Troon International Confirms Internal Promotions

Troon Leader Movements

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Troon has announced more than 10 new strategic appointments at their portfolio of international properties this summer.  All internal promotions have been hired into operational roles across three different continents globally: North America, Europe and Asia.

One appointment of note is Harris Abdullah who is based at The Els Club Desaru Coast in Malaysia and has been promoted to General Manager, and another is Anna Darnell at The Grove, in England who has been promoted to Resort Director.

Both Abdullah and Darnell have decades’ worth of experience within the industry and will bring huge nous and expertise to their respective roles.    

Abdullah’s appointment is set to drive greater value to the Troon Golf-managed facility as well as continuing to draw enthusiastic golfers to Desaru Coast via a combination of strategies. Abdullah’s mid and long-term goals comprise customer-centricity and sustainable development. 

Commenting on his new role at The Els Club Desaru Coast, a Facility Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation, Abdullah said: “I’m extremely excited to have risen through the ranks at Troon to secure this position. The Els Club Desaru Coast is a truly unique destination and I hope to develop and improve it even further.

“We are lucky that our employer at Troon has access to a wealth of resources, knowledge, support and talent to draw from, allowing our teams to progress within our respective career paths and this is exactly what I have been able to do whilst working for Troon.”

In England, Darnell, previously Director of Golf & Leisure, has been promoted to Resort Director, taking on greater business and strategic responsibilities across the 300-acre estate.

Darnell, who joined The Grove in 2005 as an Event Sales Manager after qualifying as a PGA Professional from Loch Lomond, went on to become The Grove’s Head PGA Golf Professional and Operations Manager, before being promoted to Director of Golf and taking on wider leisure-related responsibilities in 2016.

She said: “Having joined The Grove 17 years ago, there hasn’t been a time or position I haven’t loved at this special property. Troon were fundamental in setting up the golf facility in 2003 and I learnt a great deal when joining the team and still continue to do so with their international knowledge.

“The Grove team continues to set the standards every day and I hope in my new role that I am able to continue to support the hotel by remaining such a special place to both play and stay, as well as support the team to grow and continuously improve.”

There has also been a raft of other significant movements within operations globally, which include Lloyd Walton moving to Palmilla Golf Club, Mexico to become Golf General Manager.

Michael Neider has also crossed the globe, leaving Dubai (where he worked across Arabian Ranches Golf Club, Dubai Hills Golf Club and the Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai) for Hawaii to become Golf General Manager via Sri Lanka, where he was a short-term taskforce appointment at Victoria Golf & Country Resort.

Vattanac Golf Resort in Cambodia has welcomed two new additions. Chris Geraghty joins as General Manager from Royal Golf Club Bahrain and James Durkin takes up the role as Golf Operations Manager at the club, after seven successful years at Troon-managed facilities in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE for Troon International has also seen a host of movements and promotions. Barry Barnard has moved from Abu Dhabi to Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman to become Golf Operations Manager under the leadership of General Manager Phil Henderson.

Barnard’s addition to the team is perfectly timed, following the recent announcement from the club that they have started building a new clubhouse on site.

Stephen Payne has taken up the role of Director of Golf at The Track, Meydan Golf, continuing his nine years with Troon that included The Grove through to being Golf Operations Manager at Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai. James Ashman now takes that same role, having been promoted internally to lead the Montgomerie Golf Club Dubai as Golf Operations Manager.

The Centurion Club in England has welcomed Peter Holland as its new Director of Golf, replacing Freddie Rexstrew, who departed for warmer climes in Oman where he has taken on the role of Operations Manager at one of the newest facilities in the Troon International family, Muscat Resorts.

“We continue to provide unparalleled opportunities for our associates to work in and learn from golfing markets all over the world. This demonstrates the fantastic growth opportunities that are available to our teams worldwide,” said Mark Chapleski, Executive Vice-President of Troon International, an Executive Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation.

“Internal promotions are key to our success, as it allows our associates to develop and thrive whilst helping our own organisation grow simultaneously. The pandemic certainly paused movements. These are all positive changes within Troon and we celebrate the fantastic achievements of these individuals,” added Chapleski.

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