Hue, Vietnam: Laguna Golf Lăng Cô is reaping the benefits of a well thought out plan of action it has successfully implemented at its property during the current shutdown.
Anticipating the imposition of a lockdown by the Vietnamese Government, senior officials at the award-winning golf club in Central Vietnam were quick to act.
Adam Calver, Director of Golf at Laguna Golf Lăng Cô, Chairman of the Vietnam Golf Coast and a Board Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF), said: “In early February, we put together a five-phase plan of austerity measures based on if things got worse. It seemed like every two weeks we were hitting the next phase of those levels.
“Starting with overall club operations, we identified areas that were essential and non-essential. So, retail and food and beverage and caddie services were all scaled back 50 per cent as we closed down international travel. Now we’ve shut them down 100 per cent. Those staff are now clearing up their banked time they accrued over our peak season. Once that finishes, they’ll be back to work with modified duties, helping out in other areas, mainly landscape in the turf department.
“With the turf department we feel we can’t really reduce our scope of works below 50 per cent of normal activities. So, once we officially closed on April 1, suspending all services to the public, we took a very aggressive approach to our Spring aeration programme.
“We’re going wall-to-wall with verti-cutting and top-dressing. We’re trying to take advantage of the slowdown. You often wish you could close for a few weeks, but financially it’s difficult to sell that to your ownership. But now we’ve been forced to shut down we’re into an aggressive Spring clean-up.”
Speaking in the latest in a series of podcasts with leading industry figures that are being broadcast on the AGIF’s revamped website – www.agif.asia – Calver said the well-being of the staff had been uppermost in the minds of Laguna Golf Lăng Cô management at all stages of the crisis.
Calver said: “We’ve got staff accommodation. It’s not on site but it’s very close by and we provide a shuttle service for them. Working with the local authorities we came up with some social distancing standards that they were quite happy with.
“We’d started these before we were shut down so we had two metres (six feet) between everyone on the bus. We were also taking temperature checks and health declaration forms of all associate and guests before they entered any buses or transportation and then we also were checking everyone again before they entered the resort.
“Masks and hand sanitiser were provided and that was mandatory entering the resort. The staff have been very supportive of any initiative we’ve put forward for extra protocols and extra hygiene standards.
“For the maintenance side, working on the course it’s a very social distancing job at normal capacity as there are only a few people on any given hole at any time.
“We haven’t laid off any staff and we do not intend to. We’ve reduced hours and re-allocated duties. We’re fortunate in Vietnam because we’ve just finished our peak season. We’re going into our shoulder/low season where the staff have banked in a lot of time in lieu over the winter and overtime throughout the winter season.
“We typically are clearing that off now, anyway. So, from a business timing standpoint for this region it’s not as detrimental as if it had been six months ago.”
*To listen to the full interview with Adam Calver, please visit https://agif.asia/agif-podcast/
**Laguna Golf Lang Co is a Golf Course Facility 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 https://agif.asia/join-the-agif/