INTERVIEW WITH GLENN CASSELLS, GENERAL MANAGER AT GARDEN CITY
Located close to Phnom Penh, Garden City Golf Club features an 18 hole, par 72 golf course that is regarded as the best golf experience in Phnom Penh. With strategically placed bunkers, water hazards and large undulating greens the golf course is a very enjoyable test of golf and is always in superb condition. A world class driving range with large grass tee add to the outstanding facilities at Garden City. IMG has been providing club management and marketing services to Garden City since the opening of the club in 2013.
In an exclusive interview, Glenn talks about Garden City and golf in Cambodia.
1 – Despite the devasting effect of the pandemic in many places around the world, Cambodia has been dealing with everything extremely well. What can you tell us of the current situation there at the moment?
Currently the situation in Cambodia is quite stable. From the early part of 2020 face masks and safety protocols have been in place in most parts of the country. At Garden City Golf Club we introduced mandatory wearing of face masks by staff, temperature checks for all staff and customers and single use of buggies in early March and have continued these practises. Our customers are understanding and grateful that we have taken these measures and don’t mind the slight inconvenience caused by this. Government directives regarding COVID safety protocols and a willingness of residents to follow these directives has meant daily life has been minimally impacted.
2 – Have you seen an increase in the interest in golf in Cambodia since you started working at the golf club?
Golf participation has increased in Cambodia over the 8 years that I have been at Garden City. The country has several price options for people to play golf at and as such interest is developing in the game of golf. The bigger interest has come from international visitors. Prior to Garden City Golf Club opening Phnom Penh was missing an international standard golf club for visitors to the country to play at. Obviously current conditions mean that international travel has been restricted but in prior years there has been an exponential increase of international tourists, particularly from Asia.
3 – Garden City is one of the most successful golf clubs in Asia, and has been voted the Best Golf Course in Cambodia by the World Golf Awards on several occasions. Apart from the high standards set for the golf course, what else makes Garden City so special?
The practises of providing sound operating practices combined with friendly efficient staff and excellent golf course conditions have been the foundations of the success of Garden City Golf Club. Focus has always been on substance not ceremony and a consistent great golf experience for all customers is always the focus for management and staff. Consistency of these standards for every customer every time they visit Garden City Golf Club has resulted in repeat business from both local residents and international visitors and extremely strong membership sales.
4 – How does IMG help you and the team at Garden City from a management, agronomy and marketing perspective?
The association with IMG has been invaluable. From the beginning of the golf club with assistance in pre-opening set up and advice regarding implementation of international 5 star standards along with constant assistance with agronomy matters and strong marketing support IMG has been instrumental in the success of Garden City Golf Club. The association with IMG has not only contributed to operational and marketing matters but has added credibility to a golf club in a developing market.
IMG Golf Course Services is a global leader in the design, development, marketing and management of world class golf courses. For more than 25 years, the group has set the standard for excellence in golf course design and golf club management. IMG’s golf course services team currently provides a diverse range of management and marketing services to more than 20 award winning clubs and resorts.