Need for Golf Clubs to Become More Efficient and Streamlined, Says Shippey

James Shippey

Bangkok, Thailand: Golf facilities across Asia are being forced to re-evaluate the ways in which they conduct their business in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak.

“This Covid-19 situation that we all find ourselves in will make owners, general managers and directors of golf really look at the operations at their clubs and second guess and re-address how they operate,” said James Shippey, Managing Director at Bangkok-based Absolute Golf Services (AGS) and a Board Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).

Speaking in the latest in a series of podcasts with leading industry figures that are being broadcast on the AGIF’s revamped website – – Shippey said all golfing establishments need to decide ‘how they become more efficient and become more streamlined without impacting the member and guest experience’.

As well as managing Thana City Country Club, AGS acts as management consultants at Nikanti Golf Club, Royal Gems City Golf Club and Royal Gems Salaya Golf Resort and has recently signed a long-term management contract for Aquella Golf and Country Club, a new project under construction in Phuket.

The enforced shutdown of golf courses in Thailand during April has enabled British PGA-trained Shippey to take stock. “We’ve taken this as an opportunity to re-evaluate how we operate as a business,” said Shippey, who has more than 20 years of high-level leadership experience at world-class facilities in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

He said: “We’ve looked at in-depth training programmes and developing our time with our colleagues to make sure they’re fully trained and upto speed. Also, we’ve been sharing ideas as to how we can improve the guest experience from the hotel to food and beverage and also the golf course. With our team at AGS, we’ve taken the opportunity to further enhance what we deliver to our members and guests.”

The past three weeks have also presented a unique chance for golf course work to be undertaken.

He said: “It’s never great to close a facility when the operating costs are significant, but we took this as an opportunity to do annual renovation work on the courses that we’d usually do a little later in the year where we’d try to manage the situation as best we could while remaining open.

“Now we’re able to be a little bit more aggressive with our renovation works and really focus on improving the health of the turf so that once we re-open the courses we’ll be in a better position than when we closed for the Covid-19 situation.”

*To listen to the full interview with James Shippey, please visit

**Absolute Golf Services is an Associate Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation. If you’d like to reach the Federation’s 10,000+ global audience via newsletter, website, Facebook and LinkedIn, become an AGIF member. For further details, please visit

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