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Drummond Golf oct 2020
Introducing Nicole Threw, Director of Golf at Singapore’s Sentosa Golf Club

Nicole is a committed and experienced member of the Sentosa Golf Club, having worked her way up from a Golfing Executive in 1995 to become the Director of Golf. 

With over 25 years of experience in golf operations and management, she has gained extensive knowledge and has successfully organised numerous high-profile events and televised tournaments. Nicole’s passion for providing exceptional customer service to members and guests is evident in her dedication to implementing new strategies to increase revenue and membership.

As the Director of Golf, she leads a team of professionals and collaborates with other departments to promote a cohesive and positive club atmosphere. Nicole’s expertise and leadership skills have made her an invaluable asset to the Sentosa Golf Club, and she continues to strive for excellence in all aspects of her work.

How has your role as Director of Golf developed over time?
I have been working at Sentosa Golf Club since 1995 when I was initially running corporate events as a Golf Executive. Since then, I have slowly progressed to the position I hold today. For me it is all about hard work. Any job that is given to me, I'll just do it. I like to learn as that is how I grow. 

What other roles have you occupied during your time at the club?
I came in to take care of the corporate events, but then my immediate boss trusted me and gave me a lot of opportunities with the team. Over time, I helped him and slowly took over all his jobs including: golf operations, taking care of the golf receptionist, golf bookings, and basically everything about golf. I had a very hands-on approach and eventually began running the whole department. 

What are the main day-to-day responsibilities and how do these differ during the hosting of a major tournament at the Club?
We take in the corporate sales and help customers with all the organisation from A to Z. Our team helps to process everything from event signages to scoring and dealing with all the vendors. For the event days, we help to check-in the players, provide them with scorecards, and calculate all the scores once the golf has finished. Anything involved with a corporate event, we take care of it.

As Director of Golf, I now oversee the whole golf operation, including sales and marketing. This also includes the sale of daily green fees to visitors and dealing with Tour Operators. For the Golf Operations, we are in charge of buying all the equipment such as buggies and all other items that are necessary for members and guests to use. My role also involves handling the finance, budgeting, developing strategies and development / training of staff.

During a professional event week, I take on the role of organising the volunteers. This starts with the recruitment process, before moving into the assigning of duties / job allocations and looking after their welfare.

How important is it to you and the other staff that the Club successfully hosts some of Asia’s biggest golf events?
It is always one of those weeks where we work hard, but you can see all the staff actually really enjoy working at the events. As the hosting club, we all feel proud especially when you hear, and see all the positive media reports and compliments that we receive from many different people, even those watching on TV at home.

I feel proud when the team does well. That's how we keep moving and wanting to do more. When I come to the big events, I never hear any of the staff complaining, saying they are tired or anything like that. Everybody comes in early, and goes home late, no questions asked. It is an amazing commitment from everyone.

What is it about Sentosa Golf Club that makes it one of the world’s best golf clubs?
The major experience that members and guests receive, is very much the great golf course conditioning. I think since 2010 when Andy Johnston, the Club’s GM, first joined us as our agronomist, we could see Sentosa starting to transform into what it is today. 

Everybody knows us as Tournament Ready 365. Everybody comes here to look at the golf course condition. There is often an envy at how nice the golf courses look. Even on normal days, everybody comes here, and guests come in saying wow, your conditions are super. A lot of people actually tell us that that the golf courses are the best they have ever played, in terms of conditions.

In your opinion, what are the most important factors behind creating the perfect experience at the Club, not only for fans during the event, but also members and guests on a normal daily basis?
I think we say the golf course conditions are the number one, but we also have this saying that we are not selling golf, we are selling the experience. The golf courses are always prepared in top-quality condition but if the guests were to come into the golf club and not feel welcome, then that would not be good.

So, beside the golf course conditions, I think the whole guest experience from the minute they drop off their golf bags, to visiting the golf reception counter, walking into the changing room, sitting on the terrace, hitting the first tee on the golf course, playing their round, the experience needs to be perfect.

We want them to come in and say, “Wow!” from the minute they step inside to the minute that they leave. It gives them good feelings, not just on the golf course, but everywhere at the Club.