On a typical day I’m in about 7.30 in the morning. I go out with green staff first thing to do course inspections, deal with any problems and discuss the day’s programme with the head greenkeeper. I’m back in the office about 8.45 to deal with a bit of admin and do a walk round the clubhouse to make sure everything is OK before the visitors turn up, which is generally around 10am. The day is then made up of various meetings either at the club or at Wales Golf. The mornings are extremely busy and then it calms down a bit during the afternoon.
What I enjoy about working at Langland Bay is interacting with the members, the friendly atmosphere and the fact that no two days are really the same. There’s always something going on here. It’s also a great that the club will allow me to implement initiatives and then report back to board once a month about how things are going. This freedom is a really important part of what I do at Langland. I think it’s essential for any director or manager of a golf club to have the freedom to implement things without having to go through too many committees, because members really like to see progress. Decisions are made really quickly, which allows me to carry on and get things done.
A big part of my job is promoting the club. We’ve had massive success with social media and we're on Twitter. We try and track the calls that come in to quantify what our marketing spend is doing. We’ve had around £90,000 of income in the last three years from social media alone. I’m the one in sole control of the social media, so I plan content through the week and drip feed it out. It helps that Langland Bay is such a picturesque course, but to try and keep producing content that doesn’t bore the customers is quite a challenge. We try and do some quirky things that entertain and engage and it’s become one of the most important revenue streams we have.
The most successful thing we did was a video last year. The idea came from me watching the films Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner and The Legend of Bagger Vance, the golf film starring Will Smith. I contacted a local videographer and had him down to shoot a clip we called History Maker. It was set on the golf course, we had some of the members dressed in period costume and used aerial drone footage to create a dramatic 40-second clip. We put it on social media, paid a small amount to boost it and ended up getting over 35,000 hits on it. Visit Wales, the PGA, the GCMA and Wales Golf all shared it and the publicity we got from that went through the roof.
What makes Langland Bay stand out to me, is its amazing setting.
We’re twinned with Pebble Beach in California because there are a lot of similarities between the two clubs. Langland has also been referred to as the 'Pebble Beach of Wales' by a number of sports stars and presenters including Sarah Stirk from Sky Sports. We’ve got small greens and it’s only 6,026 yards – it’s not the longest of courses but it’s very intricate and relatively tight. It appeals to golfers of all abilities and those players who come here expecting an easy run because it’s comparatively short, often end up with quite a high score. Our green staff also work really hard to make sure the course is always in great condition and we heavily invest back into the course.
Trying to keep everyone happy is probably the trickiest part of the job. It’s the same in every golf club. We have a very large membership, so we have to work hard to ensure that members get the tee times and space they want while also bringing in the much-needed revenue that visiting golfers provide. I’ve been here nine years now and keeping that balance is still a daily challenge.