Mechanics of Operating a Golf Shop

Mark Bates, Director of Golf Operations at Laguna National Golf & Country Club.

Singapore: The mechanics of a golf club operating and managing its own retail shop will be the focus of next week’s webinar in the Asian Golf Industry Federation’s (AGIF) Sustainability Series.

Operating Your Golf Shop – Is it Right for Your Golf Club? is the question that will be posed by Mark Bates, Director of Golf Operations at Singapore’s Laguna National Golf & Country Club.

The webinar will be broadcast on Thursday, March 11 at 4 pm Singapore time.

In his presentation, Bates will share his insights into the factors that led to Laguna National deciding to operate and manage their own golf shop having previously outsourced the task.

Eric Lynge, the AGIF’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “It’s a dilemma that many clubs grapple with and it will be fascinating to hear Mark explain the reasoning behind Laguna National’s decision to take over the operation.”

A PGA of Canada member and golf industry veteran for more than 20 years, Bates began his working career at top facilities in Alberta, Canada. 

Upon completion of a Bachelor’s degree in Management from the University of Lethbridge, he moved to Thailand and secured a role in business development at Heartland Golf Schools, building their international programmes. 

Following a brief return to Canada, Bates moved to Singapore in 2006, establishing a branch of Heartland Golf Schools, which he managed for over 10 years. 

In 2016, he joined Laguna National as Director of Golf Operations. Since then, the club has taken over the management of the retail operations, completed renovations of its two championship courses, built a multi-million dollar ‘Laguna Practice’ facility, launched the first Toptracer Range facility in Southeast Asia and re-introduced the Leadbetter Golf Academy to Singapore. 

Last year saw the grand opening of the newly constructed clubhouse, boasting one of the largest green grass golf shops in Southeast Asia, and the Dusit Thani Laguna Singapore resort hotel. 

Lynge said: “Targeted at both turf and club management professionals, our webinars feature respected speakers and presenters from around the world, all of whom are experts in their chosen fields. It’s the intention that topics will alternate between club management and turfgrass management.

“We’re lining up some exceptional, world renowned speakers who will present their respective topics with passion and authority and will leave an indelible mark on those who are fortunate enough to be in attendance.”

The 2021 series teed-off last month with Chris Gray, Head of Sustainability & Agronomy – Asia Pacific with The R&A, speaking on the subject of Sustainable Golf.

This week, Soil/Tissue Testing and Fertiliser Planning is the topic that is being addressed by Alex Glasgow, Technical Director of Agronomy at the New Zealand Sports Turf Institute.

In addition to the exchange of information, education/association credits can be gained in Club Management Association of America (CMAA), Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA), PGA of America, PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, PGA of Japan and PGA of Australia. Attendance will be tracked and a certificate of attendance will be issued, pending attendance for a minimum of one hour on the webinar.

For further details and sponsorship opportunities, please contact Spencer Robinson, the AGIF’s Chief Communications Officer, at [email protected]  

AGIF Sustainability Webinar Series

March 11 (Thursday): 4 pm (Singapore time)
Topic: Operating Your Golf Shop – Is it Right for Your Golf Club?
Presenter: Mark Bates, Director of Golf Operations, Laguna National Golf & Country Club


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