru Coast in Malaysia and has been promoted to General Manager and another is Anna Darnell at The Grove, in England who has been promoted to Resort Director. Both Harris and Anna have decades’ worth of experience within the industry and will bring huge nous and expertise to their respective roles.

Harris Abdullah’s appointment as General Manager at The Els Club Desaru Coast is set to drive greater value to the Troon Golf-managed facility as well as continuing to draw enthusiastic golfers to Desaru Coast via a combination of strategies. Harris’ mid and long-term goals comprise customer-centricity and sustainable development.

Commenting on his new role as General Manager of The Els Club Desaru Coast; Harris Abdullah said, “I’m extremely excited to have risen through the ranks at Troon to secure this position, The Els Club Desaru Coast is a truly unique destination and I hope to develop and improve it even further. We are lucky that our employer at Troon has access to a wealth of resources, knowledge, support and talent to draw from, allowing our teams to progress within our respective career paths and this is exactly what I have been able to do whilst working for Troon.”

Back in England, Anna Darnell, previously Director of Golf & Leisure has been promoted to Resort Director, taking on greater business and strategic responsibilities across the renowned 300-acre estate. Anna, who joined The Grove in 2005 as an Event Sales Manager after qualifying as a PGA Professional from Loch Lomond, went on to become The Grove’s Head PGA Golf Professional and Operations Manager, before being promoted to Director of Golf and taking on wider leisure-related responsibilities in 2016.

Commenting on her new role as Resort Director of The Grove; Anna Darnell said, “Having joined The Grove 17 years ago, there hasn’t been a time or position I haven’t loved at this special property. Troon were fundamental in setting up the golf facility in 2003 and I learnt a great deal when joining the team and still continue to do so with their international knowledge. The Grove team continue to set the standards every day and I hope in my new role that I am able to continue to support the hotel by remaining such a special place to both play and stay, as well as support the team to grow and continuously improve.”

Leader movements infographic

There has also been a raft of other significant movements within operations globally, which have included Lloyd Walton moving to Palmilla Golf Club, Mexico to become Golf General Manager. Michael Neider has also crossed the globe, leaving Dubai (where he worked across Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Hills Golf Club and the Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai) for Hawaii to become Golf General Manager via Sri Lanka, where he was a short-term taskforce appointment at Victoria Golf & Country Resort.

Vattanac Golf Resort in Cambodia has welcomed two new additions; Chris Geraghty joins as General Manager from Royal Golf Club Bahrain and James Durkin takes up the role as Golf Operations Manager at the club, after seven successful years at Troon managed facilities in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE for Troon International has also seen a host of movements and promotions. Barry Barnard has moved from Abu Dhabi to Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman to become Golf Operations Manager under the leadership of General Manager Phil Henderson. Barry’s addition to the team is perfectly timed, following the recent announcement from the club that they have started building a new clubhouse on site.

Stephen Payne has taken up the role of Director of Golf at The Track, Meydan Golf, continuing his nine years with Troon that included The Grove through to being Golf Operations Manager at Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai. James Ashman now takes that same role having been promoted internally to now lead the Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai as Golf Operations Manager.

The Centurion Club in England has welcomed Peter Holland as its new Director of Golf who replaced Freddie Rexstrew, who departed for warmer climes in Oman where he has taken on the role of Operations Manager at one of the newest facilities in the Troon International family, Muscat Resorts.

Commenting on this busy transition period was Executive Vice-President of Troon International, Mark Chapleski: “We continue to provide unparalleled opportunities for our associates to work in and learn from golfing markets all over the world. This demonstrates the fantastic growth opportunities that are available to our teams worldwide. Internal promotions are key to our success, as it allows our associates to develop and thrive whilst helping our own organisation grow simultaneously. The pandemic certainly paused movements. These are all positive changes within Troon and we celebrate the fantastic achievements of these individuals.”

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About Troon

Headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., Troon is the world’s largest golf and golf-related hospitality management company providing services at 680-plus locations around the globe, including managing 665-plus 18-hole equivalent golf courses. In addition to golf, Troon specializes in homeowner association management, private residence clubs, estate management and associated hospitality venues. Troon’s award-winning food and beverage division operates and manages 670-plus food and beverage operations located at golf resorts, private clubs, daily fee golf courses and recreational facilities. With properties located in 45-plus states and 30-plus countries, Troon’s family of brands includes Troon Golf, Troon Privé, Troon International, Indigo Sports, CADDIEMASTER, Peter Burwash International, True Club Solutions, Cliff Drysdale Tennis, RealFood Hospitality, Strategy and Design, Casa Verde Golf, and ICON Management Services. For additional news and information, visit, or connect with Troon on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Troon Chronicles, Press Room, or subscribe to Troon Magazine.


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Rob Myers



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