This trip to The Els Club Malaysia – Desaru Coast was my first opportunity to visit since the beginning of the pandemic. Ironically, The Els Club Malaysia was the last facility that I was able to visit before the full impact of the pandemic began to set in and all of the border closures and flight cancellations began.
The Els Club Malaysia is a beautiful golfing destination which is located in the southeast peninsular Malaysia and home to the 27-hole Ocean Course, which is designed by Ernie Els and the 18-hole Valley Course with was a cooperative project between Ernie Els and Vijay Singh. Needless to say, I was happy to be back. After not being able to visit the facility for 2.5 years, I was wondering what shape the facility would be in and how well the Troon standards had been withheld during what has been a challenging time for us all.
To my delight, Harris Abdullah, who was recently promoted to General Manager and his team have been working diligently to maintain the standards to ensure every guest has “the experience”. Harris leveraged the plethora of Troon tools, including our Service Audit tool, to regularly check his service standards throughout the facility, delivering on Troon’s mantra of, “what gets measured, gets done.”. He also continued with consistent service training, ensuring that his associates stayed engaged and motivated to deliver the highest service levels possible.
Troon often gets the privilege of entering into maturing golf markets. Typically, we must bring in Troon “talent” from outside of the region to “train up” the local team on the ground. The intent is always for the training to happen for a few years, and then hopefully transition over to the local leadership team to lead the property while delivering the expected Troon experience. Harris, who had previously worked for several long-tenured Troon General Managers, is a perfect example of how this approach can be successful. Harris has worked very hard to understand how to utilize the Troon tools and resources. Now he is leveraging that experience to lead his facility at one of the most exciting emerging golf destinations in Asia.
I could not be more proud of what Harris and his team have achieved and I am very excited about what is to come at The Els Club Malaysia.