Malaysia is home to approximately 200 golf courses and over 120K golfers, of which 90K are members. The average Membership is around RM$45,000 for USD$11,100. Just a short boat ride, flight or drive away from Malaysia, Singapore has a much different golfing market. They have 15 golf courses, 100K golfers, of which 20K are members. The Annual dues there are around RM$130K or USD$95,000. Due to its limited size, (Singapore is about the size of Los Angeles), the government is performing land acquisitions and will be reducing the number of golf courses in the next 10 years, creating a tremendous opportunity for Malaysia to attract more of Singapore’s golfers in the future.
Recently I visited our TROON property on the Desaru Coast, The Els Club Malaysia, which is an emerging golf destination that has primarily been built to capitalize on the impending contraction of the Singaporean golf market. This premium integrated resort destination, which is only a 25-minute boat ride from Singapore, is home to 45-holes of championship golf, as well as a blend of globally renowned hotels, a conference center and a themed water park.
As I am sure you can appreciate, opening such a spectacular destination has its challenges, particularly when it is an emerging destination. The majority of the staff at the golf course and hotels live in a small village nearby named, Bandar Penawar. Bandar Penawar went from having no 5-star golf or hotels nearby, to having several right on their doorstep. Most of the associates had no prior golf industry experience and were placed in extensive TROON service training, to learn our standards and service expectations. Our Food and Beverage operations at the club are also staffed by a majority of locals, who have gone through TROON’s extensive F&B Certification process, creating a dining experience that delivers all of the Western favourites, complemented by local cuisine specialties.
I am pleased to say that we have an exceptional team at The Els Club Malaysia, who are extremely proud to be part of TROON and are excited to show off their home to every golfer and guest that visits. It is spectacular to see how the game of golf has impacted this area, and how our TROON family continues to grow with different nationalities and cultures around the globe.